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At the time of ‘going to press’, the entire African continent had 5,261 confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic and 174 deaths. 335 victims have recovered. A total 7 countries have no viruses at all. Until an hour ago Sierra Leone was free (it now has its index case and has closed its borders for 30 days for it). Burkina Faso (246) leads the Ivory Coast (168) and Senegal (162) as the top three in West Africa.

Ghana is in a comfortable 4th position with confirmed cases standing at 161 with 5 deaths. Of this number, 44.7 percent of all cases are community spreads (or what the Ghana Health Service refers to as ‘Routine Surveillance’), while 55.3% were detected after the President shut down the country’s borders and ordered the mandatory quarantine of all entrants. It is possible that a full half of community infections could have been avoided if the President had ordered the border shutdowns a week before, and only a tenth of cases would have been recorded if he had shut down the borders after his arrival from Switzerland. Total homecare (recovery) cases are 49. There’s no doubt that the total number of infections would be 1,000 without the mandatory quarantine instituted, but we cannot hope that the numbers stay that way.

For mandatory quarantine, and barring any truth to bribery and extortion rumours that celebrities and politicians are paying their ways out of mandatory quarantine, we can be certain that the rate of confirmed infections will not exceed 30 percent of the quarantined population. All our fears are rightly for community infections, the progression arithmetic that Italy, Spain, the United States, Iran and South Africa (Africa’s COVID 19 League Table Leader at 1,326 confirmed cases) are currently experiencing. When Ghana’s routine surveillance or community infections exceed 50%, we will be in deepshit country because that is exactly when our rates will be aiming to make a dash for peak levels.

This is why this Jungle Boy and a duo of frontliners have teamed up to bring you this special worst-case scenario for examination. Our worse-case pandemic scenario starts with 250 community infections. The GHS and the MOH need to have switched from a centralized to a decentralized management model at that point. This requires the conversion of the various constituencies as Clusters (CCs or Constituency Clusters). Each CC is a first responder center where suspicious cases can be reported. These CCs can run from a container shop or from a mobile kiosk. The cluster must consist of two nurses at the least, a medical doctor, and an ambulance purposely fitted to transport cases. The CC must be heavily protected for bio-hazard reasons, and must have more PPEs than the Korle has plastic, and a mobile telephone with a tracker. The CCs’ role in this fight is to serve as the first contact for probable cases in the constituencies and must be equipped with tools to assess a patient for signs of COVID-19. If we are lucky to have procured ABT.N COVID-19 test kits, then the testing could be done and the results found out in 5 minutes before the cluster transports the patient to Regional Clusters (RCs); a tented pavilion equipped with the necessary quarantine and treatment equipment that can be set up at regional sports stadia to receive patients from the CCs.

We don’t have the manpower and financial muscle to build new hospitals like the Chinese did; and we dare not overwhelm our current hospitals – they barely have the capacity to handle anything beyond what they are already doing in our misbegotten excuse for healthcare delivery in Ghana (don’t get us started on NHIA arrears). We may have to convert the Dome at the AICC into Accra’s RC though (we wanted to suggest Parliament House but we are feeling benevolent).

Ultimately, this proposed approach will eliminate prank calls (CCs require walk-ins), and allow better and meaningful coordination of the coronavirus fight in Ghana. It will lead to rapid responses to peaking cases, reduce the risks of overburdening regional and national hospitals and allow an efficient trace of cases. Food distribution, as well as exit permits from homes, can be managed through the CCs. Mass testing can also be done through these CCs like Germany has been doing. And if Chinese PPEs won’t come, let’s provide Ghanaian tailors with the materials they need to make facial masks for their communities. And this will work after government proceeds from oil and gas, cocoa, VAT, customs duties, remittances, and taxes from foreign consulates have all completely disappeared together with the $100m IMF cash. It might be difficult to pay public sector workers as well if this coronavirus issue persists for more than two months, which is why the President needs to be decisive at these times.

Trust us when we say that allowing peak infections will mess us up beyond our wildest imaginations; why do you think Sierra Leone is on lockdown over just one case? They know they are no Wuhan nor Madrid. Let’s get cranking, Mr. Government; before we all die. And we need to stop government appointees from peddling false hopes. We may have 400 ventilators as the President’s advisor on health posited, but we are of the candid opinion that these ambulance ventilators are incompetent for ICU use. Let’s therefore get the clusters to begin their work and we may prolong our peak deaths until antidotes are found. We need to prepare to have an Italy on our hands, folks while praying as hard as we can.

Happy Lockdown all the same!  

Contributors: Emmanuel Agyeman Joseph Kofi Asante JayJay D. Segbefia
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TattleBlog
Hi there! My name is JayJay D. Segbefia and I am probably the newest author of Fiction & Fantasy in Ghana. I just took stock of another 50 copies of my book Executive Hallucination. I am a quiet and shy jungle boy, and not much into book launches and PR. But I am happy to have a copy of my book delivered to you wherever you are. I can autograph it too, if you want.

My book tells the story of a greenhorn neurosurgeon, Dr. Alexander J. Cattrall, who wants no part in a fracas between Ghana’s National Security Agency and a hallucinatory Chief of Staff who believes he is President. But Cattrall takes extraordinary exception to the abduction of his twin sister whom he had previously fought his way through Liberia’s civil war to rescue, after their Dad had sold her to a seafarer. Such foolhardiness was what Ghana needed to save its democratic reputation but Cattrall doesn’t give a hoot. He will save Sandra again and he doesn’t care that the one who has her believes he is President of Ghana.

A copy sells for 100-GHS + 25-GHS for delivery if you’re in or outside of Accra. Kindly WhatsApp 0548424903 for your copy. Delivery occurs within 24 hours of purchase. The Kindle Edition costs only $9.99 Thank you, and Happy Reading!
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TattleBlog
You had no mobile phones; were in no Uber; could not leave a technological trail for the dumbest CID investigator to follow and rescue you under 72 hours; You walked the street, humble and low, going about your regular routines when you were picked up by the twist of fate that unleashed the twisted actions of some Nigerian scum. You were no offspring of politicians, no citizens of a country with will, intellect and power like Canada, no name but that of humble parentage. But for the media, your disappearance would barely have caused a ripple in a country so focused on the trivial, the sensual and its downgrading of democracy to “speak and let me speak some”.
 
The “intelligence” they received got a woman to declare she knew where you were when she clearly didn’t. She won’t resign for lack of shame. They relied on the lying word of your alleged abductor, who led them on a merry goose chase, from a money ritual box in Tamale to a “baby factory” in Calabar, Nigeria. They couldn’t intelligently keep their eyes on the already-cold trail here in Ghana while they chased Alata clues. Simultaneous equations are not a part of CID training curricula. And now, DNA has proven that the remains the CID scooped from a septic tank with poly bags and shovels are your unfortunate remains. The woman who gave us the false hope in office still remains.  

But in this apampamu-store republic, anger is a very strange commodity. Already, veritable idiots are waxing lyrical that the confirmation of your demise is a government ploy, a diversionary tactic to cover up the embarrassment of a school placement hoo-haa going on. It’s the same idiocy that infected the attempts to find you. Nothing personal. It’s a national curse so long as the two beasts of NPP and NDC run this country’s political discourse agenda. In some jurisdictions COP Tiwaa Savage would have been fired and replaced with a professor of criminology but your crime, dear girls, was to be born in the wrong jurisdiction. And the anger that should get us all in the streets demanding better policing in this republic pours only on social media which, in Ghana, is nothing more than the sound of a long, insidious fart.  

I grieve for you Ruth, Ruth Love, Priscilla and Priscilla Blessing. There is no coincidence where I stand. The murderer knew exactly what names you needed to have when he came after you. Out of the ashes of your demise, I know there will arise no new births. This country moves on very quickly, except in things that matter, like government bureaucracy. One would think, at least, that a list of all Nigerians would be compiled by our Immigration Authorities so we can clamp down on criminal elements. One would think that MMDAs would document all uncompleted buildings and uncovered septic thanks to prevent their use for crimes of this nature. One would think that the bar for recruitment into the CID would go above false hope-givers but hope, like anger, is a strange commodity in this republic we call home.  

I wish I could send you thoughts and prayers, but they were useless when it came to saving you. I wish I could say you’re not dead, but unlike your parents, I know closure when I see one. I wish your death would usher in proper criminal investigations procedures in the future, but history doesn’t work well here. I wish you have more peace where you are now, and that is the only actionable intelligence we all have now.  

No one can hurt you no more. Not government Not kidnappers Not all the people who will use your memory for political purposes.  

Do rest in peace; how I wish you didn’t have to do so in pieces.

🙁
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TattleBlog
3 decades and counting… and I still hadn’t figured out how exactly menstrual pain felt. Which isn’t surprising. I am a man, after all. Still, every time I saw a member of the fairer sapiens writhing on the floor, all covered in grimaces that spoke little to the real pain they felt in those crampy moments, I tried to imagine how it would all really feel if I traded places. True, I empathized and sympathized with those I knew had such issues. But can you imagine how terrible it would seem to say to a woman in the throes of menstrual pain, “I know how you feel”, or “I share in your pain”? That, of course, would be ludicrous. Talk about taking sympathy to modin sane levels.

But I wondered. And wondered again. What will the experience be like for me if I suffered pain similar to menstrual cramps, at least for a day? After all, what was the point of empathy if it failed to generate a sense of knowing the experience of another person in ways that harnessed all cognitive, affective and behavioural resources to the benefit of the sufferer?

Let me break the grammar down. How can I empathize with a victim of dysmenorrhea as if I myself was sharing in their pain? You can’t silly! You’re a man, my inner voice said. He was right of course. Few studies have directly examined empathy for pain. The best materials on the subject suggest that observing somebody in pain activates similar neurons as if the observer was experiencing similar pain himself.

But that has been debunked by other research that observe that only the affective and not the sensory components of the pain network are activated when we observe a person we care about in pain. In short, my face can imitate the grimace from the pain a girlfriend is experiencing from menstrual cramps and even imitate the distress that accompanies the nerve-wracking experience, but there’s absolutely no way to actually induce the throbbing pain in the abdomen (unless I asked someone to kick me in the family jewels), or induce the headaches, dizziness and nausea.

No sir.

So I had to accept the maxim that no pain could be compared to cramps, and that only women could bear or tolerate the pain. If that lot fell to men, women were pretty sure we’d be a crap-faced, pathetic bunch indeed come the end or so of each menstrual month. And I believed them. Until recently.

I can now say, on authority, that men know exactly how menstrual cramps feel like. Even better, we are capable, and have done so on more occasions than we can count, of bearing infinitely more pain than our female counterparts. Ours trumps dysmenorrhea any day. Here’s why I say so:

I like to laze about a lot on Sundays. I just chill. Other than the occasional stepping out to find me some nice waakye in the morning, I bring the wrath of a typhoon to bear on the head of anyone who forces me to leave home, TV and my dogs on Sundays. And, as befits Sunday morning relaxations, I walk around unrestrained.

Y’all know what antipe is, right?

You don’t?

Antipe is when a man walks around in shorts without first wearing underwear. And that’s perfectly alright at home, of course. Can’t be walking around town with one’s ding-dong dangling every-which-way, now, can we? So antipe is all good and well at home. Creates room for Sir John Thomas, also known us Long John Black or, even better, L. L Cool J, to take a breather, you know?

And so here I was, this particular Sunday morning. It was eleven. I had just watched The Hitman’s Bodyguard and was laughing my head off at Samuel L. Jackson’s conversation with his wife when I decided I needed to use the bathroom.

You know the drill for men. Unzip. Unpack. Flow. Shake. Shake some more. One more shake. Repack. Zip up. Pretty routine. Here’s why this morning’s was different. As I was performing the final part – the zipping up part – I must have zipped up too fast while L. L Cool J was only now settling away from the cloth of the zipper. I ended up zipping a whole inch of L. L Cool J skin in the zipper!

What do you mean, “Did you scream”?

Of course I screamed my head off! I yowled, howled, caterwauled, wailed, whined and screeched, in no particular order. Heck, I must have reached octaves in the throes of that excruciatingly painful ordeal. My dogs howled in return of course, but the skin stayed right where it was… zipped up together with my shorts.

Ouch!

See, anyone familiar with the male reproductive shaft knows that it’s all one muscular contraption. The skin covering it is the thinnest skin there is in the human anatomy – and the most sensitive. It stretches, of course, during blood engorgement, but that is what makes the experience dreadful. A whole inch of it was locked up in my zipper, and already the throbbing pain was giving me a splitting headache.

Forget Tramadol. This pain was the stuff of high morphine dosages.

Ouch!

Or have I said that already?

Double ouch then.

Make that triple!

And, as every man who has gone through this ordeal knows, those moments are most tender. You can never find a man at his tenderest any other time, I’m teling you. I locked my knees like a robot. Any movement was going to end up tearing skin, and that, my friends, would be pure, unadulterated, PAIN!

Agyaaeee!

So I locked my knees and begun the most tender process ever enjoined by a man of unzipping and setting my inflaming member free. Passing a zipper over the skin of a penis hurts like hell. That has been established herewith. Now, imagine passing the zipper back down the same inflamed skin.

Maame eeee!

But a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. My breath came to me erratically. My knees were shaking, and sweat had broken on my brow. My hands shivered as I set out to perform the unimaginably painful operation of excising my penile skin from my zipper. Slowly I moved the zipper back down. Each interlocking teeth pinched me some even as I slowly worked it down. The whole world knows that the average zipper bears ten pairs of teeth per inch. That’s 20 teeth over my most sensitive skin!

Awoooooo!

I screamed as the zipper pinched, and pinched and pinched. By the time I was done, I was so sore I couldn’t even allow air to pass over the skin without screaming the entire neighbourhood down. I forgot to turn off my living room fan, and when a gust hit me and my nakedness when I returned from the bathroom (I had discarded the shorts, of course), I almost passed out.

I didn’t wear “dross” for a week after the incident. And even afterwards, I wore only soft cotton boxers. The memory of the pain, however, lasted three months. Even now, as we speak, I have checked to be sure that my zipper is in no danger of mistaking my flesh for a cloth. And this, my friends, is the ordeal that trumps menstrual cramps any day.

Dear women, please take a bow on this. Menstrual cramps has nothing, and I mean NOTHING on zipped penile skin.

I get nightmares just remembering that one-time incident.

And cold sweat too.
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TattleBlog
The Supreme Court of Ghana has ruled that the transfer of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees to Ghana was unconstitutional. Of course, we all knew that the two Gitmo dudes had no business in Ghana where respect for the rule of Law was concerned. Everyone knew this – except, of course, those who like the NDC, wash their faces upwards with chicken piss. Former President John Mahama was dead wrong, and that is the reason this jungle boy tore into him on his pathetic excuses for bringing them in, and the one of Christian compassion topped the list of the most ridiculous, never mind that these Gitmo Illegals were Muslim.

But what got all of us angry the most was how they were smuggled into the country. You don’t bring Gitmo detainees into Ghana without letting our representatives in Parliament in on it, never mind that our House of Parliament is increasingly becoming a bastion of corruption and extortion. But even so, bribe them as is their increasing custom, let them pretend to deliberate and make some rare, intelligent contribution to the matter, and have it approved by the whipping in line of your majority. That way, even if the Gitmo Illegals presented at KIA with a couple of bombs attached to their electric-shock-enlarged testi-balls, we all would have slept peacefully knowing that our (presumably wise) parliamentarians believe the two won’t blow the Makola Market up one day in a fit. That’s what I would have done if I were president at the time. But our resident Dead Goat met the Americans, discussed the benefits accepting the Gitmo Duo would bring (and no one can persuade me to believe that large amounts of cash did not change hands, tweeaa), and sneaked the two into our apampamu-store Republic.

But accepting two former Guantanamo Bay detainees into one’s country requires some serious intelligent work. These two were arrested shortly after the September 11 WTC attacks on US soil, brow-beaten, interrogated and tortured mercilessly for many years since then without access to any legal representations whatsoever. There are numerous reports detailing how, under such inhumane conditions, former detainees who otherwise would never have known of bombs in their lifetime, afterwards resort to bombing US targets for putting them through such satanic cruelty. This is what happens in Guantanamo Bay, and the Bay in its name notwithstanding (y’all watched too much Acapulco Bay), Gitmo Bay is not a fantasy beach. The facility can turn a pope into a terrorist la. This is why we all got pissed about bringing them in. And how exactly, as Ghana, could we ascertain their levels of threat? Because the United States said they posed minimal threat? Really?

So I was glad the government got sued (I was considering it myself :-P) and now, the fact of Law has been established. The NPP Government now has the interesting task of getting parliament to ratify an act they bastardized of the former President. An act that they made political capital out of, demonized and well-nigh presented as the most unwise National Security decision ever made by a sitting president. These are interesting times, you see?

Me, I’d have bundled the Gitmo Illegals and dumped them before the gates of the US Embassy. I’d have given the US 72 hours to have them removed and relocated to Trump Towers… especially in the face of the recent arrogance of the Embassy and the ridiculous suggestion that the Peerless John A. Kuffour, the indefatigably booming John Jerry Rawlings, and the comfortably leading John D. Mahama would have to queue in the sun some, just to get a US Visa.

What nonsense!

Massa, I’d have tipped the Gitmo Illegals from a tipper truck over the walls and into the Embassy la!

You: “Why shouldn’t their stay be renewed if they have proven themselves to be low risk?”

Me (and some unnamed friends): “The same reason the US deports aliens with impunity – because they broke the law in the first place.”

Tsooo!

But no, that’s just me. This government will have to go to Parliament to seek that ratification. And the two might well remain here ad infinitum. After all, one of them is happily married to Maamle Afi Borborbor Ibn Atlef, and their offspring look amazing. They might make fine counter terrorism experts one day, so there’s no need to be seeking vengeance. But the issue, when it gets presented to Parliament, would make for great laughter, I tell y’all. The NPP will be for it, of course, but the NDC will play their usual devilry and demand, especially remembering the rancid response of the NPP in opposition to the Gitmo saga, that the government return the two. I have me a cauldron of popcorn to sit back and enjoy the ride. No matter how bad things get in this our republic, my friends, we can push our impending heart attacks far into the future if we take the fun view of things, and our politicians are the classic comedians if ever there were some.

Until we speak again, I’ll probably be watching Kumawood’s new sensation:

Gitmo II – The Illegals!
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TattleBlog
Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, the outgoing Vice President, is the most elusive species of the presidency of John Dramani Mahama. His elusiveness trumps those of leopards of both the Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks put together, and this phenomenon has earned him the title of the most asked-about member of the government of the National Democratic Congress. Not a week passed on social media between 2015 and 2016 without at least a dozen comments, witty statements, demands and requests concerning his whereabouts and his role in the NDC government. His disappearing powers did not become as much the subject of Facebook and Twitter hunting parties and search-and-rescue expeditions as it did after Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia launched his assault of 170 questions. Memes pictured the poor second gentleman being hauled out of caves, basements and sewerage pipes to answer Bawumia’s unapologetic questions.
For those of you who somehow missed his #1 achievement of making it unto the list of important people enumerated in the Onaapo campaign song, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is the 5th Vice President of the 4th Republic of Ghana. Before his assumption of the vice presidency in 2012, he was Governor of the Bank of Ghana, and his impressive CV nose-dives after that fact.

The question we will seek to answer in this article is how such an elusive person became vice president of Ghana, and what role he could have played in the shameful defeat of President John Mahama in the 2016 polls.

Why was Amissah-Arthur selected as Vice President?

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. That is the simple, straightforward answer to why Amissah-Arthur was selected as vice president by President Mahama.

During the 2012 election campaign, and even as far back as the 2008 contest, it was apparent that the Akufo-Addo & Mahamudu Bawumia composition, beyond the incidences of NDC rigging, was too powerful to defeat (as would later on be proven, in 2016). The Mills-Mahama presidential alliance in 2008 did nothing to inspire confidence in economic growth and stability, so when the opportunity presented itself after the demise of the good Prof to realign the presidency, the lack of a match for the brilliant Bawumia became too painfully evident for the new president who had hardly recovered from his shock at his unexpected presidential fortune. And Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur appeared as the most powerful choice after a thorough search through the rank and file of the NDC’s topmost brains.

Right after his selection, and soon after winning the 2012 presidential elections, it became apparent that the only reason Amissah-Arthur was selected vice president was for the political advantage of a match for the good Dr. Bawumia. This is because the economy took an immediate plunge for the worse after the swearing-in of January 7, 2013. And try as they could, Mahama and his elusive veep could not right the nose-dive of the Ghanaian economy. This forced Finance Minister Terkper to rush back to the same IMF the previous NPP government had gone to a lot of trouble to divorce after our brief but rewarding affair with the HIPC initiative. All this while, Amissah-Arthur as head of the government’s economic (mis)management team seemed powerless to stop a declining economy and even safeguard the country’s currency. And then dumsor struck like a thunderbolt. If anything, that jolt of economic shock revealed the asinine incompetence of the Mahama-led administration’s handling of the Ghanaian economy, leading not a few to question the economic management skills of Amissah-Arthur touted by the 2012 NDC campaign.

Things then came to a head when Dr. Bawumia began to directly antagonize the vice president in one lecture after another, wreaking havoc on the NDC’s policies and breaking and chewing into irredeemable pieces every assumption of economic acuity by the ruling government. By January 2016, and after the inevitable exposure of the fallacies in any assumption that Amissah-Arthur was in the presidency to both heal the economy and freeze Bawumia’s blazing effect in opposition, the good vice president had become a scarce commodity at the forefront of anything involving the NDC administration. Time and time again, Ghanaians began to wonder where he was, and it was not uncommon to have Facebook folks remind everyone that Amissah-Arthur was vice president of the Ghanaian Republic. Even those who hated all that the NDC and President Mahama stood for began to offer prayers for the long life and prosperity of the president. The idea that Amissah-Arthur would be president should anything amiss befall Mahama was a nightmare no one wished for. That’s just how really bad the light surrounding the vice president had gotten to.

What Did Amissah-Arthur Contribute to Mahama’s shameful shellacking?

Absolutely nothing.

Contrary to interesting opinion on the matter, this jungle boy posits that Vice President Amissah-Arthur is in no way, whether by omission or commission, responsible for Mahama’s debilitating trouncing at the 2016 polls. And my reasons for holding this position are simply that “Indecisive managers may not accomplish much. But on the long list of things they don’t do is this: get fired.” – Jared Sandberg.

True, the shameful performance of the NDC in the 2016 elections is a firing of Amissah-Arthur as well as John Mahama off the top job of this country, but we need to understand why Amissah-Arthur was content to remain incognito. Under the NDC government, and specifically under the presidency of Mahama, the vice presidential office was treated with less respect and honour than it garnered when Vice President Aliu Mahama of fond memory held it. Under the NPP, you would be egregiously mistaken to think that if you invited President Kuffour to a function that he couldn’t honour, he would send Alhaji Aliu Mahama in his stead. No way. If you didn’t invite the specific office of Vice President then you were in trouble to find a presidential presence at your function. The two offices were distinctly separate and competent in each’s own right, and President Kuffour was honoured to have had Aliu Mahama working with him as his near-equal. Not so the office of Vice President under the NDC. Rumours were rife to Koku Anyidoho, times without number, disrespecting the person and office of Vice President John Mahama when he [Anyidoho] was the HBIC (Head-Bull-In-Charge] of the Presidency at the Castle under Mills. Was it any wonder then that Koku disappeared off the radar in the first few years of the Mahama presidency until just before the NDC’s Congress when he stood and won the deputy General Secretary position?

So I don’t believe that Amissah-Arthur contributed to Mahama’s whipping at the polls. If anything at all, he did well to condition the NDC to the possibility of defeat when he called on pollsters to desist from making false claims that certain parties were going to win the 2016 elections. He may also have been prevented from bringing his experience to bear in the involvement of Ibrahim Mahama, the president’s brother, in the running of the affairs of state and of party. But let there be no doubt: Amissah-Arthur contributed immensely to ensuring that a competent government was voted for in 2016. And that is a good thing, whether or not it’s a blessing NDC folks and their infuriating neutral sidekicks will disagree with. And for this, we will miss Amissah-Arthur immeasurably. No one could pull a David Copperfield on the Ghanaian political stage better than he could. Now, we have to find someone else to laugh at who is so helplessly laughable-at in spite of themselves. I wonder who that will be…

Until then, here’s a reminder of how real Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur might have been in a government of delusional administrators:

Tuesday, November 29. FSH

The president reaches for the champagne glass after the birthday toast. It’s time for one more sip before he retires to prepare for the presidential debate. The ministers gathered around him make way for his special aide. The aide whispers briefly into the president’s right ear just as he lifts the glass to his lips. He sputters and almost chokes on his drink. He drops the glass, his face red with rage, invisible beneath his African skin. He lets fly a few curses, culled from every known shrine in the Bole area.

Julius: Everything alright, sir?

Oga: Hell No!

Koku: What’s wrong, Mr. President?

Oga: It’s that damn Bugri Naabu.

Amissah-Arthur: Bugri who???

Oga: That useless NPP Northen Regional Chairman we paid to resign and declare that Addo-D was a dictator who hated northerners like a religion. He’s blown the lid on the whole thing.

All: He did what?!

Amissah-Arthur: Why the hell did we do such a thing?

Koku: (Holding his head in his palms) What did he say?

Oga: Everything apparently. And the NPP has called a press conference exposing the whole affair. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted that snake. I’d like to get my hands on Bugri’s potbelly right now. I’d sweat a few pounds off him.

Terkper: What do we do?

Koku: (Shrugs. Trying hard to keep himself under control) The usual.

Amissah-Arthur: Which is…?

Oga: (Looking at PK with something close to hatred) We deny it flatly. No ifs, no buts. And call the son-of-the-north a damn liar.

Terkper: How would we deny that we gave him that much money? What about the papers surrounding the vehicle transfer and so forth?

Koku: Never mind that. All we have to do is deny it and call him names. We’ve done this before. Just leave Bugri to me and Adams.

Kwakye: What’s this going to do to us? We have a week to the elections.

Amissah-Arthur: I know the answer to that one.

Oga: (Scowls deeply at Amissah-Arthur) What?!

Amissah-Arthur: (Calmly grabs a glass of champagne, sips it with a stretched out slurp, returns the president’s foul gaze with a cool, steady one, crosses a leg in his chair and proclaims, while swirling his champagne in the glass) WE ARE CERTIFIABLY SCREWED.

The End.
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