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KalashniBlog

Tucked beautifully away in the forests between Akyem Asafo on the Apedwa-Bunso stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway and Akyem Kukurantumi on the Koforidua-Nsutam road is the village of Addo-Nkwanta. This village could only correctly be called a Ghanaian village. Unlike other Akyem villages where Akyem Twi was the lingua franca, Addo-Nkwanta has a healthy mix of just about every Ghanaian tribe. When I was young, I started sentences in Akwapim Twi and ended them in Krobo, Ewe or Kyerepon. Everyone was welcome in Addo-Nkwanta, which is probably why, when the predominantly farming village got sizeable enough to deserve its own sub-Chief, or Odikro, the citizens decided, rather than have the Paramountcy in Kyebi or the divisional chief in Asafo nominate an Odikro, to select one from among ourselves.

It had never been done before. No one had elected a chief before. Before the notion was proposed, there were many claimants to the non-existing stool, not one of whom had true nobility or royal blood in their veins. Oh, there was one pretender or another to one forgotten stool or another, and the whole thing seemed messy in the beginning. Since they did not want Asafo and Kukurantumi dictating to them through an Odikro of their choosing, the Addo-Nkwantanians chose the most practical way out – elect an Odikro and leave the bestowing of stool titles and what-nots to him.

As one would expect in a situation such as this, there were over 2-hundred candidates! And ballots after ballots were cast over a period of a decade. The rest of Akyemdom sat back and chortled at all the foolishness of electing an Odikro, but the village was determined, and on the 32nd ballot and with minimal cheating, an Odikro was elected – a cassava farmer called Afrane.

He grew coco-yams too. 

It’s important to never forget the coco-yams.

Anyway, after his election, every village man who thought he was important would make a 12-kilometre journey to Odikro Afrane’s farm to pay homage, since he had no palace yet and lived more on his farmstead than in the village proper. In one instance, a family that wanted to be named KrontiHene went and knelt in one of his vegetable beds, claiming, “Hail Odikro Afrane, the Magnificent.”

“Oh, have a care for your finery,” he declaimed to the prostrate family. “I have just well-manured the bed you’re kneeling in with cow dung,” he finished plaintively.

This was in the late 1970s. Ten years later, Odikro Afrane’s mother passed, and having tasted the sweet essence of power, he demanded of Addo-Nkwantanians a levy to bury his mother in style.

Of course the village refused.

Odikro Afrane was furious. But he failed to see a vital truth. He was elected mainly because we’d rather have been Odikroless than to have had a person claiming some kingship by blood rule over us, especially if that blood was idiotic, like one of the candidates from the division was.

No sir.

And having given a fat middle finger to true nobility, the last thing we were going to do was to kiss the butt of one whom we had ourselves set over us. Funeral levy our village butts!

No one paid the levy.

To make matters worse for Odikro Afrane, the legendary musician C. K. Mann released a song about that same time. Some rather long medley, but one part was about Adwoa Yankey, a woman who had lost her husband and was being asked to look to God for solace. The part that offended the Odikro and thrilled the villagers was this:

Nnyɛ awo nko na wo na ewu o!

Nnyɛ awo nko na wo agya ewu o,

Ɛna ewu, egya ewu, Nnyɛ awo nko na wo na ewu o,

Aware saman kor oh!

To wit: You’re not the only one to have lost a Mother to demand a funeral levy!

Needless to say, the Odikro banned the song from being played in the village. If one was caught even whistling it, the penalty was three ram and 3 bottles of schnapps. He also banned the material dress in vogue of the same name as the song, and refused to let the village have electricity. When he himself died 12 years later, the song Adwoa Yankey was played at his funeral over loud speakers powered by the rural electrification project.

Ever since COVID-19 struck and June 2020 passed kwatakwata with only a few deaths in Ghana, the government of President Akufo-Addo has blamed every one of the country’s economic problems on the pandemic and now, on the Russo-Ukrainian war. These problems have been double-digit inflation, high cost of living, government and civil service corruption, and an increase in taxes. No one is happy except party foot soldiers and the Officer Corps of the Insult Battalion on Facebook.

But what aahn did the Ghanaian government do for We the People during COVID’s lockdowns that it has been drumming the pandemic as the reason for its present incompetence?

Let’s first take a look at what other governments did when Coronavirus shutdowns around the world pushed countries into crisis-mode. It prompted a massive rescue spending in an effort to soften the blow from what was accurately expected to be the worst economic contraction since the 1930s. The IMF reported, as of April 7, 2022, that countries around the world approved more than $4.5 trillion worth of emergency measures.

Example, all Americans earning under $99,000 – an estimated 90% of households – received as much as $1,200 per adult, while South Korea’s central government sent cheques of up to $820 to families in the bottom 70% income bracket. Hong Kong announced a handout of $1,280 per adult; Japan, $931 per person, and Singapore, $422.

Those governments not only directed their COVID relief packages in direct payments to citizens. They guaranteed new loans to businesses hurt by the shutdowns as well. In Ghana however, we only got free water for 3 months, electricity subsidy for a month or so, and some interest rate cuts by the Central Bank. And for those pittances, we got charged 1% health recovery levy in addition to an existing 5% tax on goods and services and an unflinching 12.5% VAT on the amount and taxes thus charged. And when we complained, a 1.5% electronic transaction levy was imposed further. While other countries sent cheques to their beloved citizens, our government sent us taxes and levies to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on itself and itself alone. As if the Ghanaian government and its spending elite were the only ones to have lost economic grounds to the pandemic.

And every time I hear Ogyam speak of COVID as the reason we are so broke right now, that Adwoa Yankey song comes to mind.

Nnyɛ awo nko na wo na ewu!

We might just sing that song at the next polls, or failing that, whatever the campaign song will be in 2024, which right now seems to be imbedded with five leap years.

😎

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KalashniBlog

In 2007, after the new Landcruiser had rolled out of Toyota’s factories with its 5.7-liter V8 engine and the resultant 381 horsepower and 401 pounds of torque, the company presented less than a dozen of the units to its sales offices in Ghana. Toyota Global was not sure that citizens of our highly indebted poor country could afford the new model’s sound-absorbing and noise-cancelling luxury. The Ghana sales office wrote back to Global that they needed a dozen more, after only a month or so. That same year, they sold over 50 of the luxurious beasts. It wasn’t long before motorists on the Spintex Road begun to complain about V8s trying to run them off the roads. Every class one politician by year 2019 had begun to drive the enormous SUVs with illegal sirens and, as we speak, there are more than 680 Landcruiser V8s registered in Ghana. 90-percent of them belong to Ghana’s political class.

In 2016, President Akufo-Addo campaigned on a strong theme of incorruptibility. His vice-president exuded economic competence. As we speak, the President seems to have expunged the word corruption from all word processors in the Jubilee House pool of computers and the US Dollar is 5.90 to the Cedi. The Vice President’s voice on the correlation between a falling currency and incompetence can no longer be heard, except from excerpts of what he said about that correlation 5 years ago.

The NPP government has found itself at war with its citizens, winning against them in Ejura when Ghana Armed Forces personnel shot, killed and maimed 4 people protesting the earlier murder of a social media anti-government activist, and losing against them when Ghanaians angrily denounced and acerbically decried the payment of illegal cabinet-level salaries to the wives of the president and his deputy. The first and second ladies were forced to return the monies.

But the citizens vs. government conflict hasn’t yet ran its course. With renewed vigour, citizens are attacking the offer of car loans to Members of Ghana’s misbegotten Parliament when no one else in Ghana is able to acquire loans with the requirement to pay back only 40-percent. To add insult to injury, the MPs waived all taxes applicable to the importation of their cars. The total cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer is 31-Million USD. And teachers, when they demanded a 15% rise in salaries only got a 4-percent raise. The President had the steel-clapped cojones to declare that teachers cannot expect to be enriched in the teaching profession. His salary, by the way, is pegged at 40 times more than an average graduate teacher earns.

I remember too vividly January 7, 2017. It was A Saturday and even I, a staunch Sabbath-keeper, could not pay full attention at worship while President Akufo-Addo was being sworn in as President. The expectations of all of us were at an all-time high, and having criticized the Mahama-led NDC government viciously over the course of the NDC’s corrupt and electric power failing governance, the plagiarized call to be citizens and not spectators was welcoming in its patriotic zeal and passion. Just 4 years down the line, the NPP government was attempting to steal ballot boxes just to hold on to the Speakership of the Parliament they had wielded overwhelming control over the previous term.

Taxes are rising, as is the cost of living. The Cedi is falling. Unemployment is so high that the Ghanaian republic has refused to gather data on the statistic. Crime too is rising, with robberies getting bolder and bolder and beginning to target a few MPs themselves. All the promises Akufo-Addo made not to let Ghana down shone brightly through free SHS but dimmed swiftly in non-existing factories and jobs. And as reports get bleaker and bleaker, the government has taken its frustration onto journalists, blaming the inky fraternity for every one of its incompetence and human rights abuses. Ghanaians have become more cynical than they were in 2015 when Woyome was the news, and government finds itself at the receiving end of internet trolls and bad press.

So Ghana go be?

This is the question posed by 4ties, an underground Ghanaian rapper. To this, the politician in power answers, “E dey be k3k3”, while the politician in opposition answers, “E go be”. Only the Ghanaian with no political connection answers, “Never”.

To people like me who are #InDifferent after having our hopes for a better Ghana dashed more times than we can count, we have but one answer.

Tweaaa in excelsis.

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KalashniBlog, TattleBlog
The work of devolving political, administrative and fiscal authority to local governments that begun in 1988 seems to have called for what might be the biggest showdown in referendum history in this apampamu-store republic. And while MMDCE elections since then have barely made the headlines – other than Assemblymen-wannabes sharing cola nuts and making local gin bitters loosely available in village squares and apio bars respectively – this referendum on the same local government decentralization process is a differing cup of tea. It all started in 2016 when the current government in its manifesto promised to oversee the direct election of MMDCEs within 24 months of coming into office. Even that did not so much as pique social media curiosity until, probably in search of some trumpian quid pro quo, the government decided to require partisan MMDCE elections as a trade-off to relinquishing the power to appoint our abronye DCEs. Because the 1992 Constitution frowned on partisan elections at that level, the government needed to hold a referendum to amend Article 55(3) of the Constitution. The offending article reads: “Subject to the provisions of this article, a political party is free to participate in shaping the political will of the people, to disseminate information on political ideas, social and economic programmes of a national character, and sponsor candidates for elections to any public office other than to District Assemblies or lower local government units.” This is what the government wants us to amend by referendum. Whether we vote YES or NO, MMDCEs will in the next district assembly elections be elected from among local MMDCE contenders. We, the People, are only to decide whether we want partisanship contests at that level or whether we want that prohibition in place. Piece of cake, really, but here’s why it’s not: A nosy lawyer-journalist called Samson Ayenini wrote a piece provoking a No-Campaign that got social media debaters drawing swords and reining in long-forgotten Spartan shields. Since then, everyone else that didn’t give a squirrel’s posterior about the outcome of MMDCE elections, including people like me who have never voted in those elections, have taken up arms and chosen sides in this battle that, if nothing at all, will give Ghanaian future governments pause when it comes to considering referenda as easy ways to give politicians what they want. Even the National House of Chiefs is divided on the matter with the President of the House calling for a No-Vote, and the king from the President’s tribe calling for a Yes-Vote. It’s fair to assume that opinions are split right down the middle on what to do. The governing NPP says to vote hell-YES and the opposition NDC says to vote tweaaa! H. Kwasi Prempeh, for example believes that “there is room for divergence of opinion as to what might or might not work. If winner-takes-all, loser-opposes-all is one of the underlying causes of the counter-developmental partisanship in our space, as many of us believe, then I don’t see why it is so unreasonable for some to see a YES vote, which opens up the prospect of opposition party participation in direct governance at the local level, as a reasonable antidote to the problem” of partisan politics in Ghana. Many prominent opinion leaders like Franklin Cudjoe of Imani Ghana agree with him. They all argue that the prohibitively non-partisan MMDCE elections is latently partisan anyway and it’s best to cement our multi-party democracy by extending the canker of partisanship down the district lane. The strongest point for the yea-sayers is that it breaks the culture of winner-takes-all that has bedeviled Ghana’s democratic experiment over the years. The nay-sayers and No-Campaigners say they’d sooner gulp down swine flesh with a swirl of akpeteshie in an Arab state than condone the sickening, disgusting partisanship that dogs national elections at the district level. They swear by the seven gods of Berekusu that this country will go down irredeemably into a despicable quagmire of NDC-NPP politics if we let political parties in. This Jungle Boy pitches his tent irrevocably in the camp of the No-Vote Campaigners. I don’t believe our forebears forsook gari and beans and laid down their lives so our thieving, conniving politicians can sweep into every facet of governance in this republic. That would be a terrible waste of gobe. But there’s one important thing Yes-Vote campaigners fail to understand about No-Vote campaigners. Yes, we engage you on Facebook and Twitter and pretend to offer this or that intellectual thought as our reason for choosing to vote NO. But deep down in your guts, we know you know that for us, this referendum isn’t so much about the issues at stake as it is about having our say, passing a vote, and saying our honest-to-jollof view about partisan political participation in this country. We simply refuse to give up the relishing pleasure – the orgasmic thrill – to give Ghanaian politicians the middle finger with a capital “F” in this referendum enterprise. We choose to not pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have our true say, never mind that FVCK YOU is not really on the referendum ballot. For us, NO and a brown smudge are synonymous with a big, red, lipstick-wearing middle finger. And if the politicians don’t like it, what do they plan to do about it? 😛 So, next time you argue with a No-Voter, remember, Yessies, that it is all truly about our inalienable right to do a Juli Briskman on Ghana’s teefing politicians. Your heart rates and cardiac arrests should improve dramatically with this knowledge. 😀
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KalashniBlog
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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KalashniBlog
Author: JayJay D. Segbefia, NAV Accra, Ghana. Story photo from here. Sometimes I feel I am a total stranger in “this our country Ghana”. I spend three weeks of each month in the jungle so I tend to miss all the juicy nonsense that make the rounds in the news and on social media until the modin sane have gained full throttle. Usually, one of my more perverse WhatsApp platforms would have discussed the issues, tried and passed judgment long before I find out what’s been going on. Catching up on a thousand chats can lead to bipolar deficiencies, I tell you, and nothing can generate lengthier chats than discussions of a sex tape gone viral. Two particularly vile issues come to mind. The first concerns Abena Korkor, who came to some social media prominence when, while standing for election as president of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), she circulated her own nude videos. The shock and awe she was expecting from exposing her body in those nudies backfired though. Her electoral dreams were incinerated beyond salvageable ashes by that singularly unwise move. More recently, she has made the social media list of modin sane by alleging to have been involved in over a hundred infractions of engaging in sexual activity for a fee, with more than two score men, over a dozen of whom would qualify as Ghanaian celebrities. Screen shots of her clearly-mentally-deranged confessions took over Facebook and WhatsApp alone for a week. Then there was Afia Schwarzenegger, a media person with an acerbic tongue and TV shows full of sickening sexual innuendoes unfit for the consumption of any society with its head screwed on properly. Her nude videos were circulated over ten million times, in which she was seen engaging in lewd acts with an unidentified partner under the threat of an acid bath. When the video was shared on one WhatsApp platform I belonged to, I absolutely refused to download the aberration, to speak less of distributing it. I wanted no part whatsoever in the production and dissemination of stupidity. Many phones would engage that video, but mine, and the resources of my time, phone and data was sworn to have no share in the trafficking of that particularly vile sex tape. The summary descriptions of its content on various platforms and news media were enough to make me lose my breakfast on the prized Persian of my home floor. Whereas I may understand male perverts’ obsessions with sex tapes, nudity, and confessions of sexual exploits, I have a hard time understanding why females download sex tapes and sex scandals. Anyone with a teaspoon of moral brains in their heads know that the true victim of any leaked video of a fornicating duo is the woman. Why, then, were women on platforms the ones who more eagerly shared the videos and visited Abena Korkor’s wall looking for details of her many sexual partners? Surely, it wasn’t to find out if their husbands made the list, was it? Our obsession with these leaked sex tapes and nudies speaks to one thing, of course. We are a society of sexual perverts. Other than porno addicts, what in goodness name is the fun and gratification in watching two people fornicating? Or, even worse, wasting internet resources in sharing those? There is no maxim more laughable in Ghana than the tag that we’re a Christian nation. Apuu! To think that Peter, James and John would have viewed and shared a sex tape – and that we belong to the same stock of faith as they did – is a more dire mental illness symptom than any bipolar hypersexuality. Shame on you! I am here not going to get into the argument of Afia Schwar’s and Abena’s mental state (my personal diagnoses is they belong to an asylum), but to get into the mental state of a country that celebrates sexual scandals and allied stupidity. We have a bestial curiosity towards the mundane, the sickening, the sexually explicit and the morbidly sheepish. That is the reason we share nude videos and share photos of the dead and dying. Can you believe we once even shared videos of toddlers attempting to have sex? That, my friends, is who we are. A veritable bunch of perverts. Don’t let the tongues and church prayers fool anyone. One thing to note though. None of the intelligent WhatsApp groups I belong shared the videos or talked about them. None. And I’m not here talking about Church platforms where to post one would have been to incur the scathing holier-than-thou rebuke of Sister Michael and Brother Patience. I am talking here about platforms with men and women so professional and mentally acute that they feel it is an unforgiveable insult to waste the time of group members with such foolishness. Even after Abena had deleted her posts from off her Facebook wall, folks in the media and online apologies of news portals continued to feature her deleted posts as newsworthy. Sick! Let’s leave Afia and Abena well alone. There are no bigger, sicker perverts than us. Gross! BiPolar
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World Blog
Dear Mr. President, Congratulations on your inauguration as the 5th president of the 4th Ghanaian Republic. I have been reading about your first appointments online with keen interest, particularly in the number of females and youth to be selected to serve in your government. So far, I have not seen any position on youth, and that made me happy. I need you to read my divorce letter first before any such appointment. Mr. President, many youth in Ghana and I want a youth ministry unsaddled with responsibilities for non-youth issues. I am a firm believer in the knowledge that the mismatched marriage between youth and sports has not worked. I consider the change of government a beautiful opportunity to bring about a divorce between the two. In fact, let’s forget a divorce. I call on you, this time as a senior lawyer, to help annul this marriage. The following are the extenuating grounds:
  1. Youth development has become a global priority for governments all over the world. Heavy investments are being made into education and skills development. However much I understand the original motive for merging youth and sports because of what was perceived to be the strong interconnection between the activities of both, the ministry has not been able to demonstrate any credible ability to harness this synergy. Issues of sports have taken precedence over those of youth, and have almost always resulted in scandals whose investigations took eons to unravel, if at all. In the midst of this often scandalous union, key issues of youth that have need addressing have been relegated to the background.
  1. I have had to ponder over the accomplishments of the Ghana Youth and Sports Ministry, especially in recent times beginning from 2006. I thought hard but could not lay my hands on anything substantial that the youth have benefitted from that union; only scandals and full, public glare corruption. The past 8 years have seen seven different ministers attempt to man this all-important ministry. While huge sums of money were pushed into sports, speeches to youth were full of the usual empty promises and plans whose light in the proverbial annoying pipeline was synonymous with dumsor’s end. Very little was ever head from the ‘Youth” half of the ministry, and news reporters, under no illusion of the uselessness of the youth component, simply referred to it as the ‘sports ministry’.
  1. Issues concerning the youth are equally important, if not more. The massive wind of youth unemployment (one of many) blowing across the country is strong enough to warrant a separate, more focused Ministry of Youth unencumbered with a Sports mistress or, even worse, the Employment sidekick who is concerned more about wages for adult workers than she is about employing youth. After secondary school, some of us ventured into teaching and nursing because we foresaw the struggles to secure a job after school. For those professions, there was a guarantee for ‘already-made jobs’ as we called it. Today, even the nurses and teachers cannot say the same. To be heard and listened to, we the youth need a ministry that has, at its core and only mandate, to oversee youth development and leadership.
  1. The ministry was touted as one of the least inspirational public institutions out of 51 at IMANI Ghana’s 2016 Inspirational Public Sector Leadership Awards (IPSLA). According to the survey by the policy think tank, poor performance in the areas of accessibility, responsiveness, transparency, and public engagements were reasons for the low ranking (Fiifi Abdul Malik, The Ghana Guardian). And I asked myself how these key areas for youth development could be the reasons for poor performance by a youth ministry. The youthful population of Ghana offers a rare opportunity for the yielding of great advantages if only appropriate investments could be made in first designating a separate ministry to champion this course. This would lead to “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth,” as the African Union puts it in its theme for 2017.
Mr. President, I hope to see your government pay key attention to job creation, and policy reforms in restructuring the educational system to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Further, I expect strong institutions that protect the rights of women and youth while creating the enabling environment for them to thrive. I believe your presidency can indeed bring about the change Ghanaians desire and, perhaps, much more than they desire. But, I need you to be my excellent divorce lawyer first. Yours faithfully, Harriet Yayra Adzofu Facebook: Yayra Hya Twitter handle: @Yayrahya Email: [email protected]
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KalashniBlog
I just got hit with the news that the outgoing Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hanna Tetteh, who also got thoroughly walloped at the December 7 polls by George Andah – and deservedly so – for the Awutu Senya West seat of Parliament, says her outfit has put measures in place to ensure that all online applicants for Ghanaian biometric passports receive their passports by the end of June 2017. First off, in Ghanaian political parlance, the definition for “has put measures in place” is the same for “in the pipeline” and “in principle”, all of which carry the abominable reality that the one making the promise or declaration has no intentions whatsoever of carrying it out. And in Hannah Tetteh’s case, my assertion above could not be any less true. She leaves office on the night of January 6, 2016… a clear five months to the timeline she has set, and effectively sets herself up to deny any tags of incompetence that would be found to have been exhibited by her outfit if the new administration audits the progress of work at that cesspool we call the Passport Office and finds out that funds allocated to that project may have been misapplied. Or that, her “has put measures in place” declaration could be nothing more than a bunch of hogwash that has no relations to the reality of the situation in that monstrous office. But neither of this is my beef. My beef is that any sentence that is stringed together to include “timely”, “ten days”, “fast”, “convenient”, and “efficient” in the same sentence involving the words “Passport Office” is a big joke. But no one is laughing. So long as the corruption pervading that miserable excuse of an office remains, no good in terms of efficiency and expediency will come from that rat hole. And I need only one reason for my obstinate cynicism: A Corrupt Passport Office is More Profitable to Hannah Tetteh’s Subordinates and Hirelings Modest figures put the illegal monies that exchange hands at the Passport Office of Accra to a whopping 200 Thousand Ghana Cedi a day. That’s a million Ghana Cedi a week! Not even the drug trade gives that much in return in Ghana. And this is profiteered by agents, con men, employees and directors from the gate of the Passport Office to the office of the Director of Passports in that cesspit. Let there be an audit of the assets of the Director of Passports from when he took office to January 2017 when he would be kicked out, and these assertions of mine would be proven to be true. And that cabal is so self-sustaining and powerful that any reforms to speed-up and eradicate the bureaucratic nonsense will fail if it does not first shoot, bomb and annihilate the passport mafia. Heck, I’d be surprised if kickbacks did not find their ways on a weekly basis to the desk of the Foreign Minister. It would be difficult to explain why the rot continues any other ways. Especially if you throw in the scandal in which foreigners pay 400 Euros for a Ghanaian diplomatic passport. That’s just crazy! The pain of a corrupt passport system has to be looked at for the average Ghanaian for whom coughing a hundred Cedi for a passport is tough enough, to speak less of paying 800 Cedi in illegal transactions. This phenomenon is clear for all to know, and is played out right in the open for all to see. And Hannah Tetteh knows this. She knows that her online application launch is nothing but a fluke. A sham. A veritable dose of nonsense. Unless the passport so applied is delivered to an applicant’s post box in ten days, any system that requires the applicant to walk personally to the Passport Office with a computer-generated slip to track said passport will result in the same stupid well-played out scenario of corruption that has been the hallmark of that sickening septic tank of an office for years. Who speaks out for the average, poor Ghanaian? Hannah should spare us the insult to our intelligence and get rid of the mafia. Get rid of the thieves, and get rid of the system that profits only a few to the detriment of thousands of people each year. Only then would an efficient passport application system be believable in this apampamu-store republic. Ten days indeed. Tsinai-asane. Mtseew! passport1
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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 Akuffo-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 unredeemable 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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In spite of overwhelming vilification, insults, fabrications and concoctions that included anything available to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) – from his petite stature to the shape of his head and the biological attributes of his immediate family, to allegations of drug use and drug-peddling, to allegations of sexual and violent tendencies – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been elected the 5th President of the 4th Ghanaian republic. And what a trouncing John Dramani Mahama received at the polls!
Four years ago, 300 thousand votes separated the two in a disputed presidential election, but the astute lawyer, diplomat and patriot shellacked his opponent by an unprecedented one million votes and a couple thousand thrown in for good measure by the Ghanaian electorate.
But the 72 hours of the entire voting, collation and declaration process was not without the drama of Charlotte Osei, Chair of the arbitrating Electoral Commission of Ghana. At the end of the entire process, I was left with little doubt that the electoral results did not go the way she envisaged, and my clues, haunches and gut feelings come from nowhere else but her amatory, sassy lip-gloss. Let’s examine the evidence:
  1. Good Charlotte Lip-gloss
December 7 this year can be said to have recorded the smoothest, most glitch-free election in the history of Ghana. And I don’t care what anyone else says, especially if that “anyone” is international media who don’t know a droplet of what Ghana stands for. So I say this with a 99-percent conviction rate. This was the best election, characterized by no more than a few squabbles and disagreements, which is why I get pissed off when our illiterate media refers to these as pockets of violence. Nonsense. Even half a pocket of violence leaves at least 25 people dead, mo’ate? So stop repeating the sickening dictum of international media and stick to squabbles and disappointments, but I digress. So Election Day was good. An “A” mark is well-deserved for December 7.  And Charlotte Osei’s lip-gloss that evening was the same as always – a sassy hue between sheer bright and dark gloss, with a pinkish blush to it that had that perfect mesh with her wonderful lip tone. There’s been only three occasions that her lip-gloss went awry, and those three can be categorized as when she lied, when she arrogated to herself more arrogance than the constitution permitted, and when she was declaring the final certified results of the 2016 presidential contest.
  1. Bad Charlotte Lip-Gloss
As soon as Charlotte appeared on TV on December 8, I immediately sensed something was wrong. She seemed to have frantically either chewed or rubbed her lips together. This clearly pushed the lip-gloss outward and made her lips look unfinished. And that was when she claimed the following palpable lies: (1) That the EC’s website had been hacked; (2) That there had been attempts to compromise the results transmission system; (3) That there had been incidences of widespread over-voting in Ashanti; (4) That some parties had refused to sign collation result sheets; and (5) That voter-turn out was at an all-time low of 49%. Let’s debunk these frivolously ridiculous statements and restore Charlotte’s lip-gloss to their healthy choler, unless of course those statements were designed to aid in something more sinister. Like the final desperate collation-rigging plans of the ruling party or such other nonsense as will from time to time be verified under scrutiny. Was the EC’s website hacked? On 1:58 AM of December 8, 2016, the EC tweeted, “We deplore the attempt to hack the EC’s website. Please respect the integrity and independence of the EC”. This short statement got my hackles up, and was pregnant more with what it said than with what it didn’t say. Who attempted the hacking? How did they attempt it? What did the EC know about the hackers? How could it assume that the hackers were Ghanaian and needed to respect the independence and integrity of the EC? Would foreign hackers give a rat’s posterior about integrity of the EC? Or – and here’s where I’d put my money – was that misguided tweet the EC’s knee-jerk reaction to the NPP’s press conference announcing the figures that put their candidate in a trouncing lead (and would later prove to be supported by the EC’s own declaration)? The NPP’s press conference ended at exactly 1:45 AM. The EC tweeted at 1:58AM. That’s just 13 minutes after the NPP had gotten the Flagstaff House scuttling in all directions with their announcement after a mere 8 hours after the close of polls. Clearly, neither the NDC nor the EC had any idea how effectively competent the NPP’s War Room had been configured to operate by that NASA-trained dude. The EC suddenly came face-to-face with their incompetence at collation. Heck, even the media were way ahead of them in getting provisional results in, and Charlotte and her lip-gloss found themselves ball-watching like a bunch of incompetent quarterbacks. With a mere hundred thousand dollars, the NPP’s system was unimpeachable. But the EC could not even safeguard its own website when it had been awarded a whopping 800 Million Ghana Cedis of our taxes. Add to that, the NPP was announcing a flawless victory. The idea that the NPP’s – and the media’s – superior collation methods exposed the EC’s ineptitude at that exercise at way less the cost was not as lip-gloss effacing as the idea that her sweetheart, her appointing authority, her yori-yori and darling boy John Mahama was going to go down in history as the most flawlessly trounced incumbent in an African election. Shocked, appalled and ashamed, she gets someone in her outfit to tweet that the NPP had somehow hacked into the EC’s system to get the results. Of course she didn’t mention the NPP (like she would have tasted her smoothness level paa), but there was no doubt who she was trying to finger. Right after that, a series of blunders followed in a crazy choreography between Charlotte’s lip-gloss and Dzakpasu’s dry lips to cover up the first blunder. The truth is that the EC’s website was never hacked. The website’s bandwidth was simply not enough to survive the overwhelming traffic flowing there in search of some results, and it had no other choice than to fold in on itself. But Charlotte chose to lie about everything. The first lie, as mentioned, was the tweet. This was followed by allegations of over-voting and the threat to review some results. This threat came in because the NDC was shocked that, whilst its results from the Volta Region fell abysmally beyond usual figures, results from the Ashanti and Eastern Regions remained mostly unchanged. My hunch is that the NDC assumed that the NPP had been massaging NPP votes in the Ashanti Region the way the NDC has been doing in the Volta Region over the years. It therefore felt that over-voting had to be the logical conclusion from the shocking phenomenon, and persuaded Charlotte’s lip-gloss to assume an unsightly sheen. This is what led to the third blunder of the declaration of a 49% voter turn-out, when she was only probably repeating the 49% Volta turn-out whispered to her by the FSH. The media immediately subjected her false declaration to some bashing (to put it mildly), forcing her to retract and to amend. But to cover up the fact that they had been rigging the elections in Volta, as well as to reduce the palpable shame that forced Lordina Mahama to hide in the water closet when Mahama met with those pathetic white-clad supporters who were organized to assure him of his “comfortable lead”, the NDC and the EC needed to sell the idea of a low Volta turn-up, which, happily for me, caused Charlotte’s lip-gloss that eba-rice-ment of shameful proportions. Then came the biggest blunder of all – the failure to declare the results after 210 constituencies had still put Nana Addo in an unassailable lead over John Onaapo Mahama and, in its stead, report at a press conference that the electronic transmission had to be stopped due to what the EC suspected was a compromise of the system, for which a switch to manual verification of pink sheets was necessitated. What utter rubbish! 3. Monstrous Charlotte Lip-gloss The little mole I had planted where the gloss-saliva combo collected in the corners of Charlotte’s mouth revealed that while at 210 constituencies, the other Commissioners began to pile up pressure for her to declare. They were shocked when she told them she had to go home and change her dress first. Eish. And it took her three hours to do so! Ataa mɛi. Even with that, when she was declaring, there was no denying the monstrosity of her maquillage and lip-gloss. She could not have spent three hours in the shower la. I am pretty sure she was trying to let her darling boy know that the defeat was beyond “riggable” margins, and sweetly persuaded him to concede so he doesn’t get overly embarrassed by her declaration. When the agreement was reached, Charlotte forgot to carry her Q-Tips with her to swipe the excess gloss, skin, saliva, or whatever-the-heck-it-is off the corners and inner rims of her mouth and flopped unceremoniously into her chair on TV to declare the results with messed-up lip-gloss. By this time, President Mahama had conceded, and well-nigh made Charlotte’s – and her lip-gloss’s – declaration nothing but a constitutional declaration without its usual power and pomp. Charlotte needs to come clean. Her attitude and the EC’s shenanigans have produced an overall C-minus grade for an election that could easily have peaked A-plus. And, most importantly, she needs to be careful how she handles her lip-gloss when she’s up to no good. My entire crush on Charlotte is based on the sexy, sassy wahala of her lip-gloss. Take that away, even for a second, and I get broken hearted. #Lip-gloss Love #Lip-gloss is bae #Onaapo
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Author: JayJay D. Segbefia, NAV Accra-Ghana. Desperado /dɛspəˈrɑːdəʊ/ noun. a desperate or reckless person, especially a criminal. Early 17th century: pseudo-Spanish alteration of the obsolete noun desperate. Both desperate and desperado originally denoted a person in despair or in a desperate situation, hence someone made reckless by despair. – Emphasis mine. Now that the definition of desperado has been established, let’s cut to the chase. On or around June 22, 2016, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the NDC ordered all his presidential and parliamentary aspirants not to participate in any debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). His chest-thumping directive was specifically a direct result of the NDC’s unhappiness with the IEA’s decision to hold a separate debate for flagbearers of the two leading political parties, the NPP’s Nana Addo-D and the NDC’s John-M. The President and his party told us that a one-on-one debate between the two candidates is “a public show of disrespect” to Ghanaians and the other presidential aspirants, and would amount to “politics of discrimination” against the other parties. We could all see through the horse-poop, of course. The NDC perceived, correctly at the time, that their aspirant and president of the Republic would be torn to shreds by the opposition leader. Their fear was not exactly without basis. Any opposition candidate would look forward to flaw an incumbent in an election to score publicity and enhance his or her image in the eyes of the voting public. That’s exactly what I would do – show the president to be incompetent by offering better alternatives and expressing myself to be better than him in eloquence, depth of thought, and action. So there was no real surprise in the NDC’s chickening out of the IEA debate, and no one could really fault them for it. Self-preservation before all else, la. Now, let’s fast-track to October 2016. Without any recourse whatsoever to the IEA boycott decision, President Mahama has, on two occasions on TV and on radio, thrown a challenge to the NPP flagbearer to debate him one-on-one, especially on some of the allegations he and Dr. Bawumia have been making against his competence on their nationwide campaign. Political watchers are wondering what has brought about the president’s volte-face, and this jungle boy wants to posit that, in addition to the usually unprincipled, opportunistic, inconsistent attitude to politicking the NDC is known for, the answer to the question is simply DESPERATION. Let’s examine the 7 evidences that prove, with just six weeks to the December 7 polls, that our First Gentleman has turned Desperado.
  1. The NPP’s better form
The NPP campaign is in top gear. They are firing on all cylinders. Momentum is completely on their side. The part that makes our resident Desperado even more anxious is that the potential first and second ladies of the opposition flagbearer and his running mate are even in on the no-holds-barred assault. Hardly had the NDC recovered from Dr. Bawumia’s unrelenting assault than Samira’s startling uppercut had caught them in the gonads. Meanwhile, it is with some effort that Ghanaians remember the name of the country’s vice president, to speak less of his wife’s. Who wouldn’t call for a debate in this desperate situation?
  1. The Crappy Economic Situation
Current economic conditions are not in the NDC’s favour, to say the least, and the NPP have exploited the fact unapologetically. Unless his touted incompetence is so complete that there’s no room for improvement, President Mahama knows he’s been steering a sinking economic boat. Even more damaging for Opana is the irritation of his cabinet on why Vice President Amissah-Arthur has not come out to defend the current economic conditions vigorously. But everyone who correctly hears thunder, sees traffic lights and drinks kalyppo knows that the vice president’s response to Dr. Bawumia’s prognosis on the ailing health of the economy has been poor, inadequate and as impressive as the sound of a rat’s fart in an elephant’s ears. Could anything be more desperate?
  1. The PPP Factor
The intense political activity of the PPP and, at some point the NDP, is making the regional path to victory very difficult for Ogrey. For instance, the PPP’s efforts in the Central Region is making things difficult for the vice president, and Rawlings’s anti-corruption campaign in the Volta Region is enlightening Nyebroskis and making them more aware of shortcomings in the NDC’s  commitment to bring them development. Opana knows the Volta Region will be tough this year, and the NDP’s participation in the elections is also likely to pull votes away from the NDC. As if all these weren’t enough, the NPP’s efforts in the Northern and Upper Regions, led by Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and his beautiful wife seem to have divided the North. This seems to be only the beginning of troubles. Dr. Bawumia is pulling more crowds than Shatta Wale. That leaves the Greater Accra region, but the region looks poised to repeat the history of 2008. Eastern and Ashanti are declaratorily NPP. Opana must be taking overdoses of martin liver salt from dyspeptic conditions brought on by desperation from knowing all these facts.
  1. Corruption and Thievery
The perception of corruption in the NDC government is now so ingrained on the minds of the electorate that every attempt by the government to shrug off the allegations have proved ineffective. Ogrey knows that corruption is a major battle-ground area in this election but he seems unable to fight the tag. This is because corrupt deals get exposed every week, and Woyome is practically still a free man (as is Dzifa Attivor). Now that Woyome has been hauled before court to either show where his assets are, or spill the beans on all who shared in the illicit booty, the perception of corruption will remain even beyond December 7.
  1. Mahama’s highfaluting Incompetence
No government has been branded as incompetent as the Mahama-led administration. Mahama’s weak response has been to don military boots and wear Commander-in-Chief threadmanship, trying to look tough in his toy-soldier gimmickry. The tag of an incompetent government is so deep-seated, and this point has been hammered by the opposition NPP over and over again, that it has become accepted as true.
  1. The Battle of the Manifestoes
The credibility of the Manifestos presented by the two main political parties is also playing out in the public domain. While that of the NPP seem to be gaining traction, that of the NDC, especially that which seeks to highlight infrastructure development achievements, is being portrayed as phony. Some sections of the media have taken it upon themselves to verify these projects and the verdict out there suggests that infrastructure development has fallen short of promised expectations. What is more damaging to Ogrey’s government is the perception of “artists’ impressions” being paraded as projects that have actually been duly completed. This has smacked of public deceit by the NDC government, adding to the general lack of credibility that is making Mahama desperate.
  1. The fear of Akufo-Addo’s Incorruptibility
There’s no doubt that Nana Akufo-Addo is incorruptible. Ghanaians are projecting his personal unassailability on an NPP government, and the image of an incorruptible leadership is fast gaining ground. With that image also comes the shadow of a clean-up. It is expected that everyone who has had a hand in any deal that has cost this nation a pesewa of its sweat-infused cash-pot will honeymoon at Nsawam at one point or the other. Akufo-Addo as Attorney-General has cleaned up a corrupt system before, and it is expected, although not a campaign message of the opposition, that thievery will be signally punished until every woyomeic cedi is restored. This cannot be summed up better than Dzifa Attivor’s suggestion on a political platform, in the early part of the year, that a win for the NPP would mean a majority of NDC government officials serving time in jail. Nothing could lead to desperation faster than the fear of an NDC-infested prison. So, putting all this together, wouldn’t you be desperate if you were Mahama? Now let’s go back to the bottom part of the earlier definition of desperado – someone made reckless by despair. Yes. The challenge to debate Addo-D is a reckless, desperate one, and it has the familiar tinge of despair with it. Remember the president’s defeatist “I’ve Done My Best” statement the other day? But Mahama sees no other light at the end of the tunnel for him, unless he resorts to intimidating voters on Election Day. But even that has no guarantees for success since such a move may be met with a more violent resistance by electorates who have had enough of his incompetence. And, unlike in a by-election, employing thugs to intimidate a general election is a daunting task. Ghanaians are increasingly considering the ballot box as sacred, and its desecration by thugs has an uncomfortable ring of a repellent lynching to it. That leaves the option of challenging Addo-D to a battle of wits to try and take back some of the lost traction in the race for the Flagstaff House. The sad reality however is this: Ogrey will be totally unarmed in a battle of wits with Addo-D. The opposition leader’s speeches of late are indicative of a depth of thought totally lacking in any speech President Mahama has delivered over the past three years. And Nana Akufo-Addo’s prowess in a debate is unparalleled, especially when there’s no Ayariga tomfoolery this time round. Many years of parliamentary camaraderie between the two should teach Opana that the only thing he will win from a debate with Addo-D is spin-doctor value… the nonsense NDC communicators will spew about whatever jabs Mahama is able to throw at the opposition leader during the debate, just to boost his fallen ratings. And that, sadly, is the psyche of a Desperado. My good friend Akwasi Afrifa Akoto of Facebook sums up, in awesome language, how desperate President John Mahama has become: Mahama’s Hail Mary: A Desperate Call for a Debate In play books of every coach in American Football is a play called the “Hail Mary.” Usually when a team is trailing behind and there is but one second remaining on the clock with only one play left, with the ball more than 70 yards away from the end zone, the offensive coordinator would call the Hail Mary. As soon as the ball is snapped, the Quarterback would try to scramble around to give all his players enough time to get into the end zone before throwing the ball. The rational is that the more players in the end zone, the higher the chances of the ball being caught for a Touch Down-to either send the game into overtime or win the game outright. In soccer, there are similar situations. [A] last corner or last free kick with [barely] anytime left and the team down a goal, all the players including the goalie of the losing team would rush forward into the 18 yard box in an attempt to maximize the chances of scoring to tie the game into extra time or gain a crucial point. The Hail Mary, therefore, is a play-call which signifies desperation. It is a Kamikazi call in an almost improbable no-win situation. It is [an] all or nothing call and thus fails 99 out of [each] 100 times employed. Some coaches would rather kneel or spike the ball to run out the clock, accepting defeat, calmly. On the ground, Mahama knows voters are not buying into his message. And this has become apparent to him after spending much time on the campaign trail cross-country. [He] is … now blaming some media conspiracy for [blacking out] his achievements. His General Secretary is [spending sleepless nights] in the Volta Region, the NDC World bank of all places, publicly begging for votes. In spite of all the propaganda, he is not getting the feedback from the people he would like as he travels around the country. And now, he has run out of options. He has done everything he possibly could… launched his campaign, published a Green Book, out-doored his manifesto, worn soldiers’ uniforms, put up billboards, painted the nation with posters, posed like [Usain] Bolt and still, he is TRAILING behind Addo-D. And time is running out. So like a NFL coach, the president has only one play left. The Hail Mary. And that is what his call for the debate is all about. A last minute, desperate attempt to rally the team to tie or win the game. No wonder the NPP says they’d sooner launch a kalyppo space shuttle than give him the pleasure. Poor, desperate Opana!  
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