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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.

😎

1

KalashniBlog

Before moving to permanently settle at Odumase and Somanya, the ancient Krobos lived in the beautiful outcrops called Klowem, located just near the Akuse junction on the Akosombo Road. Every avid hiker, mountaineer or trekker worth his rank under the professional OAG knows the Klowem outcrops. The moderately challenging 10km diameter wilderness has steep trails, grassy passes, rocky valleys and half-wild cattle to provide the background to wonderful adventures, and the occasional cow chase.

I discovered Klowem while searching for abseilable cliffs in the area. In the first iteration of our search, my team and I were assisted by Kloma Gbi, leaders of Krobo Youth in the traditional area. These youths wanted nothing more than to see all Krobos united for development. And the sacred Klowem was a visible symbol of that sought-after development. My team would move off from that first search to organize over a hundred adventures to the site.

One of the chiefs slapped us with a calico, a couple of rams and the bones of a dead five-year old antelope plus Five Thousand Ghana Cedis in fines when they discovered we had been making money running adventures on the hills behind their backs. They claimed we needed to have performed some rites before venturing to explore the hills. At any point, the gods could have been offended and visited calamity on my clients and I, and potentially on the whole of Krobodom.

I don’t know if they knew then that the Yilo House, the twin paramountcy of the Krobo, had stationed a half-drunk farmer on the other side of the hills, and the dude was extorting 10 Cedis (30 Cedis if one was White) from anyone that would hike the hills.

I refused to visit the palace while the fines hung over our heads but continued to hike the hills, not unaware of the potential conflict that would erupt should we run into any Krobos, but using my knowledge of the hills to outwit any searchers. Eventually, the palace found out from Facebook that we were happily exploring the hills still. The chief himself called to offer a way out. Five Thousand became 500, and I could forget the rams, the calico and the antelope archeology.

I agreed.

On the day after I handed over the cash, I took another hike through the hills. The week before had been the Ngmayem Festival, and every true Krobo had gone to hike Klowem to pay homage to the ancestors. Plastic littered every rock, leaf and shrub. The greenery of Klowem had been violated by the indigenes, and empty water sachets, kasapreko gin tots, and ice cream wrappers desecrated the entire outcrop.

When the chief answered my phone call, my words were, “Your gods must be crazy if they find my adventures to Klowem offensive, but found no offense with the plastic littering and other environmental violations of your people. Your gods must be insane if they could threaten to punish me, who only leave boot prints, but do not punish you who have left these desecrations.”

Sadly, the litter remained from October of that year through the harmattan, where they remained a true eyesore when all the vegetation withered, until the rains of the next year. Running water, mud and new grass covered the shame of the Krobo People. I would not have paid the 500 Cedis if I had seen the mess before agreeing with the chief, and I said as much to him.

It wasn’t any love of the environment, or of the gods, that inspired the demand for money to explore what is really nothing more than an open wilderness. I absolutely do not begrudge any local authority or traditional ruler who tries to monetize natural or environmental resources; especially of the sustainable variety. But I take extreme exception to the extortion that is the stock-in-trade of most traditional authority in Ghana when an idea presents itself. No thought is given to business plans, or environmental impact assessments. Immediately, their default position is to slap fees in the names of gods as devoid of powers as my breath is devoid of the miasma of alcohol. Of course the money and the drinks or rams end up lining their pockets and pockets alone. Not a single indigene benefits from such extortion. As it turned out later, the whole area is Government of Ghana property due to the abundance of the mineral wealth of rocks for quarrying purposes. There are more than 10 active quarries in the area as we speak. And there are no angry gods either; just relics of ancient idolatry that employs the fear of unknown spiritual consequences to keep chieftaincy elites in power.

We had similar experiences in the Akwamu Traditional Area. The Trident shares a wall with the Akwamu Forest, otherwise known as Akwamu Pow. The Okumahene of the area had already sold this same land to my Landlord knowing full well it abutted their sacred grove but as soon as my team and I laid the foundational blocks for the facility, he and his chiefs came screaming themselves hoarse that certain purification rights needed to be done to ensure the safety of our operations around the grove and on the Volta River. The demand was for Twenty-thousand Ghana Cedis, plus two ram, and cartons of foreign and local gin. Never mind that while it wasn’t really needed, we had spent a lot of money building a 450-foot wall to keep their gods away from our side of the demarcation. When I asked why I would, in my right mind part with such an amount, they claimed that the gods could send crocodiles, water vipers and big waves to create unpleasantness for us and for our clients.

The anaemia in this kind of thinking was beyond me. Ghanaian ancestors and gods were not like the ancestors and gods of other lands. They send calamities and plagues. Not good will and prosperity and the brains others use to make planes and submarines. To say I treated the requests with contempt is an understatement. Six months later, the demand came down to 12-Thousand Cedis and I was still pissed off. Eventually, my Board stepped in and provided to their demands.

I returned from an adventure one morning and there they all were, wearing “collars” like we did when we were children in a village that had no electricity – a full-bodied cloth that is worn tied up around the neck. There were chiefs of big influence, and there was a drummer, and they came to the border with the forest to invoke the gods and ask for their blessings and avert their displeasure. They presented with one ram (my Board had provided 2), and they scattered mere fatty parts of the slain ram across the water. As they made off with the rest of the ram (99% of the meat) Derick, one of my Rangers ran after them and divested the sacrifice of one meaty thigh.

That evening, when Derick presented me with a bowl of ram soup, I declined. I don’t eat meat sacrificed to idols, I said. Especially these ones that are devoid of anything resembling progress and advancement.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Ghanaian culture, but I have spent 23 years of my life living in nature and in the wild. There’s nothing here that is maliciously benign about forests, rivers, stones, trees and animals, other than the selfish heart of man. And living out here, I expect there will be more of such conflicts between me and traditional rulers over customs outmoded, and rites that don’t make sense, never mind that the only reason they hold on to these customs is to employ fear as a currency to line their pockets.

And to each new request, my answer remains: the Gods must be crazy!

1

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.

3

KalashniBlog

It depends largely on one’s perspective, but a Professor friend of mine, bemoaning the abysmal lack of intellectual acuity in today’s young couples said to me in response to the question, “Anyone that goes C-minus in logical reasoning has no business getting married.”

A few acquaintances disagreed with him. “Who cares about brains?” One asked me when I reported the good Prof’s prognosis. “Can she twerk? If yes, that’s marriage material right there for me!”

In the wake of some businessman allegedly beating his wife to death, the institution of marriage has come under intense scrutiny on Ghanaian Facebook streets. I’m not in the habit of cavorting with feminists but they had a field week on Facebook and its irreverent cousin Twitter, bashing the institution to the Dark Ages. I was sure they’d find a gun and do the alleged wife murderer violence before he had his day in court.

Until a few days ago, I believed in three things concerning the subject:

1. That marriage was a sacred thing, a God-ordained union between a man and a woman; inseparable until the death of a partner, or until one of them got caught in adultery.

2. That a couple would succeed who applied intelligence, wisdom and prayer in the choice of a partner prior to marrying them, and

3. That the power of eternal and temporal life and death, as well as eternal and temporal happiness and miserableness depended largely on who one married.

After all I saw, read and heard all through this week, my belief in the above remains unshaken. This is how my favourite Christian author puts it: “If those who are contemplating marriage would not have miserable, unhappy reflections after marriage, they must make it a subject of serious, earnest reflection now. This step taken unwisely is one of the most effective means of ruining the usefulness of young men and women. Life becomes a burden, a curse. No one can so effectually ruin a woman’s happiness and usefulness, and make life a heart sickening burden, as her own husband; and no one can do one hundredth part as much to chill the hopes and aspirations of a man, to paralyze his energies and ruin his influence and prospects, as his own wife. It is from the marriage hour that many men and women date their success or failure in this life, and their hopes of the future life.” – The Review and Herald, February 2, 1886.

But Betty’s discussion with me this week shook my beliefs to their very foundation. No, I didn’t change my mind on any of the three sacred points above, but I did develop a fourth belief:

4. Not everyone should be married!

I am here not referring to those of you hit and run upstarts traipsing all over any willing skirt on these social media streets, looking for pleasure without responsibility. Point 4 isn’t for you serial intercoursers. But Betty’s story brought to mind a truth Jesus Christ shared on the subject of marriage. He identified in Matthew 19:12 that not everyone should be married; not everyone is fit for the marriage institution, and that being single is not a bad thing. Of course all these fake pastors running around these days do not read that far into the scriptures, but a lot of people are better off not marrying at all.

I have known Betty and her hubby for many years. (Actually I know Betty more, but you get my point). They are smart, wise and prayerful people and have been married longer than I have. In the issues surrounding that poor woman’s unfortunate demise, she reached out to me and shared a profound write-up that succinctly spoke to the issue of selfish husbands who are nothing but devils in human skin. She shared with me so we could discuss the other point that I had failed to see in my many rants on Facebook on the subject.

Betty and Andy (not their real names) had been friends since school and grew up to marry each other. There is nothing in their past that was a precursor to what Andy became. And, like the smart couple they were, everything was perfect until everything wasn’t. When Betty got pregnant, Andy got upset rather badly. Apparently the bloke had no interests whatsoever in babies. So many years of friendship and marriage and the fool had never so much as hinted at his pedophobia.

No, folks. Don’t think of it as a mental disorder before y’all come to his defense. Before long you will be hash-tagging pedophobia as a disorder in the same way you demand attention to mental sickness. While I am all for mental health support, I can tell the difference between the attention-seeking misfits on social media peddling all kinds of mental higgledy-piggledy and those who need real mental health assistance, na mo yare dodo. (Eye-roll right here).

Fortunately, she told me, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage so that bullet was swerved inlaboratus. But it didn’t end there. For 10 years since the incidence, Andy would go coitus interruptus on her every time until she bailed! She suffered every imaginable kind of marital abuse except the physical kind, and for that I believe I know why. Betty is a beautiful giant of a woman, you see, and my money is on the fact that Andy feared she was more likely to beat the coitus out of him if he’d attempted to get physical on her. Four times she had left her home, and four times the cheating scallywag would beg like a rhino on heat for his mate to return. Betty did nothing wrong to deserve an unhappy marriage. Eventually she’d had it. She decided to live, and not die. So she dumped his duplicitous butt before last Christmas and filed for divorce.

How was I to account, as a God-fearing, jungle-loving Christian for this one where everything was perfect until everything wasn’t?These are tough times for the institution of marriage, and men like Andy bastardize the sacred institution almost irreparably. My feeling, from all that went on this week is that the following people should never be married:

Arseholes (like Andy)

People living inside their parent’s homes (unless said parents are rich and have independent chalets)

People fond of red lipstick

People who can’t cook

People who drink and/or smoke

Clubbers

Anyone with more than three fornicating partners prior to marriage

People who believe Mahama won the last election

People who speak in tongues.

In all seriousness though, the answer to the question, To Marry or Not to Marry, depends on the one asking. Whatever you decide, it is my privilege to inform you that if you are wondering about this at this point in your life, you’re screwed if you marry.

And screwed if you don’t.

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HolyBlog
To answer this question the logical way, we will have to first find out who or what the Beast is, what it means to acquire its mark, and then expose any connection both may have to the much touted 5th generation wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks.

Of course, neither of the constructs mentioned in the question is without controversy. Before Sars-Cov-19 began trying to single-handedly depopulate China and the world, nation-states were already at each other’s throats concerning Huawei’s 5G lead. Lawmakers and intelligence officials in the developed world claimed the telecommunications giant could be exploited by the Chinese government for espionage but failed to provide hard evidence to back the allegations.

This conflict with Huawei provided fodder for all kinds of conspiracy theories, chief of which is the belief that the new network generates radiofrequency radiation that can damage DNA and lead to cancer; cause oxidative damage that can cause premature aging; disrupt cell metabolism; and potentially lead to other diseases through the generation of stress proteins. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that charismatic Christianity would wade into the 5G controversy; but it should be surprising that it links 5G to the creation of a New World Order and the eschatological mark of the Beast.

To do so means one thing: charismatic Christianity is not grounded in the sure word of the Bible where history is concerned. If it were, it would have known that the Beast and his mark have been around since AD 538 and that charismatic Christianity is itself a tool in the hands of the same spirit of antiChrist as the beast, and that new age Christianity exists to support a serious breach in the Christian concept of the authority and jurisdiction of divine law.

Now, before you come after me with the usual fanatic fervor and venom, no doubt punctuated by the unintelligible gibberish of ecstatic tongues, please hear me out.

Who (or what) is the Beast? When Christians use the phrase, “mark of the beast”, they refer to an apocalyptic creature; a Biblical description of a uniquely anti-Christian institution or global power revealed by both the Apostle John in Revelation 13 and the Prophet Daniel in Chapter 7 of his book. While John calls this power a “beast”, Daniel calls it a “little horn” “coming up among” nations with “eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words”. This power “persecute[s] the saints of the Most High”, “cast[s] truth down to the ground” successfully, “change[s] times and law” and “speak[s] perverse things”. (Daniel 7:8, 25; Acts 20:30). 

Most charismatics apply these prophecies to the future, which explains Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s attempt to explain 5G technology in prophetic terms. The error on their part is the misinterpretation of scripture, which is still one attribute charismatic Christianity shares with their master the Dragon. They assume the Beast is in the future, but that is not what the scriptures reveal. At the time of writing, John and Daniel were referring to eschatological events, but for serious students of the Bible in the 21st Century, it is to history we must divert our attention in order to understand Bible prophecy.

The 10 horns of Daniel 7:8 refer historically to the 10 divisions of the Roman Empire; they are the only logical explanation of Daniel’s vision of the image whose legs were of iron and had ten toes of iron mixed with clay (Daniel 2). Conscientious students of the Bible know that Daniel 2 and 7, and Revelation 13 are inextricably the same prophecies. The Beast was therefore not going to rise prophetically in AD 2020; to do so would push the second advent too far into the future and will be heavily inconsistent with the entire Bible and the fulfilments of Biblical prophecy since 1798. Historians agree that barbarians hacked at the Roman Empire until it fell into ten key pieces, three of whom were exterminated when the Beast of Revelation 13 came into power. Rather than be consumed by another empire like it did to the Grecian Empire, the Western Roman Empire fractured into ten separate kingdoms, and in the order by which they assumed prominence, these nations were the Alemanni (Germany), Franks (France), Burgundians (Switzerland), Suevi (Portugal), Vandals (exterminated), Visigoths (Spain), Anglo-Saxons (English), Ostrogoths (exterminated), Lombards (Italy), and the Heruli (exterminated).

While these powers were political authorities, the Beast that came out of the same geographic location would be vested with both religious and secular power, and exterminates three nation-states as it rises. In AD 538, the Roman emperor Justinian gave to the bishop of Rome civil and religious authority. With that authority, Papal Rome (or what we today call the Vatican) arose in the territory of Imperial Rome, exterminated the last three of the Arian tribes (the Heruli in AD 493; Vandals in AD 534; and the Ostrogoths in AD 538) and claimed dominion over the souls and the bodies of its inhabitants. Millions perished for questioning and opposing its teachings and actions; science and the arts were heavily persecuted (those 1,260 years are rightly called the Dark Ages), and no one could form an independent thought without the say-so of the Holy See (See Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapters 39, 40).

The beast is the Papal Church of Rome, and 5G did not exist at the prophesied end of the Roman Empire to warrant a tie-in to the mark of the Beast. Eschatological prophecies are consistent with history; any interpretation that alleges that the Beast is to come in a future time is false, unacademic and inconsistent with the scientific method of biblical inquiry. The descriptions of the Beast of Revelation 13 or the Little Horn of Daniel 7 fits one power only, and it is the Papal Church of Rome that enforces the mark of the Beast because it is the originator of the mark.

What then is the Mark of the Beast?

The reason the mark of the Beast is a much talked-about Christian construct is that it appears in the Bible under the most solemn warning ever given to mankind: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

Unequivocally, the Bible warns that any kind of doctrinal association with Papal Rome is tantamount to the eviction of a person’s name from the Book of Life: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”


These are solemn declarations, and movies of every shade and content have been made on the subject matter from the engraving of 666 on people’s foreheads and right arms to biochips and vaccines and so forth. Nominal Christians are afraid, and having proclaimed that the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation are too mysterious to understand and belong to the unforeseeable future, they are left wandering on the waves of panic and conspiracy, and what better target in these confused times than the new 5G technology that is touted to blow the minds of users where the “internet of things” is concerned? But the scriptures have not left us to conjecture and conspire about what these things mean in the specific themes of biblical doctrine. If the scriptures, working through history, has revealed Papal Rome to be the antiChrist and the Beast, then it should be easy to uncover its mark. The crowning act in the rebellion of the Beast is its power to legislate and enforce compliance of a law that directly contradicts God’s law and strikes a blow to His claim on His creatures as the sole being to be worshipped. Consistently throughout the scriptures, God lays two key truths as the foundation of His claim to our worship. The first is on the the grounds that it is He that created us, and this is buttressed in the 4th precept of the Decalogue in which the Lord declares, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11).

Here, God lays claim to our worship and specially sets apart a day for us to render that worship on the basis of His creative power.
But God does not demand our worship on His creation power alone; He commands it on his redemptive power also. In Ezekiel 20:12, He commands, “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.” Emphasis mine.

The sanctification used here refers to the redemptive work wrought for us through the life, death and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Essentially, by obeying God’s command to set His sabbath day aside for worship and for rest, we affirm that Jehovah is both our Creator and Redeemer. In fact, in verse 12 of Revelation 13’s solemn warning, Jesus reveals who His people are. Revelation 13:12 reads, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

Those whose names are in the Book of Life and who do not worship the Beast and receive his mark are those who obey God’s commandments including the 4th Commandment, and exercise faith in Jesus as the only true one through whom salvation can be acquired. The mark of God’s authority over us is our compliance with His worship requirements, and the sabbath of the 4th commandment is the central point of that requirement. It is the Seal of God, for the seal of God can be found only in God’s law.
This is why, in order for the Beast to lay any claim to our worship, Papal Rome needed to “change times and law” (Daniel 7:25); and that change must be a sign, a mark of its ecclesiastical authority to rule over the bodies and souls of its victims.

The mark of the Beast, the opposite of the Seal of God, must therefore be a mark that sets up a day and requirement of worship in opposition to God’s day and requirements. Here is what the historical evidence portrays:

1. “The Catholic Church for over one thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday.” – The Catholic Mirror, September 1893.

2. “You are a Protestant, and profess to go by the Bible only; and yet you go against the plain letter of the Bible, and put another day in the place of [the] Sabbath. The command to keep holy the seventh day is one of the Ten Commandments; who gave you the authority to tamper with the fourth?” – Library of Christian Doctrine, p.3.

3. “Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 edition), p. 72-73 (16th Edition, p 111; 88th Edition, p. 89).

4. “The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church.” – Louis Gaston Adrien de Ségur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.

5. “If you look to the Bible as an authority for the observance of the day, you will not find it. It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and all other Christians outside the pale of the Mother Church, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in the observance of Sunday. The Seventh-day Adventists are the only ones who properly apply the term ‘Sabbath’ because they do observe the seventh day, and not the first day, as the day of rest”. – Clifton Tracts, Vol. IV, p. 15.

6. “Protestantism, in discarding the authority of the [Catholic] Church, has no good reason for its Sunday theory, and ought, logically, to keep Saturday with the Jews.” – John Gilmary Shea, American Catholic Quarterly Review, January 1883.

7. “Now, every child in school knows that the Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week; and yet, with the exception of the Seventh-day Adventists, all Protestants keep Sunday instead of the Sabbath day, because the Catholic Church made this change in the first ages of Christianity”. – Father A. Gerritsma, in the Winniepeg [Manitoba] Free Press, Apr. 21, 1884.

8. “The [Catholic] Church has power to command feasts and holydays by the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day of the week, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” – Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism On the Obedience Due to the Church, 3rd edition, Chapter 2, p. 174 (Imprimatur, John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York).

9. “Perhaps the boldest thing, the most revolutionary change the Church ever did, happened in the first century. The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The day of the Lord’ was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the [Catholic] Church’s sense of its own power… People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” – St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.

10. “From this we may understand how great is the authority of the church in interpreting or explaining to us the commandments of God – an authority which is acknowledged by the universal practice of the whole Christian world, even of those sects which profess to take the holy Scriptures as their sole rule of faith, since they observe as the day of rest not the seventh day of the week demanded by the Bible, but the first day. Which we know is to be kept holy, only from the tradition and teaching of the Catholic Church.” – Henry Gibson, Catechism Made Easy, #2, 9th edition, vol. 1, p. 341-342.

11. “Sunday is our mark or authority… The church is above the Bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” – Catholic Record of London, Ontario, September 1, 1923.

12. “Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts: 1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man. 2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the… laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws… It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible.” Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Magazine, USA (1975), Chicago, Illinois, “Under the blessing of the Pope Pius XI”.

5G cannot therefore be said to be the mark of the beast because 5G makes no religious claims and is a woefully inadequate fit for the descriptions of the mark of the beast in scripture. The mark of the Beast is neither technology nor abstract, but is the solemnization of Sunday in place of the Lord’s Day, Saturday. And since charismatic Christians do not ascribe to this correct interpretation of the Scriptures, it is not surprising that they are found succumbing to myths and false conspiracies about a new world order. That order was established long before there was a charismatic Christian, and the mark of the Beast is correctly Sunday worship observance.

Please note this however: while Sunday remains the mark of the Beast, no one to date, except religious leaders who know this but adhere to it all the same, and the Beast itself, has the mark of the Beast. It is therefore erroneous to quote this jungle boy as saying all Churches and Christians who observe Sunday as a solemn day have the mark. But, when Papal Rome unites with secular powers in Europe and the United States to enforce Sunday observance as both a day of mandatory spiritual observance and in direct contradiction to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, for example, then whoever observes the first day of the week, and it doesn’t matter if your leader is Pastor Chris, Mensah Otabil, and Duncan Williams, you and your leaders all will have the mark of the Beast and, as the Bible solemnly warned, will be excluded from the Book of Life. Well will it be for all of us to chew on that and leave 5G well alone.

What About the Virus? Isn’t it Demonic and antiChrist? Is malaria demonic and antiChrist? HIV too? How about CSM, SARS, MERS and all the other abbreviations that cause us to fear and shiver? Pandemics are nothing new, and a few do surface every century or so. And of course, they are all the evil one’s doing. What we are having – this propensity to ascribe religious explanations to physical events – is the results of years of charismatic fanaticism and the fact that none of our religious healers, tongues speakers and charlatans saw this particular one coming. There is no 31st December 2019 service that saw this coming, and having laid to waste the credibility of the visions of these false prophets who number in the thousands, Christians are looking to myths and more ridiculous theories to explain the phenomenon.

Yes, the Bible did predict pestilences. Matthew 24:6-8 reads, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”.

The Apostle Mark’s account reads, “
And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows” (Mark 13:7-8, emphasis mine).

But while the pestilences and wars and plagues sure do cause even the faithful to quake and fear, Christ warned us not to focus on those. He didn’t ask Christians to worry till the next verse, in which he warned, “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13:9-13.

The Conclusion

So, to answer the question, 5G is not the mark of the Beast, and neither is the running of 5G technologies the mark either. 5G does not usher in a new world order that does not already exist or has not long been in the works and nearing maturation. The mark of the Beast is the enforcement of the observance of the false sabbath as a mandatory day of worship and rest, and no one can buy or sell in the coming days of trouble except those who have shown and have the technology to so prove, that they observe the false sanctity of Sunday. Until then, it’s important for all Christians to know what God has said in His word about the near future, but the issue isn’t so much what pestilences, plagues and troubles will hit the world, but ultimately where we stand on God’s truth, how we dissociate ourselves from the Dragon (Satan and World Power), the Beast (Papal Rome) and the False Prophet (all churches that preach Sunday worship, speak in tongues and go contrary to any word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God).

Shalom!
8

KalashniBlog, TattleBlog
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
2

KalashniBlog
At the time the corona virus hit the European continent, President Akufo-Addo was on a 12-day tour of Europe. This led many social commentators to wonder whether the President needn’t be quarantined for 14 days on his return. A Norwegian diplomat to Ghana who was with the President’s entourage in Norway was the first to test positive for the virus a day after the president’s return. That same day, the president threw a stone that had formed a part of Jerusalem’s temple walls into the foundational pit and cut the sod for the commencement of construction of the ridiculous National Cathedral, a Cathedral we are building because of the president’s personal religious promise, and for which Ghanaian property have been destroyed.

The Cathedral is estimated to cost $100 million; the same amount the president ordered his finance minister to make available towards coronavirus preparedness efforts. Since then, it’s been a helluva roller coaster ride as Ghana confirms more and more cases. One patient has died, and the president has had to speak gravely to Ghanaians severally on national TV to assure the people that his government is on top of the issues, and to also encourage them to embrace publicized hygiene practices. Ghana has 24 confirmed cases to date and the rate of increase will keep growing. This is why the president’s addresses have been important. With absolute clarity, he has outlined the problem and justified his immediate, executive decisions to isolate affected persons and prevent large scale transmissions by closing down schools and universities and banning church and social gatherings beyond 25 persons. By attempting to limit movement of the broader Ghanaian population, and mandatorily quarantining people coming from affected nations, the president has unequivocally announced he is unafraid to do whatever it takes to keep Ghanaians safe.

While the president did not lack verbal clarity in his addresses, the gonads required to strictly enforce his drastic measures have seemed lacking. The National Identification Authority, headed by an academic that has until now been an authority on mob action and mob psychology, lacked the intellectual capacity and the good sense to understand that going ahead with Ghana Card mass registration exercises in the Eastern region flew in the face of the Commander-in-Chief’s direct orders banning mass gatherings. Government stooges immediately began to deploy PR photos of registrants sitting in accordance with W.H.O 2-metre distancing gaps, but social media remained unimpressed and responded with actual photos of the clusters of people in close proximity to each other in NIA sanctioned queues and booths.

It took the superior wisdom of a Court of Law to temporarily nip their senseless braggadocio in the bud, and immediately after, the NIA issued an offensive letter, revealing that the president’s directives were irrelevant where his reelection bid was concerned. By going ahead with eastern regional registrations, opinion leaders contended that the president was attempting to secure his second term in his party’s second stronghold at the expense of Ghanaian lives; one of a series of critical missteps and missed opportunities that might possibly increase the tally of coronavirus cases in the region if an infected person was among registrants.

While I am unhappy with the fragmented chain of command and the inconsistent messages comparing the president’s grasp of the problem and the NIA’s nonsense, I recognize that this president has the misfortune to make the toughest decisions a president of Ghana has ever made in peacetime, including the decision to lockdown the country in order to slow down community transmissions and flatten Ghana’s infection curve, which is currently higher than Italy’s was in the same number of days after first coronavirus confirmations. The president is screwed if he makes that call, and he is also screwed if he doesn’t make that call. In fact, while deciding between the calls, he is screwed in the waiting period. To understand his absolute screwage, we need to examine what exactly a lockdown in Ghana will look like, and why the president is probably taking his anxious time.

On average, a visitor to Ghana spends around GH¢41 ($7.38) per day. In Accra, the average Ghanaian spends GH¢14 ($2.50) on meals a day, and GH¢13 ($2.43) on trotro. When you add rent, water, electricity, internet and side chicks, there really isn’t enough to go around having three square meal supplies beyond 2 days without needing to restock. If you throw the pure water seller into the equation, you can’t lockdown Ghana beyond 6 hours a day. The president must clearly be worried about the economy taking huge hits from a lockdown in addition to the hits we are taking for falling oil prices.

Unlike the UK, and until the $100 million money arrives, government must be extremely worried about feeding people in a lockdown. Government cannot pay all of us; neither can it send a collapsed food distribution corporation to bring Ghanaians food in their homes. The fear of economic collapse is what likely fed the late closure of our borders and airport, and the fear of not being able to feed Ghanaians is what feeds into allowing businesses to continue to operate until lockdown. Without adequately answering these concerns, a lockdown will place curfews on hungry people. Before long, those people will revolt from not being able to feed their families and themselves and usher in an unrest that can quickly escalate the infection rate and mess up the economy.

Enforcing a lockdown requires the security agencies. The president couldn’t keep a rein on the miserable NIA. He would need to highly equip the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service before he can ask them to assume the all-out risk of enforcing a lockdown. Without appropriate gear, we might lose a full quarter of our security because the rate of spread to date of the coronavirus suggests that the years of health sector fuckery by governments and an incompetent NHI system will catch up to us by the time we hit 400 cases. These costs require careful thinking before lockdown enforcement. This is the reason we are asked to fast and pray because, to be honest, we will be overwhelmed faster than western countries have been, and while all the talk of sanitation will help, the vast majority of our people are too poor to make sense of the gravity of the situation and alter their lifestyles accordingly.

In spite of the above challenges, government needs to lockdown by Friday, March 27 or risk having an Italy on its hands. And these are the reasons, beginning with an address of the predicaments outlined above:

(1) While clearly broke and at risk of messing up the Ghanaian economy, a lockdown will provide pause for the government to assess organic compliance and estimate what level of preparedness to send enforcement troops in. Ultimately, people may comply with the strong suggestions, and government can then recommend only essential movements. This might remove the delay in imposing the needed restrictive measures without spending too much. The problem of food access for the poor and the need to thin down numbers in our markets can be cured if government operated shift systems in local markets. Indelible inks can cut down sellers’ numbers to one-fifth of total market capacity a day, and buyers will have only one day in a week to do their weekly shopping of basic foodstuffs. This means fencing markets and putting in incorruptible prefects.

(2) We do not have enough ICUs to wait to get to 100 infections because for every 100 we confirm, at least a thousand will be vectors. Already 24 confirmed cases is too much, and that line about a victim dying from underlying medical conditions is a load of crap. Dead is dead, so long as the person tested positive and, when folks begin to lose loved ones, confidence in medical competence will dwindle, forcing citizens to remain at home with their infections and under-report themselves to authorities.

(3) Government has sent mixed messages that will haunt it going forward if a lockdown isn’t immediately ordered. Silly hashtags calling for calm and the call of a secular state for religious prayers and fasts can only do so much in the beginning. But when infection numbers increase, the populace will correctly interpret those calls as cover-ups for gargantuan incompetence, and the legitimacy and intent of government will be called into question.

(4) A lockdown is required to protect vulnerable groups, especially the aged and people with chronic diseases. And that includes all the old people we have in the Jubilee House, Parliament House and in the Supreme Court.

(5) We do not have to lockdown indefinitely; we can lockdown intermittently or partially in order to reduce transmissions. Since urban centres are more at risk, we can ban all travel from the interior to epicentres. The Italian experience proves that we need to take bold steps to isolate the virus and the infected, and limit people’s movements around both immediately and with absolute conviction, and then strictly enforce compliance. 24 cases call for desperate measures, and it is action that will save us, not the ecstatic, unintelligible gibberish of tongues-speaking prayers and fasts.

🙁
7

KalashniBlog
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.

😀
0

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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KalashniBlog
The past three years haven’t been a good time to be a journalist in Ghana. It seems every journalist walking around has a sign on their forehead that reads, “BEAT ME”, and boy do they get beat! (in African-American slang). The Police Administration says they lack the intelligence to find the policemen who cracked a Multimedia journalist’s skull; the courts only handed down a fine of no more than $100 to a policeman who rode an unlicensed motorbike, broke through the red light and assaulted three journalists, one of whom was a female recently hospitalized for a caesarean section; and we still don’t know who killed investigative journalist Suale. The simple truth is that everyone attacks journalists. The Police beat them up all the time. The military turn journalists into slapping bags. Even Fire & Rescue officers are in on the action, and a notorious female political activist delivered some serial round of beatings to some journalists in Accra recently.

We might have to start providing some body armour to our pressmen and women if we expect them to survive the next ten years. The pen might be mightier than the sword but no pen is mightier than an AK47 rifle butt in this apampamu-store republic, and that is a fact no victim of press brutality can gainsay. And now, after failing to give satisfactory answers for the unreasonable display of braggadocio and the shameful assault and battery of an MP at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections at the Emile Short Commission, our National Security Council have turned their antennae on journalists. Armed with Soviet-era Kalashnikovs, sporting WWII helmets and sure-footed in foot-rot inducing leather boots, National Security operatives stormed the offices of online news outlet ModernGhana.com, presented no warrants (who cares about Miranda), blindfolded three staff including an editor, and whisked them away to a National Security facility where one of the victims alleges they were tortured and electrocuted on allegations of cybercrime. The National Security Council swore by the president’s respect for the rule of law (and their absolute lack of sincerity) that they did not torture anyone, and that the editor was a liar, liar, pants on fire (LLPF).

With the Ayawaso West Wuogon slaps and assaults still ringing in the nation’s (and definitely in Sam George’s) ears, it beggars belief that the National Security setup would do such a thing as attack a media outlet in Rambo style. Clearly the managers of our national security lack perspective (euphemism for a remarkable lack of good sense), and that lack was punctuated by the letter they are purported to have issued in the backlash of LLPF’s accusations of torture. The National Security Council Secretariat in a press release issued on the morning of Tuesday, July 2 said it took a serious view of the torture allegations, writing it off as a deliberate attempt by the LLPF suspect, Emmanuel Ajarfor Abugri, to discredit the investigations and the case against him. “Torture and manhandling of suspects are not part and parcel of the culture and architecture of the secretariat under the administration of President Akufo-Addo”, the statement said, sending half the population of Ghana into guffaws, not so much for the clearly arse-kissing attempt to remove the Akufo-Addo administration as far away from the scandal as possible, but for the part about the denial of a culture and architecture of torture and manhandling by the National Security.

Ghanaians know better, of course, the ill-advised, unsigned press release notwithstanding. Ghana’s National Security is all about manhandling. There were recent reports of a National Security agent drawing his pistol and arresting an ayalolo bus driver who questioned his use of the bus lane near Tessano last year in addition to the AWW brutalities that cost an innocent by-stander his leg bones. Until recently, and thanks to recent amendments and reviews, the National Security apparatus was all about terrorizing, harassing and intimidating political opponents of government. This history, coupled with recent happenings, is why we all keeled over with contempt and disbelief when the statement read, “We wish to categorically state that the suspect, during questioning, was never manhandled, neither was he subjected to any form of forced physical contact”.

Of course blindfolding and hauling pressmen off to undisclosed locations isn’t the stuff of manhandling and physical contact. What an unintelligent press release from a presumably intelligent national security apparatus! But my beef really is this: why doesn’t National Security pick on someone their own size? Like those Rambo-style bank robbers who once killed a Lebanese accountant at North Industrial area and made off with cash we still haven’t retrieved? Imagine if, while the robbery and murder was in progress National Security operatives had appeared in Sikorsky S-92 attack helicopters, abseiled and shot the robbers all the way to some point between Accra and a robbery grave? Or, if National Security had invaded Saboba in the Northern region shortly before the Konkonba-Chokosi conflict and brought all their manhandling powers to bear on brokering a permanent peace deal? That is the essence of national security if you ask me, but you have a terrible habit of never asking this jungle boy anything. This business of attacking unarmed media houses and practitioners with guns and batons doesn’t make sense beyond a masochistic delight in harassing journalists and innocent civilians. Methinks it is time to fire the National Security minister, run the entire apparatus through some sensitivity training (and training in the use of a lot of common sense) or, failing these, send them off to Somalia where they can pick on someone their own size… like Al Shabab terrorists.

My big mouth has ended.
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