It's the sort of event that for most happens when a neighbour sets up a prayer camp and invites all types of worshippers to come worship and dine with him. With time you get convinced your neighbour is promoting a faith and belief similar to the one you have, you then lose your level headedness and get less convinced that other prayer camps can equally deliver; if not, much better services than what your neighbour is presently offering.
There's a crisis on the stage or the pitch. You offered your views, one of the principal actors on stage barked; your views no longer matter. No substitute is available, you get sucked into a situation in which you could not wriggle your way out. You lose your credibility as an independent thinker. Someone who just came to a prayer camp to worship is translated to the thick of events – on the way, perhaps, to a whole new alliance.
Something similar happened last week which exposed the concealed activities, the hidden agendas and the clandestine political machinations of certain non-political institutions on our motherland. Apparently, these institutions have been set up, so it is said, to play watch dog roles in guarding our county's young democratic dispensation. But the recent developments, utterances of certain officials belonging to these institutions and the use of languages similar to the ones used in our neighbour's prayer camp confirms our long held suspicion that these officials for a long time had compromised their duty to the congregations (their faith) the values for which they were set up. And so goes with their credibility.
Why am I saying this? Not too long ago, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) culled a report on the 2008 general elections published by the Institute of Economic Affairs ( IEA), a Ghanaian policy think tank, which accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) officials and their aspirants to political office of abuse of incumbency and political corruption during the 2008 general elections. The dynamite evidence of abuse of incumbency before the 2008 general elections blew the political backside of the NPP wide open. Out came the 'principal actor' Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, who also doubles up as the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party reacting angrily in denial to the contents of the publication, accusing the GNA of peddling falsehood.
Jake's overbearing reaction threw some officials at the IEA into the panic mode.
They cannot afford not to sing to their master's tune; after all they all belong to the same political stock and worship together in the same prayer camp. The officials quickly ordered the webmaster to remove the said report from the IEA website, whilst denying authenticity of the report. This irresponsible behaviour confirms our long held view that not only do the Kwanda Institute and AGFA, but INMAMI, DDC and IEA, worship together and compare notes during prayer sections. Thanks to modern technology and the world wide web (www.) most pundits already have access to the said report through the hyperlink reference. So they cannot hoodwink us into disbelieving that the GNA story was fabricated and does not exist. After all, the report had been posted on to the IEA website since March 2009.
The contents of the report itself did not come to us as surprise because during the 2008 general elections we saw how the NPP dishonestly abused political power, substituted political openness with political corruption and electoral malpractices which made one's stomach churn. However, what was more irritating about this whole saga was the knee jerk reaction by the 'commander' Jake and the thoughtless response he got from his 'faith group' members. I guess Jake's reaction had much more to do with the fact that the GNA had exposed the NPP abuse of incumbency big time and had to put on those rebuttals to save face. Maybe he thought Ghanaians have short memories and often play that political animal game (ostrich) and get their heads buried deep in the political sand when prompted.
We are aware of NPP blatant abuse of political power during the 2008 elections. We still have memories of how Jake and his unreformed compatriots in the NPP abused incumbency big-time by using state facilities and resources for the purpose of achieving their diabolic political agenda. The most glaring example was the use of Ghana Air Force helicopter to fly to Kumasi to check on electoral results and to fax cooked up figures back to the EC in Accra, seeking to influence the outcome of the 2008 elections. We are too familiar with the case of how Jake used state cash to refurbish his official bungalow and cheekily, sought to sell the state residence to himself afterwards.
What's more, the report cited various instances where state facilities such as helicopters were used to transport and distribute election materials for the benefits of the NPP flag bearer. There were also situations where state lands, such as the International Students' Hostel land earmarked for development by the Foreign Affairs Ministry were sold to NPP cronies. The sale of Ghana Airways assets and the transfer of GHC1.5 billion from the TOR recovery levy account to the Ministry for Information to fund clandestine media activities.
Not too long ago, the World Bank Country Director to Ghana, Mr Ishak Diwan in an interview with Citi Breakfast show accused the ex-president Kuffour's administration of abusing incumbency by spending on things which were not worth spending on in an election year, a situation that led Ghana to an unprecedented GDP deficit of 20 percent. He wrote, "NPP government's spending in its last year in office was very irresponsible, off budget and not thoughtful."
The instances of abuse of incumbency under NPP administration are limitless but the real issue here is; how do we ensure that officials of institutions that are supposedly, set up to guard and service our fledgling democracy do not compromise their position by surrendering their credibility and values to a particular political party?
With such bare facts at our disposal, we do not need IEA to tell us what we already know. But the fact that a detailed analysis of the 2008 General elections have been documented by the IEA and posted on its website as a case study makes the material evidences specific and historical.
But for the IEA to compromise its watch dog role, as a non partisan institution, and ceding to pressure from a political party, weakens the very foundation upon which the IEA was set up. The IEA has lost its credibility as an independent institution and the only way it can redeem its sagged image is to investigate and punish those faceless officials involved in this shameful scandal. Possibly replace them with new crop of independent minded individuals who are prepared to serve mother Ghana without fear or favour.
We need strong, determined, fearless individuals capable of positioning themselves within a strong independent watch dog institutions. Until then, the elephant will continue to set up prayer camps for those of little faith and entice the likes of INMAMIs, the DDCs and the remnants of the IEAs along to the bush. Not forgetting that the Kwanda Institutes and AGFAs are already wallowing themselves in the thick forest supported by Gary and the New Statchman.
We are watching................
Source: Alex Seshie-Vanderpuije
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