This week I must start from where I usually end. “Ghana, aha aye de papa”. We are in democratic turbulence, good mayhem, sanity tinted with shades of crazy.
Some people are losing it, others are befuddled and some of us are watching from the sidelines, observing history unfold. I was a mature young man in 1972 when Kutu Acheampong staged his thoughtless coup.
I was old enough through the Rawlings 1979 treason putsch and I have tagged along with the politics of this country since. We are in a democracy, the experimenting is over.
Free speech allowed former A-G Martin Amidu to caution President John Mahama that we are no longer fools in Ghana and he should not get complacent with his position on corruption. In a nicely worded press release he asked, “which Ghanaian in his right senses will report a sitting President for such an investigation in the hope of getting impartial results?” Martin Amidu said the President “talked down” to Ghanaians after President Mahama had called for evidence of corruption against him (Mahama) to be taken to appropriate agencies to deal with the issue. And gone are the days when JJ Rawlings would have had you jailed and Nana Konadu would have given you “castle-protocol”, or Kwame Nkrumah would have collared you under the Preventive Detention Act for insulting his deified self. The President is too busy campaigning to react.
Too busy finding a counter to the NPP and PPP free education promise to pay attention to this now. The NDC published an executive summary of its manifesto in the Daily Graphic on October 10th. On education it has eight points in all. The NPP manifesto on education has eight points on education. You need to read it yourself to understand the differences, which are not that many. Each promises infrastructure, teacher training, new schools, etc. The NDC will build a university in the Eastern Region and the NPP will provide free education to SHS level. You can download the NPP manifesto from their website, http://www.thenewpatrioticparty.org/index.php/downloads/manifestos and the NDC manifesto from John Mahama’s personal website, http://www.johnmahama.org/sites/default/files/downloads/NDC-2012-Manifesto.pdf. Vive la difference! Interestingly, Nana Konadu’s acceptance speech on Saturday was the same theme as the NDC’s Theme One, “Putting people first”. What a coincidence, heh? The NDP manifesto is yet to be released, from a Gye Nyame message in a Dove’s beak under an umbrella, it should make interesting reading.
In my opinion, the good thing about this NDP move is that voters can be assured that all the parties now know where the rigging of votes takes place. NPP in the Ashanti Region, NDC in the Volta and Northern Regions and each party to some extent in Greater Accra, Brong and Western. Now we have “rigging migration” across parties and they can all look in the likely places where they know to look. This can bring some sanity to the 250-observer mission expected to monitor the voting come December.
The creation of 45 constituencies is still in court, this time argued out by another former A-G Ayikoi Otoo in an attempt to throw out the origins of the law. Meanwhile, all parties have started finding candidates for the new voting constituencies. Next hearing is 24th October.
President Mahama appointed a Sole Commissioner for judgment debts and threw up a potential storm. It is already a political tornado and could be another mistake. I mean, why do this? The case is in court, we are all waiting patiently to see where Agbesi Woyome, Betty Mould, Barton Odro, et al will end up and if more hard evidence crops up and this just signals an attempt to cover up a crime of extreme proportions. What can possibly come out of this except that the Commissioner will say there is no case to be adjudicated? And if that happens, we will sit back in Ghana and not say a word? Not even stage a demonstration or two? Come on JM, why?
Nine persons were arrested in Lipke-Abrani. Presiding over the case, Judge Richard Kogyatwah, directed the police to re-arrest the Mankrado of Lipke-Abrani, Togbe Pius Clemefi, who is reported to have directed the people of the area to strip Anastasia Adom naked and banish her for allegedly claiming that the chief of the area, Nana Borkeh Akototsey V, had licked her vagina. In the process, some of them took advantage of her and finger-probed her vagina. So cunnilingus is a cultural aberration if disclosed by citizens? What was the chief doing “down town”? This case places in proximity our interpretive cultural norms with our State laws. Not as bad as the lynching on suspicion, but bad enough to serve as an example of the criminal cultural values we sometimes perpetuate.
Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings accepted the nomination to become the flag bearer for the National Democratic Party. We all knew it was coming and now it is here. Before it started, it looked as if it would get nowhere. Executives resigned from North East Ghana and noises were made that the party was already a dictatorship. Surprise? Only the dyed-in-the-wool hopefuls in the NDC who crossed fingers that JJ would be back to save them. Hopes dashed and hearts broken, DCE for Ejisu-Juabeng Afrifa Yamoah Ponkoh, who was in the news last in an alleged fight with his driver over 20 cedis, expressed his utmost disgust at Jerry Rawlings for having a meeting with who he described as “their bitter rival”, Nana Akufo-Addo while columnist Dr. Michael J. K. Bokor was scathing in his column, asking for Rawlings to be kicked out of the NDC, which challenge was accepted by Deputy Energy Minister, Inusah Fuseini who vowed to lead a crusade to expel the NDC founder should he endorse Nana Konadu at the NDP congress.
But last Thursday, Ghana witnessed an historical meeting between former President Rawlings and his political rival, Nana Akufo-Addo. The two sat down and smoked a peace pipe, even laughed at the teasing Nana Addo has received from JJ over the years. And what a boost for our democracy? In one week, liberties were freed and made public. This was a huge one and NDC talking heads are reeling for spin. For once there has been very little “Ablakwabish” on the airwaves. Rawlings is paraphrased saying the NDC’s main concern is victimization if they go back into opposition. Well, fair cop, but wrong is wrong and if we are going to purge this corruption canker, some persons have to go to jail. There can be no immunity in this fight. The constitution gives Rawlings and his cohort immunity for all the evil carried out during AFRC and PNDC days, but should this be extended? In the aftermath, political pessimists who heard that it could have been a Nana Addo initiative, tried to dampen the spirit of camaraderie between the two.
Now the NDP have their spoiler. They can neither win the election nor the presidency, but they can disturb the swirl of politics sufficiently enough to make the NDC lose big time. And that is not all. Looking into a calabash, you have to speculate on the future of the NDC. Who will carry their fight if Rawlings does not come back? The calls for his expulsion could finally burn the bridges.
What was JM thinking when he went to JJ to attempt this badly botched up reconciliation? JJ is back in the limelight and still leaving them guessing. Now he says he might not campaign for anybody, but if he does, he will do so both for Konadu and the NDC. Wassup with that? He is bending the ball better than Asamoah Gyan and Abedi Ayew. Oh yeah, we qualified for South Africa 2013 and the Black Maidens picked up bronze. I also got a chance to watch a very interesting video featuring Sister “Derbie” Deborah and friends.
Have you seen “Uncle Obama”? Watch it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2HSo3yywDU. Some things are working smoothly, no God say and no need to consult the shrines.
Ghana, Aha a ye de papa (Ghana Dey Bee Keke). Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!
Source: Sydney Casely-Hayford, [email protected]
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