Let me begin with an apology. In the promo to my New Year Honours published on Monday, it was erroneously reported that I was going to give an award of the ORDER OF THE VOLTA. Who am I to give an Order of the Volta? What the notice should have said was the Order of the Vulture. The Order of the Volta is a state honour bestowed on someone, who, in the estimation of the President of the Republic, has distinguished him or herself.
Mine though, is exactly the opposite. The Order of the Vulture is my own creation to be bestowed on a person or institution, whose behaviour has consigned this society into a carcass for the consumption of the vulture. I apologise most sincerely for the unfortunate mix-up.
Things that happen at a particular point in time are likely to be replicated at another time. In the early 1970s, when Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong stood astride this society like a colossus, claiming to redeem this society and rather ended up by pushing Ghana further into the woods, there emerged a certain Ackah Blay Miezah, the self-styled sole proprietor of Oman Trust Limited.
Much column inches in print and air time were wasted on claims that he had inherited a fortune of US$40 billion in Swiss bank accounts deposited by the first President of the Republic of Ghana and needed a diplomatic passport to retrieve the huge investment.
Apparently, he had conned several hundreds of investors in America, Philadelphia precisely, to invest in his conglomerate with the intention of multiplying their returns. He relocated to Ghana when the law came chasing after him. It was one of the world’s greatest con jobs. Somehow, millions around the world fell for it. Ackah-Blay lived a champagne life-style until he was arrested much later after three regime changes in this country.
The Menzgold saga reminds me of the Blay Miezah con job. It is founded on the same module – a scam of gargantuan proportions. As hundreds of investors gnash their teeth over the loss of their entire life savings, the similarity in the modus operandi cannot be over-emphasised.
Like Ackah Blay-Mizah’s episode, so much myth surrounds the Menzgold deal and its leader, Nana Appiah Mensah aka NAM1. That is why it is appropriate to link the two events. By the powers conferred on me as the author of this column, I hereby bestow the Order of Ackah Blay Miezah on NAM 1 and his entire enterprise.
When I saw Sammy Gyamfi mount the platform at that infamous press conference at the $20 million office complex of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Adabraka in Accra the other day working himself into a frenzy in his rather desperate bid to link the sitting President of the Republic to the Menzgold saga, I thought a bull had entered a China shop.
Here is an otherwise handsome looking young man of letters spewing garbage and attended to by a very patronising national media. The logic cannot hold. But then in the NDC, it is becoming a fashion to spew garbage if only it is a means of getting national attention.
For that display and Sammy Gyamfi’s previous record of reading a posting on a journalist’s Facebook wall as that week’s version of setting the records straight, the NDC Communications Director wins my New Year honour of the Order of the Bull.
Writing about the NDC reminds me of the stone-age politics being practiced in the 21st Century by the chief scribe of the party, which birth owes everything to the state-sponsored murders of the early 1980s. Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, never ceases to amaze.
Given the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bui Dam Project, he was proud to state that he sold blocks from his own factory to the company he headed. It was akin to negotiating with himself to strike a deal. When all appeared to have cooled over the block saga, he built a castle in the air and announced that he was going to name his fantasy building ‘Kwasia Bi Nti.’
Mr. Asiedu-Nketia began the rigmarole of linking the President to the Menzgold saga on the basis that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had been seen in a picture with NAM1. That is logic, the ‘Kwasia Bi Nti’style. Just the other day, he added to the ‘Kwasia Bi Nti’ way of doing things by proposing a theory of multiplying the NDC base.
This may tell something about why the NDC has its own distinctive ways of doing things. In case you are unaware, the General Secretary is proposing to boost the membership of the party by a policy of encouraging intra-party marriages. In other words, NDC men could only look to women in the party as life partners. The offspring of such marriages are guaranteed to be members of the NDC, according to the Gen. Secretary.
It is too early in the day to visualise how a typical NDC couple will behave, with the Founder still calling the shots from Boom Junction. The teaser to the new format was given in London not too long ago when the Chief Scribe appeared at a state event with his wife’s apparel. Like the state of affairs, as the chapter closed on Animal Farm, it would be difficult to isolate the bride from the bridegroom.
Sorry to state this. Like the vulture, the General Secretary of the NDC feeds on garbage and spews garbage. He gets the Order of the Vulture in my New Year honours list. It is the sign of the times that the scavenger role of the vulture is gradually being withdrawn from our society.
The NDC never ceases to amaze though. When the party was leading this nation from the then Flagstaff House, President John Dramani Mahama announced to the whole world that the state resources were down to the bones.
One would have thought that the syndrome of lack of resources at the time would inform the Presidency to be circumspect in managing the resources of state. Rather, the nation recorded its worst bout of reckless spending. It was unprecedented in the annals of Ghana history. A GH¢33 million afforestation project began and ended on the paper on which the programme was spelt out.
All the birds in a guinea fowls project, conceived as a means of improving on the dietary conditions of the people, migrated to Burkina Faso. Apparently, they had acquired a compass without the knowledge of those who conceived the brilliant idea of domesticating them. Sad to state that the nation, through the Savannah Accelerated Development Agency, lost nearly GH¢50 million without any returns.
The brilliant concept of ensuring that every Ghanaian school-going kid owned a lap-top ended with a bout of US$100 million expenditure without the lap tops.
The interesting bit is that all these projects were undertaken under one roof. All companies that were supposed to have undertaken these ventures were traced to one man – Mr. Roland Agambire – said to be the personal friend of the then sitting President at the time.
Throughout my adult life I have never heard of the State of Ghana giving interest free loans to any citizen. It happened under Mr. Mahama’s watch. The beneficiary, according to official reports, was Mr. Agambire.
That is not all. A number of high projects were executed in the evening of his reign, allegedly at huge costs to the nation. Most of these projects, like the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and Kasoa Flyover, carried very ridiculous price tags. To add to the mess, very laudable second cycle day school projects were sited at places where it was very difficult for students to access the facilities they provide.
By the time the people of Ghana called time on his reign on December 7, 2016, even the bones of the national economy were all consumed. For this singular feat, the former President gets the Order of the Hyena. Please note: only the hyena, among all flesh eating animals, has the jaws to turn bones into pulp.
The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has always attracted dare-devil administrators. When it was set up in the 1080s under the direction of Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, it consumed so much state resources that the unthinkable happened in the end.
The man, who had the ear of the head of the military junta that constituted itself into the NDC, was removed. Now, Mr. Kofi Kodua Sarpong is administering the corporation with remnants of officials he brought from his days as a football administrator. All is not quiet though. There are reports of state scholarships ending in the hands of some daughters of eve, who may be comforting senior personnel of the corporation in hideout locations in Her Majesty’s Great Britain and some Caribbean islands, paid for by the tax payer.
The Chief Executive himself is fighting for his job in the New Year. The odds, according to information filtering through from the corridors of power in this country, are on the seat becoming vacant in the very near future. Millions of both the local currency and the green notes of Uncle Sam are said to be unaccounted for.
For his problems, Mr. Sarpong gets the Order of the Bat. Only the bat flies without seeing the way.
Writing about the bat reminds me of those surrounding President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and misinforming the leadership of this country about the true state of affairs in Ghana. True, much has improved from the Animal Farm concept of leadership offered by former President Mahama. But, we surely would not have left Animal Farm only to create a Napoleon in Nana Akufo-Addo.
That is why those bad-mouthing others to receive favours, and lying on the true state of affairs to the President, ought to be careful. Yes, policies like the Free Senior High School (SHS) and Planting For Food and Jobs are delivering. We are far from Uhuru (freedom). Not every Ghanaian is sitting pretty.
Collectively, I give the Order of the Squirrel to all those misinforming the President and bad-mouthing their colleagues.
When followers of Jesus Christ founded Christianity after the Saviour had died on the cross, their leadership was required to expect their rewards in heaven. Now, not only are pastors, bishops, evangelists and prophets extracting their reward here on the earth, they are virtually robbing their congregation wearing the cassock.
So ridiculous has the situation become that anybody who could recite a verse in the Bible is carrying a microphone to a street corner or market square, expecting a bountiful harvest. The concept of the widow’s mite has been confined to the sidelines in the new concept of enriching oneself here on the earth. Now the emphasis is on whoever gives the highest receives the greatest blessing from the leadership of the one-man churches especially.
At so-called Cross Overs on December 31, bullion vans cart the spill-over in millions to the bank, while the dejected congregation walk back home. African pastors and evangelists lead the global table of rich ministers of the gospel. The concept of salvation is now measured in currencies, and not in the meekness of the church leader.
I have always been working this out in my mind. When Prophet Owusu Bempah paid a visit to the National Chief Imam at his residence, what message did he carry? Has God, the Almighty, reversed the death vision he revealed to him?
I am proud to give a joint award in this category. For their ability to attract cash to themselves, I Ebo Quansah, born of the fresh of Adam and redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, proudly award the Order of the Shylock to all armed robbers in cassocks.
Kudos to Apostle Kojo Safo! If you pin me down, I would tell you one thing. As far as I am concerned, the only true Man of God leading a one-man church in Ghana is Apostle Kwadwo Safo. I do not need to defend this thesis!
Source: Ebo Quansah/The Chronicle
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