Too much confusion over one trip, other matters
I have been stupefied and amazed by the quantity of ink used by supporters and opponents of the government regarding the recent trip of the President to the Caribbean.
I feel it is in the interest of the Presidency to explain to we Ghanaians, the mode of transport, the purpose of the trip, those who went with him and the cost of the junket. I am led to this appeal in the spirit of our democracy, and the repeal of the sedition laws by the past President Kufuor government which was guided in Parliament in 2001 by the current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he was the Attorney-General.
Furthermore, the case for full public disclosure is strengthened by the Right to Information Law passed this year and assented to by the President.
Need for explanation
On those who went with him, I know the American and European practice is for those who travel with the President to pursue their personal business related to the official business of the President to bear the full costs of their tickets and accommodation.
There are no free rides in those countries and they give us aid to run our countries.
We do not even know those who went with him in an official capacity.
This legitimises wild speculation.
Another angle to this is the surprising article I chanced upon by Fadi Dabboussi on the matter on Ghananewsonline.com condemning the Daily Post which revealed the plane allegedly used and other facts we are publicly unaware of.
All this may be fluff and exaggeration, but only full, truthful official disclosure can put it to rest.
I cannot be persuaded that this simple explanation and details have not been offered doubting Ghanaians up to now.
The information ministry is well-advised to be on top of feeding the people with information as will downplay or defeat the unhelpful speculation which abounds even in the Vatican.
But this is not all that worries me in the absence of lack of information.
Mr Dabboussi, in the spirit of President Trump’s Make America Great Again says President Akufo-Addo is Making Ghana Great Again, seems to be comparing two different countries and two different people to make his point defending the President.
He is entitled to find in Trump, the type of President he wishes for Ghanaians but he is mistaken to imagine someone who sabre-rattles at each problem will find acceptance here.
Or he sees in President Trump salvation for Ghana?
Obviously Trump does not think so as he would have found time to visit his buddies in Ghana, just as Clinton, Bush and Obama did.
Other matters screaming for attention are reports of the shambolic limited registration exercise.
The problems were hinted at before the exercise by the opposition National Democratic Congress and were not heeded.
We are facing the bigger problem of legitimacy of our future elections if the trend of participation continues, assisted by the state agency charged with conducting elections.
To give an example, over 50 per cent of registered voters took part in the 1992 presidential election following which the then opposition and now ruling New Patriotic Party wrote the Stolen Verdict.
In the by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon early this year, the voter turnout was 19 per cent.
This is a disappointing scenario but if our turnout is aided by difficulties put in the way of prospective voters by the body charged with elections, then we are storing up trouble for our democracy.
The new people at the Electoral Commission appear not to realise that the EC exists because of our democracy and that without political parties and elections, they shall cease to exist.
Their posture in respect of the limited registration exercise will seem to suggest they do not welcome parties to second-guess them.
They will not be needed in undemocratic dispensations. Listening to parties involved in the political system is normal as far as I can see since 1992.
The current posture is unfortunate.
Black Stars performance
The disaster is unfolding right before our eyes.
I said some weeks ago that it was not necessary for our President to interfere in Black Stars management matters from our experience.
The disgusting performance of the Stars earning a draw and with one player red carded in our first AFCON match are proof of my prediction.
Why do we continue to pamper the Stars without any tangible benefits?
If you use our name for personal honour and satisfaction, certainly we must demand higher and better performance from you?
Why are we not doing this and sparing ourselves of the heartaches and sadness of non performance?
I have used my column today to complain about things not addressed in a timely and useful manner by the Information Ministry and allied informers.
The same requirement would have made the pain of not finding the kidnapped Takoradi girls bearable, especially for relatives.
Why wasn’t regular briefings by the police part of initial response by the law enforcement? We are creating holes in public relations for exploitation by wild speculators.
And they are right to speculate for knowledge is essential in a democracy. Anything to form an opinion or make a decision will do in the absence of nothing.
Those who believe erroneously that being a neutral is the way to participate in democratic politics need to be forcefully told that there are no neutrals in heaven or hell.
You are either saved or damned perpetually.
You can vote either way and still reserve your right to criticise without selling your humanity to the highest bidder and the unscrupulous. Having an opinion is not a crime in a democracy.
Source: Collin Essamuah/[email protected]
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