If You Are Happy, Clap, Clap For Dr. Afari Gyan!

The very last lap of the rather heady campaign has picked up accelerating steam and everyone is honeybee busy, Jomo: Electoral Commissioner Dr. Afari-Gyan’s has been busy gallantly fending off severe criticism, dealing with all manner of vexed matters legal and political, and dutifully oiling the levers of his starter’s gun for the race of the millennium. Some say after all that Dr. Afari-Gyan has gone through and endured, he deserves applause ahead of the big race and should anything go wrong, why, he could say with a good conscience that he played his part as Electoral Commissioner to the very best his ability. Practitioners in the world of skullduggery are busy pulling all manner of rabbits out of their political power hunting bags to the background beat of that familiar jazz tune of the campaign season: Don’t vote for our opponents, they are terrible news and voting for them would be a potentially disastrous blunder you will live to regret. We are the best thing ever to have happened to this planet. Vote for us. It is necessary to convince voters that the bit about an opponent being bad is indeed true and that is where skullduggery comes in handy, bearing incriminating secret tape recordings to help nail the opponent’s integrity on the mast pole of voter consciousness. Corruption, immorality and clandestine political activities with the potential to threaten national security, are the general themes of the tape recordings. It is unclear yet whether the use of secret tape recordings to inflict maximum injury on the integrity of power seekers is a fad or one here for a long stay. During the 2008 election campaign and since then, propagandists have leaked secretly recorded tapes containing damning statements of the kind those heard making them and their respective poltical parties had meant for a very few ears only. We have had the Maxwell Kofi Jumah and Lawyer Atta Akyea tapes, the Baba Jamal tape, the Gabby Otchere Darko/Kofi Adams tape and the Yaw Boateng Gyan tape. Now legislator Kennedy Agyapong who leaked the secret tape recording, in which NDC National Organizer Mr. Gyan is heard making statements which many said revealed clandestine activities that could threaten the peaceful conduct of the December elections, has threatened to produce yet another secret tape recording that will expose corruption among some government officials. With or without secretly-recorded rapes, corruption has remained one of the leading issues in the 2012 election campaign: With the departure of the late President Mills, businessman Alfred Wayome had a temporary respite from investigators, prosecutors and political opponents gunning for his skull in the matter of his alleged fraudulent procurement of a court judgment debt of GHc 51 million but the call for his head is picking up pitch again. The matter of questionable court judgment debts is one of the unresolved national issues the late president Mills did not dispose of before his departure and especially the call for the setting up of a committee to probe the payment of billions of cedis of public money to businesses and individuals in recent years. If such a commission does get set up, it may want to look at the puzzling issue from the perspective of an anonymous blogger on the Internet who claims that there has been in operation, “a scheme of abrogated contracts set up specifically “for {contract abrogation} settlements and that this has facilitated the illegal payment of huge sums of public money to foreign companies, their Ghanaian associates and some law firms.” “Once the huge amounts have been paid, the money can then be distributed beyond the stated recipients and all involved have taken a share.” Those already working to get to the bottom of matter appear to require better state protection. The reported attack on Mr. Kan Dapaah, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which is probing the payments, by three armed men who allegedly peppered his car with bullets and stormed his bedroom but took away little, is something the president should take an interest in because of the government’s declared commitment to the fight against corruption. The committee chairman had previously brandished a couple of scarlet flags about in public space about threats on his life. In the case of the judgments debts in particular, the buck arrives and stops with President Mahama, who in spite of there not being enough luck to get around, just keeps getting all the luck there is. Having been sworn in only as a transitional president for the last quarter of the year and in order to make up for lost time, the man has miraculously managed to cram a nation-wide tour from coast to Savanna, whistle-stop tours of the sub-region and a visit to the US into his campaign. The opposition had criticized the incumbent’s nation-wide tour during which he hobnobbed with traditional rulers and voters, as a use of state resources to campaign but the president insisted he was only touring the Savanna to thank chiefs and people who mourned and extended condolences to the government in the wake of the death of former President Mills. He said it was a national tradition. You could not argue too strongly against that! Incumbency then hands the campaigning candidate a legitimate opportunity to address the United Nations General Assembly and in the process he gets an enhanced domestic image and international exposure in one swell swoop. Oh yes, some guys just keep getting all the luck! Anyhow, never mind. I was telling you how everyone is darned busy preparing for D-day, wasn’t I? That includes the cops too: Police top brass this week traded notes behind closed doors at Police Headquarters on how best they might optimize operational efficiency on the big day and after. The republic’s chief cop, Mr. Paul Quaye reportedly repeated for the umpteenth time, the resolve of the police to approach peacekeeping during the lections with professionalism but then he also repeated the same resolve by the police to give trouble makers blazing hell with a capital “H.” I was beside myself with curiosity to know what he said {if he broached the subject at all} about the recent threat by Obuasi Police Divisional Commander, ACP Kofi Berchie, that any machete-wielding thugs who dare trying to snatch ballot boxes and run off into the woods with them will be shot. His shoot to kill remarks outraged some and alarmed others. People should not be snatching ballot boxes during a national election and cops should pursue and apprehend fleeing electoral bandits {whatever that means} and not shoot them dead, yah? He warned that should any machete-wielding hooligans with bulging biceps snatch any ballot boxes and try to run off into the woods, they could be shot since that would amount to “stealing.” In a strange way, it is to his credit that the big cop actually downplayed the seriousness of the offense while sounding too draconian and ruthless: Violently appropriating property amounts to armed robbery and not stealing and aspiring electoral vandals should be encouraged by their principals to keep that in mind, don’t you think? Website: www.sydneyabugri.com Email: [email protected]