Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nigeria: The Plane Truth

The head of one of the anti-corruption agencies the Nigerian government set up to tackle the canker of pervasive corruption in the land, Madam Farida Waziri, was so astounded by the enormity of the problem confronting her that she advocated that those aspiring to public office should first take a mental sanity test to determine the state of their mental aptitude. The poor woman was just too flabbergasted by the insane propensity of Nigerian officials to loot the commonwealth.

Nigerian public officials (they are certainly not civil and definitely not servant) are unquestionably among the most pampered civil servants on earth. A World Bank report says that fully 80% of Nigeria's income is used to run the machinery of government (a clear case of a government expanding to meet the needs of an expanding government)! That, however, hasn't dampened the enthusiasm of these officials for looting the treasury at will. Nigerians are no longer inflamed by reports of corruption in high and low places; it has become a way of life. A culture of corruption has descended and it has deepened into levels that simply leave citizens reeling with incredulity.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria is the 13th poorest nation on earth. In terms of all the indices known to developmental statisticians, the nation performs abysmally low. The cost of living is, literally and figuratively, killing the people. Nigerians rely on generators to supply their electricity needs. Many of them go through life without knowing what pipe-borne water tastes like. The road networks are poor and rail lines are antediluvian. In the 1970s, the national airline, Nigeria Airways, had a fleet of thirty-plus aircrafts; today it's moribund. Nigeria's hospitals are more like slaughterhouses than modern health care centers. The country's educational infrastructure is in very dire condition -- rich Nigerians send their wards to schools in neighboring Ghana, while the seriously rich ones dispatch them to schools in the Western world.

What Nigerians know is that their country continues to pump two million or so barrels of oil every day. Even at the relatively low price of US$50 a barrel, the income from oil alone is no chicken change. What Nigerians also know is that their leaders annually perform the rituals of announcing budgets where truly fantastic figures are allocated to road building, schools, hospitals, etc, etc. What Nigerians also see are their leaders jetting off to Switzerland, the Bahamas, Britain, Lichtenstein, and others "safe havens" where treasury looters, especially from poor countries, are assured of, what else, safe havens for their stolen plunder.

So in Nigeria we have a country of some one hundred and forty million people ruled by unconscionable, otiose elites that cannot distinguish between their private accounts and the national treasury. What is worrisome is that the elites continue to live like there's not going to be a day of reckoning!

Amidst the general impoverishment in the land, the corrupt but well-connected elites continue to live lifestyles that would make Arabian monarchs die of envy. The latest craze is the acquisition by the super-rich of private jets. A little historical detour is necessary to put things in good perspective.

Nigeria was among the mishmash of nations fashioned out by drunken European cartographers at their infamous Berlin Conference in 1884. Nowhere else in the world save Africa do you have fine geometric patterns representing countries. European empire-builders threw together 250 or so African tribal and national groups and decided to call them Nigerians (Nigeria was derived from Niger Area -- Niger being the biggest of the two rivers that dissected the country).

Great (?) Britain got Nigeria and colonized it for close to a century. At independence in 1960, Nigeria, like most ex-colonies, inherited a largely agricultural-based economy. Cocoa, rubber, groundnut, and palm kernel were the major income earners. The early 1970s saw Nigeria transformed into a major crude oil exporting nation and things fell apart for the country. As the oil boomed, Nigeria neglected agriculture and started making EASY money from crude oil; so much so that today, the country relies on oil for over 90% of its income. As it happened in several other places, and oil economy saw Nigeria join the league of highly corrupt nations.



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Feeling sorry for Nigerian Scammers

It is very difficult for me not to feel sorry for and angry at the sad parade of bush-league amateurs that call themselves scammers in Nigeria. There they are, a bunch of incompetent fools, wasting their time, resources, and energies writing stupid letters...

[sample:

FROM MR. PATRICK K. W. CHAN
(pkw_chan26@yahoo.com.hk)

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Patrick K. W. Chan Executive Director & Chief financial Officer of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. I have an obscured business proposal that will be of great benefit to you and me. It involves the transfer of funds and I need you to assist me in executing this business project from Hong Kong to your country. It involves the transfer of money. Everything concerning this transaction shall be legally done without hitch. Please endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this issue. Once the funds have been successfully transferred into your account, we shall share in the ratio to be agreed by both of us. I shall furnish you with more information about this transfer operation immediately I receive a positive response from you.

I will appreciate your earliest response.

Kind Regards,
Mr. Patrick K. W. Chan]

...and getting measly peanuts for their efforts.

Occasionally, a few brainless morons, with more money than brain cells, respond to these obviously bogus letters and send the SOBs a few thousand dollars, laptops, and other pathetic stuff. These mindless idiots, apparently too befuddled by the sudden windfall, become instant Capitalist Niggers. Instead of investing (that word!) in productive ventures they will start splashing money around like they've got private mint at home. It does not take long for tongues to start wagging -- gossip is a favorite pastime of idle minds, and it has been perfected to scientific form in many parts of Africa. When eventually the arms of the law grab them, they are given a long stretch of jail terms since many African governments have at the instigation of the West passed legislation against these types of crimes. After all, crime does not pay, most especially when perpetrated by evil-minded black men against white people.

For these stupendously pathetic efforts and rewards the scammers succeeded in turning their country into a world-class pariah state. Holding a Nigerian passport has become a sentence to the long stretch of interrogation at border posts. People around the world now look at Nigerians with suspicion, contempt, and disdain.

Even Colin Powell, George W. Bush's secretary of state, chipped in. He famously called Nigeria a nation of scammers. We, of course, should pity that war criminal with absolutely no sense of shame, as he appeared not to have read his history well. This Uncle Tom and his criminal gang launched a colonial war of aggression that killed (who is counting?) Iraqis in order to steal their oil wealth. And he had the audacity to insult another country as being made up of thieves! I wonder what the scallywag thinks his nation's multinational corporations have been doing in the non-white world if not scamming the natives. I wonder whether the idiot has ever read the famous speech of another general, Smedley D. Butley: "War is a Racket."

Let's leave our inane Uncle Tom alone for a while.

As usual, the Western media, vigorously pursuing the agenda of their corporate bosses, come to town to bash Nigeria. From London through Paris to Washington and down under in Australia, Nigeria becomes the butt of jokes. Even talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey has been recruited in the endeavor. Nigerians are portrayed as evil-minded people whose only desire in life is to swindle decent, innocent, Christian, God-fearing, hard-working, and honest white folks. But is this the reality? I shall tackle that issue another time.

Some Africans get defensive when white folks give their usual sanctimonious speeches about crimes and things. I do not. I suffer from no complex that would make me listen to the children of pirates, gun-boat diplomats, slavers, colonialists, and continent stealers giving me any lecture on morality. Since the dawn of time, as history bloodily attests, Euro-Americans have done nothing but steal, loot, plunder, and expropriate the resources of other people -- if only people will read! "Blessed is he that readeth." Revelation 1:3.

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Zimbabwe: Constructive Engagement

"What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?" - Jean Paul Sartre

"We seriously hope that incoming US president (Barack) Obama and his new team will depart from this ignorant, ruinous and ineffective foreign policy that effectively undermines its intended beneficiaries, strengthens the targeted villains, while blighting the US standing in the world." — Professor Arthur Mutambara, Zimbabwean opposition leader, The Herald, January 05, 2009.

What exactly do you Africans want?

What type of question is that? Of course we want what every decent and normal human being wants. Food in our stomachs; a shelter over our heads; clothes on our bodies; love of our well-endowed women; a drink now and then...

Don't put your tongue in your cheek, my friend. That's not what I mean.

What do you mean, then?

We are damned if we do, and we are damned if we don't!

Obroni [ed. Obroni: a term use in Ghana for white people, not unlike Musungu in Eastern Africa or Oyinbo in Nigeria.], tell me what is agitating you?

It is about Zimbabwe. Why are you people not supporting us in finding a solution to the problems?

You people? And what problems?

Yes, you Africans! In one breath you're begging for our assistance in sustaining your nascent democracy and in another breath you're collaborating with ignoble and brutal dictators like Robert Mugabe.

Umh...

That's all you got to say, umh, that's all, ehn? The man has gone totally bonkers. He has ruined his country's economy and has reduced his people to eating grass, rodents, and things. The opposition is muzzled and the press is gagged. What more crimes do you want him to commit before you people start to take positive action against the monster? Former President Mbeki all but licks his ass, pardon my scatological term.

Obroni, the last time I checked the people of Zimbabwe were settling their problems. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change has joined the government. What more do you want?

Ha, you call that joining the government? The Southern African Development Community and your useless African Union blackmailed him. Why should he join a government headed by that ancient monster, tell me? Didn't you hear that Mugabe recently tried to kill the opposition leader in a so-called accident that claimed the man's wife?

Ah! I thought they said it was an accident. Accidents do happen everywhere, you know?

Accident! You called that an accident?

Obroni, you are really worked up! I don't know what else to call it, but is yours not the case of crying more than the bereaved? Maybe it's a philosophical thing?

Philosophical thing -- what philosophy are we talking about when a brutal dictator is messing up the lives of his own people?

Obroni, one of your Western thinkers opined that you have no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests. We in Africa do not hold such cynical views about humans, or any relationship for that matter; hence our saying that a dog does not forget its benefactor. Maybe you should try to understand the African perspective on the issues of Zimbabwe, especially the South Africans' views.

Are we not getting into deep denial here now? Are you not playing the usual blame the foreigner on anything and everything that is going bad game?

I am playing no game. I'm just telling you some plain facts of life here in Africa. Has it occurred to you that we are simply tired of you people playing games with us and with your fiddling our intelligence?

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Ghana: The Audacity of Looting!

Ghanaians who had thought that their long-drawn December 2007 polls, which spoiled their yuletide celebrations, confounded their New Year revelry, exacerbated the ethnic tensions in their country, polarized their body politics, and ended in the record books as the presidential polls decided by the narrowest of margin possible was the worst thing they could imagine, were soon to be sorely disappointed.

They were sufficiently discombobulated when it emerged that, a day before the handover to the new government on January 7, 2009, a mind-bending and super-extravagant presidential and parliamentarian retirement package had been approved by the outgoing parliament. The package was so excessive in its generosity that it left Ghanaians totally flabberwhelmed (a contraption of flabbergasted and overwhelmed).

Ghanaians are long used to insensitive politicians taking good care of their stomachs, while exhorting the ordinary people to tighten their belts and make sacrifices in the interest of the nation. But the sheer magnitude of the new package just took the breath of the people away -- literally and metaphorically. In order to put things in their proper context, it is necessary to throw some statistics around.

Ghana is a small country with a population of some 23 million people and a land mass of 238,500 square kilometers. A paltry GDP of US$10.7 billion gives the nation a measly GNP of some US$478. Ghana has a high illiteracy rate and the infant mortality rate is also very high. By all the indices known to statisticians, Ghana is a poor country. Many Ghanaians struggle to get just one meal a day, and many folks still live in conditions of shocking poverty. Many villages, especially in the northern part of the country, rely on NGOs for their education and health care.

The paradox is that Ghana is a nation immensely blessed with natural resources (gold, manganese, bauxite, diamond and, now, oil, among others), yet many Ghanaians are very poor, even by Africa's low standards. Yet, the poverty of a vast numbers of the citizens did not stop Ghanaian MPs (230 of them) from taking a car loan from the state. It did not stop the president of the Republic from tooling around town in an expensive 4-wheel-drive Jeep cavalcade. It did not stop ministers and other political jobbers from taking from the state free houses, free cars, free fuel, and other emoluments! And they go around shamelessly mouthing the outrageous lies that they are the "servants of the people!"

A debt of some US$7 billion emphatically compounded the country's economic woes. This made the former government embrace the Highly Indebted and Poor Country (HIPC) initiatives of the IMF and World Bank. HIPC was one in the long stream of acronyms the twin Breton Wood institutions foisted on poor countries in order to allow Western multinationals to continue the rape of their resources.

According to its apostles, the HIPC initiative would, among other things, allow the adhering countries to get some relief from their unbearable debt burden. The leaders of the poor countries were made to swallow their pride and proclaimed their countries HEAVILY INDEBTED AND POOR! Ghana was among them, and the man that took his nation into the HIPC club was ex-president John Kufuor. And it was the same president who, on retiring after his two terms, was to enjoy a bonanza that would enable him to live like an Arabian sovereign.

Ghanaians were not amused. In calls to their numerous radio stations, they searched and reached for the most uncomplimentary adjectives to describe the unconscionable actions of their elected leaders. And the reasons should be understandable.

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Cry Palestine!

"Everyone is crying now for peace, none is crying now for justice. I don't want no peace, all I need is Equal Rights and Justice." — Peter Tosh (from the album "Equal Rights.")

"When a people assume their God approves of their criminal action against another people, they have made God ungodly." — Dr. John Henrik Clarke

There is an African saying to the effect that Tortoise, on visiting its in-laws, was asked when it'd return. Tortoise was said to have replied: "When I'm disgraced!"

It is difficult to imagine what strategic reason informed Israel's insane war of aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza last December. But the images of Israeli war machines (mostly US supplied) smashing into defenseless Palestinian homes; the rocketing of UN facilities; the bombing of schools and mosques; only painted the state of Israel in the worst possible hue. About fourteen hundred Palestinians (400 children among them) were massacred to satiate Israel's lust for blood.

The ostensible reason the Israelis gave was to stop Hamas from firing its puny rockets, which are more of a nuisance than a threat to the Middle East's sole hyperpower. Aside from die-hard Zionists, no one believes it any longer when Israel claims that it is fighting a war of survival. And that the state of Israel contemptuously rejected UN entreaties only showcases the country as a lawless state governed by reprobate brigands with scant regard for international laws and norms. The West did itself grievous injury when its leaders appeared to be groveling to the Israelis. The international standing of the United States was dealt a serious blow when the prime minister of Israel, Olmert, arrogantly boasted about how he ordered President George W. Bush to make US Secretary of State Rice comply.

The spectacle of Israel's political leaders jostling to position themselves as the best killers is straight from the Old Testament. Listening to Israeli officials and their Zionist supporters, one is left with the impression that they all possess a one-track mind.

"Look at us," they keep yelling at the world, "we are the only democracy in the whole of the Middle East. Terrorists, ever prepared to do us in, are constantly besieging us. Look at our neighbors, the Palestinians, we have GIVEN them everything they asked for and yet they are killing our INNOCENT people. We are the victims of aggression. The whole world is against us. The UN is nothing but a club of terrorist states whose sole aim is to destroy the State of Israel. We have to DEFEND ourselves"

That the facts contradict them do not seem to bother these Zionists.

The only "democracy" where rioting children are regularly shot to death without compunction. The only "democracy" where "collective punishment" is the norm; where olive groves of Palestinian farmers are routinely destroyed; where schools, hospitals and places of worship are fair game for armed settlers; where Palestinian homes are routinely bulldozed for the offence of a single member of the family; where Palestinian properties are illegally confiscated by military authorities; where text containing the word Palestine is forbidden; where books (including those of one of their ex foreign ministers, Abba Eban) are banned; where occupied lands are brazenly stolen. Sing me another song, please!

The behavior of the Israelis begins to make sense only after one has read the Jewish Pentateuch or the five books of Moses. The books show the Jewish god, Jehovah, as a totally amoral, blood-thirsty, and implacable tyrant. Aggression, vindictiveness, pettiness and callousness were some of the attributes of Jehovah. The Jewish god knows only the language of aggression and unbridled violence. Jehovah was a god that would stay the movement of the sun to allow his general to utterly destroy his enemies. He was god who visited a vicious war on the Midianites killing all the virgins, all the men, all the babies, all "creatures that breathe," all houses, all cities. Jehovah was a god that will promise his people stolen land. The books informed us that: "And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the first-born of Pharaoh that sat upon his throne unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the first born of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians: and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead." Exodus XII, 29, 30.

And Jehovah gave his people clear instructions on morality: "When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her... thou shall go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou hast no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will." Deut. XXI, 10-14.

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Understanding Nigerians

Do you know what?

What, my friend?

Nigeria is the most misunderstood country in the world and Nigerians the most misinterpreted people on earth.

Ah, my friend, are we not exaggerating here?

No, my friend; Nigeria is the most undeservedly abused, the most pathologically hated, the most improperly maltreated, the most unjustifiably misunderstood, the most irrationally...

Easy, easy, take it easy. I get the picture, but why all this big grammar?

Just look at the facts...

Facts, where are they?

Do you know what Winston Churchill said?

My friend, what type of question is that? Churchill was a wordsmith and the question ought to be what Churchill didn't say. Did he say something about Nigeria?

Not exactly, but the quote is very relevant here. He said that the Soviet Union was an enigmatic puzzle wrapped in mystery, or something to that effect. I think that the man meant Nigeria. Nigeria surely comes close to that description.

Really?

Yes, really!

And don't you think that Nigerians deserve some of the opprobrium being thrown at them? All that everyone knows is that yours is a country where only very bad news emanates. When it is not soldiers taking over the reins of government, it's your 419 scammers stealing money from innocent people. Your youth are notorious for kidnapping expatriates and setting fires to oil wells. And we know how you people are prepared to cut throats during your not so infrequent religious riots. And your elections are always so fraudulent that it leaves everyone reeling. You certainly cannot blame anyone for that, can you?

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Bush's Last Hurrah

My fellow Americans and citizens of our great nation, it has been a great and humble, em, eh, humbling to have been your Commander in Chief in this turbulent two years, eh, eight terms, em, eight years of my administration against our homeland. I have been wonderful for my administration to steer the affairs of our great American nation, especially at this dangerous times when al Qaeda and their affiliations are preparing and are ever prepared to cause collateral damage to our freedom and liberty. The battle is great and it is wage to the survival of our way of life. We are a people nation. But we are also a fighting nation. We are a strong nation and people. Our soldiers, troops, marines, and sailors are helping to ensure the liberty of our safety and guarantee our love and freedom.

My fellow Americans, you know that we are a peaceful people. We love our neighbors and we care deeply about Africa. Why? some of you may genuinely ask me. It is something I love to do and it is very close to my heart and affection. When I went to Africa and see those wonderful people and met their kings and presidents, Laura and I said: Enough, never again shall a child go hungry. Africa is an incredible place of hostility, ehm, ehm, hospitality. When we invite the African kings to go and meet me at the White House, we retaliated their own hospitality for kind. Because when we went to Africa, Laura and me were treated like royal. The people have very little but they gave generously. So, Laura and I and officials from State and Defense departments welcome advice and said to ourselves, we shall encourage the growth of liberty in Africa. In recognition we gave freedom medals to some African chief. We shall help Africa to build frontiers of liberty and freedom in places like Zimbabwe and Sudan. Our effort is genuine and our work is great but together Africa shall march forward to posterity not in want and hatred but love and concern for her wonderful people.

Thanks to our gallant soldiers and troops and their fine commanders, we have extended the fire, em, eh, torch of liberty, to corners where dictators once roam. Democracy have prevailed in Iraq and Saddam Hussein is gone. So are his two terrible sons. The Iraq people are grateful to us for letting the light of liberty and freedom shine through the dark Arabic night and illuminate their houses. Today Iraqis go about their business not being afraid of secret police knocking on their houses, ehm, doors, at the middle of nowhere in the night to kill them off with poison gas and other weapons of mass murder at the hands of Saddam Hussein and his killers. Today Americans walk tall and proud in Iraq and elsewhere. Thanks to our vigilance and endurance Muslim killers are no longer in control in Iraq.

We shine our liberty light in Pakistan and in India where we helped prevail upon people between two antagonistic nuclear people, nations. Today, India is at peace with her neighbors. Pakistan has just elected a democratically elected President and the country is fighting side by side with the international community and NATO troops to convince down the Islamic terrorists who are destroying the name of the great religion of the Islam people. Islam is a great religion of peace and is one of the three great religions in the world. But al Qaeda people hid behind this great religion to spread intolerance propaganda among the people and children at their schools in Pakistan. I have ordered our Special Forces to initiate infiltrate to known terrorist cells in Pakistan and across. I say to al Qaeda, you cannot run but you can hide. Like they say in my Texas: "The Sheriff gonna get you."

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Ghana's Elections: Good news is No News

I am disappointed

Why is that, my dear friend?

Don't you dare call me your friend, my friend!

Ah, what's bugging you?

I am sorely disappointed!

In me, what have I done to wrong you, my friend?

You and your bunch of friends from the Western press...

Eh, what the heck are you talking about?

And you call yourself a friend!

What are you talking about? Why are you in such a nasty funk?

I am talking about you Western media people!

And what on earth is wrong with us?

That is exactly the problem, ah! You still do not know why I am so angry with you lot?

No, I don't know.

For crying out loud, we had one of the best elections ever conducted anywhere in the whole wide world and none of you guys deemed it newsy enough to write about it. I search in vain for anything positive about the fairness, the freeness, the drums, the dances, the electric atmosphere generated... Nothing. Zilch. That's what I got, Niet! Nothing from the BBC right up to the Constant Negative News channel you call CNN. None of you have anything to say.

Oh, that! Is that what's bugging you?

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Girl-friends’ wrath

Abena slapped me!

William Shakespeare is generally credited with the quote: “Hell has no fury than a woman scorned.” But actually it was another satirist, William Congreve, who, in the “Mourning Bride" (1697), wrote: “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

The bard is seldom wrong but on this occasion, I guess the rhymester and Mr. Congreve are dead (no pun intended) wrong. It would appear that they both never slept with their girl-friends’ best friend in order to experience what a woman’s wrath is all about.

It happened to me. Abena is my girl-friend; her friend’s name is Naa Deidei. You might ask why I decided to ‘know’ (to use the Biblical expression) my girl-friend’s best friend and you’ll be right. It as much puzzlement to me as it must be to you. If I am remotely religious, I will borrow the popular expressions of our numerous pastors who have been caught in flagrante delicto, and say that ‘the devil made me do it.’

Since yours truly is an atheist, you will have to make do with my saying that I got seriously carried away. I am no celluloid martyr but I ‘knew’ Naa Deidei fully cognizant of my (mis)deed. Another of great mysteries is that ‘that woman’ (to borrow Bill Clinton’s phrase) cannot even hold a candle to my beloved’s beauty.

Abena is a beauty, I tell no lie. And she is a maestro at swinging those luscious hips of hers. God, your name be Praise! But then, hmm, Naa has one or two things going for her: (1) a luscious mouth that look like it was designed to give man endless pleasures and (2) a wonderful buttock that look like they were molded for heavy (what else?) DUTIES.

No, don’t get me wrong. My girl-friend is not deprived in that department either (Abena is actually well-endowed herself), but it is just that what Naa packed at her back would make Angel Melaku (Google her up if you don’t know her) looked like one of those skinny bimbos Western magazines splash on their covers.

I clearly remember the day Abena brought her friend to my house. I just couldn’t help staring at those pair of bulbous flesh. Naa’s mighty cleavage is another sight to behold.

“Are they real?” I asked my girl-friend when she came back from seeing her friend off.

“What?” My girl-friend was askance.

“That ass your friend packs?”

She burst out laughing. “I hope that you are not planning anything with my friend.”

“Hell, no. But I will not lie to you, she’s utterly desirable. I will only stare and not touch.” I said and I truly meant it then.

“For your own sake, I hope that you do not. Otherwise I am going to castrate you myself.”

We laughed it off then. It looks like eons ago. Today here I stood – a liar and an adulterer (since we are not married is that technically correct?) begging my girlfriend for forgiveness.

So, how exactly did I manage to seduce Naa? True, to tell I did no such thing. If there was any seduction, it was purely her fault. No, no, I am not some coward trying to pass the buck.

But here is the story. Abena, my girl-friend works in Accra and live with her folks at Mamobi. She visits me regularly. Yours truly live in Kasoa where I have my modest manse. Naa is jobless (let’s employ that popular Ghanaian word!) and she happens to live in Kasoa. I have a general idea about where she lives but yours truly have never been there. And in all these years, I never thought of her as anything more than an acquaintance even though she has, on several occasions, followed Abena to my place where they share meals and jokes and gossips. I never even thought of her as my ‘type.’

It was your average June midday; the weather was as unpredictable as a woman’s mood. I was doing serious justice to a delicious meal Abena had prepared for me. Since you are so curious, it’s Omu Tuo with groundnut stew and large chunks of fresh fish prepared just the way I liked it. A knock on the door brought a frown to my face. I hate to be interrupted, especially during a meal. My frown turned into anxiety when I saw Naa Dedei standing there looking like a woman in distress.

“He has thrown me out!” She lamented as serious tears welled her eyes.

“What?” I didn’t comprehend what she was saying.

“Kwesi has thrown me out!” She wailed like a banshee.

“What?” I repeated like an idiot.

Kwesi is her fianc√© and I gathered that he has already performed the ‘Agbo shimo’ (knocking in Ga). The marriage is scheduled for later in the year. I can understand her righteous anguish.

“What am I going to do?” She asked rhetorically. The tears were now flowing freely like the Wli Waterfalls. She made no attempt to clean her face. I got a clean kerchief and gave it to her. She cleans some of her tears and blows her nose noisily. She hiccups spasmodically and begins to wail anew. I was standing close to her so I offer her my shoulder to cry on. She sobs mightily against me and shudders with grief. My hand finds her head and I rub her hair and I make comforting noises.

“Thank you, Femi. Thank you.” She sobs and presses herself against me.

“It’s Ok. We are going to try and talk to him.” I said meaning Abena and I will try to intervene with Kwesi.

She was wearing a shimmering flimsy and, true to tell, she wears no bra. Her hard nipples pressed tightly against me and she clings to me like her very survival depends on my body warmth. One thing leads to another and I found her tongue doing serious exploration in my mouth. Let’s not get pornographic, but I knew Naa.

“How long has this affair being going on.” My girl-friend wanted to know.

“Look… ehm, ehm, are we not being over dramatic here?”

“How long?” My friend will not let go.

“Holy jumping horse! Look, it was just a fling.”

“And with my best friend?” Abena was driving the knife in

I had no answer to that.

“Do you love her?”

“Holy shit! What are you driving at?”

“Your adultery.”

“Technically, it’s no adultery. Infidelity, yes. And I’m mightily sorry. Look, it was not something we planned.”

“It just happened.”

“You’re mighty right. It just happened. Talk of fate and circumstance.” I added unnecessarily.

“So, if the fate and the circumstance present themselves again, it’s bound to happen?”

“Hell, no! You are really not making this easy for me. Look, I am mightily sorry for what happened.”

“You didn’t answer me when I asked if you are in love with my best friend.” Abena accused me.

“What has love got to do with it?” I challenged her.

“Do you mean to tell me that you are perfectly capable of having sex with someone you do not love?”

“Any honest man will tell you that sex has absolutely nothing to do with love. Sex for male is purely physical thing.”

“So you don’t love me either?”

“God Almighty! What are you driving at?”

“You just told me that women are purely a physical thing for you. And since I am a woman, I surmised that includes me just as well”

“Holy smoke!” I ejaculated. “You surely have a way of twisting my words. Of course I love you. I love you with all my heart.” I declared passionately.

“But you obviously do not love me well enough not to be giving it to my best friend.”

“Let’s say it was an accident that is never bound to happen ever again.”

“Are you going to marry her?” Abena teased and actually laughed. That was when I thought she was mellowing.

“Look,” I began and start walking towards her. If only I could reach and hold her. Press that lithe body into mine. Kiss those succulent lips and let my tongue explore those familiar territories. And listen to her whimpering as I press hard into her and rub the small of her back. As she ground her loins into mine and whimper those sweet nonsense. As I carry her into bed and prepare for those violent encounter that leaves both of us spent and satiated. Everything I going to be all right. Everything is bound to be fine. Of course, you can do it, Femi. You have done it hundreds of times. It’s going to be fine, just fine.

My hand reached and touched her breast. That was when Abena slapped my face.

Nkrumah Lives!

(Killed by the CIA, Commemorated by Pepsico)

“See them praising Old Marcus Garvey
Hear them extolling his name, No, he’s great yeah
But all these time, all they do is fallacy
If he was ill right now, he goes to jail the same.” – Peter Tosh

Were hypocrisy capable of killing, the world would, mercifully, have been rid of people of the European stock (apology to Baffour Ankomah).

Forty Three years after agents of America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) toasted themselves for successfully organizing the overthrow of Africa’s leading light, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, an American corporation, Pepsico, organized a beach bash to celebrate the great man’s 99th birthday anniversary.

A friend invited me to a party to celebrate Nkrumah’s day at the Accra La Pleasure Beach in Accra. Sunday, September 21st was the day. A die-hard Nkrumahist, I would not miss it for the world. So I joined my friends and trooped to La Pleasure Beach to share ideas about the great man whose ideas still remain so relevant to Africa as they were when he made them those long years ago.

To my utter consternation and anger, I discovered that the event has been organized by American soft (they say) drink giant, Pepsico, the manufacturer of Pepsi among other sugary stuffs that are killing our folks slowly by giving them such debilitating illness like diabetes. No coke for me, thank you very much. What would Nkrumah be thinking were he to gaze down upon us and see how shameless we have become that we see nothing ironic or wrong that we have to accept Pepsico offer to organize a party for him. What exactly is wrong with us as a people that we seem to be beyond irony? They have killed Nkrumah for us but we need not insult the great man by accepting blood dollars from those whose hands are dripping with his blood.

No matter what his detractors, who today hold the reins of power and are doing their damndest to obliterate his legacy say, Nkrumah legacies are as relevant and are as pristine as they were when he enunciated them. History attested that he’s greater than all his critics combined. With the possible exception of the great Marcus Garvey, no other African ever worked as assiduously as Nkrumah to make our continent relevant. It was little wonder when Africans overwhelmingly voted him the African Personality of the Millenium. Say what you may, Nkrumah lives!

Those who say that we harp too much on what the Albinos, whom some called White, did and continue to do to us should go and read up on their history. It is not the properly educated African who will question our condemnation of those who made it their stock in trade to destroy all that is beautiful in Africa, only to turn around and sneer at us. The Albinos since the dawn of history have made it their business to negatively impact on our lives. The slavery and the colonialism are just recent examples of the perfidy the Albinos have committed against us. Go and get and read ‘The Destruction of Black Civilisation,’ by Chancellor Williams. It is a classic which, if we know what is good for us should be compulsory read at all our tertiary institutions. I believe that Chancellor Williams book together with ‘The Isis Papers,’ are two books every African should do herself the favour of reading.

It is sad commentary on us that when we look around us, we do not see any street or monument named after these great two great sons of Africa. Nkrumah is grudgingly acknowledged in the country he helped founded. The park named after him at the Brong Ahafo region (which he created) has since been nebulously renamed ‘Jubilee Park.’ Even in death, his enemies who sold their conscience and their country to the CIA would not leave him alone. Contrary to hallowed African tradition, they continue to pursue their perfidious vengeance against a dead man whose only crime was to want the best for his country and his continent!

Sadly, the stories of Garvey and Nkrumah are not being taught at our schools. Our children are cramming their heads full with fable stories of Arabian Desert gods and their Son and Prophet, yet I have seen an African got out of university without having heard the name: Marcus Garvey! Kwame Nkrumah’s name is being lumped together with those of traitors as though he were their equal.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey didn’t invent the idea of Pan Africanism, but he did more than any human being to popularize and brought it to the consciousness of Africans everywhere. He gave Africans hope when they were at their lowest point in life. His genius was in realizing the simple fact that until the Blackman (no sexism intended here) can build a viable country of their own and through their own efforts, no one anywhere would respect the African. Any Blackman who has ever travelled outside the continent will not fail to recognize the truism of Garvey’s prophetic words.

Yet, our mis-educated elite, with their colonial mind-sets, are doing their best to promote us as Non-People with no history, no identity and no Personality. They have successfully turned back the tide of time so much so that today we do not produce a single thing that we consume.

Winning the Nobel Prize was not enough to save Professor Wole Soyinka from being humiliated by White immigration officers. Garvey urged Africans to look back and draw inspiration from their well-tapered history. He urged Africans to build the institutions which they will own and control. He believed passionately that there is no force on earth that can withstand a United Africa.

Which Patriot’s heart will not bleed today when he sees the low point to which our dear land has sunk. To all intent and purposes Ghana has been successfully re-colonised. Our dear land is a classical case of a vassal state. Let’s leave all pretenses alone who, in his right mind, would argue that a meeting between our President and the President United States of America is a Meet of EQUALS?

The Albinos now control almost every facet of our lives. Those who believe that we are a Gold nation only need to go to any of our mines where it is as clear as crystal who the true owners are. The water corporation was given to the Dutch with the demented argument that private ownership is inherently superior to a social ownership.

What exactly are the ideas propounded by Nkrumah which are still germane today? The most profound, I believe, was his call for continental unity. Many are still today who sneer at the great man’s call. But we are all witness to the vast tragedy that has befallen our motherland in the years that followed our so-called independence.
Many pseudo-intellectuals faulted the Osagyefo’s idea on purely jejune premises. But one does not need a Nobel Caliber intelligence to recognize the simple logic in Nkrumah’s clarion call. Apart from Ethiopia and Egypt all the so-called countries in Africa are colonial inventions. And apart from the two none make any historical or geographical sense and nations like the Gambia simply makes no sense at all. When Nkrumah asked that we unite he was simply asking the so-called Ghanaian to look at the so-called Ivorian as a brother because Akan-speaking people formed the majority in both countries. A very good book to read on this subject is ‘Partitioned Africa,’ by Professor Asiwaju. And those who seek solid knowledge on the links that bind Africans should get and read Cheikh Anta Diop’s classic, ‘The Cultural Unity of Black Africa.’

In fact, it takes only common sense, good eyes and good ears to see that Africans are the same people wherever they find themselves on the continental. Check out the ceremonies, the mode of dressing, the way food are prepared, the way birth are celebrated and children are named. Check out the burial rituals. Study the relationship between and among people. Listen to the songs and watch carefully the dances.

Coupled with Nkrumah’s clarion call for continental unity was his idea of self-reliance. Africa is vastly blessed with mineral resources. How good and pleasant it would be were we to be blessed with leaders with courage and with vision! That (visionary leaders) is the only thing lacking in our quest for equation for sustainable development. No matter and regardless of how long we continue to delude ourselves, our developmental strategies and efforts shall come to naught until we can forge patriotic leaders very passionate about their love for the motherland.
Let our pitiable leaders stopped deluding us with the lies that so-called ‘our friends’ in the West will somehow helped us to develop our economies. This is a lie as outrageous as it is senseless. First of all, international relations are not based on friendships; they are based on self-interests. The Europeans, the Asians, the Arabs are not in Africa to look for friendship; they are here to look after their interests. It is as pure and as simple as that. Secondly, no nation has been developed by foreigners and none shall ever be. We can make that Femi’s first principle on Economic development.

We are all witness to how our ‘friendship’ with the West has wiped away our manufacturing sector. Our ‘friends’ continue to dump their subsidized products on us. Oh, they borrow us the money to buy their products. Of course, they charge usurious interests on these loans; after all they are such a nice people. What a wonderful friendship!

Those who understand a colonial relationship will not fail to realize how thoroughly Ghana has become a vassal state. Our mis-rulers have totally wiped the productive sector of our economy. In the 1960s Ghana used to produce the shoes her citizens wear. We had factories refining our gold – however rudimentary. We had canaries that canned our processed fishes and other products. We had textile mills where our men folks earn honest living in order to cloth us. Today our folks continue to clothe themselves in thrown-away junks from Europe. Even our women are buying used (or abused) panties and bras! In those days, we had large plantations of rubber, oil and cocoa which were feeding our nascent industries.

Today, we are nation of petty traders. Those who call themselves businessmen in our country are those scourging the rubbish bins of Europe, Asia and America to scavenge ancient electronics, panties and other junks to come and poison our environment.

Maybe those who argued about fifty years ago that the whiteman should stay as we were not ready for independence still hold the same opinion today.

Surely, we are moving forward!

Our Confounding Rulers

In few weeks President John Kufuor will hand the presidential sash over, exit the Presidency and become an ordinary mortal like you and I. Ok, there are some benefits accruing to ex-presidents and we should not expect him to start queuing for Kenkey or joining Trotro like the rest of the hoi poloi. But long gone will be the lawless outriders, the Gestapo security officials with their fascist countenances, scheming party jobbers, petty bureaucrats, insidious foreign potentates and the hangers-on, hypocritical praise singers, court jesters and the lot who accompany him on every occasion.

The genius of diplomacy, Henry Kissinger, once opined that power is an Aphrodisiac. Kissinger certainly must know what he was talking about. But what remains baffling is that the powerful people behave as though they are immune to the biological laws that govern ordinary mortals. Power is a transient thing; but we won’t know that by our leaders’ behaviours. It was Mr. Shakespeare who said that the world is a stage in which we mortals are mere actors. It is a profound truth which seems to escape those at the helm of our nation’s affairs.

On some good days I spend my time just watching my fellow beings as they pursue the follies they call life. I am not morbid and I particularly hate going to mortuaries. But the few occasions I went to mortuary sobered me sufficiently me to admit the truism in the Yoruba saying that ‘Ile aiye ilea san.’ It means that the earth is just an abstraction. As one wit once put it: “what if we are figments of our imagination?”
I have also taken time to watch our politicians as they continue to bestride the stage like omnipotent colossi. Yesterday’s nonentities who suddenly find themselves at positions of authority start to behave like feudal potentates. Just like week, I was almost run over by some NPP stalwarts at a traffic light in Kasoa. The light has clearly given the go-ahead for pedestrians to cross when suddenly this 4-wheel adorned with the accoutrements of the ruling party rushed on like a cat from hell scattering yours truly and others. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t have the time to take the number of the vehicle. The police officer I related my ordeal to say there is not much anyone could do without the registration number of the offending vehicle: I agreed with him.

The most confounding thing about our leaders is their sheer lack of vision. President Kufuor is at the dusk of his presidency. He has spent eight good years and he is leaving our electricity in the same shape he met it. The same goes for water and food and shelter. Whatever his vociferous supporters and admirers say, I judged him a visionless leader totally bereft of any idea about how to move the nation forward. Not even his most ardent supporter will him call an inspirer. He’s definitely not a motivational leader. I cannot recall any brilliant thought in any of the speeches he’s given. Forty years after he joined the ancestors, we today remember the incomparable Nkrumah for the Akosombo Dam, the Tema Harbour\city, the Tema highway among other things too numerous to recount here. Whatever his shortcomings, we even remember President Rawlings for his institutional reforms (CHIRAJ, respectable Electoral Commission etc). What are we going to remember President John Kufuor for say, next year?

There are those who will credit him with building roads and things. All well and jolly, but why do we still cannot generate and distribute enough electricity to power the few disarticulate industries in our land? Why do we still cannot produce enough pipe-borne water for our people? No, sir, we are not asking for the moon. We are not asking for any pie in the sky. Those who argued that one president cannot solve our problems are simply incapable of thinking – straight or crooked. This is the year 2008 and we should be ashamed to find in our midst those who still think that producing electricity and water for our people is way way beyond our capabilities!
Think of it this way: until we can get the basics right, we simply cannot make a headway. So long as our energies are still being consumed by search for life’s basic like food, water and power, so long shall we continue to grope in the darkness for that elusive cure to our developmental challenges. It’s quite simple: No mortal can be creative on an empty stomach. And there is clearly a limit to what one can imagine when the senses are occupied with thoughts of getting water or electricity.

Do I see a Messiah among those clamoring for the Presidency? No, I do not. I see the same bunch of politicians making the same nonsensical promises they have neither the wish nor the desire to keep. I have read the manifestoes of the two biggest parties – NPP and NDC. They are long on the pie-in-the-sky promises but very short on how the promises can be kept. Luckily for them, there is no provision in our laws which make it possible for us to sue them for broken promises.

The NPP 2008 manifesto is substantially the same one the party offered in 2000 and 2004. Space will not permit me to do a forensic analysis here, but any honest analyst cannot but be appalled by the audacity with which the party is trying to hoodwink us again. This beggared the question: what fools do our politicians really take us for? The NDC is not better: its manifesto offers nothing substantially different from the NPP and it’s simply rehash of what it’s been offering since the dawn of time.

Both parties manifestoes are simply hogwash of neo-liberal promises. There are no ideological differences between the two parties which is why the fight between them is degenerating to personality clashes. If there are any substantial differences between the NPP and the NDC, why should the issue of a Presidential candidate’s health become the domineering campaign issue? Or why should the issue of what drug a candidate consumed be consuming so much publicity?

The two parties that are of different ideological orientation from the neo-liberal NPP and NDC, the PNC and CPP are doing the nation a great disservice by their continuing schism. And they are doing the greatest disservice to the memory of the greatest African of all time, Kwame Nkrumah!

At a time like this when the nation cries out for new vision and new direction, it is crime for the leadership of the rump party of the Osagyefo to continue to bicker! They have betrayed that their personal egos are of more importance to them than the salvation of the great nation that was the dream of Nkrumah to build. Alas, the lessons of past elections were not enough to move the leaders of the PNC and the CPP to bury the hatchet and unite to fight the Neo-liberalists. It’s sad and it’s a very big shame.

It would have matter little if our elite do not travel outside our shores and have not seen what human beings have inspired themselves to be and to build. President Kufuor is our most travelled president and he must be in the top league of the world’s most travelled leaders. What is confounding is that he goes to these foreign places; he sees the sheer physical achievements of other people. He enjoys uninterrupted electricity, water and he travelled in well-built and well-maintained highways. He passes through clean streets and sees human beings decently clothed and fed. He mayhaps have visited a park or two in the countries he has visited.

My questions is what goes on in his mind when he comes back to the country where he’s the President and sees his compatriots struggling to buy used clothes (obroni wa wu) in dirty streets? What does our President feels when he sees his citizens struggling in hot sun to sell dog chains on our streets? What does our President thinks when he sees his own people dancing for joy in adverts for Thai Rice, Italian tomato puree or English beef? What does President Kufuor feels when he sees Ghanaian children with Kwashiokor bellies running around naked on the street of his nation’s capital?

I decline to accept that developing our economy is beyond our capabilities. We have the blueprints of how the other people did it. And contrary to what our leaders are telling us, it does not require tons of money, but lots of imaginative leadership. President Roosevelt New Deal is a good example of a leader inspiring his people to take their destiny firmly in their hands. The Canadians also did it; so did the Europeans. These countries achieved their miracles relatively debt-free.

After the Great Depression of 1929/30, many of these countries launched very ambitious programmes to build their infrastructures, feed and educate their people. Schools, hospitals, dams, parks and other things were built and these served the purpose of galvanizing the economies, employing people and creating a middle class that served as the engine and the motivator to move the economy forward.

Contrary to the lies the Neo-liberals are today telling us, such government interventions did not ruin the economy. Au contrari, the massive interventions of the governments stimulated the economies into higher heights. Today, our leaders, having bought into the lies of the Bretton Wood institutions, have washed their hands off of managing our economy. They have withdrawn all the subsidies that would have enabled us to properly educate our children or keep our farmers in business and our workers in productive employment.

It is so galling that many of those who today charge themselves with ruling us have spent some time in the lands that we called advanced. They have enjoyed the facilities provide for their citizens. They have strolled in parks, enjoy a swim in the pools and have patronized well-stocked public libraries. Why does it never occur to them to try and provide the same in their own country for their own people to enjoy? This is the most baffling of all the questions. Why, why and why?

What makes it possible for our rulers not to be able to think outside of their personal comfort? Why don’t we have parks in our cities? Why are public libraries swimming so glaringly lacking in our towns?

I live in Kasoa which, although no statistics are available, must be among the fastest growing metropolis in the country. In this year and age, many inhabitants of this vast ghetto still brave snakes and vermin in order to answer the calls of nature in the bush. The same is true in all the unplanned ghettoes that we call cities and towns in our land save for Tema which remains the only city in Ghana with decent public toilet.

PS: As a holy book warned: without knowledge, a people perish. If you know a city in Ghana that boasts a decent public library, kindly let me know.

Nigeria: the hunter has become the hunted.

Nigeria’s Supreme Court has finally confirmed the election of Umar Yar’dua as the duly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The ruling, though based on legal technicality, put paid to efforts by two ‘losing’ Presidential candidate to annul the elections which was so stupefyingly fraudulent that it left Nigerians totally flabbergasted. The international community was left reeling with incredulity at the impudent nature of the electoral theft.

The election fraud perpetrated by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP – it claimed to be the largest party in Africa) was so audacious and so mind-boggling that Nigerians (they are used to electoral, financial, political shenanigans), were too bewildered to react in any meaningful way. It took time for the other candidates - former military strongman, General Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, a while to collect their wits and head for the courts. Almost two years after the elections, the apex court has ruled that the litigants failed to prove their case.
Many were Nigerians who breathed a sigh of relief after the apex court’s pronouncement. They are of the opinion that their President will now have the time and the presence of mind to manage the affairs of the nation which has been left tottering. Yar’dua’s presidency started life as ‘Baba Go-slow,’ he has since been promoted to ‘Baba No Motion, because of the snail-pace of the administration.’ His rule has been characterized mainly by sheer ineptitude. For example, it took him a good five months to effect a cabinet reshuffle. And it was done in such shoddy a manner that many Nigerians wondered if their President really had what he take to rule them.

That Nigerians are a patient people can be seen by the stoicism with which they bore years of mis-rule by their leaders – military as well as civilians. Few African nations have been badly mis-governed as Nigeria, yet the people continue to hope for the best even from clearly hopeless rulers like Yar’dua. That the nation still plods ahead say much about the doggedness of the average Nigerians. Many Nigerians go through life without getting anything from the state apart from occasional slaps from police officers and kicks from soldiers. Nigerians, like most Africans, are eternal optimists. They believe that tomorrow will bring a brighter day, even though their rulers continue to short-change them.

But the sheer ineptitude of their current ruler is taxing Nigerians sorely to the point of threatening to push them beyond the threshold of their tolerance. An African adage says that the eyes that will last until evening will not begin by oozing pus in the morning. Yar’dua performance after almost two years in office can inspire confidence only in the incredibly optimists. For those not in the know, Nigeria’s presidents are entitled to two four-years terms. Yar’dua has spent almost fifty percent of his first term and yet he’s only managed to compound the woes of Nigeria. He has worsen the plight of his compatriots to such an extent that very few harbor the hope (illusions) that he can remedy or salvage anything in the remaining time he has in office.

Although he was the first University graduate to rule Nigeria, Yar’dua, in office, has displayed such ineptitude that he made unlettered army Generals look like rocket scientists. A dullard does not even begin to describe this vapid, colorless, characterless man from Katsina.

With Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerians knew and felt that there was clearly someone in charge of their nation’s affairs. Yar’dua appears like a somnambulist sleep-walking his ways around. He has given Nigerians neither vision nor direction. He appears like a man totally out of his depth. About the only thing he has so far was to surround himself with his Hausa\Fulani tribesmen whose only qualification is their unfettered sycophancy.

And to the amazement of Nigerians, the only area where the Yar’dua’s government has displayed any zeal of seriousness is in the persecution of former anti-crime czar, Nuhu Ribadu. Even the harshest critic of former President Olusegun Obasanjo believed that the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was a significant plus for his administration.

In pre-EFCC days, Nigeria was noted as haven for 419-scam artists, yahoo-boyism. And as rulers continue to confuse public treasury with personal accounts, the country consistently topped the league of the most corrupt nations on earth. Obasanjo tapped police officer, Nuhu Ribadu, to head the EFCC. Within four years the agency registered enough success that not even the most vociferous noises of its numerous critics can dilute. Ribadu did not eliminate corruption from Nigeria, but he ensured that corrupt officials stopped treating the Nigerian people with disdain and impunity. He curbed the excesses of state governors who collect their state’s allocation from the federation account and travel out to lodge them in their foreign accounts. Ribadu and his men also sent the yahoo boys scurrying out of the country. The successes of the EFCC are too numerous to recount here but suffice it to day that under Ribadu, Nigeria’s EFFC became a force that members of the corrupt elite have to contend with.

Before he left office, Obasanjo re-confirmed the appointment of Ribadu as the anti-corruption boss, or so it was thought. Nigerians awoke to a rude shock when it was announced that Ribadu was been removed as the head of the EFCC. There were strong protests from across the land. The Presidency did a flim-flam before coming up with the excuse that Ribadu was being sent to the Nigeria’s Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, to further his studies. The NIPSS organizes specialized courses for very high-level government officials. Nigerians who thought that that was the end of Ribadu’s travails were sorely to be disappointed. The police authorities somehow found fault with Ribadu’s rank.

Obasanjo had given Ribadu a double promotion before he appointed him the head of the EFCC. The police authorities said that the promotion was faulty and they demoted him by two ranks. That was not all that stinks in the drama – the police authorities also post-humously demoted a dead officer! Nigerians smelled persecution and Human Rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, went to court to challenge the demotion. Ribadu also went to court challenging his demotion and asking the court to stop the police authorities from further harassing him.

Then came an interesting conundrum: NIPSS restrict its admittance only to the top level of the of civil service echelon. Ribadu went to attend his course as an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) which happens to be the cut-off level for police officers. When the police authorities, apparently acting on orders from above, demoted him from Assistant Inspector General of Police to Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), they unwittingly let out that they are crass incompetent fools.
The authorities have removed Ribadu as head of the EFCC; they have exiled him to a study at NIPSS; they have demoted him, what next to do? Ribadu successfully completed his course and was slated to graduate. It happens that as part of the graduating ceremonies, graduates of NIPSS must meet and shake hands with the President of Nigeria. Ribadu used the occasion to turn the table against his tormentors. In a clever move that made the Nigeria Police Farce (sic) looked utterly stupid, Ribadu turned out in a civilian garb instead of his uniform. He met and shook hands with President Yar’dua and this sent the police authorities into a deep, nasty funk. They set up a committee to probe Ribadu and look into what they considered his insubordination and disrespect to the Presidency. Their argument was that as a serving, loyal officer of a disciplined force Ribadu should have gone to the President in his officer’s uniform.

Only an intelligent and clever person could have avoided the trap that Ribadu escaped. Had he gone to see Mr. President in the uniform of a DIG, the police authorities would have cried insubordination. And had he gone in as AIG, it’d appear that he has accepted his demotion which was a matter pending in a court of law.
The panel constituted by the police authorities has since recommended the dismissal of Ribadu from the Nigerian Police Force. It is not certain whether or not the authorities will accept the recommendation of the dismissal of a brave and outstanding officer whose only crime was stepping on the toes of thieving politicians.

What is bewildering Nigerians is why Yar’dua regime which is slumbering in other areas of governance find it necessary to expend so much efforts and resources in persecuting Nuhu Ribadu, one of very few Nigerians who didn’t abuse their position of authority to loot the national treasury. Under his chairmanship, the EFCC recovered some four billion dollars stolen wealth for the Nigerian state. Under him, Nigeria’s status in the world of corruption improved tremendously. The Nigerian government won kudos for been seen to be genuinely fighting the canker of corruption and the EFCC won many laurels as its officials were seen to be bold, fearless and totally committed. For crying out loud, Nuhu Ribadu was charged to do a job by a President and to all accounts he rendered competent and impeccable services to his fatherland? Why hound such man? It show height of gratuitous ingratitude for Yar’dua to persecute a noble Nigerian who chose to serve his nation instead of getting plum jobs at the UN or another international organizations. History will surely judge the mindlessness and pettiness of Umar Yar’dua harshly as he continue to squander Nigeria’s resources in persecuting one of the few shining stars in the nation’s darkened constellation.
It was Ribadu’s wish to see a Nigeria where corrupt politician would not dare show their faces in public again. His mission was to ensure that Nigerian politics was so totally sanitized that crooks and their godfathers will stop holding the nation to ransom.

Many were those who lamented Ribadu’s high-handedness whilst at the EFCC, but those people are forgetting that corruption cannot be cured by waving kid gloves at the perpetrators. The future of Nigeria has been crippled by leaders who failed to utilize the people’s money for the benefits of the people. It is said that Nigeria has earned close to half a trillion dollars from oil yet there is not much to show for it. The youth of the Niger Delta have taken up arms because corrupt officials ensured that they continue to live in poverty whilst laying Nigeria’s golden eggs. The country yearly allocate fantastic sums for road construction and maintenance, yet many fine Nigerians continue to lose their lives because the road networks are so bad. Ribadu didn’t spare his own police comrade; among the first casualties of his anti-corruption jihad was an ex Inspector General of police who stole the money allocated to the welfare of his officers. Nigerians continue to fall victims to violent armed robberies because the police are too disillusioned to fight crime.
Some Professors at Nigeria’s premier university, University of Ibadan (UI), recently took Yar’dua to the cleaners. In an address read on his behalf at the 60th anniversary of UI, Yar’dua queried why the university was not listed among the 1000 best in the world. This did not go down well with the Professors. They chronicled the various shortcomings that have reduced university education in Nigeria into a huge joke. They cited lack of basics like water, electricity, library facilities, internet connectivity, poor salary, etc, etc. They asked what his government has done to address all the shortcomings. Finally, they challenged Yar’dua to tell them what would be his own score were world leaders to be rated. There has been no response so far from the President and his handlers.

Yar’dua is a sorry apology of a leader. He reminds one so much about the colossally inept Shehu Shagari who allowed his ministers to loot the Nigerian Treasury and later turned around to blame illegal West African immigrants for Nigeria’s economic woes and sent many of them packing!

How not to believe in Ghana

For the seriousness of the topic discussed in this piece, I am going to use languages I have refused to employ in my entire writing life. I never knew the occasion will arrive that I will have a cause to insult anyone. To my readers, I say sorry!)

“Any person or group of person who attempts to suspend or overthrow the constitution shall suffer death.” – Chapter 1, Article 1-3, the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Although I am unconditionally opposed to the death penalty, I can understand the emotions that necessitated that clause in our constitution. It is simply beyond belief that a group of politicians can attempt to thwart the mandate of the people like the so-called haws of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did during the runoff of the 2008 Presidential elections.

I have never held the NPP Presidential candidate for the 2008 elections, Nana Akuffo-Addo, in high esteem and his conduct in this election did nothing to endear him to me. His conduct confirmed all negative attributes he supposedly possesses: arrogance to the point of boorishness, overbearing, egotistic and egoistic. His conceited swagger makes him look like an insensitive egomaniac. He looks and conducts himself like a spoilt brat.

Nana Akuffo-Addo’s election campaign slogan was ‘Believe in Ghana.’ We have his expensive posters plastered all over the nation, and there he was smiling and exhorting Ghanaians to believe in Ghana. But when the times come for this man to practice what he preached, he failed miserably. He therefore revealed himself as a total fraud for whom words are mere rhetoric with no currency at all. I do not know whether to laugh or cry as I watched Akuffo-Addo and his cabal of shameless, power-hungry hyenas engaging themselves in feverish and very obscene political and legal gymnastics in order to win elections at all cost. And in these attempts, Nana Akufo Addo was revealed as a desperado with the integrity of a hyena, the morality of a vampire and the ethics of a prostitute. His team desperation reveals a cabal with very serious secrets they are afraid will be revealed once they are out of power. While would they otherwise be so crudely tenacious at serving the people? Pardon my sarcasm!

Whatever spin we try to put on it, the antics of Akuffo-Addo and his co-sufferers bodes ill for the future of this nation. You only need to browse the internet to see how Ghana became the butt of jokes of Afro-pessimists (those that believe that the African is still not ready for self-government). That a man could be desperate enough for power to taint the image of this beloved land is a criminal folly of the highest degree. That a politician could be so blinded by inordinate ambition as to want to throw this country into mayhem just to assume power is enough to make one want to throw up. And that this same man was from a party that touts among its credentials the rule of law is enough to make the head reel!

Akuffo Addo revealed that his slogan of: “Believe in Ghana,’ is a mere electioneering slogan which we should not take seriously. And why should we? We all witness the ferociousness of the NPP campaign machine and we saw their antics when the writing came on the wall that they have been rejected at the polls. The NDC cleverly took up the moral high ground and allow the NPP to tear itself apart. It was not only the image of his nation that Akuffo Addo battered, the NPP as a party will find it extremely difficult to regain its standing as a serious party of patriots. What the elders of the party could do, and do immediately, is to jettison Akuffo Addo and his cabal of petty-minded stalwarts as fast as possible. Nothing but the integrity of the NPP is at stake!

Let us look at it this way: The New Patriotic Party, NPP, has been most vociferous in condemning the National Democratic Party, NDC, as a party of thugs headed by an unrepentant and unreformed dictator. They have used their newspapers (including state owned ones) and their radio stations to castigate the NDC while painting themselves as democratic angels. But the records today fail to support their jejune and inebriated claims.

Ex-President JJ Rawlings was a military man who transfigured himself into a democrat. With his military background, President Rawlings never claimed to be a democrat, but no one can accuse him of not being a man of the highest integrity. When the winds of change blew across the world and military regimes became unfashionable, Rawlings gracefully bowed to the will of the people. He had the power and the influence to dabaru (a Nigerian parlance for spoil) everything and I am sure that there must have been people in the NDC for whom the loss of power must have been traumatic, but the NDC did not take the country to the brink. Atta Mills lost elections on two occasions and the heavens did not fall. Even when he contested the results of the 2004 elections, he very graciously conceded defeat. But the bald-headed dwarf representing the NPP was willing, until the last minute, to let the temple fall.

While is it that it is the diminutive desperado who brandishes all manners of degrees and accolades who allow his stubbornness to bring the country to the edge of civil war?

The result has finally been declared and the dust is settling but while we welcome our new President, it is imperative that our leaders realize that there is something basically flawed and fundamentally defective with our choice of system of electing our leaders. Our four-yearly ritual of elections is not only expensive in terms of finance but in terms of cost to our psychology, our economy, our psyches and also to the image of our nation. We have made a choice to be governed by a system that we borrowed from the British and the America, our job now is to refine it to suit the imperatives of our social, psychological and political environment. A situation whereby the whole nation will tether on the brink during election periods is unhealthy and we MUST put an end to it.

Barack Obama has shown in the US how a patriotic politician should conduct his politics. He has assembled the best brains he could find to fill his administration irrespective of their political or ideological leanings. President Atta Mills promised to hit the road running. It is a promise that I hope he kept and it is promise yours sincerely, among others, will keep reminding him to keep.
It is not only our economy that needs urgent attention, our politics calls for emergency consideration. This election has revealed the illusion we have been maintaining about being a united people. It has also reveals the serious ethnic and tribal divisions that could EASILY tear us apart at any time. It has shown that when the chips are down, it’s to thy tribal tents, O’ Ghanaians!

One way we could address this is by ensuring that we elect NATIONAL and not ethnic leader. We should stop having situations whereby one ethnic group can, on its own, elect our president. Administratively we could create more regions out of the bigger ones. We could also change our electoral laws to require a President to win a certain percentage of votes in a number of regions.

I know that President Atta Mills have more than enough on his plate right now, but reforming our electoral system and cleaning up our politics is an urgent task that requires urgent presidential attention. He should charge the Political Science and legal departments of our universities to come out with a new system as a matter of national emergency.

PS: Radio Gold 90.5FM Station won my heart for its stout defense of our democracy. Without the gallant folks at that station who staunchly fought the fascist elements in the NPP, the story would have been entirely different. Kudos also to decent folks in the NPP, like Da Rocha, who came out to be counted when it mattered the most. To him and those that refused to lose their heads and their integrity, I say well done. Big thanks to the security services for their steadfast refusal to allow our nation to be plunged into unnecessary violence at the instigation of over-ambitious, power drunk fascists masquerading as doyens of law and order. President Kuffuor also deserves a mention for his last minute intervention which all but sealed the fate of that supercilious pocket-sized apology of a leader.

Yes, we can!

Sorry, I have to shamelessly borrow the new phrase from the acceptance speech of the new hottest kid on the block, Barack Obama: Yes, we can!

In three days Ghanaians shall have the once-in-four-years power to elect their governors. By sheer good luck, we have this year’s earth-shattering American election to guide us. Like in the just-concluded American elections, our local politicians have been engaged in very bitter political contest. The languages have occasionally been very vitriolic, and there have been fatal clashes here and there. Thank goodness, level headedness has prevailed not to allow it to degenerate into more robust intercinine warfare.

The Americans also waged their own bitter electioneering campaign – though no one lost a head or a limb as far as I gathered. But it was so heart-warming to see Senator McCain gracefully conceding and to graciously acknowledge the historic victory of his opponent. Whether or not Senator McCain was sincere is a moot point; the point being that in whatever they do, Americans put the love for their country first! For Americans, it’s America first and last. A deep sense of patriotism is imbued into every American right from infancy! Very few people love to wave their national flags like Americans. Coupled with this is the deep belief of Americans that their nation has a divine manifest to be great. And they believe that it is their patriotic duty to contribute to this greatness.

And Senator, sorry, President-Elect Barack Obama hasn’t disappointed. Like a sprinter who couldn’t wait to hear the whistle, Mr. Obama has hit the road running. His acceptance speech was one of the best crafted political speeches I have read in a long, long time. Yes, we can! Goodness me, what a brilliant piece of political oratory. And it was delivered flawlessly. The man can talk the talk and he has since shown that he can also walk the walk.

“IF there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

“I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep.

We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there. There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."

That was a vintage political speechifying.

It may come as great surprise to readers of this column that among my favorite literatures are American Presidential Speeches. If you take your reading seriously like I do, I advise that you go through as many of these speeches as possible: a lot of them are pure marvels. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, and Bill Clinton are among my favorites.

FDR’s first acceptance speech reads in part: “I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.

Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our natural resources.”

Not unless an earthquake occur to challenge all our political calculations, this election is going to be a straight fight between the ruling NPP and the main NDC. So what we are left with are the persons of Nana Akufo Addo and Professor Atta Mills. Ok, ok, Akufo Addo is no Barack Obama, and no one can accuse Atta Mills of possessing great oratorical skills. But between the two will emerge the man who is going to steer the affairs of our dear nation for the next four years. This is where the Obama factor comes in.

Within days of being elected Obama has assembled an impressive array of high-caliber people to form the inner core of his cabinet. He has thus demonstrated great leadership skills. Forgetting political partisanship and ideological orientations, Obama tapped into the best brains his nation, America, possesses. Recognizing the battered image of his country in the international fora, Obama picked his bitter rival for the Democratic candidacy contest, Hilary Clinton, to become his foreign minister or Secretary of State.

Noting that he’s inheriting two wars (three if we count Pakistan) and that he lacked military experience, Obama called upon the incumbent Defense Minister, Robert Gates, to stay on to guide his defense policies. What all these demonstrate is that Obama’s love for his country transcends everything else. To him the challenge to make his great country greater is the greatest passion. America is going through very rough patches, we all know that. But Obama has confidence in his nation and its people ability to rise above current travails.

Luckily for him, Obama has history to guide him. Americans have done it before and he believes that they could do it again. FDR inherited a bankrupted economy but he told his people that the only thing to fear is fear itself. FDR radically transformed his country for the better – he remains among the best loved American Presidents to date. His legacies are written all over American political, economic and social landscape.
It was also FDR who proclaimed that economic laws are not laws of nature; that they were made by men. In order to rebuild his nation’s economy and put Americans to work, FDR shorn political orthodoxy and he rejected prevailing economic tenets. FDR believed that people ought not to suffer deprivations while economists prattle about theories.

Going by the steps he has taken so far, it appears that Obama is a student of FDR. Would either Atta Mills or Akufo Addo show the same kind of determined and passionately patriotic leadership? Would either man let his love for his nation transcends his love for his tribe or political party? This is the mother of all the questions confronting you as a voter as you enter the booth to cast your ballot.
Between them the NPP and the NDC has ruled Ghana for sixteen years. The two parties share the blame for whatever failings we still see around us. But this is no time to pass blame or engage in recriminations. The hope now is that whoever emerges as the next President will recognize ours as an emergency situation. We simply cannot carry on as though things are fine and nice for our people.

It was Oscar Wilde who joked that America was the first country to emerge from barbarism into decadence without the benefits of a civilization. Going by the unbridled conspicuous consumption of our elite, Ghana is doomed to be the second. Whoever emerges as our President should have the courage to tell us some home truth about ourselves. Principal among these is that our level of consumption vis-à-vis our productivity is unsustainable.

Except for the sightless, Ghana is definitely not moving anywhere, much less forward. We do not feed ourselves, neither do we cloth or house ourselves decently. Whilst our noveaux rich are tooling around in 4-wheel jeeps with tinted glasses and patented plate numbers, our men and women folks are still fighting over obroni wawu (discarded cloths from Euro-America). Whoever emerges our leader should consider it a great shame that we spent more money importing rice than we earn from selling our gold.
The next president should declare emergency in the following areas:

Employment: There is a saying that an idle mind is the devils workshop. A gainfully employed person will have very little proclivity to involve himself in violence. There is nothing intrinsically atavistic about our brothers and sisters in the north that makes them appear seemingly violent-prone. Were we in the south to suffer from the same economic deprivations like they do in the north, we will also be killing each other with the same abandonment.

There is no reason why a country like Ghana suffers from high unemployment when all our infrastructures are crying for renovations and reconstructions. We can also put our people to work through government-instigated public works like FDR did with his New Deal, and the Europeans with their Marshall Plan. Or are we not also in need of dams, highways, irrigation systems etc, etc.

Sadly, the man with the best idea on tackling our unemployment, the PNC boss, Dr. Edward Nasigre Mahama, is too far below in the polls to have a meaningful shot at the presidency.

Education: Consider this: The Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands was among the countries that hosted outgoing President Kufuor in his trips to thank the ‘Donor’ countries. Holland is a tiny (41,526 sq km) with a population of 16.6 million people. Ghana’s 23+ million inhabitants a country of some 239,460 sq km of real estate. We ought to ask how tiny Holland with a lower population comes to be ‘donating’ money to Ghana.

The answer could be found in the fact that the Netherlands is a highly knowledge-based economy whilst Ghana continue to be primary commodity producer - as it has been since the dawn of time.

A visit to any of our tertiary institutions will show how we continue to graduate students whose contribution to our nation’s development will remain zero. Our universities are littered with myriads of churches and our universities which should be training open minded graduates continue to churn out religious bigots.
Again, the PNC Dr. Mahama has the best education policy. A beneficiary of Nkrumah’s free education policy, Dr. Mahama rightly opined that that there is little sense in building a university in every village and hamlet in Ghana if there’s no linkage between our educational institutions and our industries.

Agriculture: Whichever advanced economy we study we learn that each and every economy we called developed today first strived to attain food-sufficiency before anything else. The reason should not be far-fetched as our elders have a saying that a hungry stomach cannot accommodate any other thought.

With our vast and arable land and high unemployment there is no reason why we shouldn’t be producing enough food to feed ourselves and have surplus to sell. It bothers on criminal insanity when we spend more than what we earn from our gold in importing rice.

Health: The Neo-colonial (they call it neo-liberal) policies we have pursued over the years have only resulted in our trained health personnel voting with their feet whilst our own people die of curable diseases.

A Patriotic President with the love of his people at heart must pursue a “Ghana First’ internal and external policy. The passion to make Ghana take its rightful place at the comity of nations is what has set Kwame Nkrumah apart from all our other leaders so far. It is said that a country’s external policy is a reflection of its internal policy. Nkrumah pursued a vigorous internal policies and this is reflected in his robust and unmatched foreign policy achievements.

Regional Integration: A travel across the West African sub-region will reveal only one thing: the oneness of the people. It will also reveal the ingenuity of the African to make do with any and all resources. Take a look at how our ‘illiterate’ peasants take advantage of every bus and railway terminus to establish enterprise with which to cater for his\her family. Our people do not cry out for handouts or welfare checks like they do in Europe. No, all they ask for are the infrastructures to enable them live their lives.

Once again, the PNC leader has the best idea when he suggested the building of a trans-West African rail system. One can only imagine how our high unemployment will be mitigated by such an endeavour.

Our next President should emulate FDR and Barack Obama and tapped into the expertise of Ghanaians anywhere they are on earth and of whichever political orientation. The nation belongs to us all and our greatest wish should be to bequeath a better country to our children and also to posterity.

Thank goodness, in this election no single party is likely to dominate our political landscape. Both the NPP and the NDC should admit that neither of them has a monopoly on knowledgeable people. They have both had two good chances and we are still where we are; hence my call for an all-inclusive government.
Long live the Republic of Ghana! Long Live Africa!

Kasoa Liberation Army

Kasoa Liberation Army, what type of a crude joke is that?

What do you mean crude joke! Walahi, we are serious!

I think jokers like you ought to be locked up in a mental asylum and the key thrown into the darkest pit of hell.

Ah, me! Na you be craze! Don’t you see that my people are marginalized? What do you say to that?

Marginalised? And who the hell are your people? You live in Kasoa and so do thousands of other good citizens of Ghana. Who appointed you their spokesman?
I think that you are a government reporter. Or you may be NDC journalist proper, proper?

Get the hell out of there. I am a freelance writer. I just don’t believe that lunatic like you should be allowed to waste anyone’s valuable time or disturb the peace of this country.

For your information, we have freedom of speech here, ok?

That doesn’t mean that malicious jokers like you should be allowed to abuse it. You have billions of brain cells, but you have only one mouth.

Meaning?

It meant that you should do more thinking than talking.

Hey, you mean that we should accept the pile of indignities on Kasoa without protest?
Kasoa is not the only city in Ghana crying out due to neglect. There is simply is not enough resources to go around, that doesn’t give every miscreant the license to threaten the peace and stability of the nation. In fact, if the law enforcement agencies are up to their duty, you should be in jail by now.

For expressing my freedom of speech?

No, for constituting a public nuisance, disturbing public peace, for treason, for felony etc, etc.

I am sure that the government has bribed you. Otherwise you’d perform your duty of reporting events instead of acting like a paid government agent.

A great pity you felt that way. I’ll gladly report your event if it makes any sense.
So you agree with the monumental neglect of Kasoa which is easily the largest growing metropolis in Ghana? So you agree that the three or four million inhabitants of this great city should have no representation in Ghana? So, you…

Where on earth do you conjure up the figure of four million?

Ok, say three million. Let’s say three million. So, you believe that the government is right to neglect the rights of three million Ghanaians? Why is there no minister from this great city? What on earth did we do to offend government? We contribute so much to the economy of Ghana, yet we do not have a decent hospital or a university?
You really have a knack for nonsensical effusions. Three million people in Kasoa alone! I thought the population of the whole of Central Region is two point something million? Where do you expect the country to get enough money to build a university in every hamlet?

Kasoa is no hamlet; it’s the fastest growing metropolis…

I don’t know from where you get your figures from, other parts of Ghana are not static, for your information.

Do you know how much Kasoa alone is contributing to the Ghanaian economy?
I am sure that you have the figures at your finger tip.

Sure, sure. Look at the highway alone. This is the only international road in the whole of Ghana. Should we close it down; do you know how much revenue will be lost to the state?

Oh!

That’s all you can say, ‘Oh.’ Now you see why we should be taken seriously?
No, I don’t see why you should be taken seriously at all. People going to Burkina Faso would hardly pass through Kasoa…

Ha, how many people go to Burkina, tell me? This is the only major international road. From Nigeria, Togo, Abidjan, Dahomey, Gabon and Cameroon, everyone passes through Kasoa and the government collects taxes on all of them. How about our market, do you know how much Kasoa market contribute to the national economy of Ghana?
Why do I have the feeling that you’re dying to tell me?

Don’t you know that the Kasoa market is the only international market in Ghana? Don’t you know that the name Kasoa means market in the Hausa language?

You have a propensity to throw nonsensical figures around. If you and your drunk followers are inebriated enough to believe in those types f nonsense, that doesn’t give you the right to bring them into the public domain.

So you don’t believe me?

I don’t believe you and I don’t believe your nonsense. Yours is like the child who hasn’t been to another farm, who believes that his father’s farm is the biggest.

What do you mean?

I meant that you and your lunatic fringe should go out and do some reading. There are other big markets in Ghana that no one will even notice if you shut down your Kasoa market.

You lie bad! Where else in Ghana do you have so many nationalities as in Kasoa, tell me? We are important component of the country and we shall make the government reckon with us?

By threatening fire and brimstone? Every part of Ghana is as important as another. We all suffer whenever any part of the country suffers. It is our collective money that is used to quell riots and put out the fires of ethnic riots all over the country. That explains why I believe that the media should desist from giving wackos like you any platform to promote your outlandish ideas.

How about the other people agitating for their people’s rights?

The same goes for them. We have only one Ghana and we are only one people. Our efforts should be geared towards building a better Ghana. The only rights we ought to fight for are the rights of every single Ghanaian to live in peace, harmony and prosperity.

PS: The unity of any nation, Ghana included, is not written in stone. The mindless wannabee ethnic champions should get this into their silly heads. There are state institutions constitutionally mandated to address and redress grievances. Our efforts should be geared towards strengthening them where necessary. The so-called youth associations springing up like locusts should channel their energies into developing their places of abode. Instead of making obstreperous noises on the airwaves, they should mobilize themselves for some community works. Gutters need to be de-silted, streets need cleaning. These youth should query their leaders for selling their land, their patrimony and wasting the money on funerals and second-hand jalopies. If these agitators care so much about their communities as they want us to believe, they need to address themselves to the pursuit of positive actions to make their communities better places.

A stop should be put to the situation whereby every scalawag can just wake up on the wrong side of his bed and start threatening the unity and stability of the country. If they don’t call themselves to order, the security services should do their jobs and get them to behave like every responsible citizen.

Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb