Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This INFLATION thing

An economist's guess is liable to be as good as anybody else's.—Will Rogers

They say that Christopher Columbus was the first economist. When he left to discover America, he didn’t know where he was going. When he got there he didn’t know where he was. And it was all done on a government grant. – From the Internet

Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.- John Kenneth Galbraith

Economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel Prize for saying opposing things. – Economics joke.

Good morning, my brother. Please, what is inflation?

You, you have come to me again with your silly questions. Why are you always so full of questions? And what exactly do you take me for, a walking encyclopedia?

My brother, please don’t be angry with me. Our elders say that the one that ask for direction will never get lost.

You and all your proverbs; I love them nevertheless. What is your concern with inflation this time?

The past few days have been dominated by the government party, the NDC, and the main opposition, NPP, on the number of digits in our inflation figure. That is why I thought of asking experts like yourself to shed some illumination for simple blokes like me.

You must be a very curious young lad, indeed.

Thank you very much, but, please, you didn’t answer my question.

Oh, you meant about inflation. But I though they say nowadays that Google is your friend. Are you afraid of looking things up on the internet?

The First Law of Economists: For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist.

The Second Law of Economists: They’re both wrong.- From the Internet

No, my brother, I’m never afraid to look things up on the internet. I actually looked the inflation thing up.

Why then are you asking me what inflation is?

I come to you because after looking the thing up I get more confused. I need some clarification. I need some explanation. I need some help.

You get confused because of the internet?

No, I get confused because of the definitions I got from the internet, which doesn’t rhyme with what our government is telling us.

Now you are, deviating. You are going political. I have told you times without number that I’m done with political stuffs. You are not going to get any political commentary out of me. Mum is the word as far as myself and politics is concerned.

I didn’t ask you for political commentaries. Actually, I myself am totally done with politics. I will appreciate it if you just will explain to me the concept of inflation to me. What do we mean by inflation; do you have a layman’s explanation? I just couldn’t make sense out of all that I read on the internet.

And what did you come up with that is confusing you?

According to Wikipedia: “In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a loss of real value in the internal medium of exchange and unit of account in the economy

“And according to investopedia: Inflation is defined as a sustained increase in the general level of prices for goods and services. It is measured as an annual percentage increase. As inflation rises, every dollar you own buys a smaller percentage of a good or service.

“The value of a dollar does not stay constant when there is inflation. The value of a dollar is observed in terms of purchasing power, which is the real, tangible goods that money can buy. When inflation goes up, there is a decline in the purchasing power of money. For example, if the inflation rate is 2% annually, then theoretically a $1 pack of gum will cost $1.02 in a year. After inflation, your dollar can't buy the same goods it could beforehand.

“There are several variations on inflation:
• Deflation is when the general level of prices is falling. This is the opposite of inflation.
• Hyperinflation is unusually rapid inflation. In extreme cases, this can lead to the breakdown of a nation's monetary system. One of the most notable examples of hyperinflation occurred in Germany in 1923, when prices rose 2,500% in one month!
• Stagflation is the combination of high unemployment and economic stagnation with inflation. This happened in industrialized countries during the 1970s, when a bad economy was combined with OPEC raising oil prices.”
We have 2 classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know. — John Kenneth Galbraith
I see that you have been busy. What then is the problem, here, young man?

My brother, can’t you see my dilemma. Wikipedia and investopedia said that inflation is sustained increase in the general level of prices of goods and services. Our government people say that they are beating inflation and have managed to reduce it to a single digit. The opposition parties, for their part, faulted the government and claimed that the government figures are unreliable. Do we have inflation or not, that is what I would like to know?


Is that all you can say?

An economist is someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about – and make you feel it’s your fault. – From the internet

It is really a difficult thing, this inflation thing. And as you know, governments are very powerful entities; they can make things happen the way they want. That’s what the late Nigerian musician, Fela Anikuplao-Kuti, called ‘Government Magic.’ To do these magical tricks, government employs quite a number of tools among which is statistics. And you know what they say about statistics?

No, I don’t know. Kindly tell me.

Oh, some wise man says that statistics is just government arithmetic. Another bright fella said that you can prove anything with statistics. Another great aphorist said: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

But, sorry, I thought you were going to explain inflation to me, now you are talking about statistics. What has inflation got to do with statistics; I thought inflation was in the domain of economics?

Ah, you thought wrong, dear fellow. Inflation and economics have a lot to do with number crunching. And whenever you crunch number, you get statistics.

Sorry, but all these are far above my head. I need just a simple explanation as to why government says that the rate of inflation is going down and the opposition says that it is not.

You have not been listening; you’ve not paid attention. I told you what the wise man said about proving anything with statistics. The government is right; the opposition is also right.

How can both be right when they are so opposed?

"Economics is the only field in which two people can share a Nobel Prize for saying opposing things." Specifically, Myrdal and Hayek shared one. - Roberto Alazar

Interpretation, interpretation. Everything has to do with interpretation.

With all due respect, what I’d like to know is why the government can say that they are taming inflation when the prices of goods and services are rising. I can give you specifics like the prices of commodities like garri, plantain, tomatoes, fish and so on. These are everyday necessary food items people need in order to survive. And the God’s honest truth is that their prices are far above last year prices. For example, an olonka of garri was sold last year between one to one point two Ghana cedis. Today, it cost between two point eight and three cedis. The prices of fish are so high that they have disappeared from my menu. Plantain is so pricey nowadays that very few Ghanaians can afford it. Even prices of imported chicken which was the only affordable meat for my household has more than doubled in the last year. My wife said the sellers blame it on the rising dollar. And when we take high-budget stuffs like cement, it has gone up by several percentage points. So, what exactly is the government talking about? Where do they do their own shopping? Which market do they go and find that prices are coming down or are stable?

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. — Laurence J. Peter

You really talked like a layman. Economics is a science and requires scientific tools. It is not something that can be explained without utilizing the scientific tools of the trade. To layman like yourself, when you go to the market and found out that the price of garri has shot up, you automatically shout ‘inflation.’ But economists do not operate like laymen. They go about the trade in a systematic, scientific way. They collect prices of various goods and services over a long period of time, put them into their computers and come out with figures of inflation which they rigorously analysed for the government. A lot of imponderables go into the analyses and these, for obvious reasons, are beyond simple folks like you to understand.

So, you are telling me that I cannot understand inflation figures. So, why is the government bandying those figures in my face?

Bentley’s second Law of Economics: The only thing more dangerous than an economist is an amateur economist!

Berta’s Fundamental Law of Economic Rents: The only thing more dangerous than an amateur economist is a professional economist.

Ah, it looks good during electioneering campaign. Government says that it has beaten inflation and comes up with the figures to back up its claim. Government paid press rush to town to congratulate government. The opposition gets their own economists who go town, collect and crunch their own figures which are diametrically opposed to the government figures. The hired press of the opposition parties also rushes out to bash government. It is all part of the political game the elite play on the rest of us. So, I will advise that you get a life. Listen to the advice of an elder, get something better to do with your life than listen to politicians.

So, do you mean that we should not get concerned with how we are governed?

Ah, you asked a very dangerous question. I didn’t say that you shouldn’t get involved in how you are governed?

What did you say, then?

You should get involved only when you are ready to play the political game and you are prepared to lie trough your teeth, lose your sanity and is ready to play government magic. Politics is a game. Some say it is a dirty game, some say it is not. But I say that until you are ready to understand that it is a game and is prepared to follow and obey its inane rules, you should leave it strictly alone.

Economics is the painful elaboration of the obvious.- From the Internet

Saturday, May 19, 2012

G8 +4 and other Jazz

Wow, who say there is no God! I will praise thy name, oh my savior, I will praise thee for ever more...

My brother, what is going on, what is the good tiding?

Ah, my brother, this good news is too good to be true. Ah, our own Ghana has come of age!

Oh, I thought Ghana has always been of age.

Comout there, you sef. This one pass all the good news we have received so far?

Have we discovered more oil?

You! Na only oil you can think about? I am talking about earth-shaking, geo-strategic happenings and you are talking about common oil, ah!

Please, am I missing something, what is the good news?

So you no hear say President Obama is holding the meeting of the eight most important nations, yes most important nations of the world, and he has invited our own president. God, our one and only President John Atta-Mills will sit at the table with the most important leaders of the world. It means that at the 2012 G8 Summit scheduled for May 18 and 19 at Camp David near Washington, Ghana’s own president will be holding meeting with the most powerful people in the world. My God, this is too much. I will die of joy. I can die now and be fulfilled!

What are you talking about?

Do you mean to tell me that you don’t know about the G8 Meeting?

I know about G8; it started as G5 and later graduated to G8. But what has that got to do with us here in Africa, when the world’s important people meet to decide how to carve up the world and its resources? We are bush-league players in Africa and no one take any notice of us.

There you are mistaken, my friend. Didn’t you hear that our President received an official, yes, make that official, invitation from President Barack Obama himself and he accepted. As I talk you here, our President is on his way to go and parley with the big boys and you are here playing the duncehead.

Big boys and big girl.

What do you mean?

There is one woman; German Chancellor Merkel was a woman the last time I checked.

You! You concerned yourself with that rather than join me in celebrating our nation’s good fortune. How many countries do we have in Africa?

Fifty four, at the last count.

So, if out of fifty-four, only four countries were chosen among which is our beloved motherland, Ghana, don’t you think that is occasion for having a good time.

I know that we in Africa are champions when it comes to looking for opportunities to have good time, but being summoned to a meeting by the powers that be should not make our heads giddy with joy.
What do you mean: that we shouldn’t celebrate when the important people of the world take note of us and invite us to the big table?

Should that not depend on what exactly we are bringing to the big table? There is a saying by our Anago cousins that: Rich men are discussing and a poor man says he has ideas. What type of ideas could he possibly have that would be of interests to the rich men? What can the president of Ghana have to say to the President of the United States of America that would be of importance to the US? But why is this suddenly big news, it has happened in the past.

How, what exactly do you mean?

I meant exactly that in the year 2005, Mr. George Walker Bush, the imbecilic, brain-challenged war-mongering buffoon the Americans selected as their leader invited our own President John Kufuor to a G5 meeting held at the Sea Island, also in the US. We were also told that it was the best thing ever to happen to our country since akpeteshi and his party, the New Patriotic Party, drummed it to all the corners of Ghana. Mr. Kufuor went, smiled and looked good on TV but we all know that nothing came out of that useless jamboree.

There you go again, with your put downs. Are you saying that if they don’t consider our nation important they will invite our president? Or if he has nothing to contribute, our own president Mills, a full professor, would have accepted the invitation?

Don’t make me laugh; you use the word invite too loosely. Maybe you can use summoned instead. And those summoned by the mighty lords of the manor have little choice in the matter. As our elders say: the war commander summons you and you say that you are consulting the oracle. Whatever the oracle says, you must obey the summons. Don’t forget that our president’s specialty is taxation and I doubt those leaders will be interested in that.

That is really not fair. Out of the fifty-four countries we have in Africa, our nation and three others got invited and you are busy dissing our president.

Heaven knows that I dissed no one, I’m just pointing out the follies of our leaders still waiting for encomiums and accolades of the imperialists. History should teach us that imperialists care only about their interests. They will lick your ass as long as they know that their corporations can continue to maintain their stranglehold on your resources. Maybe it is time African leaders get and read the book, The Laureates of Imperialism by Herbert Aptheker, then they will be less impress with all the praises the hypocrites in the White House and Washington DC heap on them.

You really don’t get it, do you? We have the whole Secretary of State of the United States of America, praising our president and here you are casting aspersions. This is what Mrs. Clinton said: “These gentlemen [John Mills of Ghana; Jekaya Kikwete of Tanzania; Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia] are here because they understand the opportunity that is being presented…the true partnership, the global partnership around the ending of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. And we are very impressed that you have taken this leadership position and the time to be with us here. We want to support and build up countries who have leaders like those here before you to take their rightful place of leadership by regionally and globally.” Don’t you think that is high praise indeed?

It’d be if indeed she meant it?

Ah, there you go again playing the cynic. Do you think that she will say what she said if she didn’t mean it?

It has been known to happen. Actually that is the stock in trade of the imperialists – praising you to high heavens while sticking the knives into you. They laugh with you with their mouths while their hearts plot your downfall – go and ask Brother Ghadaffi. Actually, the question is why don’t we in Africa ever get serious?

What do you mean; are you saying that we are not serious?

No, we are not. If we are we would ask what type of partnership backward countries like ours that cannot provide enough electricity and water for our citizens have with a country like the US with his gargantuan economy. If we are serious, we would know that such partnership can never be equal. Our total budget is less than what the US spends on one of its battle carriers, and we go giddy with excitement because the leaders of the US call us partners. We are not partners and can never be partners except junior, ultra junior partners. That is what we need to get into our heads. Unless and until we get our acts together, make good strides with our political and economic development, no one, absolutely no one will take us serious. They will pay only lip service to us, that is all.

But the G8 has promised to help us with boosting our agriculture.

Another thing I hate to hear is that this or that has promised to help us. When are we going to get tired of all these begging mentality? When do we stop begging for help and start doing something for ourselves? Rather than embarking on all these useless jamborees around the world with begging bowls, why can’t our leaders in Africa sit down and plan on how to engage our people in producing what we eat so that we can have food security which is sine qua non for economic development? We have the land and we have the unemployed youth roaming the streets, what exactly is our problem that we have to run to G8 meetings in order to boost our agriculture? And our leaders so stupid that they cannot wonder why the US or the G8 would suddenly decide to help boost our agriculture which only will result in our competing with them? The truth is that we do not need any G8 meeting to boost our agriculture. We only need to plan more. Promises are no good alternatives to proper strategies.

What do you mean?

Agriculture is very important contributor to all the economies of the G8 countries, and in those countries, farmers rely heavily on subsidies provided by their governments. Why do we sit in Africa and delude ourselves that the imperialists will somehow abandon their farmers and come to help us in Africa? If they boost our agriculture in Africa, where would they find the market for the produce of their farmers? As things stand, they have enough problems with their own economies. Almost all the so-called rich G8 countries are indebted to the hilt, yet our leaders believe them when they tell us that they will us, ah! People are starving in Greece, Spain and Italy, yet African leaders continue to believe the West is some Father Christmas with money fighting in his pocket.
You really have something against these western countries, don’t you?

I have nothing against anyone. I hate hypocrisy and I hate imperialists and their lies. Our elders say that if some promised to buy you a dress, you should first look at what the person is wearing. If the West is drowning in debt and people there are starving, why should I believe a westerner leader who comes to tell me that he’s coming to help Africa? I just wish we start using our brains in Africa, that is all. No one owes us a living; that is what we have to get into our heads. No one is going to help us develop our economies, because it will only result in our competing with them. I wish our leaders in Africa will develop more balls like the Russian leader.

You meant Putin or the old one?

Yes, I meant Putin. That’s a man who doesn’t harbor any inferiority complex. Whilst African leaders are hastening to answer the Emperor’s summons, Putin is sending his Prime Minister to the meeting. He said he has better employment for his time in tackling his nation’s challenges. Here are some statistics that might be of interest to you, my source is: : United Kingdom, Debt as a pct. of GDP: 80.9, per cent, General government debt: $1.99 trillion; Germany, Debt as a pct. of GDP: 81.8 per cent, General government debt: $2.79 trillion; France, Debt as a pct. of GDP: 85.4 per cent, General government debt: $2.26 trillion; United States Debt as a pct. of GDP: 85.5 per cent, General government debt: $12.8 trillion; Italy Debt as a pct. of GDP: 120.5 per cent, General government debt: $2.54 trillion; Japan Debt as a pct. of GDP: 233.1 per cent, General government debt: $13.7 trillion. So, dear friend, there you have it. There are simply no rich nations anywhere, anymore. Anyone can live a big life if he is willing to go into debt to fund it.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Political Consultancy (a satire)

Do you know what is wrong with the French people?

Did the French people tell you that something is wrong with them?

Ah, anyone with eyes can see that something terribly is wrong with them.

What exactly do you mean? And why the concern about the French people, don’t you have enough wahala to think about in Ghana?

Ah, you! We live in a globalised world and the problem of one is the problem of all.

Globalised, another fanciful name for colonialism!

There you go again with your anti-imperialism nonsense. You didn’t answer my question?

Which was?

Hey, c’mon now. Don’t tell me you now suffer from amnesia.

I won’t tell you what ails me since you’re not a doctor?

But seriously, don’t you think that something is terribly wrong with the French people?

What exactly do you mean?

Now you are talking. Didn’t you follow their recent presidential election?

Me, hell, no! I have better things to do than worry my head off about elections in far away France. The December election in Ghana is enough worry for me. What about all these ethnocentric cum tribalistic tendencies that are cropping up. I would think that is enough worries for a Ghanaian than far French elections.

Ah, I thought an anti-imperialist polemicist like you will also try to know what is happening in the West.

Nothing is going to happen in the West that has never happened before. Whoever win or lose election in France, or anywhere in the West, is of little concern to me because I know that the policies towards Africa will remain the same. It has been cast in solid rock. The West will forever try to exploit us and our minerals until we can stop them. And for a country like France, I know that no French president can alter the colonial relationship France still maintains with her African colonies. No French president will dare change the Colonial Pact that still guide French relationship with her colonies in Africa. So, why bother my head about elections in France?

Hmm. There you go again. Actually, I didn’t come for ponderous lectures on neo-colonialism and all those jargon you like to spew about. I just want to share with you what I perceived as the great weakness in the French political system.

And since when did you become a political scientist or is it international relations expert now?

Ah, my friend, you like to put me down too much. Don’t you think that the French can learn a thing or two on how to go about organizing and conducting elections from we in Africa?

Are you for real? The French have been conducting their brand of elections for upward of two hundred and something years. What do you think they can learn from upstarts like us?

That is what you think. And I wonder why a self-described Pan-Africanist like you will put us down so much.

Heaven knows that I did no such thing. We have our very bright spots in Africa, but we cannot delude ourselves that we are champions when it comes to organizing free and fair and transparent elections, if at all anything.


Me, what? Do you honestly believe that organizing elections can become a main export for us in Africa?

You really have away of twisting things, you. Actually I think the French people are rather sick and boring. I watched the whole elections, the campaign and all. It was so boring. Even the candidates don’t know how to get angry in their debates. They were so civil, so polite. It made me want to vomit. Gosh!

And what do you find boring when people, even political opponents, decided to treat one another with respect?

The whole thing lacked colour, it lacked pungency, and it lacked pugnacity. It was so boring that I nearly die of boredom.

What would have preferred, then?

That is what I was coming to before you started your interruption. OK, let begin from the basic. The whole basis of election is to win, at all cost. If you have to pummel those naïve enough to challenge you, so be it. If you have to kiss ass, let it be done. Even if you have to sell granny, I see nothing wrong with that. But when I see those French wimps campaign for political office like they are in a seminary, it really gets my goat. There should be some seriousness in the matter.

I failed to see the logic in your argument.

Another problem with you; you seek logic in everything. We are talking elections and winning at all cost and you are looking for logic. Is election a branch of mathematics? I bet those French
wimps cannot win even a ward election in any part of our beautiful Ghana. Tweeh.

What do you find to celebrate in the types of election we hold in Ghana, even in Africa?

That is what you don’t understand and will never understand. Variety, they say, is the spice of life. What is the point in going through life and do only boring, even if unpredictable things.
And you think that elections whose resulted can be predicted is the way to go?

Looks like you are wising up, finally. In Africa, it is almost a given that the president will win. What is left is for the opposition to make enough noise so that they can increase their nuisance value which is nothing but negotiating tactics. Those in oppistion in Africa knows that they are born losers unless the Main Man, Mr. Presidnet, messed up big time. So, opposition leaders in Africa wisely make enough. They threaten hell and brimstone. They head for the courts even before the final votes are counted. They mobilize their supporters who clash with police who beat them up. African opposition leaders recognized that those things are necessary to make them look good when they address international media. They put it on YouTube and other social media. The president, embarrassed by all the negative international media attention, will gladly sit down with his opponents and before you know it, the opposition leader vociferating loudly has accepted to serve as Prime Minister, or a Minister or an Ambassador. It is a game and everyone recognizes it.

What are you talking about?

I almost gag when I watch the outgoing French President calling to congratulate his opponent, when even the official results have not been announced. It was only an exit poll analyses, and the idiot conceded. What was he thinking about? I am glad I’m not among his supporters. I could have put fatwa on him. Can you imagine a sitting African president conceding defeat and congratulating his opponent?

Ex President Wade did it in Senegal.

Another loser, if you ask me. But what should we expect from a Methuselah? Don’t you see that we could blame that on senility? The man is said to be 99 or above; so all the fight is out of him. Let’s face facts; no one loses election in Africa?

C’mon now, in every contest, there is bound to be winner and loser?

Ah, you talk as though you don’t live in Africa. Do you think that our politicians think of elections as mere contest? Hell, no! It is a do-or-die affair where no hold is barred and where one does not go in to take prisoners. What would election in Africa be without its attendant violence, mayhem and things?

And do you honestly believe that is something to be proud of, don’t you think that it is we that need lectures on how to conduct our elections with decorum?

Get out of there. You want us to start having those boring elections where people do not even know how to get real angry. Where there is hardly any violence visited upon opponents and enemies? You can’t be serious!

I really don’t know what to make of what you are telling me. What is there to celebrate in violent elections? We saw what a happened in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya, etc, do you honestly believe that is the way to go?

No, no, no! Those were carried into excesses! No, I don’t advocate such wholesale wanton massacre. What I truly hate is the type of spice-less, utterly boring elections the like the French just conducted, where a sitting president, an executive president for that matter, with all the powers and authority at his disposal will turn wimpish and let his followers down!

What should he have done?

That is why I said that the French need to come to us in Africa and learn a thing or two about how elections are conducted. Gosh, what was the man thinking, conceding like that?

He was just following tradition. Projections said he had lost, why should he prolong the agony?

Projections, my foot. Who does the projecting? Give me a break and give me the African type of elections any time. Our politicians really know how to go about this election thing, honest. Even if they don’t know anything else, they know elections. Even if they know little or nothing about the art of governance, our politicians are in a league of their own when it comes to elections. When it comes down to organizing elections, no one can hold candle to African politicians. Didn’t you listen to a sitting Mp asking his supporters to go for machetes and butcher people?

Do you really think that manipulating elections and visiting violence is a thing to be celebrated?

Ah, you really don’t get it. You seem not to grasp the whole picture. You have to begin from the basics. Societies are organized by people to serve their interests, right? Organizing political parties and periodic elections are part of the games society devised to keep itself in business. It means that every member of the society must enjoy the benefits. Look, party macho men are needed only during election periods. That is their only window of opportunity to get a little from the political or national cake, right. After elections, the elite simply forget the party foot soldiers who toil to get them elected. No one remembers them when millions of dollars are given to Financial Engineers. If the poor, party macho men are deprived of this single opportunity to earn something, how do you expect them to take care of their families? If the macho men are not allowed to do their thing, break some skulls, bones and arms here and there, where does that leave the gallant men and women of our police force who are paid handsome allowances to keep the peace at election time? If police fail to make arrest, it follows that the court will have nothing to do; depriving the brave lawyers, who can speak from here till tomorrow without making any sense, solid avenue for revenue. We shouldn’t forget that judges are also human beings. They expect some of the political money to pipe-line their ways into their pockets. If, heaven forbid, we become wimpish like those French frogs, how do we expect our politicians to incite followers to orgies of violence so that they can manipulate their ways into one office or the other? I hope that you are getting the picture. Don’t you think it is something worth teaching to the French? Don’t you think that we can charge the French a modest fee on how to properly conduct elections?

I bet they can’t wait to sign up.

Friday, May 11, 2012

No Easter for me, please

Hello, my brother, happy Easter to you.

I beg, no Easter for me, please.

Do you mean to tell me that you don’t celebrate Easter?

No, this True Born African doesn’t waste his time on such nonsense.

Serious, you are saying that Easter is nonsense?

Precisely, it is sheer nonsense and the only surprise is that many otherwise educated and intelligent Africans continue to celebrate this shambolic cultural imposition.

What, are you calling the celebration of the rise from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ a sham and Christianity a cultural imposition?

Rise from the dead? Get serious! Do you believe the fanciful tale that someone rose from the dead. And were it to be true, what has that got to do with me? Christianity is definitely a cultural imposition on Africans and we know how it was imposed.

I know that you hold very strong opinion, but this is just too much. This is sheer blasphemy.

You started it and the only profane sacrilege I see is intelligent people that refused to use their brains. It is sheer nonsensical for Africans to continue to celebrate their cultural enslavement. If every scientists in the world today agree that we Africans were the first human beings on earth, I say that we Africans have no business supplicating to a Caucasian god and his supposed son. It is damned stupid. The only blasphemy I see here is people that go around telling stupid lies, concocting falsehood to create a religion for a non historical person.
Holy Zimbabwe, are you claiming that Jesus Christ is a non historical person?

You certainly have fanciful phrases, holy Zimbabwe. Jesus was never a historical person and Christ is not the name of a person? There is absolutely no record to prove the historicity of Jesus.


If you don’t know it, Christ simply means ‘anointed,’ it is not the name of a person. Outside of the Bible, there is not a single historical record that mentioned a Jesus. There was an obscure Yesu ben Pandera in some Hebraic text, but it has nothing to with the fantasy you called Jesus Christ. Were he to have even existed, why should a Jewish lad whose birth, life and death remain disputed be of relevant to us in Africa?

You are certainly blasphemous. Are you questioning the integrity of the Bible?

To begin with, the Christian Bible has no integrity, so it is difficult to question what does not exist.

So you don’t accept that the Bible is the work of God?

Ah, the book you called the bible has too many errors, contain too much atrocities, and hold too many absurdities that it cannot be considered the book of the devil, much less that of a god.
Huh! You don’t believe in the Bible?

Believe what in the Bible?

That is was inspired and that it was accurate.

Only the most ignorant, the most uneducated, the most gullible would even begin to defend the accuracy of the Bible.

But it is the word of God?

You sound like a lame priest trying to defend the indefensible. Apart from Ecclesiastes, there is hardly a book in the Bible that makes any sense. What can we learn from Genesis, Deuteronomy, the ranting of those crazed Hebraic Prophets or that loony book they called Revelation? Or what spiritual benefit can we derive from those stupid, conflicting tales of the so-called New Testament?
Do you refute the historical accounts recounted in the Bible?

If you choose to call those fanciful and infantile tales in the Bible historical accounts, you would have to support it with historical facts.

But the Bible has been proven to be word of God.

Proven by whom? No one but a charlatan would prove a poorly written, historically inaccurate, scientifically untenable pack of ignorant lies called the Bible as the word of a god?

So you don’t believe in the story of the Creation?

I beg you not to insult my intelligence with such crappy tales like that of the Biblical accounts of the creation which, by the way, have two unnecessary accounts.

Do you mean to tell me that the Biblical Creation story is not accurate?

It is not only inaccurate, it is patently false. No one can create anything out of nothing.

But God created the heaven and the earth and all the things therein.

Be real. It is impossible to create something out of a void. You simply cannot create something from nothing. Magicians do it, but we know that they play sleight of the hands.

So how did we come to be?

That is among the most idiotic questions the Christians go around asking. Why do we have to be created from something?

How did we come to be then? Where did we come from?

Why is impossible to give the only honest answer which is that we don’t know?

But we must have come from somewhere?

Not necessarily. We could have been here all along. The honest truth is simply that where we come from and where we go remain unknown mysteries, but that does not mean that we have to attribute it to some stupid tales of a god baking human beings from clay?

You are ridiculing the Biblical Creation account?

The tale is so infantile that it is worthy of only ridicule.

But are you not afraid?

Afraid of what? Should I be afraid for speaking my honest mind? Should I be afraid for expressing my incredulity that people will go around hallucinating and flagellating themselves because they believe that some Messiah died for their sins thousand years ago?

Don’t you accept that Jesus died for your sins?

Please, how could a Jesus die for my sins? How could I commit a sin long before I was born?

But the Bible said that he died to cleanse our sins.

Please stop dragging the Bible into the argument. Does it make any sense that I am capable of committing a sin two thousand years before I was born? Does it make any sense that a god will blame me for a crime committed before I was born? Why will people simply not use their brains?

But it was written that he came to clean the Original Sin?

Do you honestly believe in an Original Sin? If only the Christians will realise the enormous amount of damage they are doing to their own cause with all these stupid and totally incredible credos about original sins. What type of god will keep on punishing generations upon generations because some ancestors committed some crime? What manner of tyrannical and vengeful god is that, and is that a god worthy of our veneration? If the president of Ghana decided to punish a child for the crimes committed by its parent, we all will be repulsed and rise up in anger. Why are we celebrating a god who purportedly continues to pursue and punish its enemies into eternity?

This is serious.

No, it is not. All that is required is that people will stop to think. They should ask themselves simple questions as to the veracity of what they are told. Buddha asked us not to believe anything unless it agrees with our reason. The Christians would want us to believe the most stupid and incredible tales.

Do you assert that the whole Bible is false?

I assert no such thing. What I assert is that the tales contained in the Bible hold no unalloyed truth that could inspire any reasoning person. They have absolutely nothing to do with us as Africans, and it is time we free ourselves and our minds from the dungeon of its falsehoods.

But can you point to any falsehood in the Bible?

The Bible is packed full of falsehoods that are simply too numerous to recount here. Suffice to say however that the story of the Creation is the stupidest tale ever invented. It simply contradicts everything we know about astronomy and geology. We live in a Solar System; that means that all our lives depend on the Sun. The only intelligent thing for any god to do was to create the sun first. The two accounts of the biblical creation did not put sun first. And we know that the universe is considerably older than the about six thousand years given by the Biblical account. How could I continue to believe that the Earth is the center of the universe and that the sun journey around it? How am I to believe that by stopping the sun the day could be lengthened or that a Hebrew General can stop the sun so that he could massacre his enemies? And don’t I have to ask why a compassionate and loving god will choose a merciless people like the Jews as his Chosen people?
But don’t you think that we all could learn from the exemplary life of Jesus?

What is exemplary about the life of the Biblical Jesus? He was intolerant as his supposed father, Jehovah. He exemplified the ignorance of his time. He cursed like a drunk sailor and did no deed that is worthy of emulation? He was not tutored in any discipline; he never did an honest work or earned an honest wages. He roamed the countryside with his discipline and lived on alms. Is that a life worthy of emulation?

How about his many miracles?

Who believe or want miracles? Why should any honest and intelligent person want something for nothing? There is nothing more elevating than to earn an honest living. It is time we in Africa get off this miracle, miracle things. It only makes us lazy. It only makes us dependent on begging. No honest man can perform a miracle. Miracle is nothing but a child of mendacity. And am I to think highly of a man stupid enough to utter these words: “If thy right eye offends thee, pluck it out. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off,” “If any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat let him have thy cloak also,” “Think not I come to send peace on earth. I came not to send peace, but a sword,” “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother,” “And every one that hath forsaken house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life?”

But what do you say to the millions who celebrate Easter?

I have no message for anyone; I’m not a prophet. What I believe every honest person should do is to get a good education and to question every assumption until it agrees with his own reasoning. Honest people should desist from participating in falsehoods. The history of Christianity is not shrouded in any mystery; ditto the stories behind the Bible. It behooves us as Africans to learn about the tools that were used to enslave and colonized us. The Bible was not inspired by any god; it was collected and sanctified by men at their Nicean Conference for the purpose of enslaving the earthen among which they counted Africans.

Stop teaching the Bible to school children

‎"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?" - Mark Twain

"Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell." - George Orwell

‎"A deity who remains silent and invisible should not get angry or surprised at doubt of his reality." - Graham Kendall

"If there is one subject in this world worthy of being discussed, worthy of being understood, it is the question of intellectual liberty. Without that, we are simply painted clay; without that, we are poor, miserable serfs and slaves." - Robert Ingersoll

“I charge and purpose to prove, from unimpeachable texts and historical records, and by authoritative clerical confessions, beyond the possibility of denial, evasion, or refutation:

1. That the Bible, in its every Book and in the strictest legal and moral sense, is a huge forgery.”

2. That every Book of the New Testament is a forgery of the Christian Church; and every significant passage in those Books, on which the fabric of the Church and principal dogmas are founded, is a further and conscious later forgery, wrought with definite fraudulent intent.”

3. Especially, and specifically, that the famous “Petrine text” – “Upon this Rock I will build my church” – the cornerstone of the gigantic fabric of imposture, - and the other, “Go, teach all nations,” – were never uttered by the Jew Jesus, but are palpable and easily-proven late Church forgeries.

4. That the Christian Church, from its inception in the first little Jewish-Christian religious societies until it reached the apex of its temporal glory and moral degradation, was a vast and tireless forgery mill.” – Joseph Wheless, ‘Forgery in Christianity,’ pp. xviii-xix.

In the 1980s while working as a Research Supervisor for a Marketing Research firm, I used to travel to the northern part of Nigeria a lot.

That was in pre-Boko Haram era when Nigeria was still Nigeria, and the northern part of the country was a blissful paradise.

Northern Nigerian cities like Kaduna, Sokoto, Jos, Kano, and Bauchi were especially delightful and pleasing to the eye. Many of them like Kano are very ancient indeed and they have history that stretches back many, many centuries.

Few people who visited Jos in those days will not be wowed by its sheer beauty. Perched atop the undulating, scenic Jos plateau, Jos was simply enthralling in his majestic beauty. The beauty of Jos plus its mild climate gives one an experience to take to the grave.

Sadly, Boko Haram has devastated much of Northern Nigeria with a violence unseen since the Biafran War of 1967-1970.

I loved the north of those days. Food was plentiful and cheap. There was unsurpassed security of life and property. Life was pursued at slower pace than the rat-race people ran in the southern part of Nigeria.

But as our elders say, one thing spoils the beauty of the flying rat: its arms are longer than its legs.

I found the feudalism of the north most appalling.

The first time I saw it at close quarter was when a nasty din woke me up from my hotel room on my first night in Sokoto, the capital of the state that bears its name.

Peeping out, I saw armies of young boys banging their bowls together moving from house to house.

On enquiry I was told that they are almajiris, or students of a Koranic school. I learnt that these children are kept at these schools by a teacher (Mallam) who provides them with lodging and gives them instructions in Koranic and Islamic studies.

The children are made to chew and pour Koranic verses day and night. They have been turned into pure automatons that can think of little else outside of what has been crammed into their impressionable brains.

In return the children have to provide food for their teacher. They do these by begging for alms – in cash or kind.

Sometimes, a well-heeled philanthropist, who want to thank Allah for his blessings, will take over the school, and he will be responsible for its maintenance including the upkeep of the instructor and the children.

Where I come from in the south, begging is heavily frowned upon. It is considered a big shame for a member of one’s family to be seen begging. Only the infirmed, who are without family, are supposed to beg.

Last week, I had an experience that both shocked and shook me severely. It also reminded me of my experience in Sokoto.

A video documentary expedition took me to Amanfrom, a suburb of Accra. Part of the activities took us to a school where a Bible-reciting contest took place.

I watched in horror as school children were turned into mindless Zombies and awarded marks and gifts for abilities to recite, machine-like, quotations from the Christian Bible.

I was totally flabbergasted that these types of stupid brain-washing go on in our schools, and that these types of mindless exercises are what goes for education in our dear country.

It is sad to see that Christians have been allowed to extend their propaganda to our schools, and allowed to pollute the minds of our children with their special brand of lies.

I have no problem with anyone who takes it upon himself to believe in whatever he fancies for religion.

I have problem however when the Christians take it upon themselves to force-feed me with their jejune nonsense. And I find it most abhorrent that little innocent children are being exposed to the Christian lies, absurdities, indecencies, violence and atrocities at such impressionable ages.

What exactly is the point of teaching the Christian Bible in our schools? How do we tell our children to abhor lies and then turn around to feel them on lies from the bible?

How do we expect our children to be moral, ethical and upright when we forced them to read all the lies, forgeries, absurdities, atrocities, larcenies, pornography and wholesome violence of the Bible?

I have said it several times that I do not know why the Christians fail to realize the enormous damage they do to their god by their claim that he commanded to be written a pack of lies and absurdities we see in the Bible.

The simple truth is that from beginning to the end, the Christian bible is a pack of lies and forgeries.

In the age when few can read and write, dishonest and lying priests can claim that their book was inspired by a god and that it was free of errors.

Today, only a dishonest, lying and ignorant priest can make this claim.

There are enough historical documents available (for free) to debunk the Christian’s claim about the accuracy of their Bible.

In philosophy, when the premise of a proposition is false, it is a given that the proposition cannot be correct.

If the Christian Bible opens with a lie (as it demonstrably does), we can safely assume that the whole pack was false, since the whole edifice was constructed on the original lie.

Let us examine some of the lies on which the Christian religion is foundated.

The God Forgery
“The first sentence of the translated Bible is a falsification and forgery of the highest importance.

We read with awed solemnity of faith: ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ (Gen. 1.1).

The Hebrew word for God is el; the plural is elohim, gods. The Hebrew text of Genesis 1.1 reads: “Bereshith bara elohim,” etc., - “in-beginning created gods the heavens and the-earth.”
And in the same chapter we read in Hebrew honestly translated, thirty times the word “elohim,” gods, to whom are attributed all the works of creation in six peculiar “days” of Genesis.

This is plainly evident from the Hebrew texts of Genesis I, which even false intention could not hide in translation, “And-said elohim (gods), Let-US-make man (adam) in-image-OUR, after-likeness-OURS” (1,26).

And when “adam” had eaten of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, “the Lord God” said, “Behold, the-man has become like one of US, to know good and evil” (III, 27).

And when the Tower of Babel was abuilding, “The Lord (Hebrew Yahveh) said… Come, let US go down,” etc.

And thus, some 2,570 times the plural, elohim, gods, is used in the Hebrew text, but is always falsely translated “God” in the false singular, when speaking of the Hebrew deity, Yahveh.

The Adam Forgery
“There was no first “Adam,” according to the Hebrew texts of the story.

The word adam in Hebrew is a common noun, mean man in a generic sense; in Genesis 1,26, we have read: “And elohim (gods) said, Let us make adam (man)”; and so “elohim created ha-adam (the-man); … male and female created he them” (1,27).

And in the second story, where man is first made alone: “Yahveh formed ha-adam (the-adam) out of the dust of ha-hadam – the ground” (11,7).

Man is called in Hebrew adam because formed out of adamah, the ground; just as in Latin man is called homo because formed from humus, the ground, - homo ex humo, in the epigram of Father Lactantius… The forging of the common noun adam into a mythical proper name Adam, was a post-exilic fraud in the forging of the fictitious genealogies from “in the beginning” to Father Abraham.” …” - (Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity,” pp. 75-77.)

The Abraham Forgery
“In popular belief the story of Abraham is very simple. His original name was Abram, and he lived in “Ur of the Chaldees”; but God called him and change his name to Ab-ra-ham, which is the Hebrew for “the father of many peoples.”

Blessed are the ignorant, for they have no difficulties. The word Abraham does not mean “the father of many peoples.” No Hebrew scholar can make it mean anything. It has no meaning in Hebrew. Abram may have come from Ur; but it was not a “city of the Chaldees” until ages afterwards.” (The Story of Religious Controversy by Joseph McCabe, pp. 126-133).

New Testament Forgeries
“The simple fact is that the New Testament, as we know it, is a helter-skelter accumulation of more or less discordant documents, some of them probably of respectable origin but others palpably apocryphal, and that most of them, the good along with the bad, show unmistakable signs of having been tampered with.

‘No Biblical scholar of any standing today,” says Weigall, “whether he be a clergyman or a layman, accepts the entire New Testament as authentic; all admits that many errors, misunderstandings and absurdities have crept into the story of Christ’s life and other matters.” (Treatise On The Gods,” H. L. Mencken, pp. 209-220).

The Virgin Birth Forgery
“The most colossal of the blunders of the Septuagint translators, supplemented by the most insidious, persistent and purposeful falsification of text, is instanced in the false translation of the notoriously false pretended “prophecy” of Isaiah vII, 14 – frauds which have the most disastrous and fatal consequences for Christianity, and to humanity under its blight; the present exposure of which would instanter destroy the false faith built on these frauds.

The Greek priest who forged the “Gospel according to St. Matthew,” having before him the false Septuagint translation of Isaiah, fables the Jewish Mary yielding to the embraces of the Angel Gabriel to engender Jesus, and backs it up by an appeal to the Septuagint translation of Isaiah VII, 14: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” (Matt. V, 23.)

Isaiah’s original Hebrew, with the mistranslated words underscored, reads: “Henneh ha-almah harah ve-yeldeth ben ve-karath she-o Immanuel”; - which, falsely translated by the false pen of the pious translators, runs thus in the English: “behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa. vII,14.)

The Hebrew words ha-almah mean simply the young woman; and harah is the Hebrew past or perfect tense, “conceived,” which in Hebew, as in English, represents past and completed action. Honestly translated, the verse read: “Behold, the young woman has conceived – (is with child) – and beareth a son and calleth his name Immanuel.”

Almah means simply a young woman, of marriageable age, whether married or not, or virgin or not; in a broad sense exactly like girl or maid in English, when we say shop-girl, parlor-girl, bar-maid, without reference to or vouching for her technical virginity, which, in Hebrew, is always expressed by the word bethulah. But in the Septuagint translation into Greek, the Hebrew almah was erroneously rendered into the Greek pathenos, virgin, with the definite article ha in Hebrew, and e in Greek, (the), rendered into the indefinite “a” by latter falsifying translators… And Jerome falsely used the Latin word Virgo.

As early as the Second Century B.C., “ says the distinguished Hebrew scholar and critic, Solomon Reinach, “the Jews perceived the error and pointed it out to the Greeks; but the Church knowingly persisted in the false reading, and for over fifteen centuries she has clung to her error.” - Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity,” pp. 62-65

We have thus established the fact that the book Christians peddle as the word of their God is nothing but pack of consciously forged lies. The stories that the Christian solemnly preach to their gullible congregation are mere collections and re-hashed stories, myths and legends from Babylon, Chaldean, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and other places the Hebrews collected from their wanderings around the ancient world.

The Christian Bible is not only a collection of dangerously forged lies; it contains enough indecencies that it should be kept away from decent people, especially our children.

My humble plea is that the Christian Bible should cease to be used as a moral guide for our children.

Pray, what moral are children supposed to learn from Biblical stories and quotes like:

1. Abraham marrying his father’s daughter – “And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.” - Gen 20:12.
2. Lot’s offers his two daughters to a mob – “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them good as is good in your eyes.” – Gen 19:8.
3. Two daughters of Lot seduced their father – Gen 19:30-38.
4. Zipporah has to circumcise her son in order to restrain the Lord from killing Moses – “And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.” ”-Exodus 4:24-26.
5. Ammon ravishes his sister Tamar – 2 Sam. 13:1-14.
6. Women conceive after interviews with prophets – Manoah’s wife (Judges xiii, 3, 6, 9, 24). Elkanah’s wife (Sam I, 1, 2, 17,20) the Shunnamite and Elisha (Kings II, iv, ii, 16, 17).
7. Kind David is revived by a virgin – Kings I, I, 1-4).
8. "I will send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children," and "ye shall eat the flesh of your sons and daughters." But if you humble your uncircumcised heart, God won't do all these nasty things to you. It's your choice. Leviticus 26: 16-41.
9. "The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson and he found a new jawbone of an ass ... and took it, and slew 1000 men therewith." Judges 15:14-15.
10. God offers David a choice of punishments for having conducted the census: 1) seven years of famine (1 Chr.21:12 says three years), 2) three months fleeing from enemies, or 3) three days of pestilence. David can't decide, so God chooses for him and sends a pestilence, killing 70,000 men (and probably around 200,000 women and children). 2 Samuel 24: 13.
11. Anyone who adds to the words in Revelation (or to the rest of the Bible?) will be struck with plagues, and anyone that tries to remove anything from it will have his name removed from the book of life. Rev. 22:18-19.

Retracing our steps from the abyss

Recent events in the country should give every Ghanaians and friends of Ghana reason to be very anxious indeed.

We all should be worried, very worried without a doubt.

Although many of us like to mouth the (now largely discredited mantra) that we are a peaceful people, recent happenings in the land suggest that there is absolutely nothing in our genes to suggest that we have less proclivity to violence like other human beings. Recent happenings in the land suggest that we possess in abundance, like many human, the capacity and the propensity to become violent.

National peace and cohesion are not to be taken for granted under any circumstance, especially in tenuous nation-states such as ours which, as I often said, are cobbled together to satisfy colonial logic.

Actually, in many instances, peace, at the national level, must be assiduously courted and worked for. We cannot have peace simply by wishing for it. Our behaviour, individually and collectively, is going to determine the type of peace we continue to enjoy.

Recent happenings in Mali should also tell us that we take our much touted democratic credentials for granted at our peril.

Like us, Malian democracy is about twenty years old. Like us, Malians have conducted four successful elections. Like us, Malians were also toasted by the international community (I actually used that word, ah!) for the steady progress they have made in building democratic capacity.

Sadly, all these achievements of Mali were wiped out overnight when aggrieved middle-ranked soldiers overthrew the government and sent shivers down the spine of complacent leaders in the ECOWAS sub-region.

Today, a shaky contraption of government rules in Mali and the country is effectively divided by a secessionist group that overran the northern part of the country and sundered it.
The pictures of Malians dancing at the violent overthrow of their elected represents should in no way suggest that they do not like democracy or freedom, or that they are demented masochists that enjoy being brutalized by gun-wielding soldiers ruling under decrees.

No, it should suggest to us that Malian politicians failed miserably to read the mood of the ordinary Malians, and change their evil ways before it was too late. It shows that the Malian political class, like the French Bourbons, refused to learn the lessons of history. The Malian political class was too obsessed with themselves, and in their self-masturbatory indulgence; they forgot the ordinary Malian people.

The result of this complacent was a comic coup that should not have happened had the politicians been up to their mettle.

Former President Rawlings is a man known to speak his mind. He is also one that leaves no one in doubt as to where he stands on major issue.

Few days ago, the ex president warned that our nation is poised on an abyss and that we should pray to god to help us.

Sadly, Mr. Rawlings apt warning was given every manner of political colorations that very few serious minds ponder over its aptness, significance and necessity.

It is less than eight months to the general elections in December and already the atmosphere in the country is charged and poised beyond belief. A first time visitor to the country would think that the nation is preparing for serious war, and not just the registration of voters who are to partake in elections that are still months down the road.

Ghanaian politicians, even those whom we have credited with much intelligence and who should know better, have turned a mere voter registration exercise into a do or die affair. They hop from radio station to radio station preaching their special brands of bigotry and intolerance, laced with the most vitriol of personal and tribal attacks. Some people have lost their lives. Many have been stabled and cudgeled. Many have made it their business to go around with every manner of instruments of violence.

And all of these in the name of politics!

Are all these tensions necessary in order to elect our leaders?

As a dispassionate observer of the political scene, I can only say that I feel distressed when I watch people, who are supposed to know better, joined the fray not only to muddle water, but also to contribute their own quota to the unnecessary cacophonous and totally unnecessary noises.

The gods know that this column has tried to focus on discussing ideas about how the country can best realize its objectives to use its god-given resources to improve the lives of the people of the country.

It is rather painful to watch all the passions and the energies that are daily dissipated on discussing politics.

I have travelled the length and breadth of this beautiful and immensely blessed country. In my travels, I have often been saddened by the crushing poverty I see all over the country, most especially in the northern half of the country.

To me, such poverty are totally unnecessary. Given the wealth we have in this country, there is absolutely no reason why we should not have the same standard of living that are among the top best in the world.

If only our leaders will act up, there is no reason whatever why Ghanaians should not have the same quality of life like Singaporeans or Norwegians.

Thrice this year our nation has been embarrassed by national blackouts. Our currency is sinking faster than the Titanic. Our debt burden is increasing exponentially. The price of our primary product, Cocoa, is falling alarmingly. We still beg for support to balance our budget.

The big question is why do all these development shortcomings we see around us not agitate our minds? Why do the sights of children studying under trees not excite our passions for us to want to want do something, anything about it? Why do spectacle of men doing back-breaking farm work in scorching sun not bringing tears to our eyes. Why is the scene of women carrying babies on their backs, balancing heavy loads on their heads in midday sun not moving us to try and do something, anything? Why do we not feel any personal or national shame that we contribute absolutely nothing to global science, technology or engineering? Why are we not shamed that we are mere consumers and not originators of ideas that benefit mankind?

I have seen villages and towns in Ghana that are of such poor quality that they won’t be allowed to function as pig sties in some country.

Even in the modern, urban concrete jungle that we call capital, Accra, our people are still dying of cholera – a disease that is caused solely by poor, unhygienic living - which should show how far behind we are in providing good health service for our people.

We have all these development challenges, yet very few of us make it our business to comment on them.

But bring on politics, and we all discover our vocal chords and we are galvanised into action. Like some long hibernating gnomes, we suddenly wake up from deep slumber, primed for action.
There will be little concern if the political discussions are intellectually elevating and can contribute to moving our political development in a smoother trajectory.

No, they are not. All we are treated to are mostly vomit-inducing, headache-causing political mis-analyses, personalized by crazy ideas, vituperative insults and high decibel shoutfests.
We utilize our numerous rag sheets of newspapers, our plentiful FM stations and TV stations not to engage in debating ideas that of could be beneficial to us, but only to propagate one jejune political idea or the other from morning to night.

Breathlessly, our men and women vociferate themselves silly on the air debating totally, totally useless political nonsense.

Why don’t we make it our business to demand why those that we elect go ahead to sign away our oil for ten percent, whilst war-torn Afghanistan got eighty-five percent from the Chinese? Why don’t we begin to query why Ghanaian officials, with their head screwed on right, will agree to an agreement to cart away our oil unrefined in their crude form, whilst our refinery at Tema is starved of inputs? Why can’t we ask why for over a century, we have been contented to receive three to six percent for our gold, whilst the expatriate executives of the mining companies do nothing but play golf, stay in big hotels and get over ninety percent of our gold revenue? Why do we not feel passionate about the mining companies polluting our rivers and streams and despoiling our environment?

Why do we not feel concerned that our country, Ghana, has initialed the disastrous EPA agreement the European Union is forcing down the throats of African nations?

Why do we not make it our business to think about how we can use our children in school to clean and beautify our villages, towns and cities? Or why we cannot make the planting of flowers and grasses form part of our Environment Studies? Or make the growing and harvesting of agriculture produce form part of our syllabi on the subject? Or why we cannot task our universities and polytechnics to come up with practical solutions to some of the problems bedeviling us? Or why we cannot engage our parents to teach our culture to our children in our schools?

There are just too many questions and challenges that should agitate our minds rather than all the silly talks about politics, politics, and politics.

We all hail the Hypocrite in Chief, Brother Barack Obama, when he came and told us to build republic of strong institutions rather than states of strong men.

It was a good advice, but what are we to make of the sights of those that should know better doing their damn best to undermine state institutions?

What are we to make of the spectacle of crowds gathering at police stations to protest against the police doing their constitutionally-mandated duties? What are we to make of the threat by an ex minister to deal with a policeman doing his lawful duty? And why didn’t the police boss come out to defend his men under attack from politicians? What are we to make of a presidential aide (Nii Lartey Vandepuye) threatening to spill blood over bio-metric registration exercise? What are we suppose to make of political parties and groups storming police stations with their rented crowds to disturb officers that are lawfully discharging their duties? What are we to make of the chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) addressing his party’s supporters who besieged police headquarters without condemning them?

How and when did we reach this nadir of madness, whereby everyone thinks it normal to take the laws into his hand?

Of course, our well-crafted constitution guarantees freedom for all and we have ‘Freedom and Justice,’ as our motto, but is freedom not always to be tempered with responsibility and discipline?
What type of society do we aim to build when all that we know is freedom without its concomitant responsibilities?

More importantly, what can we begin to do to stem this creeping madness that is bound to shove us all into an abyss if not arrested and quickly too?

I listened to the MP from Adenta attempt to defend our president, who said that he is not a policeman and therefore cannot cause arrest. The MP asked rhetorically what rank the president has in the police force.

This is crass and belies an ill-thought response.

Are we to take it that because the president is not a farmer that we shouldn’t complain when the prices of food shot up under his watch? Or that because Mr. President is not a mason, we should keep mum when prices of building materials and housing become unaffordable?

Of course, the president is not a uniformed police officer, but he, as the Commander in Chief of all Forces in Ghana, is ultimately the Chief Police Officer.

The constitution entrusted enormous authority in the office of the president and we are in deep trouble when anyone that occupies that position try to duck and fudge.

The Adenta MP should be reminded that many people who have occupied the position of executives know that there is no way they could shirk the responsibility of the office. Maybe that explains why President Harry Truman has on his desk the famous sign: The Bucks Stops Here.

Since there is simply no higher authority in the land than the Executive President, the occupant must bear the ultimate responsibility for any failure in any of our state institutions. It is his job to ensure that he employs the best people to head the agencies. It is his responsibility to tell them what he wants done and ensure that his directives are complied with. He has the prerogative to hire and fire at his discretion. If mayhem happens anywhere in the country, and the police appear not be up to par, we do not say that the president should don a uniform and chase hoodlums. What we say is that he should summon the head of the police, ask him questions and fire him if he is not satisfied.

I have said severally in this column that if the president knows what is good for him, he’ll fire some of the people he surrounds himself with.

There is little doubt that the president has the intellectual capacity and also the good will, the best intentions to do his best for the nation, but could we say the same for those that surrounds him?

History is replete with stories of well-meaning leaders who, upon been disgraced from office, cursed their advisors for mis-leading them.

In Nigeria, General Yakubu Gowon lamented the role is advisors played in mis-leading him about the true state of affairs in the Nigerian nation.

Presidents are not superhumans; that explains why they are entitled to aides to advise and assist them. But we are left to wonder the caliber of advice a desperado like Nii Lante Vanderpuye can provide a head of state.

As Brother Obama advised, we must strengthen our institutions. We can begin by empowering the police and the judicial system to make examples of those in the habit of storming police stations to protest against lawful arrest.

I think there are laws against interfering with officials performing their duties. It is time the heavy sanctions of the laws are made to descend very heavily on those miscreants who have come to make a habit of storming police stations.

The president must take immediate step to arrest the creeping state of lawlessness, lest we are courting serious troubles. He could liaise with the leaders of the legislature and the judiciary to expeditiously put in place extra-ordinary measures to save the corporate integrity of the state, which today is being challenged as never before.

A stitch in time, they say, saves nine. If our police, performing their assigned duties, feel intimidated by rowdy rented crowds, how do we expect them to function optimally?

If we do not stamp down this creeping lawlessness down very firm, we will all regret to reap the whirlwind in the very near future. If a mere registration of voters can result in so much mayhem, what are we to expect from the election proper?

President John Atta Mills should try and remember that ultimately he is responsible for the actions and the inactions that happen under his watch.

An African adage says: “The king under whose rule the nation prospers shall never be forgotten; neither shall the king under whose rule the nation descended into chaos.”

Wise saying:

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