Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ghana Elections 2012: may the best candidates win

In exactly a week, Ghanaians will troop to the polling stations to cast their votes for the governors that will rule the country for the next three years.

The presidency is up for grabs as are the two hundred and seventy-five parliamentary seats.

With five relatively free and fair elections under her belt, Ghana proudly brandishes an enviable record of organizing elections that are widely hailed across the world.

It is an achievement that countries like the USA cannot even boast of, as elections in god’s own country continue to be besetted by every manner of shenanigan like gerrymandering, and the intimidation of illiterate minorities.

With our enviable record, it is sad that elections continue to polarize our nation. It is equally sad that the act of choosing our governors continues to be so fraught with insults, mudslinging, and character assassinations!

If we begin from the premise that we are all patriotic citizens of the land, why has it become impossible for us to agree to disagree without being uncivil to each other?
Why do we think of ourselves as the super-patriots and our political opponents as evil, treasonous felons?

Why do we think that we love our country more than those on the opposing political side?

We ought not to think that we love our country more than those on the other side of the political divide, and we should not think less of them to the extent that we disparage and assassinate their characters.

It is sad that many fine and quite capable citizens shy away from joining politics simply, because the professional politicians have so muddled the water, that many think of politics as a dirty profession.

The numerous entreaties and exhortations from religious and opinion leaders appear only to have lessened but not totally eliminated the ugly incidences of political violence in the country.

It is to be hoped that Ghanaians will remember that the eyes of the world is upon us and that we are seen as the cynosure of Africa – a continent that continues to receive unfair negative media attention.

Let us continue to exhibit the maturity that has earned the country global kudos.
Our people should realize that elections are nothing more than occasions for us to exercise our franchise as citizens of a free and sovereign nation.

Elections should not be occasions to think of how best we could display our primitive masochism or visit mayhem at the behest of the elite.

It is time we all realize how much it cost us whenever things go awry in any part of the country.

Maintaining law and order does not come cheap, and bringing back peace after mayhem is very expensive.

The common people of Ghana should start to use their common sense.

Our elders say that those that allow their heads to be used to break the coconut will not partake in eating it.

People should ask themselves how many children of the elite they see rioting, snatching ballot boxes or bashing the heads of their parents’ political opponents?
None, I daresay, since the children of the elite are esconded safely in elite schools abroad. Their fees are paid in hard currency, thank you very much. They live in comfortable environment totally devoid of the deprivations we suffer daily in Ghana.

The children of our elite parley and enjoy lives with children of other elite from other parts of the world.

There, they make the connections and the networks to ensure that they are made for life.

It is the nadir of stupidity for an ignorant, illiterate and unemployed youth to accept pittance from politicians and rent himself out as political machoman.

We should employ our brain and brawn to demand that our politicians use our resources for the common good.

Few people will enjoy the benefits of a university education without thinking twice about becoming party thugs.

There should be vigorous campaign to make our youth realize the folly of allowing themselves to be used as cannon-fodder by politicians.

It behooves all of us to campaign against all and every form of political hooliganism.

Simple logic suggests that if our politicians are not selfish, greedy and self-seeking they could have created the environment whereby no Ghanaian will be deprived of the basic education with which to fend for himself.

If we had been blessed with leaders with visions, Ghana should by now be up there as an industrialised nation, where citizens use their time and their brains to create the things that will make lives more comfortable.

If our leaders had been serious, we should by now be creating and manufacturing all the fanciful things our leaders borrow money to purchase.

All these make this year elections all the more interesting. For several reasons this year election is going to be a watershed.

For one, the ruling party is prosecuting it without its enigmatic and charismatic founder, Jerry Rawlings.

A man of deep conviction and one who is totally unafraid of voicing out his thoughts on the thorniest of issues, President Rawlings has so far refused to join the campaign train and his party has, wisely it seems, decided to ignore him.

This year will make or mar the President Rawlings political legacy as Ghanaians will, once and for all, demonstrate whether or not he still count for something in Ghanaian political calculus.

It has being nice to see the dignified figure of ex-president John Kufuor campaigning rigorously for his party. Kufuor committed several faux pas during his tenure, but when the occasion called for true statesmanship during the tensed 2008 elections, he rose gallantly and deserved praises for that singular act.

Without a doubt, this year elections have also seen more robust and better packaged political messages than the previous ones.

The TV and radio adverts have been very creative. It is good to see all the political parties embracing new technologies in their campaign.

Gone are the days of dull TV adverts.

This is good news especially for those in the advertising business.

According to the Finder newspaper, this year will go down as the most expensive: “An estimated amount of GH¢549 million has been spent by the country’s political parties on all forms of advertisements and inducements aimed at wooing the electorate to vote for them in the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

The money is being spent on advertisements, promotions, billboards, vehicles, motorbikes and bicycles, and as direct monetary gifts to voters.

According to investigations conducted by The Finder newspaper, about GH¢350 million has been spent so far on advertisement on television, radio and newspapers while billboards have consumed some GH¢21 million mainly in the Greater Accra Region.

So, if the Finder’s findings were to be true, we will end up having the most expensive president money can buy!

This year elections have also seen the introduction of more focused political messages. Instead of the drab, canned messages lifted from cut-and-paste manifestoes, the parties are beaming to us easy-to-digest ideas we can sink our teeth into.

The ruling NDC is all over the place with its Better Ghana Agenda with adverts chronicling for us its achievements in power.

In John Mahama, the NDC has an extremely confident, affable man who appears to be at peace with himself. Behind the affability, however, we perceive a man that brooks no nonsense.

The president has also managed, within a few months, to rein in the babies with sharp teeth in his party and government, who managed to ostracized many people who might have taken a liking to the NDC.

Gladly, the nation has been spared the venomous vituperations of uncouth presidential spokesmen like Anyidoho and Presidential Staffers like Vanderpuye.

As we said many times in this column, the presidency is too important to be served by those unable to control either their temper or their mouth.

We cannot afford to have ill-mannered, ill-bred masochists speaking for our nation’s Chief Executive.

Ironically, the main opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), have become associated with free education policy. This is great for a party that is supposed to be for the seriously rich men in society.

With social policies targeted at the under-privileged, the NPP have stolen the thunder of the NDC, a self-avowed social-democratic party.

The well-crafted adverts from the NPP show serious professionalism that showily demonstrated the fact that the party’s chairman was an advertising guru before he branched into politics.

Everyone can relate to the NPP’s main manta: “Free SHS Now.”

By telling us that the president was a beneficiary of a free education policy, the NPP makes it extremely difficult for the NDC to continue to lampoon the free education policy.

This is simply brilliant.

Wow, funny that the Danquahists borrowed Nkrumah’s battle cry of “Independence, now!”
The NPP’s candidate, Nana Akuffo-Addo, have also transformed himself into a more human, humane, accessible person who is even capable of social banter.

The picture of his eating Kenkey at a side chopbar was also an endearing one.

Kudos must go to Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Progressive People’s Party candidate. With its bold ideas and policy thrusts, the PPP has live up to its billing as a truly progressive party.

There is no deny the fact that for sheer organizational skills and personal dynamism, none of the presidential candidates comes close to Paa Kwesi Nduom.

It must take lots of ability and skills to single-handedly formed and launched a party and gave it national prominence within a very short time.

Those types of prodigious abilities ought to be saluted and celebrated irrespective of what we think of the man’s personal politics.

Not only that, the PPP’s programme remain the most visionary and the best articulated among the parties.

Were people to vote on pure merit alone, the PPP will win handsomely.

CPP’s Abu Sakara’s proved his mettle during the presidential Debates as he projected the image of a confident leader on top of issues.

His performance was simply sterling.

Alas, Nkrumah’s party continues to operate at the periphery of Ghanaian politics!
Top officials of the CPP told this writer that they know what they are doing at the grassroots; I can only hope that the party of Africa’s favourite son is able to spring a surprise in this year’s election.

On the other hand, my younger brother, Deji, always tell me that hope and prayer are not strategies!

And we cannot forget the comic relief provided us by the PNC leader, Hassan Ayariga – thank ye, gods, for small blessings.

The man gave us occasions to laugh and relieve our tensions.

He even managed to drag his mother to come out with an appeal in his behalf! But as we said before, Hassan Ayariga is no presidential material and he, undoubtedly, knows it. Even members of his own party appeared scandalized by his antics.

Let it never be said that our politics lack a dull moment or that it is devoid of joksters. Our political lexicon have been greatly enriched by words like ‘Ayarigate,’ and we all know what Ayaricough now mean.

Whatever happens, Ghana appears to have crossed a political Rubicon: Free Education has become the standard by which every political party will be judged.

In this column we have consistently advocated for the implementation of a free and compulsory education for every Ghanaian.

A free education for youth should go in tandem with a comprehensive adult literacy education programme to ensure that illiteracy is totally wiped out from our society.
No nation that haboured illiterate citizens has ever been able to break out of the under-development logjam.

We are either serious or we are not. We cannot eat our cake and expect to keep having it. Let no one tell us any lie; without full complement of educated people, we shall never break out of our Third-World status.

As we wrote in, “It is education, stupid”: In a globalized world, we need to produce global citizens who can successfully compete with their peers from anywhere in the world.

We need to seriously reconsider our education system under which we continue to graduate people who cannot think critically.

We cannot continue to operate a system whereby our graduates are good at only quotology – swallowing and regurgitating facts like parrots mimicking human voices.

Our next leader should be someone prepared to break away from the crowd and lead. He should be a confident person and one that is bold enough to tell us basic home truths. Principal among this that there is no way we can continue the way we are going and expect to get anywhere.

Our next leader should be one emboldened to change the whole paradigm of our education system.

Our next leader should be an education President. If he only could successfully prosecute an education agenda that give our children quality education, linked intrinsically with our core traditional values, he would succeed beyond measures.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Of Criticism and Higher Criticism

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

My article, What if I don’t want to be saved?, excited many people.

For a writer that is good news as it shows that people do read – contrary to widespread perception. It is also nice to know that what one writes made some people to start to think.

Thinking can only be good for the human brain.

I did not ask for anything more than that human beings (especially Africans) should use their brains to THINK instead of holding tenaciously to dogmas.

The mind, they say, is a terrible thing to waste, human beings should refuse to turn themselves into mindless zombies in the name of a religion.

In writing the article, little did I know that many Africans feel as strongly as I do by the activities of the so-called Christians, with their ignoble lies and the teaching of a fabricated religion constructed entirely on falsehoods.

Many Africans told me that they also feel affronted by the havoc the Christian and other imported religions have wreaked on our continent - the wholesale massacres; the wanton destruction of African cultural patrimony; the forceful imposition of European norms on us; the capture of the African mind and the turning of Africans into unthinking mass of automatons.

Many wrote to give me new information; to them I remain grateful and indebted.

Whereas many Africans wrote to give me kudos for the article, many Christians decided it was time for them to vent their anger and frustrations.

Even though I committed no crime in writing out what I believe to be true, but many of those that go around preaching love, tolerance and forgiveness decided that I have committed capital crime and must be condemned!

A lady from Kenya who called herself Catherine Otieno decided to vigorously masturbate in my inbox with some mind-boggling mindless drivels.

I answered her that I do not possess the mind or the time to waste of her jejune bunkums.

I never would understand these Christians!

Why would an Almighty, Omnipotent and Omniscient god requires ordinary mortals to come to its defence?

Many Christians said that they pray for me so that god will forgive me my sins so that I can be allowed to enter paradise!


I wrote in my article that I was not interested in any paradise, and that one life is simply enough for; but it looks like our Christians, in their hastes to condemn, refused to digest the gist of my article.

This is sad!

If human beings can evolve a system of justice that refuses to condemn a man for crimes committed by another person, why should the Christian believe the malarkey that their god would roast me because of a sin committee by some Adam and Eve?

Honestly, the Christians are the worst recommendations for their faith. If they live exemplary lives, we can try to emulate them. But few honest people can relate to the mindlessness we see in Christiandom.

I do not care for the company of the Christians that I know to want to be with them in any paradise.

Some of them even asked that I repent, accept Jesus and believe that the Bible is the word of god so that I can be forgiven my sins and be allowed to enter paradise.

What type of bribery is this, and why do people in this age and time believe in this utterly stupid proposition?

So, according to these Christians, Jehovah, in his infinite wisdom will not judge me on the strength of my character; he will not be interested in whether or not I was a good husband, a loving father who never steal and always kept his word. Jehovah will not be interested that I never visited violence on anyone and that I am all for justice.

He will determine my fate solely on my believing that a fiction, some pious priests invented and called his son, and that he wrote a collection of forged, utterly absurd books they called a Bible!

Jehovah will be so angry with me for not believing the stupid tales of the Christian Bible, so much so that he will sentence me to eternal hell-fire, where he will spend eternity roasting me in fire!

Could anything be more preposterous to thinking than this stupid idea?

I know enough chemistry and have been to many cremations to know that it takes all but few minutes of intense fire to reduce a cadaver to ashes; so why would Jehovah be spending eternity roasting poor me?

Why would any god derive any joy in turning itself into a pyromaniac that enjoys the stench of roasting human flesh?

Do the Christians really expect me to cringe in fear?

None of the avowed Christian that wrote questioned the integrity of my article; none queried its accuracy and no one challenged me for peddling falsehood.

Why then are people not interested in the truth?

Why are the Christians afraid to use their brains, do some thinking and arrive at conclusions that accord well with reasoning?

Are they afraid of what they will discover?

Didn’t their Bible plagiarize an Ancient Egyptian injunction: “You will know the truth and the truth will make you free?”

Some of the Christians said that I should accept Jesus and keep referring to him as Jesus Christ as though it were his surname.

The simple fact that two of the gospels, Matthew and Luke, gave two completely different and contradictory accounts of the central figure of their faith, appear not to bother the Christians at all.

That the inspired words of their god should contain so much violence, so much absurdities do not trouble these Christians at all.

According to the Biblical account, Jeshua (Jesus) purportedly lived up to thirty three years of age before he was crucified.

There was no account of him going to any school or learning a trade. He was not reported to have held any job or earn an honest living. Most Christians denied his ever loving his gossiped lover, Mary Magdalene. The Biblical Jesus was painted as a one-dimensional man with no depth. He was as ignorant as the worst of his age. He uttered neither a single intelligent nor an inspiring word. He cursed like a sailor and appeared to be totally ignorant of simple laws of economics as attested to by his reportedly telling his disciples to give unto Caesar what his Caesar - he ignorantly believed that money belongs to those whose portraiture they bear and not to the man that toiled to earn it.

They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." Matthew 22:21.

Jesus reportedly magically fed people with fish, cast out demons and walked on water.

Jesus believed that diseases were caused by demons; Science proved long time ago that diseases are caused by germs and not by demons.

That is the sum total of the life of the person the Christians called a Saviour!

The story of how the Bible was collected is well document; readers only have to read the accounts of the Nicaean Conferences to know the true origins of the so-called Holy Bible, and discover that the books were chosen by dubious priests inspired only by a desire to make money and grab power.

As to the authenticity of the books of the Bible, if the efforts will not kill the Christians, they should try and compare the Epic of Gilgamesh (available online) with the Biblical fable of Noah.

But seriously, why is using one’s brain to learn new things of less importance than holding tenaciously to a blind dogma?

The mind, they say, is a terrible thing to waste!

Finally, I commend the Christians to Buddha: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Not you too, Tony Aidoo

It is a great pity that our elected officials in Africa appear to have abandoned all sense of ethics and morality.

To them all that matters is legality.

So long as something does not appear to breach the laws (which they drew up, lest we forget), it is considered OK.

As things stand now, people see politics as nothing but an avenue to loot state properties. We have the sad situation today where we go to great length to borrow money for development.

Our officials expend big chunks of these loans into building mansions for state’s officials. They also use part of it to buy the best 4*4 jeeps money can buy. Parts of the loans also go into paying the astronomical salaries and emoluments they crafted for themselves.

Little thought is given to providing basic services for the hoi polio. Our taps are still dry and electricity generation and distribution is still a big challenge, so much so that where I live we sometimes get four hours of electricity a day.

At the end of their four years, our officials will get juicy ex-gratia pay-checks. As though that were not scandalous enough, they will also get to buy the state properties allocated for their use at thieving.

The new boys on the block will blame the old guards as corrupt infidels and make loads of noises and threaten fire and brimstone.

All is shakara, as they say in Nigeria.

Before long they also will think that it is their turn to eat.

That in a nutshell is the story of governance in our Africa.

In the article I wrote to condemn the Chief Justice of Ghana for her unethical behavior in acquiring state’s land, Can the CJ spell ETHICAL?

I wrote, inter alia: “I don’t know who her advisers are, but those who advised (mis-advised in my opinion) the Chief Justice to release that capricious statement did her a terrible dis-service.

It is best to shut your mouth and let people wonder whether or not you’re a thief than to open it and remove all doubt.

Madam CJ’s statement revealed a pathetically amoral soul with absolutely no capacity for ethical or moral consideration whatever.

To her, it is all about legality, legality and legality!

Sadly, for our CJ, as long as something is legal, then it must be right.
But this should not be so. In our actions or inactions, thoughts should also be spared for the ethical dimension.

Sorry, Madam CJ, do you mean that your serving “this nation conscientiously for the past thirty-eight years as a public servant,” entitles you to engage in free-booting on government’s property?

I simply hate it when I hear people like the CJ telling us how conscientiously they have serve Mother Ghana. We are all in our own little ways serving our country. And heaven knows that we have well-remunerated high officials like the CJ without their dipping their hands to loot from the government property.

HIPCed (Highly Indebted and poor Country) as we are, we still manage to pay our officials well – at least by our modest standards.

What exactly is Madam CJ talking about? Is she telling us she is a more deserving public servant than the poor farmer or the poor teacher both of whom are toiling under great deprivations to contribute to our nation’s development? Did Madam ask herself since when the Government of Ghana become a land seller? Were the lands sold to the CJ and her fellow travellers advertised and disposed off according to laid down regulations? Was our CJ unaware that she was paying an unusually low price for her land in that part of our blessed republic? When lands acquired for government services were under-handedly sold off at thieving prices, where did our CJ expect the government to get the land when the needs arise, or is our CJ suggesting that the government will not undergo natural growth?

And she had the temerity to tell us about ‘serving conscientiously!”

Kindly sing us another song, Madam.

She further said: “I did not acquire the subject matter illegally or through some other unorthodox means.”

I pray that Madam CJ is not suffering from inadequate grasp of Basic English as my dictionary defines unorthodox as “unconventional: failing to follow conventional or traditional beliefs or practices.”

There are well-laid-down rules governing the disposal of government assets, part of which I understand is that such sales must be publicly advertised.

What type of banana republic are we running when people can meet in secret and sell state properties to themselves and their cronies!

And Madam CJ is mouthing some effluvial about following orthodox path in acquiring her land. Madam should kindly tell us when and where the land she purchased was advertised. If it was not advertised, how did she hear about it?

It is sad when people like Madam CJ simply cannot get it into their heads that public service is a calling. It is sad indeed that those privileged to be called to serve their nation did not consider it great honor indeed. Sadder still when they consider it a way and means to loot their proverbial share of the national cake.

It was recently revealed that seventy-five (yes, 75%) of our national income is devoted to servicing the machinery of government – that is to pay concurrent expenditure like salaries and emoluments.

So, our blessed republic is left with ONLY 25% for its capital expenditure – roads, schools, hospitals and other infrastructural projects.

Do you now begin to understand why we are mired in seemingly intractable poverty quagmire? Do you now know why our leaders need to go around the world with begging and supplicating like common beggars? Do you now know why any announcement by the Japanese and the Chinese about grant always send our rulers dizzy with excitement?

Do you now begin to realize why we are perpetual recipient of ‘aid?’ Do you now begin to know why we command no respect in any part of the world and why the other races keep looking down on us?

That is not all about the sad state of our affairs. Our elite (remember greedy bastards?) are not satisfied with collaring 75% of our budget for their comfortable upkeep, they still want a share of the paltry 25% left for our development.


Remember that it is from the 25% that government must pay compensation for lands acquired for state’s use.

So, when our greedy bastards (sorry elite) started parceling out these lands to themselves at simply ridiculous prices, they are literally stealing what belongs to the commonwealth.

Methinks that it is this culture of entitlement by our public officials that must be disabused. Why do our public ‘servants’ think that because; ‘I have served my country, so I am perfectly entitled to loot her meager resources.’

We had a departing speaker of parliament, not satisfied with his whopping ex-gratia award, literally and figuratively stripping his bungalow of every item his thieving hands could grab. No sanction was imposed on him. A departing minister also bought his official residence for a song; today he chairs one of our major parties!

Our MPs ‘serve’ for four years and believe that they deserve ex-gratia to the tune of 800million cedis.

According to Madam CJ: “In order to protect the high office of the Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, I would like to relinquish my interest in the plot of land under reference.”

Methinks that this is simply not enough. By purchasing government land under very questionable circumstances, the CJ has severely compromised her ethical authority.

The government of Ghana is not a land-seller, period. Madam CJ, like any other Ghanaian, should know better whom to approach when in search of land to buy.

How, on earth, does Madam CJ expected to be taken seriously whenever she pontificate about the virtues of honest living. Does she still expect to be taken seriously when she admonishes people about crime not paying? How would she adjudicate in a land dispute when she herself is a beneficiary of a dubious land deal?

While it might be true that she breaches no law in acquiring the land, she patently breached the ethical standards her high office demands. Her behaviour might not be strictly illegal, it is certainly not ethical.

And this is precisely where the CJ’s problem lies: Her lack of capacity to either comprehend or appreciate the ethical dimensions of her judgments reveals a person whose moral standards are questionable, to say the least.

Ethics (Greek ethika, from ethos, “character,” “custom”), principles or standards of human conduct, sometimes called morals (Latin mores, “customs”), and, by extension, the study of such principles, sometimes called moral philosophy.

And what was Madam CJ trying to tell us when she wrote: “this is the only piece of land that I have acquired from the Lands Commission, for which reason I have supplied my full maiden name to enable the facts stated to be verified.”

I guessed she expected Ghanaians to dance with joy because she had acquired only one piece of government land.

Sorry, Madam CJ, I refused to see the logic of your argument. I wonder how you’d treat a criminal who plead in your court that he had stolen only once. And pray, what was Madam CJ trying to do by employing her maiden when she was a married woman!

Land is a highly prized finite commodity and a visit to our court houses will reveal heart-breaking stories of land cases stretching back to time immemorial.

There are serious allegations that many judges had received parcels of land over which they sit in judgment. How do we expect to get impartial judgment from such judges? And our judges expect to continue to receive our adulation!

The big question Madam CJ fail to address is: Was it right for you to surreptitiously buy government property?

Sorry Madam CJ, but it is not the frequency of your UNETHICALLY acquiring government property that is worrisome: it is your failure, as the Chief Justice of Ghana, to adhere STRICTLY to the rules and procedures of how government’s properties should be disposed off.

It is your lack of moral etiquette that is most baffling. Your action might not be illegal but it is grossly unethical. And it is your inability to distinguish between illegality and unethicality that is making your holding the position of the Chief Justice of our blessed republic quite untenable.

I will, once again, advice that you advice yourself about the ethicality of your continuing to hold your current exalted position.

You may quote all the law books to support your position, but on the ethical or moral scale, you simply have failed, miserably.”

Sadly, the CJ did not heed my advice to resign her position; she is still there. And if anything the primitive acquisition of state properties have increased. The latest is the saga of Dr. Tony Aidoo.

According to those that knew him very well, Dr. Tony Aidoo was a Marxist-spewing left-leaning, no-nonsense university don who’s very fond of his cigarettes.

He reportedly tooled around Kwame Nkrumah University campus in an ancient jalopy and appeared not to have other ambitions than to trudge it out as a lecturer until retirement.

Apparently his Marxists rhetoric caught the fancy of then President Rawlings who plugged him from obscurity to fill the position of a deputy Minister at the Ministry of Defence.

He was not distinguished in that capacity and left office when the term of his boss ended in 2001.

Little was heard of Dr. Aidoo again until the late Beloved President Mills dragged him to the Castle and seconded him as the Head of the nebulously-tiled Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency.

It was a position that appeared to fit our erstwhile Marxist perfectly.

Like every petty bureaucrat, he quickly cut a niche for himself, made himself relevant, pushed papers around and at the end of the month collects his juicy pay that benefits a presidential staffer.

Occasionally, Dr. Aidoo emerged from his obscure office to vent his anger at the opposition. At times he roared like an Old Testament Patriarch whose children have disobeyed Jehovah. He spared neither the low nor the mighty in his vile invectives against corruption and other vices. He bellowed angrily whenever any opposition dare criticize the government.

Generally, Dr. Aidoo cut the picture of a pious, self-righteous and upright man totally against all and every evil and vices.

He was said to have personally led agents to retrieved state properties from former officials of the NPP.

Dr. Aidoo was recently in the news demanding that President Mahama named those he considered ‘babies with sharp tooth and evil dwarfs,’ whom President Rawlings reportedly said were the Greedy bastards that cause confusion in the ruling party and are busy looting state’s resources.

There were no reports that the president ever answered him.

Then, the communication team of the NPP did the nation proud by releasing documents that showed that the self-righteous Dr. Aidoo was not so incorruptible, after all.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, a Deputy Communications Director of the NPP, Mr Sammy Awuku, accused Dr. Aidoo of buying a Ford Expedition for 6,200. Mr. Awuku said the car, which was part of former President Kufuor’s fleet of official vehicles, was bought on auction by Dr Aidoo and the money paid to Shargaw Ventures, a licensed auctioneer.

According to him, the deal smacks of corruption as the vehicle was released to Dr Aidoo at a “ridiculously low price".

Six thousand, two hundred cedis is, of course, a steal for that type of vehicle, auction or no auction. I recently sold my 2001 Opel Astra Estate wagon for 6,500!

In his defence, Dr. Aidoo lame excuse was that the said vehicle was in “a very bad condition," and that: “I am not the one who took the decision to scrap the car...and ordered its public auction. I am not the one who valued the car and set the price on it.... So where arises the conflict of interest?” he asked.


I did some Googling and discover that the average selling price Ford Expedition 2005 in the USA is US$13,294: 2005 Ford Expedition Price

We then have to add the shipment/freight and the duty price to get the actual price it could have been sold in Ghana.

The paltry 6,200 Dr. Aidoo paid will hardly cover the Duty alone.

His claim that the vehicle was in bad shape could be true but could not have depreciated to the level where it could be sold for that ridiculous amount.

And maybe Dr. Aidoo needs to talk to his auto-mechanic as automatic vehicles do not have gear boxes as he claimed.

But the real problem here is that Dr. Aidoo like those who have partake in looting state properties can simply not grasp the unethicality of their actions. They cannot see the conflict of interests in buying properties of the government in which they serve.

This is the real tragedy for the country.

It is sad for the country when we have people like Dr. Tony Aidoo being caught in the web of corruption against which they have vociferated so loudly not too long ago.
It is equally sad that the President did not deem it fit and proper to fire his errant aide as soon as the story of the scandal hit town. That action alone would have put the president in the best of light and would have send the strongest message that this indeed is the president that meant what he said about fighting corruption.

By firing Dr. Aidoo, President Mahama would have deftly stolen the thunder from the opposition.

Dr. Tony Aidoo was reported to have once said "hena na edaho na honey so go na noa wantafere" to wit: "who will not lick it if honey falls on his/her tongue?”

And this was the same man who said he felt scandalized when President Rawlings accused some in in his party of being sharp-toothed greedy bastards and evil dwarfs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What if I don’t want to be saved?

The shrieking sound of the gate-bell savagely cut shorty my deep slumber.

I rubbed my eyes to get them sufficiently awake to focus on the clock: the digital panel said it was 05:12.

Impatiently the bell shrieked again.

Who could be disturbing me this early morning?

Since I mind my business and do not owe anybody, I expect to sleep soundly in my bed without any disturbance at ungodly hours.

Cursing silently, I hustled into a short and T-shirt.

I was almost at the gate when the bell shrieked impatiently. My body was shaking with rage as I opened the gate. An emaciated, elderly man in a faded shirt tucked into an ill-fitting trouser and a dog tie stood at a side of the gate. Beside him was a younger lady in an out-of-fashion blouse that looked like a demented tailor designed it. An old-English lady hat was perched rakishly on her head.

They both cradled dated bags.

My eyes roamed over them with undisguised anger.

“Yes. What is it?” I demanded in an angry tone.

The old-man find something amusing, He smiled crookedly, revealing dental works that were badly in need of dental care.

Opening his bag, he ruffled a while and brought some pamphlets out, thrust them to me and said: “Young man, we have come to discuss the good-tidings with you. We want to share with you the good-news about the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus.”


I was, by this time, literally, vibrating with ire.

Cutting him short, I demanded, “You don’t mean to tell me that you’re Jehovah Witnesses!” I exclaimed.

“No, we are not Jehovah Witnesses,” the man protested. “We are...”

I was not interested in whatever sect they belong to. “But for your age, I would have told you what you can go and do with your good-tidings. Good-day, even if you both don’t deserve it.”

I shut the gate in their faces.

The anger had drained the sleep from me.

I collapsed on the bed with angry thoughts parading my consciousness.

Religions are the cradles of despotism.” - Marquis de Sade.

What manner of arrogance made the Christians believe that they have the right to disturb my sleep?

Is it not presumptuous for them to arrogate to themselves the right to intercede between MY CREATOR and I?

There are hundreds, even thousands, if not millions, of religions in the world. Have the Christians pause to think of what bedlam it would be, if the other religionists are as arrogant and as aggressive as they are - waking people up to listen to ‘good-tidings?’

What would our towns and cities look like if the Moslems, The Hindus, The Buddhist, the Traditionalists and the rest of the religionists wake us up every Sunday and start to peddle their versions of piety?

Our cities will look like nothing but hospitals for the insane.

After much reflection, Karl Marx said: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

If opium is a sedative, then Karl Marx was only half-right.

Religion has become, at least in Africa, the amphetamine of the people.

And it has also become big, very big business.

How else do we explain the hypocritical priests who tell their malnourished and ignorant congregation that ‘everything on earth is vanity,’ and yet tool around town in the latest hi-tech cars, planes and live in posh houses?

These sanctimonious hypocrites very conveniently forgot what their saviour was supposed to have told them: "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:12-14)

It seems as though Africans now need a dose of spiritual injection in order to draw breath. Our land is dotted with every manner of churches. Ill-fed ignoramuses, who believe that their god in heaven has answer to earthly problems, accost us on the roads. They waylay us in the streets and in the trotros (molues in Nigeria; matatus in Kenya).

The Christians are everywhere, falling over themselves in their bid to take us to ‘alujanah.’

The hypocritical, sham charismatic charlatans leading them are crowding our airwaves with their fake American accents, pretending, in the words of Robert Ingersoll, to stand between our helplessness and the wrath of the gods.

The shameless priests continue to do today what the priesthood has done since the begininning of time: make their good living by selling patent and absurd falsehood.
The ignorant congregations are shouting hallelujahs to the priest’s false claims of ‘miracles.’

Why does any normal human being needs a miracle, which are nothing but mendacities?
If these pious tricksters can heal the sick, cure blindness and barrenness etc, etc, why don’t they simply build hospitals?

We shall be grateful to them for it.

Any intelligent person should know that miracles, like magics are, essentially, fakeries.

It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity.” - Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

We have to be thankful that most modern states are now secular. I shudder to ponder what it would be like to live under a theocratic rule. I dread to think of living in a society where priests hold all the power – not only licensed to tell lies, but had powers to kill whoever expose their lies.

From selling fake indulgences to burning heretics, the history of the Christian priesthood is one that will shame a nation of savages.

What baffles today is that any decent person can, in all honesty, read those calamitous, dreadful and utterly shameful histories and still dare to belong to the priesthood.

There will little trouble if these Christian men and women who go about preaching love and tolerance practice what they preach?

The truth is that we see very little love even among the Christians themselves. The Catholic have no lost love for the Anglicans, and the latter have nothing but deep hatred for Christians of other sects than theirs.

Couples have had their marriages destroyed because they choose to belong to different churches.

Parents have disowned children who choose to go to different churches.

What is more intolerant than shoving your religion down someone else’s throat?
There are, at least, six churches near where I live. If I need to, I can easily find my way to any of them.

No, it is not enough for the Christians to disturb our sleeps with their constant drumming and singing, they have to come right into our houses and wake us up from our sleeps.

I believe religion to be a private thing. Every human being should be able to find his or her way to the creator.

If my father is in heaven, does it make any sense for him to talk to me through another person?

If I need to talk to my son, I talk to him directly and not through another person, not even his mother.

I believe in live and let’s live, and I wish the Christians would learn this elementary courtesy.

I believe that I’ll be ‘saved’ through my own efforts and conducts, and not through some ‘holy’ book of dubious origins filled infantile tales of pornography (two daughters getting their father drunk and seducing him), absurdities (uncountable), massacres (too many to recount here), mayhem (just too numerous) and false astronomy (a general stopping the sun so that he could complete a massacre).

I am fully prepared to face my creator and account for anything I did wrong.
I don’t need Christians to teach me anything about morality – the ones I know are the most amoral around.

I don’t need anyone to tell me to love my fellow-being; because common-sense tells me that I cannot expect love from those I hate.

I don’t need a religion to tell me not to steal; I am contented with what I have, and I’ve trained myself not to want anything I cannot afford.

I don’t need eternal life; one life is simply enough for me.

I don’t want any paradise in the sky; I want to build mine right here on earth.
I am not in the least impressed by infantile tales of someone walking on water (I can easily take a boat); turning water into wine (I don’t touch alcohol); waking Lazarus from the dead (what is the point? I won’t like to be disturbed after I join my ancestors).

The nature of my work (computer consultancy and video production) calls for no prayer: I cannot find lost hard disk clusters by reading the bible; neither could I fix a damaged video tape by supplicating to my almighty father.

Organised Religion has nothing to offer me, so the Christians can take their pie-in-the-sky lies and sell it to whoever will appreciate it.

They should very kindly leave me alone.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” - Thomas Paine

A great mind has opined that we Africans are in the fine mess we are because we spend more time preparing to go to heaven than on improving our material lives here on earth.

While other people are slicing genes, interacting with one another thousands of miles apart through electrons, and doing their utmost best to improve their physical and material environment, we are busy wallowing in our ignorance-engendered poverty.

And why do our people forget that religions are essentially ancestor-veneration. If the Christians worship their own ancestors, perhaps I can relate to that.

But why on earth should I, a True-Born African, be paying homage to the god of Abraham or Moses or to the god of any Semitic people?

I am a Yoruba with a history that goes back into time. My ancestors were here long before there was any Habiru, or Hebrew.

If only Africans will learn their history!

Sadly, we continue to occupy our days and nights with useless religious rituals, chanting futile hymns to desert gods, and we pretend not to know why we are as poor as we are.

Instead of parading our streets with ramshackled followers purporting to teach a religion they barely understood, I will be glad if our religious leaders can mobilize their followers to plant and harvest.

What a beautiful sight it would be to see a Methodist’s Corn Farm or a Presbyterian Yam Farm or a Catholic Ranch or an Anglican Cocoa Plantation!

Are there biblical injunctions against the establishment of Electronics and Computers Academies, instead of the plentiful Bible and Theological Studies Schools we have?

Is there any reason why our numerous churches cannot build factories and help alleviate our chronic unemployment, instead of buying posh cars and planes for the priests?

Many churches are built right inside dirty swamps, violating the injunction that cleanliness is holiness, why are our preachers not interested in improving their own earthly environment instead of sermonizing about a glorious, beautiful heavens?
The Christians should not become too emboldened: If some of us are not challenging them, it is only because we have better employment for our time.

They should be contented to peddle whatever lies they tell themselves in the confines of their churches.

If they find it difficult to restrain themselves, they should not complain when occasional salvos are hurl in their faces.

Wise saying:

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