Our Parliamentarians are whining for nothing (Part II)

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The distrust and mistrust between the Legislature and the Executive seem to be growing. The Executive has made promises to improve the lot of the MPs but not done so. The MPs Common Fund is one touchy area. So also is the pledge to provide decent office accommodation and staff for the MPs. So far, nothing exists to confirm that the government is really working to support the MPs. Salaries and allowances arte paid, even though the MPs remain the Oliver Twists of our time. On that score, unless the government plays its cards well, it may end up angering MPs, including its own NDC elements, who appear to be spearheading the current show of discontent at measures now being introduced to the detriment of the Legislature. The MPs are complaining that they don’t have offices and the government continues to massage their feelings with promises upon promises.

The delay in the completion of the “Job 600 Complex”, to serve as offices for MPs is a clear instance. The MPs are unhappy that even though a loan of $25 million has already been approved by the House for its completion, nothing is being done to serve their needs. The MPs need offices and will fight to have them. Clearly, everything points to a bad-blood relationship between the government and the Legislature, which the new directive denying the MPs the protocol privileges will reinforce. Continue reading

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Our Parliamentarians are whining for nothing (Part I)

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken a bold step to divest Ghana’s Members of Parliament of “state protocol privileges whilst in the United Kingdom” and the MPs are incensed. They are extremely angry and have threatened to show the Executive where power lies. I laugh these MPs to scorn and will urge them to be circumspect in their haughtiness. They have a lot to lose if they act irresolutely. One question, though. Why the UK, particularly?

The Ministry’s action against them is appropriate and I urge that it be extended to other countries apart from the United Kingdom. In effect, our MPs don’t deserve any protocol privileges because there is no need for such privileges for them. They should ask themselves what they have done to deserve such privileges and stop whining for nothing. If they knew the extent of public anger at their incompetence and cunning ways of exploiting the system for personal benefits, they won’t stick their necks out to be cut for them. Continue reading

This half-hearted reshuffling is not the answer

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Folks, while we wait to know the circumstances surrounding Ghana’s participation in the ongoing World Cup tournament and the dismal performance of the national team (the Black Stars) this time around, many things have begun happening in government circles.

Without even waiting for the dust to settle on his own feeling that an investigation needs to be conducted into the matter, President Mahama has swiftly removed the political heads from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Elvis Affriyie Ankrah has been sent into the “cooler” at the Presidency and may not even have a desk to sit at. A mere “job-for-the-boys” initiative.

Joseph Yammin, his deputy at that Ministry, has been sent to the Ashanti Region as the Deputy Regional Minister. Of course, he had been resident in Kumasi before being brought to Accra to serve under Affriyie Ankrah. As if fearful of the repercussions of his unguarded utterances regarding the “carting” of supporters to cheer up the Black Stars in Brazil, he is reported to be thanking God for influencing President Mahama in retaining him as a government functionary. Such characters aren’t fit to be in government, though. They are so full of narrow, partisan political instincts as not to know that Ghana is above those instincts and should be served as such. A party boy merely being rewarded? Continue reading

On the fuel crisis: Why rob Peter to pay Paul?

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Folks, I can’t bring myself to understand, let alone accept, what is happening in the fuel sector in the country. The causes of the current fuel crisis in the country did not crop up overnight, which is why I am unhappy at the manner in which the government is attempting to address the crisis. In short, the crisis could have been more easily prevented than solved with a knee-jerk action of the sort that the government has taken.

News reports have it that it has “released its strategic reserve to remedy the dire fuel shortage in some parts of the country,” as announced by Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga. (See: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=314629)

He said President Mahama on Friday morning, directed that Bulk Oil Storage & Transportation (BOST) Company Limited discharges fuel in its facilities dotted across the country to ease the pressure. “BOST started pumping out early part of the day when the president gave the directive,” he told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday.

Ordering that the strategic reserves be released is very easy, but tracing the cause of the crisis and explaining why the government waited for the situation to reach this dire level before acting isn’t. We are told that the main factor responsible for this mess is the government’s indebtedness to bulk oil distribution companies to the tune of 1.5 billion Cedis. The government has disputed this quantum but gone ahead to pay Ghc450 million, according to Ayariga. It has also claimed to have facilitated a forex cover of $100m to enable the oil distributors to get oil from their suppliers.

A knee-jerk reaction to a crisis that is easier to prevent than to solve? Wasting energy grabbing the bull’s tail instead of its horns to control it? Pathetic!! Continue reading

Ghana is not a “Banana Republic”, Mr. K.B. Asante!!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Writing under the above heading, Mr. K.B. Asante (a man of many parts) made several observations that can be set down under such categories as “human rights”, “Ghanaian nationality”, “internal security”, “foreign intelligence”, “counter-intelligence”, “personal security”, “diplomacy”, and “sovereignty”. There could be others too. (Please, refer to: Mr. Asante’s opinion piece under the title “Is Ghana becoming a Banana republic?”: http://www.myjoyonline.com/world/2014/June-24th/is-ghana-becoming-a-banana-republic.php)

A careful reading of his opinion piece establishes Mr. Asante as very much alarmed at the treatment given to one employee of the Daily Graphic newspaper, cameraman Addai, who was caught up in some fracas of sorts verging on “personal security” at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel to cover a ceremony involving the visiting Israeli Foreign Minister.  Continue reading

The NPP  and its dog-eat-dog woes (Part II)

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Folks, we need to place happenings in our contemporary times within their proper context, especially as far as the NPP’s kind of “rogue politics” is concerned.

Those of us who know the history of Ghana will never sit down unconcerned for them to mislead anybody. They are doing things today to project themselves as more patriotic than anybody else, which is captured in the very name of their political organ (the New Patriotic Party (NPP)); but truth be told, there is a huge question mark hanging over their kind of patriotism.

They are no more patriotic than those not hailing from the tribal confluence on which their party depends for sustenance. Ask yourselves why it is only two out of the 10 regions constituting Ghana that continue to give them what they need to remain in contention. No need to elaborate. Continue reading

The NPP  and its dog-eat-dog woes (Part I)

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Folks, is it not strange that at a time when Ghanaians expect the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to put the government on its toes with critical comments and scrutiny of its pathetic performance it is rather embroiled in an internal wrangling that is tearing to tear it apart? A responsible opposition party does things to prove to the electorate that it can outdo the incumbent and must, therefore, be considered favourably at the next polls. Not so for the NPP. What with its agenda of boycott of important national events and assignments and baseless criticisms for mere political capital (which it doesn’t get, anyway)?

True to prediction, the persistent internal wrangling in the NPP is assuming ugly dimensions by all accounts. Daniel Bugri Naabu (Northern Regional Chairman of the NPP) has bitten deep into the reputation of ex-President Kufuor, Kwadwo Mpianim, Paul Afoko, and Kwabena Agyapong, among others, and created the impression that these afore-mentioned personalities are the trouble-makers in the NPP.

According to him, Afoko and Agyei had put in place an “Agenda 2020” by which they want to “disorganize” and “kill” the NPP. To help them do so, they had become willing “tro-tro” buses being driven by ex-President Kufuor and his Ashanti gang. He said a lot more. Very serious indictment of ex-President Kufuor and the Asante elements on Bugri Naabu’s radar screen!! Continue reading