Date Published: 10/02/09
Gold Fish Has No Hiding Place. By Daniel Danquah Damptey
It was an innocuous remark or statement which was not meant to generate any controversy. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was on a familiar terrain doing what he knows best. It was a friendly advice to the publishers of a friendly newspaper called ‘The Thunder’ which had just made its debut in Kumasi. “Name and shame mediocrity and incompetence, praise and encourage the upholders of integrity, political morality, selfless patriotism and competence”, Nana told the gathering. Good advice, admitted the self appointed “executioner” of the speaker.
Jealousy Go Shame:
But no, to Alfred Donkor Odzidzator, the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the December, 2008 Elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has committed an act of blasphemy. Alfred Donkor Odzidzator then elected himself as the arrowhead of all those who feel uncomfortable with the prospect of Nana once more clinching the flagbearership of the NPP to administer the coup de grace by doing everything within his power to bring Nana down. Alfred Donkor Odzidzator wants to outshine, outpace and outsmart Nana Yaw Amankwaa of New York, the self-anointed hyper critic of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Nana Yaw Amankwaa, the pseudo-politician masquerading as a dye in the wool NPP activitist, but in actual fact, a mole has been doing all he can to destroy the hard-earned reputation of Akufo-Addo.
Perhaps, Alfred Donkor Odzidzator hopes, by his strong hatred for Nana, to reposition himself at the forefront of those NDC serial writers who are poised to become some of the most powerful and influential members in Mills government today. After all, a serial invocator of some strong deities in Ghana has alleged that 80million Cedis was shared out among his fellow serial callers.
Gold-Fish Has no Hiding Place:
A colleague first drew my attention to the write up. After reading the entire piece, my initial reaction was to banish it into the dustbin of history. What was the purpose of such write-up? Why did he have to drag Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s name into his mischievous write-up in the first place? Is Nana the only person in a political party to have made a similar political statement on such an occasion? Is Nana the NPP or leader of the party? What happens to the principles of collective responsibility in governance? Why make Nana the main target of attack for the so-called failures of the NPP?
Why I was debating within myself as to why Nana should be the focus of such unwarranted attacks, the answer as if I was in a trance, quickly came to me. Goldfish has no hiding place!
Have they just woken up from their long drinking spree?
The obviously confused Alfred Donkor Odzidzator goaded on by his mentors and masters asked rhetorically whether it was just lack of appreciation on the part of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the very serious financial challenges facing our country and indeed the entire world. Has he as well as those who sent him just woken up from their deep slumber or just landed from outer space to realize that the world including major nations like the USA, Britain and the rest were facing financial challenges? When did they realize this? If they have just regained control of their reasoning faculties, they must regard themselves as the most inept, clueless and visionless leaders that unfortunately have been foisted on this dear nation of ours.
Instead of publicly acknowledging their deficiency and lack of expertise as to how to bring succour to the teeming unsmiling faces of Ghanaians, the contraption called the NDC has, according to Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah deliberately decided to whip us with scorpions in line with Rehoboam’s vision, by putting aside the Team A and use Team B to actualize their evil agenda of further impoverishing the average Ghanaian. They are romancing with agents of darkness to further drive us down to the lowest rung of economic abyss.
Odzidzator’s Lack of appreciation: If people like Alfred Donkor Odzidzator do not know, a little bit of education would do. He and his sponsors must appreciate the fact that the World Economic Recession did not just start with the inception of the Mills Administration. It had started midway into the second term of Kufuor’s administration and the NPP government had put in place measures to cushion its negative effects. When they were told at that time to show understanding and maturity, they did not. They hit the town with their ‘Wahala’ and ‘Yewuoo’ demonstrations by castigating Kufuor’s administration with glee, pretending that we were in the best of times and that the Kufuor regime was insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
But now that they are in the saddle of affairs, the reality of the seemingly unending hopeless situation has dawn on them and they are asking for understanding and patience. Patience for what? Have they forgotten the fact that if you stay too long in the river, the currents will sweep you away?
Retreating According to Plan: - This brings to mind, the behavior of British troops in the face of attacks from enemies during the Second World War. An era of invincibility had been built around the British troops. The War opened the eyes of the African to the realization that the white man was human and fallible and indeed made mistakes. When the battle went against them, their officers ordered them to fall back and when questioned, the whites would reply, they were retreating” according to plan”. This is the same attitude, your party, the NDC has adopted by asking oppressed and hardworking Ghanaians to be patient with you.
Is the Ghanaian economy sick? Odzidzator states, “if Nana wants to find out why our economy is sick, he shouldn’t look further than the eight years of the NPP administration of which he was the defacto number two man when he spent most of the time following Kufuor round the world instead of staying at home to manage the economy and create opportunities for all Ghanaians”.
In addressing Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the defacto number two man, I will not dwell so much on it since it is already an open secret that a Goldfish has no hiding place. But on the issue of Nana and Kufuor travelling around the world, I have this much to say. As Foreign Minister, why should Nana stay at home? Was he the Minister for Finance and Economic planning? Didn’t we have a competent person to take charge of that portfolio? We did and everybody including their Founder and top NDC members testified to the competence, economic and business acumen of the then sector Minister. This was part of the tribute they paid to the late Baah Wiredu during his funeral. When Ghana needed funding from the IMF, did the ruling NDC government not give credit to the NPP administration for the able and efficient manner the regime handled the economy? The records are there and if Alfred Donkor Odzidzator is lost in his reverie, he should ask his Minister for Finance and Economic Planning for records and facts. In Government every sector Minister has his own area of jurisdiction. Straying into another person’s area of jurisdiction is likely to rock the boat as is happening between the President’s Spokesperson, Mahama Ayariga and the Communications Director, Koku Anyidohu.
Their travels brought lasting benefits to the country, without which the state of the economy would have degenerated to a level unprecedented in the history of the country. Without the efforts and personal ingenuity of Kufuor, Aliu Mahama, Nana and the entire NPP Administration, the feeding formula, which, prior to the inception of the NPP admin was 0:0:1 or 0:1:0, would have plummeted further to 0:0:1/2. The NPP administration brought it up to 0:1:1 or 1:0:1. But in the light of what we are seeing and experiencing now, I cannot say exactly where we are being led to.
HIPC Gains: It was the travels by Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo that culminated into the adoption of HIPC which yielded many lasting benefits for the country. Odzidzator and his cohorts should not overlook the fact that when NPP opted for HIPC, many were the hawks in the NDC who criticized it, but when the gains started accruing, they were among the first to clamour for them. This was one of the things Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo sought to portray in his address to the gathering at the launch of The Thunder which rather unfortunately, Alfred Donkor Odzidzator, either out of mischief or misunderstanding decided to throw dust into people’s eyes and minds.
Kufuor and Nana’s negotiation skills: Nana Akufo-Addo was not done yet. His accompanying Kufuor on his numerous trips led to the cancellation of most of Ghana’s debts by her creditor countries. They also resulted in the signing and accessing of the Millennium Challenge Accounts. Do not forget the contributions of our donor countries into the NPP laudable programmes like the School Feeding Programme and the National Health Insurance Scheme. Yes, Nana did all this with a masterstroke.
And have we forgotten about Kufuor’s trip to strike an oil deal with his Nigerian counterpart at the time the crude left by the departing NDC regime could only last less than two weeks. What about the cars ex – President Obasanjo of Nigeria donated to Ghana’s Police Service? One must not overlook the fact this was one of the impeachment charges brought against Obasanjo by the Nigerian Legislature. Yes, those were the benefits such travels undertaken by the NPP brought to the country.
Oil? Kufuor and Nana stabilized system. Ex-President Kufuor and Nana Akufo-Addo travels brought about stabilization in the energy sector. Crude was in abundance during the NPP’s regime, so much so that there was never a period that we experienced long queues as we are now having. It is the crude we imported during our time that TOR has been using since the inception of Mills’ administration. This is a fact testified to by management of TOR. We never run down TOR with debts as alleged by Odzidzator and his NDC. Can Odzidzator and the numerous packs of rabid dogs in the NDC tell us the exact debt of TOR? President Mills, His vice John Mahama and others like Kwame Ametor have each been conjuring different figures from God knows where about the total indebtedness of TOR.
It was the prudent and pragmatic policies of the NPP led by ex-President Kufuor, Aliu Mahama, Nana Akufo-Addo and the rest that led to the discovery of oil in commercial quantities in the Western Region. At least, that was a vast difference between the NDC and the NPP on how we executed the mandate to scout for oil. Nana Addo and the NPP utilized the funds for its primary responsibility – the search for oil. We did not use the funds to prospect for salt as was done by the GNPCunder the NDC regime.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Patriotic Ghanaians, which of the two parties, the NDC or the NPP should be charged with causing financial loss to Ghana through misapplicationof funds?
Sale of Government Lands: I am not going to defend the indefensible. Sale of government land, no matter who is involved is bad. Why blame Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo for an action which all political parties since independence has been guilty of? Has Nana bought any of such lands? And does Alfred Donkor Odzidzator know whether Nana spoke against such an action or not. And if he did, does he have to come out and make a public declaration of it? The impression should not be created that the act of selling government lands to party members and cronies has started under the NPP regime. The NDC is as well guilty of this constitutional coup against our motherland. What happened to the Achimota Forest lands? What about the SSNIT buildings at Sakumuno and the Atomic Energy Lands at Kwabenya? Who are the owners of such lands?
If Alfred Donkor Odzidzator wants to be true to himself, his God, his conscience and the constitution of the land he claims to love and cherish, let him ask his party, the NDC to publicly publish a list of owners/buyers of all such government land taking retrospective effect from the period of our independence. It is only after a comprehensive list of such buyers has been published that we shall know the real usurpers of our lands. It is only then that we shall know who the real thieves pontificating as angels are. It is only then that people like Alfred Donkor Odzidzator who have no sense of political history and has yet to come to terms with the facts that it pays to get one’s aces together than to tackle men of impeccable pedigree like Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on the flimsy excuse that they hold different political beliefs from theirs.
Irresponsible Spending: Odzidzator states, “had he stayed at home, Akufo-Addo would have noticed the irresponsible spending going on all over the place – some of which were off balance sheet and unreported to parliament. From the premise, the writer has already shot himself in the leg because since Nana did not stay at home, he did not notice any irresponsible spending going on, if really therewasany such thing.What irresponsible spending is he talking about? Is it about using state funds to buy pampers for one’s children and buying chinchinga for one’s constituents and passing the bill for payment to the State? Is it about taking one’s girlfriend to Cote d’Ivoire, Germany and many other places at tax payers’ expense? Is it about sending Ministers on shopping spree to Manhattan and other places at the time we were told our coffers were empty and Ministers were yet to be paid? Is it about creating so many transitional teams in order to give per diem to their numerous members and also ‘blowing’ so much money on tea mpampa?
Was it any wonder that one of the NDC MPs claims, the Cedi is always appreciating the dollar? And at the rate the rot is going on in our system, the cedi will very soon appreciate the dollar at a geometrical progression.
Corruption in High Places: Odzidzator talks of corruption and blames Nana for it. I will not totally absolve the NPP regime of this cancer. But should we make it appear as if it was only the NPP that engages in this canker worm. We must condemn it whether it involves the NPP, the NDC, the CPP or any other party. He talks about Ghana@50. Yes, a lot of malfeasance went on. But let us wait till the end. But if we want to get to the root cause, let us at the same time focus on what went on at Ghana @ 40. Let us revisit the Muntaka issue. Let us focus our attention at the rot that is taking place at the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority.
Let us look into the source of funds Ama Benyiwa Doe is using to finance her storey building. If in less than six months after bagging the portfolio of Central Regional Minister, she could afford to put up such a magnificent mansion at the time school children, according to Alfred Odzidzator, are studying under trees, then the issue qualifies to be in the Guinness Book of Records andalso as the Eighth Wonderof the World. Wonderswill never end. When Kufuor’s son bought a Hotel, all hell was let loose, thanks to the evil machinations through twisting of facts, misinformation and misrepresentation of facts by NDC packs of wolves led by Ama Benyiwa Doe. What about the District Chief Executive in the Volta Region who beat Ama Benyiwa Doe to it by being the first to show off his newly found status? He is alleged to have stated he won his jackpot from the Department of National Lotteries? If indeed he won lotto as he alleges, can he show us the cheque issued to him by the Dept. of National Lotteries?
Was it not the NDC, led by their General Secretary, Asiedu Nketiah who stated it at a public forum that the 17 presidential aspirants of the NPP were thieves and that they were going to meet to elect the Chief of such thieves? But nature does not work in a vacuum. They have been caught in their own evil game. And this is an aspect I want Alfred Donkor Odzidzator to focus his attention on instead of transferring his unwarranted aggression to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his innocent victim.
But now that it has happened, what are Alfred Donkor Odzidzator and his sponsors going to react? I am referring to the bribery scandal that has hit his dear NDC party? I mean the Mabey and Johnson issue. At every public forum, both local and abroad, their founder never fails to call ex-President Kufuor a rogue and a thief. This reckless accusation and disregard for international ethics has so much emboldened their members that some of their ‘baby’ ministers who have no idea of the role ex President Kufuor and Nana Akufo Addo have played towards steering the Ghanaian ship of state have also lost the Ghanaian traditional respect for elders by referring to them as rogues, criminals and thieves. But the God-Father never sleeps. With the disclosures that have implicated some leading members of the NDC, who then is a thief, rogue or criminal? I am patiently awaiting an answer from Alfred Odzidzator and his sponsors.
NDC members, “Onyame ahu mo oo”. (God has seen through your nefarious activities) A court of competent jurisdiction in the United Kingdom has opened the can of worms and your people have no hiding place. It was one of such things that courageous Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was speaking to the management of the Thunder newspapers about.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo ConstitutionalRights: Nana was our Presidential candidate during the December Elections and has our mandate to speak for and on behalf of our Great Party. Moreover, he had been invited to speak by management of the newspaper. And the topic he selected would not have attracted any controversy if Alfred Donkor Odzidzator had not decided to be mischievous by hitting below the belt.
Has any of the NDC members criticized ex-President Rawlings for lashing at Mills for what he Rawlings describes as the slow pace of the Mills’ governing style? Ask any NDC fanatic and he will tell you that is Rawlings style and as a citizen of this country, he has equal right like anybody else to make known his concerns about how the nation is being administered. So, if Alfred Donkor Odzidzator cares so much about the state of affairs of the nation, he should direct such concerns to the founder of his contraption, ex-President Rawlings and d the current President, Evans Atta Mills. It was an uncalled and misplaced aggression, full of venom, hatred and vice to make Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the object of such attacks.
Nana’s concern for the ordinary Ghanaian: Hear the novice of Alfred Donkor Odzidzator. “Since when did Akufo Addo develop any concern for ordinary Ghanaian? For eight years his party practiced trickle-down politics that rich business should be assisted to make money so that through their profits and generosity the benefits will trickle down to the poor? He asks Nana what has trickled down to ordinary Ghanaians and if it has, “how come in less than 8 months Ghanaians are already suffering?
These are my answers to those posers. Yes, the party preaches property owning democracy with equal opportunity or a level playing field for all. Through its laudable policies and pragmatic approach to issues, the party was able to assist many poor and middle income earners to carve a niche for themselves in business. Top party notches’, including Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ensured that the ‘largesse’ spread to all who took advantage of such opportunities. It did not cater for NPP members only. It covers all Ghanaians of different political persuasions. P.V.Obeng, Togbe Afede, Ibn Chambas, to mention but only a few were some of the known NDC members who were sponsored by the NPP Government for top International positions within the Sub-Region. The first two were given Board positions under the NPP admin. And if Alfred Donkor Odzidzator does not know, let me state it for all and sundry that it was Nana Addo’s advice to ex-President Kufuor that culminated in Government endorsement of Ekow Spio Garbrah’s application for the top Commonwealth position he now occupies.
What has his party, the NDC done to assist any known supporter of the NPP? Nothing! They have even denied Ghanaians their daily bread by sacking them from their jobs as if NPP sympathizers were alien passengers from outer space. When you complain NDC apologists will jump at you and retort, “but your party also sacked our members from their jobs”. This is partially true. The difference here is that, it was only those holding top managerial positions various companies and public corporations who were ordered to stay at home by the then incoming NPP administration. It wasn’t extended down to the ordinary workers as the NDC has resorted to.
If Alfred Donkor Odzidzator and his think-alike are opposed to property-owning democracy, let them renounce their claims or title deeds to their lands and properties and will them to the State. Let such people offer their buildings free of charge to the teeming workers who have no where to lay their poor heads. Such people should realize that nowhere in this world will two individuals be equal in all things. Give say Ghc1000.00 to different people to start their own businesses. Because not everybody is endowed with the same managerial or business acumen and skills, one business will flourish whiles another may not.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP introduced many laudable programmes to cushion the effects of the World Economic Recession. Amongst them The National Health Insurance Scheme, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme, The National Youth Employment Scheme and the Metro Mass Transit Programmes. Nana is part of the success story of the New Patriotic Party.
The voice of the voiceless: Nana Addo Dankwa has become the Aaron of the silent majority anytime their personal liberties were curtailed. He has been the focal point around whom all agitations for better things gravitate towards. He was the man who gave hope to the Ghanaian that a better tomorrow awaited them if only they became the men that God wanted them to be. Without Nana storming the theatre of danger at the time he did when angels in those days feared to even breathealoud, Ghanaians would have become like eunuchs with nothing hanging between their legs. He brazed the trail to enable others like Kwasi Pratt, Bernard Mona, Professor Mills and others to take to the streets when the opportunity suited them.
Anyone who does not appreciate the role Nana played in those dark days and is playing now should find time to read something about the life and struggles of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Today, Gani is being honoured posthumously as an icon of Nigerian Civil Rights Movement, even though, those who are now heaping praises on him were the very people who had vilified him sometime ago. I am hoping that a time will come when others like Alfred Donkor Odzidzator, who, today are vilifying Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo will see the light so that they will see things in their right perspective. Nana doesn’t have to come out in the open to tell the masses how he fought tooth and nail to shape the policies of the New Patriotic Party.
Alfred Donkor Odzidzator misadventure: All of Odzidzator submissions present him as someone who lacks confidence but is desperately attempting to convince his masters that indeed, he is equal to the task that has been assigned to him. His submission lacks logical sense and sequence. I am wondering whether he submitted his script to his masters and sponsors before bringing it into the public domain. If indeed he did so and his mentors could not detect the inconsistencies and misapplication of ideas, I wonder what sort of leadership we should expect from them. He asked Nana how come people are suffering less than 8 months after being voted out of power if the economy at that time was buoyant during the period of NPP administration.
That was a direct indictment of Mills whose credentials Odzidzator has touted so much into the highest heavens. Don’t they know that if you put a loose rung on an otherwise very strong ladder, it will destabilize the entire system or establishment? And this is exactly what President Mills is doing by using untested and novices to actualize the NDC’s agenda. This was given credence to a few days ago by Ekow Spio Garbrah, their member who played a leading role in their coming back to power by donating huge sums of money and vehicles to the then Mills comatose campaign Team.
Conclusion: We are now seeing the chameleonic nature of people like Alfred Donkor Odzidzator who are hiding behind the government in power to physically and mentally torment their fellow human beings on the grounds that they hold different political beliefs from their own. Has he said anything about the Agbogbloshie incident in which human beings were butchered like animals and the person who asked the police to take action by arresting the culprits was himself ‘arrested’ by the Police on the instruction of the Regional Police Commander? What about the violence which occurred at Akwatia? In their quest to annex the seat for their Deputy Regional Minister, state security apparatus was used to unleash violence on the peace-loving people of the town and its environs?
And yet, all these people regard themselves as Christians and Muslims. Can Alfred Donkor Odzidzator and his sponsors hold the Bible and the Koran and ask God to unleash his venom on any person who, without provocation, has contributed remotely or otherwise in the perpetration of violence and constitutional coup against his fellow human being and the country of his/her birth?
It is only in during the NDC administration that economic refugees pretending to be physically handicapped sportsmen smuggled themselves with the connivance of top NDC officials to participate in an tournament organized for the physically impaired ones. What is the outcome of their so-called investigation?
It is only during the NDC regime that heavily subsidized tractors from the Ministry of Agriculture are commandeered by the presidential spokes person and hired out to local farmers at approximately twice the going rate.
The arrest of a suspected killer, Kwasi Adu for killing Kwame Nyame, a man who was attending to the flock of God on July 19, 2009 at the Sakumuno residence of Eric Opoku, the defeated NDC aspirant in Asunafo South Constituency and Deputy Minister for Brong Ahafo speaks volumes of such evil deeds which have been swept under the carpet. But let Ghanaians be assured that, no matter how long perpetrators of such deeds cover their tracts, they will definitely be smoked out of their hiding and miserable places. Let them take refuge under the waters, the sea cannot cover them up.
This is because our God-Father hardly sleeps and is never dead. And this was the message Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo passed across to Ghanaians at the launching of the Thunder.
Daniel Danquah Damptey