The Concert Party show by the Mills Presidency - 3
7/23/2012 11:17:44 PM -
By I. K. Gyasi
Ei, this my Vandal mate, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who is also a Deputy Minister of Information, like Heavens Black mosquito coil, he is powerful o-o-o!!!
My Vandal mate and younger 'brother', Africanus Owusu-Ansah, please don't comment on the syntax of the opening sentence, I beg.
Yes, today, Sammy is one of the most powerful people, if not the most powerful, in the Mills-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and one of the longest-serving too. Check out a few facts.
At the time when Mrs. Zita Okaikoi was the substantive sector Minister of Information, Sammy and Mr. James Agyenim-Boateng were the two Deputy Ministers of Information.
When both Mrs. Okaikoi and Mr. Agyenim were pushed out by President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, Sammy stayed put. Mr. John Akologo-Tia, a journalist by profession, replaced Mrs. Okaikoi, while Mr. Baba Jamal was brought in to partner Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa.
Today, as I write, Baba Jamal has been pushed out, with Mr. Agyenim-Boateng going back as Deputy Minister of Information. Today, in place of Mr. Akologo-Tia, we have, as the Minister of Information, the ebullient, larger-than-life, baritone-voiced master of the English Language, Honourable Fritz Baffour, Member of Parliament for Ablekuma South.
Honourable Fritz Baffour is also a son of the late Dr. R. P. Baffour, one of Ghana's most illustrious sons. His flair for comedy is unmatched. Hear him imitate the way Liberians speak English.
Was it the comic spirit in him that made him become the Master of Ceremonies at the press conference where Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa was supposed to make an earth-shaking revelation about gargantuan and unprecedented judgment debt payments?
Or was it one more instance of the special magic of Sammy that has completely emasculated and hamstrung previous Ministers of Information, rendering them totally silent and ineffective, while he has remained cock of the wall, unchallenged by anybody?
It is a wonder what Sammy has not been made a full sector Minister. Perhaps, the position has been offered him and he has refused it.
Whatever it is, Sammy has continued to be vocal and visible on matters which may even have nothing to do with him. For example, you will recall how he accompanied Dr. James Annan, former Deputy Minister of Education, to the campus of the University of Ghana to assure the students of government's efforts to resolve the strike action of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).
He was also on hand as the Guest Speaker at a Students' Representative Council (SRC) function in one of the regions. The statement that the government had provided 1,600,000 (one million, six hundred thousand) jobs to Ghanaians did not come from the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, but from him.
As an expert in political engineering, he has put on the front page of the DIALY GRAPHIC the stories of African Automobile Limited and the Galloper vehicles, Isofoton and Nana Akufo Addo calling for judgment debts to be paid, among other great discoveries of wrong-doing by the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
I definitely would not be surprised if, before the end of the year, Mr. Fritz Baffour would be somewhere else and not as the Minister of Information. He has already ensured that possibility by his subservience to his Deputy, by being his Master of Ceremonies. What an abomination, as our Nigerian brothers put it.
My strong advice to Mr. Baffour is that if he wants to be in charge of his Ministry, he should take a cue from Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Communications, and the recently-appointed Minister of Education, Mr. Lee Ocran.
They are examples of ministers who have taken charge of their ministries, instead of apportioning duties to deputies and going to sleep, only to surface as occasional producers of statements, or as masters of ceremonies for their deputies.
As for my Vandal Mate Sammy, my advice to him, with all my 76 years, is that he should from time to time learn to fly a lower pitch, lest the heavens conspire his overthrow. Power can be so ephemeral, my V-mate. History says so.
Dear reader, you will recall the statement of Honourable Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin North, reportedly urging Ashantis to kills Ewes and Gas in their midst.
He was arrested and charged with Treason Felony, Attempted Genocide and Terrorism. There is a large Ewe population at Anloga, a Kumasi suburb, and New Edubiase in the Adansi South district of the Ashanti Region.
If any group needed assurances of protection, then it was these groups outside the Volta Region. Yet, instead of my Vandal Mate John Dramani Mahama, Vice President, going to Kumasi and New Edubiase, he rather chose to go to the Volta Region to assure them of the government's protection. Can you believe that? He did not go to Greater Accra to assure Gas.
It is interesting to note that since Mr. Agyapong's statement, there has not been a single report of an Ewe or a Ga who has been murdered by Ashantis in compliance with that statement.
Ironically enough, it was an Akan (a Fanti) who was decapitated, allegedly by another Fanti. Yet, Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe, the Central Regional Minister, said that the murder resulted from Mr. Agyapong's statement. Such cheap political talk! What a shame.
Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He is also the Member of Parliament for Kpone Katamanso. As a member of the present government, he is the Greater Accra Regional Minister.
The DAILY GRAPHIC issue of Saturday, July 14, 2012 reports him as having 'kicked against the ban placed on the use of motorcycles for commercial activities, saying it will deprive the youth of their source of livelihood.'
Another NDC Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Mr. Albert Zigah, also reportedly kicked against the ban. The GRAPHIC editorial of Monday, July 16, 2012, entitled, A SHOT IN THE FOOT, speaks for me:
'The DAILY GRAPHIC is amazed at the call by these two MPs, especially when they were both in Parliament when the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) was laid.
'We least expected any member of the executive to join the populist fray with the view of earning or attracting sympathy votes in the upcoming elections.
'The DAILY GRAPHIC sees the development as a big indictment on the two MPs and any MP who may hold a similar view, because the position tends to promote lawlessness.'
All I will add is, should not the two persons resign their positions as Members of Parliament while the Regional Minister also resigns his position to save their faces?
And it came to pass that to prove that the price of Ga kenkey had not gone up as reported by 'okro-mouth' NPP people, the President dashed out to buy some. Did he also buy fish, or is he a vegetarian?
Great Concert Party show indeed!