"About the issue of black racism against Whites and the various forms of racism like Xenophobia and Tribalism let us discuss at a later stage, Mr. Karl, as this needs longer time. Let me just point out several other aspects that needs attention. When in twenty fifteen, June the third precisely, around The Circle in Accra in a fatal night at that place more than one hundred fifty people lost their lives due to blocked drainage system and other fifty more at other places because of the same problem and nothing changed. The following morning at daylight our President promised all victims will get compensated for their loss and their health’s bills will be paid for. I had a victim here with me, a shop Assistance, a young man from Bediako Brother´s Pharmacy that saw Debs Bediako, one of the brothers dead as a flood victim that very night, and that young man told me his burns were severe and painful, his arms all in plaster and that he did not receive and Government assistance like others he knows from hospital. And, Mr. Karl, we all remember so well when Mayor Alfred Oko Vandepauye gave interviews outside Melcom supermarket after it had collapsed and said into the cameras of the international Media Houses that this greatest disaster in the history of the fourth Republic of Ghana will see responsible people been prosecuted in court. No one, he stressed out, would ever get away with the death of around eighty innocent people. Guess what!"
"You tell me please, Sir."
"A report was filed. It was found out the structure had a building permit for an office building but never something heavy as a Supermarket. The structure was not made for that. Yet, the responsible authorities of the AMA knew what was in that building, knew something was going wrong, knew that one day the building was destined to collapse...and so it did. But...here we come...."
"I listen to you very well, Sir."
"No consequences...never any court hearing, no judgment, no legal consequences and no political consequences taken."
"What do you mean by that, Sir?"
"In your society a Mayor of a city is not responsible for everything people do working for him. He must ensure that responsibilities are clear and that he checks on people doing as they are mandated to do or to take actions when necessary. No, in case he did everything right on his part but still about eighty people lose their lives, in your society the Mayor would step aside and step down. But here in Ghana, no, the Mayor of Accra can make big stories to defend the rights of innocent dead people regardless of who they are and take them to court. Mr. Karl...there was never a court case...never ever!"
"I hear you, Sir!"
"Take another madness we here in Ghana are facing, which is power. We have a Nuclear Power Authority and for years Politicians have the dream one day to have a Nuclear Power Plant for, as they claim, clean and cheap power production...which is simply a lie as we all people with sense by now know. Just to store the nuclear waste for thousands of years and dismantle the Power Plant and store that stuff also one day is never calculated into the price of Electricity...besides the fact, we are underdeveloped country and where to store this nuclear waste in the first place. I still remember so well a few years back the CEO of this Nuclear Power Authority had to report before the Accounts Committee in Parliament and it was revealed for three consecutive years the authority had not presented any annual report as required by law and got away with it unpunished. In your society such occurrences would never happen and if, such a CEO would be fired on the spot. But here, Mr. Karl...you must understand, our Elite in all sectors of our society, they are buddies, close friends. They are brothers and sisters, cousins and aunties and uncles and what have you not. Yes, on Tv the people make big noise against each other...but never be mistaken, behind the scene they are so friendly with each other, no one dares to do real harm to anyone. They are all in the same club going around and around. What you can watch on TV is nothing more than a beauty contest, an excursive which party will win the race to sit at the throne of power and chop and chop our good Cedi. Never believe that they have an interest in us, the good people of Ghana. All they care for is to chop and the wellbeing of their immediate family. So, this is one issue while our electricity problem is not yet solved while it could have been solved years ago."
"I want to know. You tell me, Sir!"
"Unlike in your country, Mr. Karl," took Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye a sip of water, asked Tina to bring more soft drinks, chilled and a few more biscuits or a brownie for Mr. Karl and continued, "we have mostly sun shine, serious sunshine. So, the technology of solar panels is not knowing, but is well established. Why is it that we do not use it in the right way? If I would be President, I would ask all house builders to ensure their new houses have enough solar panels that the house is able to produce enough power for the consumption of the house and the people living inside. The same for office buildings and factories. I would first start with new to construct building, followed by old buildings in a clear time frame. In rural areas I would look into Bio-Gas and other forms of environmental friendly production of power like small river power stations and power stations in the ocean and in the skies like the wind mills you have off-shore in your oceans. These interventions can then be used for streetlights or factories that need extra power...and the problem is solved. So, you need to Power Batches from Turkey that consume our currency."
"Sounds remarkably interesting, Sir. You are a true Visionary!"
"Oh no, Mr. Karl...I am simply an old man that has not lost his mind but still has normal sense to think ahead of time...that is all!" answered Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye and smiled all over his face. "And let me tell you...basically when I am as an old, old man can still think well and right...why cannot others not do the same or even better?"
"And... the answer is?"
"Please explain, Sir!"
"Selling cocoa beans and gold, our precious raw material, you people in New York and London or Frankfurt can trade on it and through your speculation gain loss of profit. To speculate on finished products such as chocolate or chocolate liquor and golden wedding rings and bracelets...no one would ever thin of trading in such commodities and make high profits out of it. The same with the power sector. When everyone is mandated to live a house that produces enough or even excess power than the house as such requires, when the wind blows for free in the skies and lets wind mills turn and turn or allows the waves of the Gulf of Guinea produce power at low cost and environmental safe...guess what... ."
"You make me excited, Sir! I want to hear!"
"Our Politicians will be able to benefit for themselves a single Cedi," was Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye clear in his mind.
"Are you really sure? I mean is it not rather an aspect of lack of vision?"
Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye bend over to Mr. Karl training to reach his hands. Mr. Karl took his hands and put his into his own. "Listen, my good friend, here in Ghana...money makes the world go round...even rounder than in your own country. In Ghana ideas and visions...oh...they do not count anything...money does. So, please open your eyes and make your heart understand. Blacks do never respect intelligence over money. In your society when someone has a great idea, is a Professor at University, an inventor...he is highly regarded and respected even he has potentially no money. But Sir, listen and listen well to my words...here in Ghana money matters and stands above all. You can know nothing, have no education, no vision, no matter but you have money...than you can make all our Politicians play after your own music...that is the simple...and...sad truth. In your society you can walk around town like a nobody but be respected when people know who you are. Here, when you have no money to show...you cannot play a show and attract people to you so that they respect you and support you. Let me end for today by letting you understand, we the Blacks basically are our own greatest enemies."
"Now I understand Sir...sorry it took me so long!"
"What do you understand now?" asked Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye and smiled with great wisdom in his blind eyes. "Tell me!"
"Dumsor can be an issue of the past for good...but it will never be...because when your plan, which makes great sense, will put into action...than...."
"Yes, Mr. Karl...what is going on in your mind?"
"Then the Politician cannot chop any money, and certainly not big money...only when they give out big contracts to foreign companies having their own private bank accounts in Switzerland in easy reach for this big companies...than...."
"Yes, Mr. Karl...you are getting closer and closer to the truth. It is hot. Make sure you do not burn yourself!" laughed Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye getting up with the help from Tina.
"Only when they give out big contracts, they can ask for something small for themselves to reflect in their private Swiss bank accounts but when private initiative is involved, they can only feed their children just a little!"
"Bingo! You are the winner, Mr. Karl. You got the trophy of thinking well! I am proud of you!" disappeared Lawyer Joseph Vandepauye and Tina by his side guiding his steps. She closed the door behind his room at the end of the narrow corridor of the four-bedroom house.
"Mr. President...sorry for disturbing you!"
"Oh, no... you are not disturbing me at all."
"You are standing there, and I thought your mind is not here with us but walking around the country or to abroad!"
"Do not be afraid...as I am only a human that is here in Flagstaff House, eventually one day mandated by the UN to head an international mission while meanwhile enjoying the powers that are invested in me. And you know how much power I have, don`t you?"
"Mr. President, you are truly blessed, a great visionary leader this country needs and deserves to be great and strong."
"You are fishing for compliments, Victor...for compliments!" turned President Malcom Osei around and smiled at Victor Ataba signaling him to come closer and stand with him before the windows of his office inside the Presidency some also call Jubilee House. They saw the Military Barracks on the other side of the street while an Aayalolo bus crossed their sight.
"Mr. President, can I make you a great compliment?" asked Victor Ataba.
"As I said...you have come for fishing for compliments this morning, Victor," laughed President Osei his head off while looking at his personal bodyguard. "So, please go ahead!"
"When I look at these over two hundred buses from China, I know inside they are not that safe for passengers with their metal bars blocking the exit windows and plastic curtains to stop the sun from entering the bus and heat it up always which in the event of an accident could potentially burn and do great harm to the passengers while having to get out of these buses in immediately. I mean all this is well known to us...but...."
"Victor...my compliment!" demanded President Osei wondering why Victor Ataba was telling the truth known to him already.
"Sorry, Mr. President," was Victor Ataba about to come to the point,"...when I see the branding of these buses with all the portraits around of all former Presidents and see you as the current President, that picture of yours attached to the buses is to statesmanship like, so grand, so great. While all these buses run up and down Accra and Tema people will see your photo always ad remember you so well for what you have done for them...that is truly a clear sign of a visionary leader for which, Mr. President, you surely must be praise for and the opposition put to shame!"
President Osei smiled and replied: "That is what I have always thought and never dared to mention myself. So, Victor, it is particularly good of you to have mentioned it. And to be honest to you, I am so glad that this very unfortunate story is no longer hitting the newspapers but then grass is growing over that very stupid and avoidable story of the branding of these buses. Soon no one will ever remember that the lady that won the contract for branding these Aayalolo Rapid Transit buses had charged the state one Million Cedis, far too much, and finally has given us back half of the profit she had made on this contract. People are short minded, Victor, I am telling you. This is the good thing about our people here in Ghana. We have issue, some we create ourselves from this office, some come to the office of the Presidency without knocking first at our door and Media Houses are gossiping and people are complaining. But as we have too many issues on hand, when one has been highlighted the next one is already waiting around the corner to hit the news and push the old problems aside. The masses of problems that come and go are too much for people to remember. Once I was hearing the story of a man that came up with the idea...can you imagine such madness...I mean with the idea to create a Hall of Shame as a permanent place to collect all our issues of corruption for people always to remember and to learn from, for students to pass through a building like a Museum and see all the shame we people in power and people down there in Tema Port and Police Barriers and Police Stations...I mean that man is mad, completely mad. Why should we as a country have ever an interest to have a permanent memory right in front of us of what is wrong with Ghana? We have to move on from problem to problem for people to have something new to talk about and forget the old bad stories that potentially can harm us while we are still in power and alive."
"Oh Mr. President...you are so right. You are filed with wisdom that has never an ending!" said Victor Ataba while standing side by side with his boss at the window seeing the early traffic problem along the walls of Flagstaff House, no cars moving as too many were on the roads, rush hour at its normal worse.
"I knew it...fishing for compliments is your order of the day?" laughed President Malcom Osei and walked over to his desk filed up with files and notes.
"Can I ask you one question, please Mr. President?"
President Malcom Osei asked Victor Ataba to have a seat in front of his desk ready to hear his question: "You know, Mr. President, I have never travelled abroad, only watching Tv from time to time or checking the internet and there I see in Berlin, London, Milano, New York and other places that public buses run through the streets and there is advertisement on the buses. I mean, I have not seen in any city on TV that they use the portraits of their Presidents to be driven through the streets. So, please Sir, with all due respect, please explain to me why we have these buses instead of giving it out to private companies to use it for advertisement. Does that not bring in money and help the public transport system to be more flexible financially?"
"It is truly good, Victor, that you sit where you sit and I am the President of Ghana, "looked President Malcom Osei into the eyes of his bodyguard smiling all over his face. He put the flee down he was just reading in and looked up straight into the eyes of his bodyguard. "We are here to avoid the mistakes of the White Man, right? ... Ok, in that case we must do thing much differently than the White Man, this is after all our historic mandate when you think of our Colonial past. Therefore I agree that I have never observed for myself that in the developed world governments make such a decision to brand buses with the portraits of their Presidents, past and present...but in fact use it for private companies to advertise their products and services which helps the public transport to bring down the fare people have to pay when using Public Transport. I have been to Moscow for long time as you know and travelled the world...and indeed have never seen what we do anywhere. This makes us very innovative, don`t you think?"
"Yes, Mr. President...I can see your point...and it is indeed very innovative. But...do you not think as our own people watch what is going on out there and compare, even the very young once, what you are doing here is what we call innovative governance, but in their eyes it is not helping the country...even in the eyes seen as a destruction of our future...with the greatest respect, Mr. President!"
"But Victor," laughed President Malcom Osei, got up and walked over to the window of his office where he had stood before and looked out over to the Army Barracks, "you know our people so well. In other African countries in such a situation they would come for us here in Flagstaff House and take us out by force. Normally they should have done this already long ago. But you see," he lowered his voice and cooled down his mind, "here people are quite different. Our people are busy bodies, talking about issues that are not of their own business...and this busy bodies here keeps them entertained and their mind off the things they should really do. When you look around, people call for Pan-Africanism, that Africa should be united, you see that people lambast about our own constitution and our political system and the people working in that system...but where is the alternative. These are beautiful words...but words only. As I studied in Moscow I know of Karl Marx and his big book `The Capital` a book with ideas and with Engle’s and later Lenin an action plan attached to it with the plan how all their demands can be financed also. But here, which of the busy bodies can present any such book of great volume with the idea of his own, the action plan, new constitution draft and financing of it all...who can?"
"No one as far as my eyes can see, Mr. President!"
"So, you see, Victor. As long as there is no one that can present any alternative well thought through before the people of this country and make the people their friends and really...I mean really angry with us in the establishment...come on Victor...we are safe. And as long as we are safe...why should we change?"
"No need for that, Mr. President!"
"And look Victor...for that reason I am the President and you protect my life!" laughed President Malcom Osei hearing someone knocking at the door asking to come in.
Nana Kwabena Adom, old and small, entered the room with a big smile on his face. Both men were hugging each other closely and intensively, laughing with no end. They knew each other since they had entered politics. While Nana Kwabena Adom was working as a Lawyer in Oxford, his counterpart had finished his studies in Moscow to oversee Plan Ghana an organization to help children and their families in need. For both to be inventors or experienced in business, have written articles and books countless in numbers like the first President of the country did and was known for, this mentality had never been on their minds. They enjoyed talking and convincing people that their idea would be the best for their people knowing the weakness of these people ooo well. It was either worshipping them in exchange for jobs and positions in Government awarding contracts to their own or being gossiped about and insulted from the opposition.