As I see it, it is rather painful but absolutely nothing new. It also looks as if we are destined to live with this kind and level of official corruption for generations, because I really and sincerely don’t see any major politician with the requisite strong will and determination to radically stanch the profuse hemorrhage or bleeding of our national economy, which continues to take a humongous and deadly toll on our dignity and survival as a people, while only a handful of our unconscionable kleptocratic and vampiric politicians, especially those from the faux socialist blood-sucking National Democratic Congress (NDC) filthily benefit from such unpardonably obtuse transactions. You cannot seriously and realistically call them business transactions in the benignly traditional sense of the term, because it is eerily and savagely redolent of the infamous Transatlantic Slave Trade.
There is, of course, a striking element of the sort of wanton lopsided exploitation that heavily inflected the much-maligned and decried but never practically and completely abolished Transatlantic Trade in African Humanity. I am talking about a news report, culled from the long-established and highly reputable “Africa Confidential” media publication, which alleges Mr. John “I Never Saw Any Chance to Strike a Taxpayer-Creaming Deal I Ever Disliked” Dramani Mahama had literally signed off ownership of Ghana’s largest commercial seaport, the Tema Harbor, to a French national and billionaire by the name of Vincent Ballorė, owner of a shipping and cargo-handling company called Merdian Port Services (MPS), to rake in 85-percent of all transactional profits conducted through the Kwame Nkrumah-constructed deep-water port at Tema. The deal, we are reliably informed, was originally struck with the understanding that the Government of Ghana will own 30-percent of all the profits of deals transacted through a soon-to-be-constructed state-of-the-art container terminal underwritten by the MPS firm.
Alas, like all contracts with the signature of Mr. John Dramani Mahama appended to them, the agreement ended up not being honored to the letter or worth the costs of the paper and the ink from the pen with which the aforesaid contract was written. As I prepare this piece for the press, the Meridian Port Services firm, is reported to own some 17 ports on the western littoral of the Continental African Landmass, which means that Mr. Ballorė and his partners and business associates essentially own all the port facilities on the sizeable stretch of the western half of the Continental African Coastline. But what appears to stagger the Face2FaceAfrica.com website reporter of the story, which is the subject of the present column, is the rather curious fact that this Mega-Scam of a Mahama-initialed contract never made the banner news headlines in the runup to the 2020 General Election, a deal calibrated on the order of Billions of Dollars of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money.
What is more, we are further informed that this fraudulent act of capital criminality executed by our self-described and self-appellated “North-Star” ex-President had been unearthed by a Ministerial Committee established by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to investigate the same. But just wait a minute, Dear Reader, there is another side to this story which does not seem to come out clearly in the news report to the critically thinking reader because, on the one hand, we are given to believe that the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo Administration had under extremely difficult circumstances been, nevertheless, able to relatively more favorably renegotiated the aforesaid no-brainer contract or contractual no-brainer. At the same time, we are being given to understand that the Akufo-Addo Jubilee House has maintained complete silence on the same.
Whatever the real and/or true case scenario may be, it is inescapably clear that the concerned Ghanaian public is ravenously looking forward to being clearly and systematically informed about precisely what this seemingly bizarre but definitely totally unsurprising deal that was allegedly struck by the John “Akonfem-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress is essentially and fundamentally about. Under our Fourth Republican democratic political and cultural dispensation, the Ghanaian people, both taxpayer and nontaxpayer alike, have a right to know what precisely went wrong or right here, that is, if there was any contractually and morally and economically redeeming aspect to this apparently shady deal at all.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
April 11, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]