01.11.2006 Feature Article

Top Ten People who are screwing up Ghana

Top Ten People who are screwing up Ghana
01.11.2006 LISTEN

………Alorvi &NAGRAT are #3!

“Politics is when choice constantly lies between two blunders”-John Morley

1. John Rawlings and John Kufuor
The two premier Johns of the nation have been at their political best with such dogged determination to muddy the political waters for as long as the fun will last. The past week has seen some of the most tragic, terrifying and tenacious display of political gamesmanship by these two power blocs of modern Ghanaian politics to such discreditable and disconcerting proportions.

Whiles Rawlings has shown that he is an unrelenting, unrepentant and unfailing arouser of political brouhaha a.k.a 'boom speeches' , Kufuor has proved that he's the much fabled political bull dog with the Mandate of Heaven as conceptualized in China's Zhou dynasty-slow, tactful sometimes obstinate but overly unyielding.. Just to put this in context(and admittedly at the risk of boring readers) Kufuor had accused Rawlings of treason, an accusation that got the former president to do something he never did even during his blazing days in power-organize a press conference in which he expectedly denied the claims in a most uncompromising way. Anyone wondered why he had to use of the nation's most decorated diplomats par excellence Victor Gbeho as the conduit to deliver the message? Why couldn't Jerry read the message himself? Because what Victor read was the work of scholarship and academia which sought rather to give a political or rather 'diplomatic' argument seeking to camouflage what the truth was and indeed what Rawlings truly felt at heart.

Meanwhile both men claim and cling to their versions as the absolute truth expecting the 'good people of Ghana' and the 'discerning listener' to make a competent judgment of the two. Doesn't 'Ghanaman' politics just tickle, fascinate, and torture you all at the same time? At the press conference Jerry confirmed why he commands such ferocious adulation among his band of party enthusiasts. He charmed, chanted, berated and wooed an already charged and craving choir.

Jerry has tempered his days outside the Castle as an anti malaria campaigner which he sooner than later gave up as a dull and boring subject and swung to being a full time Kufuor critic- and then most recently an ubiquitous conference attendee. Kufuor has demonstrated why he is such a clever and crackling political chess player. He vividly teases, swirls and draws the blood out of JJ with such untamed passion until he can take it no more. Rawlings responds with brusque and raw verve. In this never ending snipes, pejorative statements fly around leading up to what I call “political pollution”

This has got to be the most ridiculous love story of our time- two John's in love with different women and both men again romancing the same woman.

2. Kofi Wayo
Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?"
From King Richard III (I, ii 227-228)

Drawing from the statements of King Richard one of the greatest villains in English history, I ask of Kofi Wayo,

Were ever citizens in this humour woo'd
Was ever politics in this humour won?

Again i ask is Kofi Wayo the quintessential godfather of political comedy for today's generation? What do you make of Wayo's attempt to launch a political career and the resultant mess he and his political concerto have found themselves? I shudder to think what words Shakespeare would have used to describe a character as enigmatic and as sophisticated as Mr. Wayo.
Mr. Wayo wants to run this nation but he possesses what Shakespeare describes as the “arrogance and hubris of a ruler” which I think is currently doing the nation more harm than good and should be watched at close range or with apologies to Kwamena Bartels, 'given close marking”.

Considering his actions, utterances and character it may be safe to describe him as the caricature or if you want the spoof of modern day politics in our country. There have been several reports of Mr. Wayo's in-fighting with the very people he's supposed to launch a new party with and if such venom is translated unto the broader political spectrum Ghana may weep and bleed not only from Wayo's witty comedy but his creeping venom which is distasteful for political leadership. Kofi Wayo (and others like him) sometimes makes one wonder if it isn't time the Electoral Commission revised and tightened its requirements for party registration in the country. Politics I agree must not only be representative but participatory. However politics can and must be transparent, responsive and grounded on the basis of consensus building. Conclusion? Wayo's party should never be registered and if it already has the license must be revoked immediately! What's up Mr. Afari Djan?

3. Alorvi and NAGRAT
This is the definitive story- an episode that threatens not only the education of the present generation of students but indeed the future of our glorious republic. What exactly on earth does Alorvi and his colleagues in the chalk writing fraternity want? Now that the courts have ordered them back to the classroom I expect Alorvi and the rest of revolting colleagues will go back to the classroom. Suffice it to say however that the strike by NAGRAT is a shameful and an inexplicably greedy one on their part. It is such 'hopelessly inconsistent demands and endlessly unsatisfied grievances' (John Kennedy) that shall halt the wheel of development that we all seek to propel. If Alorvi and his men believe that by maintaining a hardliner stance on the strike they become iconic figures then I must say that their stance is such a needless and dimwitted ploy that has yielded no results.

The strike by the teachers is a serious developmental constraint that prevents the poor and marginalized especially from benefiting from the educational process. The rich and powerful will always get people to tutor their kids in the age-long 'study teacher' syndrome. It is becoming clearer and clearer that unless these private teachers go on strike, ministers are raped, and the presidency is robbed, government is either unwilling or unable to respond to the demands of teachers.

In my opinion the strike by NAGRAT is an artificial and exaggerated one. Alorvi is a mild minded mainstream school teacher who is an unlikely rebel. As to what exactly are the 'oils' and inspiration behind his present actions, only him and his so called collaborators know. Such actions have given rise to some opinions to the effect that if Alorvi wants to earn the salary of a Doctor then he should go to Medical school, train and get a license. Then he can enjoy the salary of a doctor. In the mean time he is a teacher, should work as a teacher and earn what a teacher earns, simple! This current development in the educational sector should not be dismissed as a mere fight of fancy but rather as an outrageous act which must be checked squarely. Unionism worldwide is expected to be a collaborative and consensus building enterprise where trade unions are seen as social or developmental partners instead of political opponents. Teachers are expected to be models for students and inspire a generation of youth to the highest standards of a civic personality. They should be the models of virtue. If Alorvi should shed off his insecurity and NAGRAT their intolerance, some amazing and clean cut results should be expected in order to prevent this country from further plunging into a developmental abyss.

….to be continued.

Etse Sikanku
Iowa State University. Ames, Iowa.