12.12.2022 Feature Article

The Man in White

The Man in White
12.12.2022 LISTEN

Luke 12:15; “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” On the continent of Africa, West Africa to be precise lies the country Ghana. In that country is a certain gentleman, almost always clad in white clothing akin to the red outfits seen about in the heydays of the Musama Disco Christo Church except of course his is always white. This gentleman in Akan traditional parlance would be described as a brother to the current president H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The Man in White referenced herein as ‘The Man’ is also known as Ken Ofori-Atta, an investment banker and finance guru by all measures who graduated from Yale University in the U.S.A. Yale University is in New Haven, Connecticut; around an area called ‘The Green,’ a 16-acre privately owned park & recreation area located in the downtown district. The University can also be found in the vicinity of State Street and Union Station which is the hub for the New Haven train line. The area around The Green is also the general arena where most students from Yale and the other surrounding schools like University of New Haven and Southern Connecticut State University would go to hang out in search of a great time on most weekends.

‘The Man’ is Ghana’s current finance minister and de facto head of the economic management team (EMT) which officially has the vice president Alhaji Bawumia at its helm. In Ghana, the head of the EMT could be anyone the president and his EMT deems fit; and ‘The Man’ by virtue of being the president’s brother has arrogated to himself powers and responsibilities for which he has no business taking up; much similar to the manner in which various contracts and services which should have been spread around or in some cases completely assumed by other entities have been awarded to either Data Bank, Enterprise Insurance or other organizations in which he and his partners/shareholders have direct or indirect stake . Data bank has been operating quite successfully in the country for quite sometime under both NDC and NPP governments, a feat which is benign but also worthy of mention given the fact that these two political institutions tend to collapse the opponents’ businesses whenever either of them assumes the mantle of political leadership. The worst of this behavior would be experienced in the 1980’s under the PNDC government of Chairman Rawlings where multiple businesses both big and small were collapsed by the government and others sold off sometimes for peanuts to cronies of the government.

However, I must state emphatically that the consolidation of the failed banks is an exception and that was a necessary measure to ensure that a crisis like we had here in the USA in 2008 does not happen in Ghana. In my opinion, that was a consolidation with cause. Insofar as these banks received bailouts under the Mahama Administration after making what could be considered as a mistake/error in judgement but still went on to squander the money received, they had forfeited the chance for another bailout; And if the taxpayer was going to secure the deposits of a private entity, then owners/shareholders of that private entity had forfeited the right to remain “As Is”.

Enters Heritage bank owned by Seidu Agongo which in my opinion was rather unfortunately included in the consolidation. Till date, the reasons for closing that bank are murky at best with the best being that the majority shareholder, a member of the opposition NDC used funds siphoned from Ghana’s Cocoa farmers to set up his bank. If true, it would give the finance minister legitimate grounds to have consolidated the bank. Again, If true, it would also be a welcomed development in our nation Ghana, since many politicians after getting into government suddenly have all sorts of businesses and investments associated with them without corresponding output. They just create straw companies and siphon off taxpayer money without providing any work.

Enterprise Insurance has virtually decapitated the state’s insurance company, SIC, while Data Bank in its quest to gain as much syndicated and management fees as possible has plundered the country into economic abyss, the type of which has only been experienced in Greece and Sri Lanka. ‘The Man’ aka Ken Ofori-Atta always dressed in white and as soft spoken as possible has rather depicted an impressive streak of callousness previously only experienced in the Caribbean Island of Haiti when the French after losing control of the Island basically took everything from Haiti; the effects of which are still being borne-out today. ‘The Man’ has virtually traded his honorable title given to him by the country for an unkinder one but in the process, guaranteed the companies in which he has some affiliation or was once associated, a very huge economic lift. The degree to which ‘The Man’ has destroyed Ghana for personal gain is like what the Glazer family did to Manchester United upon purchasing the club years ago when they loaded it with debt, the effects of which rendered United into a ‘Class B’ premier league team and prevented it from dominating like in previous seasons; Except, Manchester United still has some value which would allow the owners to sell the club in due time or leverage it for some equity. Ghana, on the other hand, is akin to a Junk Bond with no value whatsoever, at least not in the present nor medium term.

The Man in White, otherwise known as Ken Ofori-Atta is a very Dishonorable person, so dishonorable that he has earned the name “SASABROMSAM;” ( Devil’s Incarnate), from a large segment of the Ghanaian population frustrated with him . The name SASABROMSAM perfectly suits him as I remember correctly during our childhood days playing ‘Pilolo,’ ‘Stay,’ and ‘Piting3’. The definition being anyone who intentionally made or would make a move to burden everyone just so he alone and his immediate circle of friends and family would benefit.

In the melodic voice of Wiyaala, singing the Osibisa band’s song Woyaya; ‘We Are Going, Heaven Knows Where We Are Going, We Will Get There.’ Fellow-Ghanaians, We Shall Get There, Oman-Ghana, We Shall Get There. We Continue to hold on to the little hope left and put our faith in our maker that soon and very soon a glimmer of light will shine our way as a country.

In honor of our alma-mater, Akosombo International School, for its recently celebrated 60th Anniversary and in remembrance of our dear brother, Maxwell Adam otherwise known as Major Maxwell Mahama who paid the ultimate sacrifice of death while serving his country. Truth Is Our Light and We Rest Not! God Bless Our Homeland Ghana. GYE-NYAME.

By Fiifi Ofori
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