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The emergence of kenkey politics

Ghanaian Chronicle
29 February 2012 | Editorial

The political heat is on. Apparently, officialdom is trying very hard to retire Woyome from the front pages and air space, after the embarrassment the scandal has visited on the entire government machinery. And kenkey comes in handy.

After the Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, tried to bring the excruciating high cost of living to the fore by using the price of kenkey as a reference point, the propaganda machinery of government has been activated in a manner that might do more harm to those directing state policy than the members of the opposition, that the President and his men and women are doing their worst to embarrass.

The President of the Republic, Prof. John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, left his bunker at the Castle, and was taken to a number of markets in Accra, on a kenkey-buying spree. An official report said yesterday that President Mills bought a ball of kenkey at the Maamobi and Nima markets for GHp40 and GHp50.

This has provided the propaganda machine of government the platform to descend on Nana Akomea and the NPP, insinuating that the largest opposition party might be lying.

Unknown to the Head of State, and those who convinced him to abandon his schedule at Government House to venture into the market, a survey commissioned by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, headed by one of the staunchest Mills loyalists in Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, came out with a report indicating that the cost of the popular food item is indeed, escalating beyond the means of many Ghanaians.

The report found that while kenkey sells for GHp50 in many places in Accra, it is going for GH¢1 in other suburbs of the capital. 'Nungua, Lapaz and Tema had spots where one could buy kenkey at GH¢1.' In other words, it is official that the price of kenkey is going beyond the means of low income earners in this country.

What we were not told is whether or not the President bought fish. Kenkey without fish is no meal, which says a lot about the rationale behind the idea of shopping for kenkey.

If the President had bought fish to go with the kenkey, he would have had a fair idea about the hardship Ghanaians go through to feed their families in the failed state he is leading.

The high cost of living tells a lot about how spectacular the so-called 'Better Ghana' agenda has failed. The government has to accept the basic fact that it has failed miserably to insulate the average Ghanaian from hardship, and try and work-out what it could do in the eight months or so available to the occupant of the Castle, to lead this nation.

If the men and women who claim to believe in him think they could send the President to the Mallam Atta, Nima and Maamobi markets as a means of keeping the Ghanaian quiet in the face of mounting problems, they had better revise their notes.

As crude oil reaches the $124 mark, it puts everybody on notice that sooner, rather than later, the price of petroleum prices would be hiked again. Already, at GH¢8 a gallon, petrol has forced the prices of many items beyond the roof, and visited poverty on many homes.

Life in Ghana is indeed hard!

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