To Isofoton or Not to Isofoton…. That is Ablakwa!
I was waiting until the needed riposte was registered by an authoritative figure in the know, before I spoke to the issue of Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa's caustic accusation of Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani for being possibly liable for causing financial loss to the State of Ghana, a felony crime that is punishable by a remarkable span of imprisonment (See “Okudzeto Begged for Isofoton to Be Paid” Ghanaweb.com 7/12/12).
I was biding my time, because I know the Deputy Information Minister is a congenital liar. I just did not have the facts handily to expose him for the political and ideological nuisance that this young worm is. Don't fault me for calling this 30-year-old upstart a worm, for this grub has yet to establish his economic and professional significance on our national political landscape, besides his regular reception of a quite decent sinecure.
Let us also get a few things promptly out of the way. First of all, I am not a registered card-carrying member of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). Actually I was, briefly, for a period of seven months between mid-2007 and early 2008, when I was rudely shoved off by the Edweso (Ejisu) faction and Amen-Corner of the New Patriotic Party. But as a firm believer in the high-minded ideals of Drs. Danquah and Busia and, of course, Mr. S. D. Dombo, I have often felt reasonably compelled to defend some key operatives of the NPP, including Mr. Mpiani, the former chief-of-staff to ex-President John Agyekum-Kufuor, whose tenure as the right-hand man of the former president did not particularly impress me one bit. I shall, however, not detail why I found Mr. Mpiani's managerial skills at the presidency to be rather vindictive and crassly undiplomatic, for the most part.
What is clear in the case in which Isofoton, the Spain-based manufacturer of agricultural implements, had its contract summarily abrogated, largely on ideological grounds, it appears, is that there clearly appears to be both an “ungentlemanly” and an “unholy” alliance between key operatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party into indiscriminately scamming the Ghanaian taxpayer. It is the same “dirty philosophy” that undergirds the insufferably corrupt ritualistic policy of awarding patently undeserved gratuity packages to the members of our national assembly every four years.
I have recently come to the firm conclusion that about the only way to radically stem this humongous tide of corruption, is for Ghanaian civil servants to equally insist on being paid gratuities every four years, as well as being awarded auto loans, like our do-nothing parliamentarians, quadrennially. Indeed, as Mr. Martin Amidu, the recently ousted Attorney-General and Minister of Justice aptly observes, it is precisely because the stinky regime of judgment debts has unsavorily come to occupy center-stage of Ghanaian politics that Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa is able to so brazenly and rudely accuse Mr. Mpiani of being liable for causing financial loss to the State when, in reality, the Deputy Information Minister clearly appears to stand to gain, either materially or monetarily, from fronting and shamelessly advocating for large sums of compensations to be paid to foreign contractors whose contracts are alleged to have been summarily abrogated, on the gratuitous grounds of shifts in executive ideologies on our national political landscape.
In the case of Isofoton, Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa needs to be subpoenaed before a legitimately constituted court of law to explain why, as Mr. Amidu alleges and Mr. Okudzeto-Ablakwa concurs, the Deputy Information Minister felt the need or obligation to pressure the ousted Attorney-General into awarding the sum of $1.3 million to the Isofoton contractors and/or proprietors. I guess what I am driving at here is an independent investigation and enquiry into the entire judgment-debt scam, particularly the history of this clearly insane and inane practice in Ghana, and the extent of the same, retroactive from 1992.
In brief, this heinous crime against Ghanaian humanity ought to be criminalize with the exaction of severe penalties, if our national resources are to be sensibly mobilized for the rapid and salutary development of the country. It is also that Ghana's foreign donors and their representatives on the ground, as it were, are studiously observing events surrounding this so-called judgment debt scam-artistry, and will have something meaningful to say and/or do about the same in the offing.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]