A President In Vogue And A Man In A Lady's Winter Coat
I am on my way to see my cardiologist. I will like to know from him the side effect of continuous and long laughter. Much as I know laughter can be curative, particularly when one is hypertensive like yours sincerely, I doubt if laughter for so long a time can help. When I watched Mr Asiedu Nketia, the NDC General Secretary, in a lady's winter coat, I laughed so long that my four-year grandson who was sitting on my lap asked: 'Papa, are you 'bomb you '? 'Bomb you' is a wee-smoking crazy guy in my holy village who can spend the whole day laughing, even if he sees or hears nothing.
When Mr Asiedu Nketia was attending Seikwa L/A Middle School, he might have seen pictures of Eskimos wearing their fur winter coats in the Supplementary English Readers book. And so when he had the opportunity to travel to Germany with the President in winter, he remembered what he saw when he was in school. The man opened the wardrobe of his wife and lo and behold, he saw a brown fur winter coat and thanked his God for small blessings. He ironed the lady's winter coat nicely and packed it in his travelling bag, ready to fly to Angela Merkel's Germany with the President of Ghana.
And when it was time for the host Head of State to shake hands with her guests, there he stood like a Jaguar Joker in his brown lady's fur winter coat. There is this man called Kobby Acheampong who comes from a village near Mampong in the Ashanti Region who told Sir John, the former General Secretary of the NPP, that he should not bring his Kumasi thing to Accra and that Sir John should broaden his horizon. Asiedu Nketia, a palm wine taper's son from Seikwa, also tried to broaden his horizon when he went to Germany by wearing a lady's winter coat. They say every dog has got its day. Asiedu Nketia has insulted almost everybody, from the founder of the NDC, Mr Jerry Rawlings, to Kufuor and the late Aliu Mahama.
It was this man from Seikwa in the Brong Ahafo Region who told NDC supporters who had deserted the party to come back home because he had chained the barking dog. This was in direct reference to Mr Rawlings who was constantly against Mills' mal-administration. This forced some supporters of Rawlings to remind him that Kimathi, the son of Rawlings, used to give him coats to wear. Asiedu Nketia did not deny that accusation so it stands to reason that what those guys said was the truth since silence means concern. Just look at how the British media ridiculed Asiedu Nketia.
Mahama And Made In Ghana Goods
Apart from his military days when he used to wear military uniform, I have never seen former President Olusegun Obasanjo wearing suit. The man is always seen wearing a three-piece Agbada made with Nigerian fabric. He has made Agbada so popular that white men feel proud to own one. His trade mark—a long and shifted traditional Yoruba hat—has become a vogue in the developed countries. This is a man who continues to promote made in Nigeria wears. Nigerians always trusted him whenever he told them to patronise made in Nigeria goods because he always did what he told them to do.
Ever seen Mr Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Nigeria, wearing suit before or late Muammar Ghaddafi addressing the United Nations in suit? In the Northern Region where Mr Mahama comes from, they sew some smocks that can withstand any cold weather. What kept Mr Mahama from wearing such smocks to meet Angela Markel instead of the custom-made suit he wore? The man is telling us to eat gari while he eats cornflakes. The northern smock used to be worn by only people from the north until Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah came to power and decided to wear the smock during state functions. In no time, people from the south started acquiring northern smocks and it became a vogue. Today, the smock has virtually become a national wear and people feel proud to own one despite the high cost of the smock. It has created many jobs for the people in the north because people patronise it. Dr Hilla Limann too was one President of Ghana who felt proud to wear the northern smock at state functions. He looked so majestic anytime he was seen wearing the smock.
The other day President Mahama went to Parliament to show us a pair of shoes he was wearing which was made in Ghana. He told us to patronise made in Ghana goods because by doing that we will be helping in our own small way to prop up local industries. Less than a year after admonishing Ghanaians to wear made in Ghana shoes and clothes, I saw our 'Yentie Obiaa ' President in a custom-made suit with a state of the art pair of foreign made shoes to match, shaking hands with Angela Merkel of Germany. The guy thought he could fool us back home and show off his pride in Germany.
Is the President telling us that he eats made in Ghana beef or rice grown in the Northern Region? The population of China is close to one billion, five hundred million but the staple food of China is rice. The president of China and his ministers do not import foreign rice from Thailand or Taiwan for their own use. They all eat made in China rice. Not so in Ghana, where ministers return home from their foreign trips with foreign foods and shop at the Accra Shopping Mall where foreign foods are sold. The President and his cohorts continue to ask us to tighten our belts while they make sure their belts remain elastic enough to give room for expansion.
Taking Dumsor To Germany
In the year 2013, President John Dramani Mahama told Ghanaians that dumsor would be a thing of the past in 2014. We believed him because after all do the Akans not say that when a blind man says he will throw a stone at you he might have his foot on a stone? And so we waited for 2014. That year came with more dumsor while factories and other businesses collapsed with its accompanying laying off of workers. Instead of apologising to Ghanaians for the lies he told the people, he flew to Kumasi to dance to the 'Yentie Obiara' song, thumbed our noses and flew to Germany with his lady's coat-wearing General Secretary. When the President had the opportunity to meet the German Chancellor, he virtually went down on his knees to beg the woman to come to the aid of Ghana to stop the dumsor he promised would be a thing of the past in 2013.
Before coming to power, the NDC promised Ghanaians that if voted into power they would use only ONE HUNDRED DAYS (100 days) to clear all the filth in Accra and other cities. Those were the days when Accra was engulfed by filth and the then NPP government was finding it very difficult to get rid of the filth. In those days Madam Ama Benyiwa Doe went round Agbogbloshie, Kaneshie etc. inciting market women to vote against the NPP because she saw no reason why the women should sell their wares with filth surrounding them. The NPP lost Accra because of this dirty campaign.
Six years down the line, the promise of getting rid of filth in our cities is as elusive as the solution to dumsor and even our small towns are now engulfed by filth, with cholera killing people like the way Boko Haram terrorists kill their victims. Today, we are being told that the first Saturday of every month should be observed as National Sanitation Day. What has become of the hundred days promise, Mr Mahama? If the President doesn't know somebody should tell him that the National Sanitation Day is not catching on well with the people because of the promise of getting filth out of our way in a matter of hundred days. A promise is a promise, you know. Not even the great Asantehene Ote Kokooso Opemsuor could move the people to join the campaign. Yenso yentie obiara! (We will also not listen to anyone!)
When the President said some time ago that Ghanaians were forgetful, I laughed at him because he misfired. If Ghanaians don't talk, it doesn't mean they are forgetful. Oh yes we still remember that the NDC, in the run-up to the 2008 general elections, told Ghanaians and in fact, even wrote in their manifesto, that when voted into power they would introduce a one-time premium of the National Health Insurance Scheme. Today, apart from the fact that the scheme has collapsed, the one-time premium promise has become a dream gone sour. Indeed, we remember the day the late Professor Mills told students of Great Lamptey School in Accra that the Kufuor government was insensitive to the plight of students in private schools as far as the School Feeding Programme was concerned. He said when voted into power, an NDC government would make sure students in private schools also enjoyed the programme. Anyway, this is not the appropriate time to remind the NDC of the numerous promises they made in order to win votes. Soon, very soon, the time will come and the President will then realise that after all Ghanaians are not forgetful as he wants the world to believe.
The Akans say when God picks up a stone, He takes time to throw it. This is exactly what God has done to the NDC. They deceived Ghanaians to come to power and today they are reaping what they sowed. The Committee for Joint Action, led by prickly Kwasi Pratt, criss-crossed the nation, demonstrating against the increase in the prices of petroleum products and said ex-President Kufuor was heartless. That was when the price of a barrel of crude oil had skyrocketed to an unprecedented all time high. Even when the police refused to give them permit to demonstrate, they defied the police and hit the streets. The then running mate to candidate Mills, Mr Dramani Mahama, was among the marauding and unruly CJA demonstrators. The All-knowing God of Abraham watched them from above knowing very well that a time would come when they would reap what they were sowing.
Today, with Mr Dramani Mahama in power as the President of Ghana, the price of a barrel of crude oil at the world market has dropped drastically to less than fifty dollars per barrel and this time around the man is telling us that his government will not reduce the price of petroleum products in Ghana simply because his government needs money to pay off a debt. Oh memory, where hast thou flown to? Let me just puff Dramino Sanchez cigar and just be.
By Eric Bawah
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