…enough for that final conscience
I don’t know why sometimes I succeed in confusing myself. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I exercise a lot, but I am still in the habit of feeling tipsy, why? I am tempted to think it might be due to the overdose of Simpa obienku (Winneba kenkey). It gets fermented when it overstays in the kitchen, and the alcohol content in one ball of the obienku could be equivalent to one tot. So if I took in four balls of kenkey in a day, it would have meant four tots of adonko bitters just gone down.
So in the run up to the 2016 elections I was so determined to behave myself. I took in less kenkey, I avoided crowded locations, and never gave in to anything that will block the relationship between myself and Jesus Christ. To the extent that I made sure I attended all Sunday church services, made sure I gave offerings, including regular Kofi na Ama.
I wrote well, I spoke well, and I made sure that I condemned corruption. I was one of the most critical Journalists who made sure that the Woyome corruption scandal never died. So I was on course in catching the eyes of the then opposition leader. When the elections were over, I knew I had been a good boy, so I had no doubt of making it to President Akufo-Addo’s first batch of ministerial appointments.
Now Nana Akufo-Addo is President. I was expecting him to announce the Ministry of Woyome Affairs, make Martin Amidu the Minister, make Manesseh Azuri Awuni the Deputy Minister, and make me the Chief Director.
Trust me, we are capable of collecting that money from Woyome within two days. It is the easiest of all the ministries, being asked to collect the money Woyome is keeping, which the Supreme Court has already ruled that he must refund, is so simple, so much so that even toddlers will know how to do it.
But it is not the task of collecting Woyome’s money that is important to me. I am looking at the number of V8 vehicles that could be at my disposal. I am looking at twice being called honorable, one for me being an MP, the other for me being a Minister, and probably a third one for the road.
In the meantime, there shall be a pile of young people queuing in my house, in the mornings, and I will take my time to wake up from bed, and I will insult them, heavily, letting them know that they are lazy. In fact I will temporary forget that it is these same lazy young boys and girls who enabled me to win the elections, and for me to be called Honorable, after all, they will soon forget that I insulted them; Ghanaians forget so easily; don’t they?
Then I will distribute a few hundreds of Ghana Cedis (out of the monies I have started stealing), and give them task to do; one to attack those government offices, National Health Insurance, School Feeding, NADMO district offices, National Youth Employment, I will ask them to seize the toilets, and I will make sure that they make reference to some eight years ago when the NDC also did the same things when they won power, thereafter they will seize all tollbooths in sight.
I will remember that when the NDC won power, their foot soldiers mistakenly seized Nana Akufo-Addo’s private car, so I will ask them to draw close to Asiedu Nketiah, and all those very poor people who suddenly became rich when their government won power; I will ask them to seize their cars.
While the rage is ongoing, and the exuberant youth are vandalizing public and private properties, I will turn around to issue a statement asking for calm, creating the impression that I have no knowledge of what is happening. I will ask my constituency Chairman to ensure that the boys return to barracks; after they have caused enough damage.
While I dealt with the issue of the barrack boys, I chanced upon a request from Ghana’s Ex President John Dramani Mahama, to have had the Vice Presidential house for keeps. This is a house he stayed in when he was the Vice President, and continued to stay in when he became the president, and he wanted to keep it, now that he is an Ex President; I am told, that, that house dey biii papah!
I have been told by Hanna Tetteh that Bawumia’s residence is bigger than the one the ex President John Mahama wanted to keep.
With my honorable title dangling on my chest, I approached Hanna Tetteh. I initially wanted to ask if she was still honorable, but I was told once an honorable, always an honorable, even if you stole money.
Thereafter I told the Honorable Hanna Tetteh that it is not about the size of the house. It is about the principle. Why is Ex President Kufuor, who served two terms of eight years, and has been an ex president for eight more years, why is he not in his official ex presidential house? Why did you refuse to provide a house for an ex president for eight good years, yet you are fighting for a house for a one-term ex president of one week standing? Do we have conscience?
In the course of all of these, I came across a short opinion piece written by Kojo Adu-Asare, a former presidential staffer, and one of those who cried during the Brazil corruption scandal probe, in an article titled “let it go sir, my humble appeal to ex-President Mahama”.
In that opinion piece Mr Adu-Asare wrote, “For all the myriads of your achievements for this nation and the sacrifices you made during your tenure of service as president, if Ghanaians can’t reward you with a state property for you and your family to live in, then I guess we have a long way to go in finding people to respect and implement our own statutes and laid down procedures”.
This means that Ex President Kufuor only came to sleep in his office when he was president, right? Ex President Kufuor only came to fart in his office. He sung hyms and Psalms in the office. Ex President Kufuor did not achieve anything as President. He only kept snoring in the office, right? Ebufuws3m!
Were you in this country when the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange was built? Were you in this country when the George Bush Highway was built? Were you in this country when the Mallam to Cape Coast road was built? Were you in this country when the very seat of government, the Golden Jubilee house where you were working, was built?
Were you in this country when the NHIS, GYEEDA, School Feeding program, Capitation grants were all set up? Were you in this country when the Bui Dam was built? Were you in this country when Kufuor was president? And were you in this country when Gbovlo Lartey ejected Kufuor in a Rambo style from his retirement house? Mr. Kojo Adu-Asare, please wake up!
That is why when we receive power, we have to know that that power is not absolute. Sometimes we are tempted to believe that just because we have won power makes everyone else a fool; we the elected are the only wise persons alive, right?
My brother, let us be honest and straightforward; we cannot provide whole houses for all of our former presidents. Let us determine that Rawlings is the only ex President who we would have given a house, for some special and unique circumstance; the rest we will support their lifetime.
I will like to quote Honorable Kojo Yankah, your own former NDC colleague, “it is wrong for the ex-President to convert his official residence into a personal one. Even if Parliament approved of it and the new President gave a nod, it is still wrong. The principle is bad. When late Obetsebi Lamptey even paid for his official residence it was considered bad enough. The precedence is dangerous and should not be allowed to stand”.
Mr ex President Mahama, you will recall that when you made your request to keep your current residence, Dela Edem, your own NDC party Communicator, was one of the first to disagree with you. Dela made a solid point, that we cannot allow you to occupy the vice President’s accommodation. He continued to say that if it was wrong for Kufuor to have been given an accommodation, it is equally wrong for you to be given this specific house that you were asking for, and for me, it is the right thing you have now done to have withdrawn your request to keep that house; I celebrate you for that courage to let it go, enough for that final conscience...
James Kofi Annan
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of James Kofi Annan and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana.