GPS App: Nana Addo robbing Peter to pay Paul as he holds citizens at ransom

Ghana Gps The GhanaPostGPS is Ghana's official digital property addressing system

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 Source: Kofi Asamoah-Ababio

How I wish I was never drawn into this rat-race again, I wish to never spend my sleeping hours behind the computer and finally, I wish to never receive the life-threatening messages and phone calls again. If I had the prowess to change my drive for writing, I would have, respectively but, the truth is I have being trying so hard to stop expressing myself through the pieces I write. I can’t because I’m a serious user, I can’t because am addicted, I can’t because it’s in my veins.

These reminds me of the story between the scorpion and the frog: the scorpion asked the frog to carry him on his back to cross a river but the frog in a sober mood asked the scorpion, how will I know that you will not sting me? The scorpion replied, what do I gain from stinging you and besides if I sting you, we will all drown. The frog agrees to carry the scorpion on its back but something obvious happened when they were in the middle of the river… the scorpion stung the frog and when the frog asked why, the scorpion responded it’s my nature.

We all have a thing or two that we fancy doing most and as far as you are drawn to it, it becomes difficult to let go. Am seriously infected with writing so I believe you will understand why I can’t stop expressing myself through my write-ups.

Massa enough of the self-explanatory, hit to base! Fellow countrymen, “I was sitting my somewhere” when I heard that Ghana is going to be digitized, as a matter of fact, every piece of land or let me say square of land, streets, houses, water bodies is going to have its unique address including seamen and the noble family living on Nzulezu in the Western region.

In fact that piece of message was a sign of relief besides Ghana is too old to be using Blue-kiosk, sign postings, Papa Boi’s house and the Waakye seller to give directions. But, hard did I know that it was a sham, a 419 invention orchestrated to rob the Ghanaian populace.

Several pundits and Civil Society Organizations have stretched the idea to the latter, some have pooh-poohed the concept and others demanding that every nitty-gritty of the contract be made public until later that we became privy to the yearly monies Google is milking from the Ghana Government not to talk about the whooping sums injected into advertisement but it’s not news considering the amount of cash successive governments have drained us as a nation on the recent past “Property and Street Naming Program”.

I have held my guns until now: I heard the Vice President of this 4th republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamud Bawumia said “any individual who do not have the unique digital address will not own a Ghanaian National Identification Card (ID)”. Please correct me if am wrong, is the Vice president implying that, every Ghanaian aged 18 years and above should own a phone; possibly an android/smart phone?

I don’t want to talk about the investment capital Veep-Dr. Bawumia and his government have deposited in each child’s bank account. Do you even know what it takes to own a “Yam” phone in the village where I grew up? I guess you don’t, besides you have not seen poverty before; right from childhood you and your likes have had silver spoons in your mouth so how will you know Mr. President.

My mother had to save all her yearly earnings in other to acquire a “Yam” phone. How many years do you and your government think will take her to buy herself your preferred choice – smart/android phone to enable her access your services? The woman sold all her farm produce for the year before saying hello with her “Yam” phone, so guess what she will be selling next to buy your preferred choice – family properties or possibly leverage her 14 year old beautiful daughter.

Please are you telling me that, if my mother do not get herself a smart/android phone by somewhere next year or two, she will no longer have an ID card to vote. Are you telling me that she would be considered as an alien in her own country? Is Dr. Bawumia and the Npp government trying to play God; to decide who becomes a Ghanaian and who does not by a way of using their controversial GPS App?

OMG!!! Is this your advance methodology to clean the bloated voters register and in doing that, you marginalize our Grandfathers, Mothers, Grandmothers, Father, Brothers and Sisters who can’t afford your services and even if they can, my grandmother can’t use it unless you want me to leave my 2-by-4 job and babysit her.

Please Dr. Bawumia, did your contractors and the Ghana Post guys do due diligence, please did they do broader consultations with the users? Did they even pilot the project to identify the shortfalls and successes? Did they consider the security of this country before thinking of exposing us besides we are living in a country where our safety is always at risk? I guess they didn’t, because if they did, I don’t think we will be on this path.

Please am telling you, the teeming youth in my village do not care about your GPS App or let me rephrase it for you, they don’t care if somebody does not want to use the “Blue-kiosk” as direction. All they care about is job, so that they can take care of their families and to also pay their everyday-skyrocketing utility tariffs.

Mr. President, I think you said something about Ghanaians paying more on their bills than they do to their rent, right? Yes, you said that and I quote “I don’t understand why Ghanaians are paying less for rent and higher for utility tariffs” that were your exact words Mr. President unless you are telling me it was a political speech, a promise you don’t intend to keep.

Mr. President, the P-Z phone dealer who still pay higher utility tariffs every month does not care about your GPS App and besides when a man’s house is on fire, he does not go chasing rats.

Mr. President, do you remember this term in economics “DUMPING”, it’s been a while since I revised my economics notes but I still remember the basics. It’s when foreign companies brings goods and services into developing countries at low prices or at free prices only to capture the market, reduce supply and sell the same product at high prices when they themselves are the cause of shortage in supply. I think my economics is getting better lol.

I think this same methodologies when applied cautiously will solve the seemingly unsolvable, though it a long short but it’s feasible in the long term so next time when hastening to solve an old-age canker please take the back seat and view it from a different perspective so as to avert mistakes like the masses not showing interest in your product.

Mr. President, there have been less patronage amidst huge publicity thus per an investigation I launched into the download of your GPS App, the figures are low; only 1 out of 10 people has downloaded the GPS App and even the 1 person has not used it because there are numerous of “wait” commands, we are talking of user friendly.

Mr. President, I think you know what I know. No, I think you know more than what I know because your technical team have been debriefing you on every step of the way. You know that the masses are not showing interest so you want to force it down their throat but in doing so you gag us, you deprive us of our right to choose or unless you are telling us that we don’t have freedom to our rights again. I tell you even the mad person living on the streets have rights, he has the right to choose the kind of garbage to swallow and what not to swallow.

Mr. President, it is not right to force us to go and download an application that one does not need. It is also not right to say those who are not on the GPS App will not own a Ghanaian Identification Card (ID) unless you are telling me that you and your government will provide every Ghanaian citizen aged 18 and above with phones and internet bundles to enable them access your services with ease.

And Mr. President, supposed you and your government can provide citizens aged 18 and above with logistics to enable them access your service, it still doesn’t makes it right thus per the right to freedoms enshrined in our 1992 constitution.

Mr. President, am getting cold feed because am learning that your agenda is not only in digitizing the entire country as you want us to believe. You have another robbing agenda, an agenda to feed on us because what is an App if you are not getting mass download. I bet you, if we the masses do not show interest in it, it will hit the rock and all the monies invested in it will be for nothing.

And Mr. President, we know the reasons why you and your government want to trample upon the 1992 constitution to force this deal down our throat. You want to use us as your money making machinery but at what cost?

The more we download the GPS App from the App Stores, the more you steal our money, I mean deduction of our bundles which translates into money once it reaches the receiving end. Please enlighten me, how do you think Bill Gates sits in the comfort of his room and make millions of Dollars daily?

The Nana Addo led government is holding the Ghanaian populace at ransom. You corner us with the Ghana National Identification Card so that in the quest to get an ID card we buy smart/android phones, buy internet bundle, access App Stores to download your product and the deductions made miraculously jumps into your purse so that you can use part of the looted money to pay the yearly advance debt you owe Google and the rest of the stolen money goes into whatever you and your government deem fit.

Is that how you intend to fund your flagship programme, I mean the Free Senior High School (SHS) educational program since you and your government are preoccupied with it. I won’t talk about the free SHS program because if I do some men will label me wizard but if that’s the case, then it is pen robbery or better still book robbery… I think it should be GPS App robbery. It is simply a “Robbing Peter To Pay Paul” strategy.

Mr. President, if that’s not the case then don’t force it down our throat because it might eventually send some of us into our early grave besides the country is currently fighting tooth and nail to economically bounce back from the shackles of poverty and also some of us, our responsibilities have grown threefold, from high tariff hikes through to rent bill, grandpa’s medics, mothers weekly feeding, in laws monthly gifts, wife’s nagging problems and kids strong penchant for ice cream.

The project is nice but the approach is laughable… and digitizing Ghana doesn’t mean you have to kill us first besides there are many ways to sell this idea to the Ghanaian populace and it doesn’t include this Mr. President.

The writer Kofi Asamoah-Ababio, is the Executive Director, Amass Ghana. The views expressed in this article are his personal opinions and do not reflect, in any shape or form, those of Amass Ghana, where he works. His email address is kofiasamoah@amassgh.org, please find time to visit our website www.amassgh.org

Columnist: Kofi Asamoah-Ababio
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