Is the NPP incurably Anti-Ghanaian or sheer Pro-foreigners?

Sat, 6 Sep 2008 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Once again, the controversial 60 million dollar presidential mansion is in the news. A GNA new item titled, “Workers at the presidential palace threaten strike (1-9-2008)”, leads us on to yet another troubling aspect of this canard. God knows that when the full story of this boondoggle is told, it will be nothing short of lies, cheating and bald face debauchery. We can’t even get the right price tag on this project. One time it is 60 million and at another, 50 million as presented by the news item. This is what you get when you have a bunch of thieving crooks running our affairs. What is the cost of this project? Is any die or blow hard NPP member willing to tell us? And please forgive our confusion. We are only human!

I don’t know what the minimum wage in Ghana is but $3 a day for a laborer working with the hot sun on his or her back is downright troubling. When I have laborers work for me at my site, I don’t pay them less than $6 a day. Indeed, they tell me that $6 and up a day is the going rate!! Other artisans get more! Masons and Carpenters for example, make anywhere from $8 dollars and up. Why in God’s name is the government of Ghana watching these Indian contractors pay our brother and sister $3 an hour to do back breaking work? If Ghanaian workers can do the work, why give the contract to Indians to start with? Unlike you, I am not the least bit surprised because this is the same government that thinks $8 a month for poor families will lift them out of poverty. If you contrast this to the profligacy exhibited by the NPP government, you must arrive at the simple conclusion that these NPP folks assume that they are the only ones that deserve anything better in life. It is this condescension and arrogance of the NPP folks that galls me to my inner core. How dare them!! And I hope this time around, the government will not lie about its role since the Indian bosses directed all interested parties to go and put their questions to the government (castle). Who in the Castle is in charge of this project and why is he or she directing the wages of poor Ghanaians from the Castle? Who is in charge of this project? Is it the Indians or Kufour/Mpiani and their corrupt gaggle?

Kufour promised that he is going to make Ghana a majority middle class society. How do you make Ghana a middle class society if you pay hardworking laborers $3 dollars a day to build a 60 million dollar presidential mansion for the elite? We either don’t get the jobs or when we do, we have to be short changed. This project started at 32 million and now it is at 60 million. What really accounts for the constant revision of the price tag on the presidential mansion if labor is not a part of it? And if labor is a part of it, how much did the government budget for the payment of labor? This NPP government is a classic case of wickedness in high places. They sit quietly as Kufour squanders our scant resources on trivial and baseless travels and watch our people live on pittance. Have these wicked people no mercy on our poor folks? Shouldn’t hard work account for anything?

My friends, is it not interesting that, Indians, working in Ghana as slave drivers, when questioned as to why they pay our brothers and sisters so low, given the high price tag of the project, point to the Castle? Incontrovertibly, we see before our own eyes, how our own people, acting as slave drivers and colonialists, use foreigners as fronts to oppress our people and steal mindlessly from them. All along, I thought the contract to build the presidential mansion was awarded to the Indians because they gave us the loan. And yes we even took a loan to build a presidential mansion so Kufour might have a legacy to yap about. How bloody sad! Some kind of leaders we have huh? Is that not what we were told?

As it turns out, this project is being directed step by step by from the NPP (Castle). And the government of Ghana says $3 a day is good for the Ghanaian laborer? This is at a time when Kufour’s per diem is in the thousands of dollars a day? Why are the Indians telling journalists to direct their questions to the Castle? What is the NPP government not telling us about this presidential mansion contract? Is the NPP in charge of providing labor for this project? Why is this NPP government still involved with labor issues of this project if the Indians have the project? It will be one thing if the government is stepping in to protect the interest of Ghanaian workers. In this case, the government is actually the agent of oppression if the Indians are telling the journalists to get explanations as why Ghanaians are being paid such lows wages and abused, even as their Indian counterparts make the loot. Why is this government so anti-labor? Are laborers in Ghana not Ghanaians?

Folks, you would think that a responsible pro-Ghana government will make sure that Ghanaians working on its contracts are treated very well. This means that the government of Ghana (Ministry of Labor), will work in minimum payments that reflect the realities of the market place. Is the NPP government not the free-market-property-owning- government? How do they expect anyone to own property in Ghana is they earn $3 a day? Instead of looking out for the interest of the average Ghanaian, our government sides with foreigners to exploit and steal from us. And these people have the crass nerve to tell us to believe in our tradition and culture? The NPP government is playing tricks with the people of Ghana and there will be a high price to pay if the whole truth lay bare. When it comes to billing the taxpayers, the bill is very high. We are paying 60 million for this joke of a project. Yet, the people working on the project are being paid slave wages? What the hell is going on?

If and when you evaluate what the NPP claims to have done, please look at the cost. At what cost did we do the little that has been done and who actually benefited from these project. I can smell corruption and robbery all the way to high places. The sad part is that it is these same workers who will vote the NPP back to power because they either don’t know any better, cannot read in between the lines or have been taken in my the propaganda of NPP. How sad!! Vote wisely and remember who was there for you. Character is what you do when no one is watching and surely that goes for our government. We are certainly being fleeced!!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Also known as the double edge sword)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell. Harry Truman

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka