Katakyie’s Message for the Ghanaian Youth

Fri, 6 Jul 2012 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

In recent times, news about suicides, armed robbery, ‘sakawa’ (cyber crime), serial killings, spousal murders, and marital conflicts have dominated the Ghanaian media. How could kids (seven year olds) commit suicide? How could a thief behead the owner of a coconut farm just because he had been caught red-handed; and how could a husband kill his pregnant wife and kids because of housekeeping money? Why are we experiencing these unfortunate incidences? A cursory observation of the aforementioned reveals that abject poverty has been the major causal effect of such crimes. Poverty under the current administration is unprecedented; if I were to borrow the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) own deceptive slogan. The living conditions of Ghanaians continue to deteriorate although Prof. Mills promised to fill our pockets with money and also give us one-time premium. From road tolls through to school fees, electricity, water bills, and communications tax, the NDC government has not relented in its effort to siphon the little money left in the pocket of the ordinary Ghanaian. The situation becomes very alarming for the vulnerable people and those without meaningful jobs in the country.

If you ask any NDC member to pinpoint any single policy or project undertaken by the present government, all that you hear is; “go to the villages and see things for yourself”. If you are lucky enough, they will start their unprecedented achievements with the distribution of school uniforms and drinking cups, elimination of schools under trees, and removal of city schools which were beneficiaries of the school feeding programmes to the villages. My question is: are the cities not part of Ghana, so why should we go to the villages before we see those unprecedented achievements? If governance was limited to the distribution of school uniforms to kids without regard to their height and waist sizes, I’m sure my 9 year daughter could do it with perfection.

Fellow Ghanaians, I did not witness the administrations of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia. Even with the regimes of Gen. I.K. Acheampong and Dr. Hilla Limann, I was very young at the time and did not see much. However, with the help of our history books, every Ghanaian would agree with me that Nkrumah is to Akosombo Dam and Akosombo Dam is to Nkrumah. Again, if you mention the name of Dr. Nkrumah, what readily comes into mind is Ghana’s political independence, Tema Township and the Accra-Tema Motorway. Talk about Prof. K.A. Busia, you hear of rural development though his administration was short-lived. One cannot talk about “Operation Feed Yourself” and Kumasi Sports Stadium (now Baba Yara Sports Stadium) without associating them with Gen. Kutu Acheampong, then a military ruler. Permit me to reserve my comments on Dr. Hilla Limann of People’s National Party (PNP) because the Convention People’s Party (CPP) members do not want to associate themselves with the erstwhile PNP government because of Limann’s poor leadership record. Also, in spite of the aberration of the June 4 and 31st December Revolutions, Ghanaians can credit Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings with the extension of the national grid to many rural communities. If any Ghanaian had access to national health insurance scheme (NHIS) card; if any pregnant woman could access free maternal care; and if any child attends school from kindergarten to the junior high school free of charge, then we only have to pray for an NPP government all the time. Again, if the residents of Tamale and Essipong (Sekondi) could watch football matches on modern sports stadia; if the residents of Keta have not been washed by the sea, and if Ghana has now joined the oil producing countries in the world, then join me in saying ‘kudos’ to His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor.

What could we say about the law professor, John Atta Mills, the man who is managing Ghana’s oil revenue? Apart from the hullabaloo about his death or sickness, as well as renaming of national monuments, the issue of “judgement debts payments” is synonymous with Atta Mills’ name. My dear reader, why should the payment of judgement debts take precedence over free secondary education? Every NDC member or sympathiser says fee-free SHS is not possible. Even those who have enjoyed free education in the north but find themselves in the NDC are in the frontline in kicking against such a fair and important policy. If you ask them to assign reasons to their rejection, they tell you free SHS will be too expensive and that no government can afford it. However, if you ask them; can the government afford a GHC51.2m ‘judgement debt’ to Alfred Woyome? They shamefully say ‘yes’ because Woyome did not use a gun to rob the state. What about the $90m to Construction Pioneers (CP), the NDC members will say the CP deserves it. If you talk about Waterville and the recent $1.5bn to African Automobile Ltd. regarding the Gallopers, they quickly blame the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and say it is incumbent upon the NDC government to make such payments now to avoid accumulation of further interests. Regrettably, the NDC government under Prof. Mills sees the acquisition of 5 military jets worth GHC375m, Christmas hampers of GHC1.6m, $20,000 on ‘khebab’, and GHC90m splashed on Mills’ presidential primaries, as a necessity. The NDC is even in the process of building a $20m party headquarters and they arrogantly insist that their party has come of age and therefore an office of that nature was long overdue.

Whilst worsening the living conditions of majority of Ghanaians, those in the NDC are looting the national coffers with every part of their body. They are doing this because they see the leader of this country as a “president in default”. In a chat with a very good friend of mine who joined the NDC recently, he remarked; “Katakyie, what are you doing in the NPP. Look, the way you write, and the way you talk on the radio, you would be ‘loaded’ if you were to be in the NDC. Charlie, join me because I’m making it. After all the money belongs to all of us”. My answer to him was very simple. I told him I’m not in politics to amass wealth but to serve the people of Ghana. My friend’s statement, no doubt, represents the general view of NDC followers and I don’t think this augurs well for the development of our dear country. We all saw the lifestyles of some NDC appointees in opposition and we have seen how these lifestyles have changed positively within the last three and half years. For your information, the current deputy Minister of Tourism, Agyenim Boateng has now graduated as a lawyer at the expense of the state. Okudzeto Ablakwa, a guy whose bachelor’s certificate was withheld by the University of Ghana authorities, a guy who never worked before had his wedding ceremony in the United States. Hannah Bissiw’s parliamentary campaign launch was beamed live on the national television. Ludwig Hlodge and Dr. Kwabena Adjei ride in motorcades. Koku Anyidohu earns $5000 per month without any specific job role in the Slave Castle. The vice president’s younger brother, another beneficiary of Nkrumah’s free education policy has made history as the first Ghanaian to purchase a private jet. Politicians like Asiedu Nketia, Mahama Ayariga, Benyiwa-Doe, and Allotey Jacobs have turned into block making, tractor, and road contractors respectively. If you live abroad just ship your posh car to Ghana and Carl Wilson and Alex Segbefia will show you the real owner of the said vehicle. Without politics, who could have thought that Okudzeto Ablakwa, Fiifi Kwetey, and Richard Quarshigah would even pass the premises of Parliament House, let alone enter as MPs? But today these guys are all prospective MPs because they have unseated sitting NDC MPs at their various constituencies in the recent NDC parliamentary primaries. But can we blame these guys? No, because the president himself uses the Presidential Jet for his routine medical check-ups in the US, so on what moral grounds could he stand to prevent others like Zita Okaikoi to deliver babies abroad?

The NDC under Prof. Mills seems to have created a more convenient way of enriching the rank and file of the party. If you dare pinpoint this daylight robbery to them or catch them red-handed, then they turn themselves into “Amuowi kromfoo” (a thief from Amuowi) and start shouting at you to draw people’s attention that you are the main culprit. When a corrupt NDC appointee feels comfortable and decides to protect the little reputation left in him, then he will engage in what Mr. Kwame Mpiani terms “equalisation of errors”. They will say the NPP members are equally guilty of the same offence because they did worse things when they were in government. Could the founder of the NDC, Flt. Lt. Rawlings be right in referring to Mills’ appointees as ‘greedy bastards’? Your guess is as good as mine! When you have a government that rushes to distribute laptops, tractors, money, bags of rice to entice prospective voters; when you have a government that is in a hurry to create new districts and constituencies with the view to influencing the electorate to retain them in power, then of course there is something fundamentally wrong with our democratic tenets, if not the so-called ‘Better Ghana” Agenda.

Folks, I think Prof. Mills has failed Ghanaians. His academic knowledge is very suspect. His weak and corrupt leadership has worsened the plight of the poor. But I have a piece advice for the Ghanaian youth. They should never lose hope; they should never commit suicide; they should neither deal in drugs nor engage in armed robbery. There is a choice before them at this crucial time. In as much as the NDC remains in power till December, the fastest, easiest, quickest, cleverest, smartest, and the most effective and efficient way to enrich oneself is to file a writ over anything against the government; and I’m sure your gargantuan judgement debt will be in your accounts within the next 24 hours. However, if you think you are a God-fearing person, a patriotic citizen, and more importantly not criminally-minded to undertake such action, then vote for Nana Akufo-Addo and his NPP. For nothing at all Nana Addo will provide every Ghanaian free secondary education and employable skills in order to make your life more meaningful. It might take time but with Allah on our side, you and I could turn this ‘Harder Ghana’ into a ‘Prosperous Ghana’. Let’s begin to think about our future; for according to William Hughes; “If we are not prepared to think for ourselves, and to make effort to learn how to do this well, we will always be in danger of becoming slaves to the ideas and values of others due to our ignorance”.

God bless Ghana! God bless the Ghanaian Youth!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Hull. UK.

A native of Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri

Official blog (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 075577626433

“Vision, coupled with persistency, results in true success”

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku