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Kufour Just Does Not Get It

Mon, 26 Jan 2009 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

The more you hear Kufour, the more infuriated you become. Puking will not do justice to the crap that comes from this ex-president. He deserves sterner billingsgate than he has courted so far. Perhaps, the latter may sear the mental hoosegow he is in. The man just does not get it. The presidency of Ghana is not the same as chieftaincy. The goal of the presidency is not to demand dignity. The dignity of the presidency will come to full bloom when our people are not seen as paupers and depraved beggars. Dignity is earned not demanded. No sensible human being will dignify any presidency when its occupant lives high on the hog and the people suffer. Can anyone explain this to Kufour for me? The dignity of the presidency is measured by how much resource it channels to the suffering people, not what clever tactics an ex-president employs to fleece the people. The presidency is about service to the great people of Ghana not a mechanism to siphon money to one lazy and clueless person. I know Kufour traveled quite a bit, therefore, he may not understand or know the plight of the average Ghanaian. Can anyone march this man in quick steps to places like Sodom and Gomorra and Ashiaman? Can this wicked man really relate to the working poor in Ghana? Yes, hard working poor!! Is this the man we had running our precious country for 8 years? What blinding shame! See how greedy he is? This explains the rampant corruption we see in Ghana.

I just want to alert Ghanaians to the tricks that Kufour and his con men are employing. In negotiation, there is something called Anchoring. What anchoring means is that, party A (Kufour), in a negotiation, makes the first offer to party B (County Ghana). This offer then becomes the stump around which the negotiation is centered. Research shows that it can be a very powerful tool in influencing the outcome, if the other side (Parliament and Ghana) is in over his or her head. Kufour has anchored his end-of-year benefit at a very high and overweening end. If Ghanaians don’t kill this nonsense completely, he will end up getting benefits that should have been the starting point of any meaningful negotiation to start with. So, instead of starting from may be two cars to one, we are starting absurdly from 6 cars and other bells and whistles, and will end up at 3 cars and other goodies. To the unsophisticated mind, it would seem as if Kufour has made a great sacrifice by accepting three cars in the end, when in fact, he deserves nothing. Absolutely nothing!! I think it is important that the public be aware of this sleek tactic. This is no different from haggling with those pavement guys who sell material (cloth) for pants and shirts in Accra. Their tactic is always to start at a very high end. And surely, they do snap the unsophisticated buyer all the time. However, if you know what you are doing, you can slice their prices below half to start with. It is called repositioning the anchor. We must reject this nonsense in its entirety and act on our own initiative.

My friends, Ghana is fast becoming a country of entitlements for the elite few and we all must come together to kill this culture before we wreck this country by invoking an uprising. In a context where poverty abounds, we cannot allow a few to raid the national coffers through clever means, even as the majority wimp for crumbs. We must reverse the latest onslaught on our democracy by these rubber stamp MPs. If indeed, this piece of legislation was done clandestinely, somebody must go to jail. The problem we have in Ghana is that, no one is responsible for anything but everyone one wants something. How can we run our country like this? We must draw a line in the sand and start locking up these crooks! Yes, no witch-hunting but surely responsibility and accountability now!

This practice of having civil servants buy government property at the end of their service should stop right now! It only encourages corruption. If I know I can buy a state car when I retire, why will I not buy a BMW with state money close to retirement and sell it to myself below cost? Perhaps if we revert to a sensible used car import policy at reasonable duty, the need to buy government property for cheap will not be there. Here you have protagonist of free market, behaving veritably, like hardcore socialists. If we lower the price of cement by eliminating the current siege monopoly, even nimrods like Jake may be able to build a house from scratch. It is amazing how these same policy developers impose onerous hardships on the people, then, they find ways to skirt their deadly policies by leeching the government. Indeed, this practice of buying government for cheap is a clear indictment of the absurd policies, program and charges ossifying in Ghana. We have to think our way out of this mess or else work ourselves into a yawning ditch. We must bring radical change to Ghana or risk losing this whole. Now is the time because tomorrow will surely mark the burial. Is that what we want?

Mr Kufour, we don’t care if you stayed in your own residence and did not surcharge us. That is your business not ours. The castle was available, yet, like a spoilt brat, you decided to stay in your own house at extra cost to the taxpayer. We’ve paid to renovate it and so has another individual. What more do you want? Can you, for Christ sake, see the misery and suffering around you? Why must it be all about you all the time? Invariably, you delude yourself by thinking that taking from the national coffers for your personal gain and ego, bring dignity to OUR presidency. Our idea is that a president must not live like a king but instead, work like a donkey to serve his people. And if the president donkeys enough for us, then, and only then, will we reward him or her. What did you do for us Kufour? What? We are not looking for a conquering messiah. We want a suffering messiah and surely Jesus will approve of it. Think Jesus Kufour! He led a simple life and served the poor people without amassing wealth at their expense. Were you not the same person asking people to pray? My Gawd! Do you believe in God Kufour? What will it take?

I hope the provision that calls for medical coverage does not mean care overseas. The government of Ghana must not be burdened with paying for healthcare for anyone overseas. The most we should do, must be health care in Ghana. If we commit government officials to the health care service in Ghana, they will do well to shore it up. The health care service in Ghana, will never be what it ought to be, so long as leaders are free to skip the system and pay for care with the lazy poor man’s tax in a better system overseas. We must hold the noses of these people to the stench that they create and supervise. We’ve shown that if we discard partisanship, we can come together and fight for mother Ghana. We must join hands and chase these crazy reprobates out of town.

Let me say this lastly, now is the time to comprehensively draw up a reasonable benefit and pension plan for all public servants. We must not provide anything extravagant to those who already have. We must put in place, a progressive system that caters to the poor and sick. Ex-presidents must not be given anything more than security and a pension. This business of houses, cars, vacations and traveling tickets ought to stop now. Tell me the last time we lacked an applicant for the job of president? Never! There is enough there already and we must not ridiculously lard the position. We can at least benchmark a place like America and see how simple they keep it. It makes no sense to keep giving to those who have. The luxury offered to the president ought to be commensurate to the success of majority of the people. As far as I know, ex-presidents ought to be able to work if they want more money. We don’t owe anyone anything, more so their families! And we better not tolerate this nonsense of passing on state property to the family of a dead ex-president. No! We are not creating a monarchy or aristocracy! Lets all stand firm against this misguided attempt that could ruin our democracy. No more grandiose rubbish! Viva Ghana!

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 is hell.—Harry Truman

Success comes to the prepared mind—Pasteur

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka