Let Me Chalice You a Penalty

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 Source: Casely-Hayford, Sydney

Critical News, 10th February 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Former Deputy Attorney General, Ebo Barton Oduro is either very smart or he operates from the point of view that there are plenty stupid Ghanaians, including his fellow MPs at the Vetting Committee. First he refuses to accept that there is a difference between an education qualification and experience gained from practicing at a profession and then he blocks all questions that could lead to some discussion on judgment debts.

True to his record he reinforced his position that there is no point making fine corrections to poorly presented documents. After all, the NPP have boycotted the session, who cares about what the rest of Ghana thinks? His job is to vet and vet and if the opposition does not care, why need he explain to Ghanaians who elected him to that seat? The Ministers will be passed through anyway. Do we need to prolong the agony? Same style with the Woyome decision, no case to answer. It is a pity that we are not more incisive when it comes to such matters.

Some company called Omanye managed to ship close to $62 million worth of gold outside of Ghana with no taxes paid, and passed it off as mineral samples. I reserve comment on this one because the case is not over, the BNI has just finished its investigation and published its preliminary findings. I would like to know whether this company is tax and regulatory compliant and whether it has connections to any Government official and if so, did anyone help them to pull this off? But like I said, early days yet.

I particularly liked this story from the Web. Prophet Kumchacha says the shortage of water and electricity is because of the evil of Gays in our society. He is not too far away from some of the preachers in America’s southern belt. They make similar castigations from time to time, exhorting evil origins from homosexual activity. Eventually some of them are caught practicing their own condemned sins. Kumchacha tried to release an evil spirit from a woman’s vagina by inserting his penis to eek out the evil. Nice one.

There have been significant decisions at the Supreme Court re the NPP petition. If you follow this, then all that I offer as significant is the case is waiting out the 15 day time span for the respondents to reply the petitioners for more disclosure on foreign registrations and the Court has directed the NPP to provide a list of all the 11,916 polling stations with irregularities. So, we wait to really hear the case. Take a breather, this will test the reaction of the NPP supporters, who could either riot or wait another four years. The way the year is running; we are in February already, four years will come by soon. We could still be resolving this case then. I hope we see the end of this by the end of March.

AFCON 2013 ended for Ghanaians with a large dose of religious topping. It is probably time for us to have this conversation about how much religion we weave into competitive sports and whether truly there is a Ghana God whose kindness is bestowed on us based on our public display of faith. In the semi-final all the teams prayed for almighty intervention. God smiled on Nigeria and Burkina Faso, and awarded them many goals. He looked at Ghana and Mali, whose prayers were weak and uninformed, asking for the same things the Eagles and Stallions wanted. To win the AFCON 2013 competition. When we went into extra time, the Black Stars formed a circle with our chief priest in a red shirt, a mighty cross on his neck. Eyes raised to the sky and arms aloft you could read muttering on his lips as he went into holy ghost tonguing, chanting and exhorting the Lord to give us victory over our “enemies”. It reminded me of the days in the run up to the election, John Mahama invoking the Almighty and Nana Addo making the battle, the Lord’s. But let’s not digress. Different scenario, same principle. Before the match started, the Stars performed their usual ritual, gathered in a circle, one of them leading a prayer session and dousing everybody with spiritual water, then going out to win the game with a penalty. That was until the Stallions outplayed us. They prayed, so did we, but God chose them to win? Nana Addo prayed, Mahama prayed, Nduom prayed, so did Ayariga and Abu Sakara. Only one person will be selected. By God? How does the Almighty make the choice? A Christian will tell you that you cannot understand the Lord’s ways and it is only he who has the big design of the end result.

Every thing we do is the same. We start with a Christian prayer and end with one. At times I have dared to interrupt sessions and ask that we allow other religions to input as well. The stares and frowns could cripple a brother.

But after all the praying and soliciting God’s favor in everything; child birth, business, travel, institutional strengthening, football, peace councils, you name it, we live in a country rife with corruption, inefficiency, mediocrity, lies and cheating by the very same persons who profess such piety in the Churches. The religious addiction has spattered over boundaries, and the results are not pretty. We lost the match because we were not good enough and I dare say, because we thought that even with a mediocre performance, we could still peep through, claim a miracle at the final and reinforce our religious addiction.

So chalice me a glass-full of penalties. My vision, direction and feet muscles must concertina in such a way that my skills are honed to kick a ball that a goalkeeper, no matter how skilled cannot stop the goal. This is not a field for miracles and Vorsah did not get one. We have been misled by religious neophytes to believe that you win a football match with the deity up above playing as the twelfth member of the team. Some Ghanaians gloated when the Stars lost. I read that in Kumasi they jubilated, weaving their dissatisfaction for Government into their love of football, blending the two into a tapestry of partisan preference. Rather the Stars lose than the NDC party mounts a platform to claim that Better Ghana Agenda policies had made winners of the Stars. Such is the pitched fork of nationalism in today’s Ghana.

Similarly we have adopted this deified dependence in order that all will see a God fearing politician as the answer to all our woes. After so many years of struggling to succeed and develop a nation, not one claim can be made that a God–given solution has been found to clear the Korle lagoon of filth and stench. I often wonder whether people living in James Town have clean lungs and blocked nasals. Me, every time I pass by I go for a quick breathalyzer test, just to make sure.

We finally got a trickle of water flowing through the taps this week. After four weeks of dry pipes, it started an excitement in the household and for me lifted the anxiety that I had to buy another tanker load of water to fill overhead tanks I am forced to keep to counter GWSC inefficiency. For some Ghanaians no water is an everyday occurrence and my self-centered determination provoked one of my family to say “oh, Ghana Water has tried, at least we now have water”. She did not hear what I said from behind my bedroom door.

Electricity? Forget that one. I will keep reminding President Mahama that he lied to Ghanaians in November in order to gain an edge over his competition. It is not the only thing he has said will be done that is glaringly disappointing.

This week the President moved the seat of Government from the Castle to Flagstaff/Jubilee House. Long overdue, but I suppose I would have done the same. Why would I want to occupy the bedroom and offices where my boss died? I am Ghanaian, I hold Christian beliefs, but I will be damned if I will take a chance with ghostly and evil spirits supervising my everyday life. The Castle was also a torture chamber for a lot of AFRC and PNDC opposition.

Well, KSM is on stage on Valentine’s day, repeating “Secrets of GH Girls”. It is a beacon of humor in our daily lives. Tickets are selling for 50 cedis and the hall will be full. Sometimes I wonder where we get the money.

Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!

Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney