Letter to my father

Sydney Casely Hayford New Member of pressure group OccupyGhana, Sydney Casely-Hayford

Tue, 8 Aug 2017 Source: Sydney Casely-Hayford

Dear Dad

Twenty-Eight years to the day now since you departed and it still seems you died a few decades too early. The world is all over the place, making space for myriads of conversations and you can’t be here to listen and laugh. We would have had such fun times just predicting what Donald Trump, the latest US invention in stupid human toys would not be able to say. But these days we don’t say things anymore, we “tweet”. And I must avoid using the word “stupid”. Not allowed in Ghana descriptive behaviour any more. Certainly not since the Leaders in House of Parliament were tasked with deciding whether I contemptuously abused them when talking to a group of progressive young men who want to solve food security and avoid tension along Africa’s borders.

I am sure you cringed when it floated through the ether to you, grandpa and great granddad. Not that it’s one of those things you taught me to avoid, but you never said it was wrong and if it slipped out and offended somebody the least you can do is apologise, right? So I did. And so far I have not been asked to appear on the floor of the most “honourable” group of persons in the country, even more elevated now than the Supreme Court, despite their own self-recognition of in-house bribery through their appointments committee.

Anyway, they rose for the long recess this week and will be back in October, so I might get an invite for Christmas. May be the only invite I get to honour this year. Would be interesting wouldn’t it? When I think of the numerous times Joseph Ephraim was summoned to the House to defend statements, but of a different sort. His fight then, so different from the one I find myself, struggling to get like-minded persons to pull together to defeat the never-ending stigma of the black man’s gold nugget of hopelessness. Isn’t any different from the old world anyway huh?

I think we have done pretty well with OccupyGhana. We have won at least one of the most critical cases in the history of this country and it will all come out as we apply the rules and the Auditor General, a really good man for a change, gets on with issuing these surcharges. He already dished out a dozen or so of them, and has more to come soon. The irony of it all, he was appointed by John Mahama in the previous government.

You know how I never liked the man. It seemed to me I was the only person who could smell his insincerity. Certainly I was the only person I know prepared to say what I thought, hoping that somewhere along the line he would give me a chance and prove me wrong. But no, he persisted, never listened and looked where he ended up. May be the largest election loss ever in Ghana; but certainly the largest in post-Nkrumah times. He lost by a million votes. Can you believe that? A million votes? And he still thinks he can come back as the NDC candidate for 2020. I wish they would elect him their flag bearer. What an easy victory it would make it? Cool chop as they say.

Did you guys hear of Woyome? Alfred Agbesi Woyome? The man who stole GH¢51.2 of Ghana money and we are probably going to have to spend that much again to get the money back? Well, read this carefully. He filed a case in the international courts against the country to say he has been denied his rights to arbitration, when there is no arbitration clause in the terms of a contract he never had. It’s remarkable how tolerant the laws can be sometimes. But I should ask granddad or great-grandad. Them two lawyers would know, wouldn’t they?

And then some persons start making noise about if we were in the military era or even during the PNDC era we would have collected that money by now. By putting a gun to his head? I am still trying to fathom which is more precious to Ghanaians, military anarchy or a civilised and progressive sort of country? We seem to forget so quickly the dark days of the one party state from CPP to PNDC.

How did you guys feel after the election? I often wonder if you get the chance to see your dad and grandpa? Is the after-life organised well enough that you can get to be around each other? The news must have thrilled JE, but how would granddad take it? Being a CPP person and all? But I am asking complicated questions. We are so inquisitive about what kind of life goes on in the spirit world.

Yeah, they are asking us to all pay a towing levy in the guise of a law, which they can pass on to one company, owned by one of the most corrupt persons I know of. I want to fight it, and so far I have felt nothing from you that says I should let it be. You know how you get my gut to react when I am heading for disaster in some foolish decision or other I am about to make? Well, so far the trigger has not engaged and I suppose you support 100%? It’s all in that bouquet of laws I am listing for the eventuality. You know where I am heading right?

And we are all fine. But if the interpretation of spirit connection as we believe it exists, then you know that already. If I could free up more time and find the energy, there is so much more I dare to contribute before it’s too late in the day.

How much enough is enough?

So spare a thought for us. We MUST solve the economic conundrum in this country. We have this time to put together the best team we can find. Now we need the glue of ideas to make it all work and hopefully the courage of implementation. What is missing? Can you kind of leak it to me one day? Tweet or “whatsup” it in a dream or something? Or even in a flash of light one of these rainy days? I think I am ready to understand now. It could be the last idea I pass on before I care to take refuge wherever one goes when your work on this side is done.

I have to get this column out now, so till next week and new problems, I hope the year comes round fast and I can write and keep this odyssey running. Have a good one Dad. My love to all the Guardian Angels.

Ghana. Aha a y? d? papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come.

Columnist: Sydney Casely-Hayford