Mona Quartey may have been overexcited herself

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

Madam Mona Quartey May Have Been Overexcited Herself Over The Brochure Brouhaha

Madam Mona Quartey, a Deputy Finance Minister and Economic Planning, is reported to have said the following: “Clearly, whoever wrote this things (sic) got carried away and started writing rubbish…”

Really? Whoever? Is Madam Mona Quartey, a political insider entrenched in the highest hierarchy of the National Democratic Party (NDC), telling us she has no clue about the identities of the authors of the Independence Day brochures? This is hardly believable, for it is one thing to feign ignorance of a delicate national issue such as this and quite another, to demonstrate abject ignorance of empirical facts such as those specifically related to the preparation and mass publication of the brochures, probably in the neighborhood of three thousand published booklets, according to Abu Ramadan, an ex-National Youth Organizer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), and finally, of which he also speculates to have cost Ghana a whopping GHc450k.

Notwithstanding the above, we may want to also add that while the possibility exists that Madam Mona Quartey, whom we may conveniently refer to as Madam Mona Lisa from now on, may not actually have been privy to all the facts, caution and the tenets of public diplomacy required of her to have exercised a higher degree of rhetorical circumspection when a television journalist sought out her views on the ignominious controversy, albeit we also have to concede at this point that the brochure brouhaha is a messy tangle yet to unravel itself, possibly, to assuage public angst against incumbent slumbering—real and perceived—and bureaucratic incrustation of official mediocrity.

Related to this gridlock of controversy is the influential presidential staffer, Mr. Stan Dogbe, who has vehemently denied ever having a hand in the mess, thus declaring in his public self-defense: “The EventPR (his company) undoubtedly has one of the best concept, design and publishing teams in the country, but the company has never produced any document or publication for the office of the president. Furthermore, the company did not publish, let alone print, the Independence Day brochure.”

Elsewhere Mr. Dogbe has categorically said “I had no hand in error-ridden brochure.” Of course, Mr. Dogbe may not have a hand in the controversy but, somehow, may surely have had or got his “legs” in there. For if not, why then did Commodore Steve Obimpeh, Chairman of the 59th Independence Anniversary Planning Committee, claim Mr. Dogbe was “responsible for the brochure”? It beggars belief, then, that none of the influential NDC political insiders and communications gurus seems to have answers.

Suddenly, and quite understandably, the once caustic and acidic tongues of General Tiger Mosquito Asiedu Nketia, Sam George, Kofi Adams, Solomon Nkansah, Koku Anyidoho, and Omane Boamah have gone into temporary hiding. This is not surprising given the magnitude of the damage this controversy has caused Ghana in the world. We can only hope this tactical hibernation does not resolve into permanent hiding. Surely these men will return to the brewing debate.

At the moment they appear to be licking their wounds from a seeming crushing defeat borne out of internal combustion. Bob Marley sang on “Heathen”: “He who fight and run away, live to fight another day.” Surely, and yes, they shall return with a revisionist narrative.

The other question then becomes: Did the president, a communication expect, writer, and historian given the opportunity to read a draft copy of the brochure prior to its mass publication? We doubt it. Mr. Dogbe should have had, if we can guess. But the president, Commodore Obimpeh, Stan Dogbe, Asiedu Nketia, Kofi Adams (National Organizer of the NDC), and Kofi Portuphy (National Chairman of the NDC) cannot absolutely claim not to have had any inside knowledge of brochure content as well as of persons and publishing house (s) involved in the messy controversy, at least if not immediately before the celebrations then certainly after the celebrations.

This makes some sense because the leaderships of the NDC and of other appropriate institutional authorities, such as the Information Services Department (ISD), were theoretically required to have come together to strategize and to plan what to tell the world on that eventful day. They needed to have done this by taking advantage of the occasion to sell the NDC brand to Ghanaians and the world at large, though we conceive the celebrations to be more Ghanaian than a simple question of partisan elitism. Unfortunately, and regrettably, the NDC missed this golden opportunity to project its image and intellectual strength. This lost opportunity is an indelibly sad one.


We impatiently await a full-fledged bipartisan investigation into this matter, albeit we are also afraid that this one too may eventually constitute itself into another investigational legerdemain, even if it so happens, a pressing issue that could become a nine day wonder as has already happened in a number of high-profile cases, including the controversial bus re-branding and the judgment debt saga. The deafening silence on this messy controversy is not only strange but deeply worrying also. President Mahama and his advisors should show moral leadership in this matter.


Ghana has certainly become more than a banana republic. The viable nation-state the Great Osageyfo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah bequeathed to posterity has become a shamefully bananized brothel-republic, where Machiavellian and devious political animals and their useful idiots sometimes behave as if they have terminal psychological or mental syphilis, Chlamydia and gonorrhea, to say the least, which prevents them from projecting rationalism and commonsense.

Still, Madam Mona Lisa’s futile or lame attempt at explaining away the brochure mess is unacceptable. For one thing, the shadowy brochure authors could not have been involved in orgies (mass sex parties), or under the influence of psychotropic drugs, when they drafted copies of the now-infamous Independence Day brochures. For another, they could not have been dancing to Bob Marley’s “Jamming” or “Jump Nyabinghi,” the latter of which says in part: “Love to see when ya in the rhythm; I love to see, when you’re dancing from within!...’Cause most of all we ain’t got nothing to lose…Jump, jump, jump Nyabinghi…Love to see ya groove with the rhythm…”

In other words, one cannot simultaneously jump-dance Nyabinghi while still writing! It is not possible to be tall and short at the same time outside the realm of relativity. This is better left to the therianthropic, shapeshifting, and amorphic likes of Bishop Obinim. The devil is in the detail nonetheless.


Yet, some members of the opposition NPP who previously alleged Mr. Dogbe may have had a hand—Mr. Dodge and his mysterious omnipresent “hand” ?—in the murder of J.B. Danquah but quickly backed off from that agitprop canard, may have found conniving allies in the NDC to sabotage him, Mr. Dogbe. Among a number of defensive statements, the latter has said this thus far: “For a colleague appointee to carry copies of the two brochures to prove to people including NPP friends that my wife’s company published the Independence Day Brochure is disgustingly low. It is sheer wickedness.”

Which two brochures? Which colleague appointee did what Mr. Dogbe accuses him/her of? Why will anyone want to tarnish Mr. Dogbe’s hard-earned public image? Why is Mr. Dogbe not suing this colleague appointee? What happened to the proverbial NDC James-Bond spy machine that could spread its tentacles deep into the innards of private meetings held by the NPP, a spy machine Mr. Dogbe is not efficiently making good use of to sense the lurking danger of internal sabotage against his public image or to smoke out his potential internal enemies and detractors? These set of questions are both rhetorical and directly answerable, a task we impose on Mr. Dogbe and the NDC. It is confusing if not extremely difficult to place Madam Mona Lisa in all these.

The central question, concern, and worry for us at this juncture is that nothing seems to make practical sense in Ghana anymore. Not even Madam Mona Lisa’s “overexcited theory.” Not even IMANI’s Franklin Cudgoe’s statement to the effect that, “the errors in the 59th Independence Day brochure were deliberately done to embarrass President John Mahama,” a not-too-farfetched theory given the deviousness of Ghanaian duopolistic politics. Nonetheless we touch on this theoretical possibility in our previous article “What is Wrong With Ghanaians”?

And after all is said and done, Madam Mona Lisa may have been delirious or overexcited herself when she made those unfortunate remarks at her interview. Overexcitement does not make people lose their grasp of basic grammar and historical consciousness. Possibly the destruction of or damage to the left frontal lobe, the so-called Broca’s area, cause loss of speech, etc. Yet, Madam Mona Lisa has not provided any hard evidence to prove that this was so in the case of those who authored or drafted the brochure. On the other hand this is highly possible in the special case of our Machiavellian and devious political animals. And here is an inference we draw for Madam Mona Lisa from Fugee’s rap track “Nappy Head”: “Yo, Mona Lisa, could I get a date on Friday?...In all your dreams I write the horror flick of Stephen King…‘Cuz all guys lies and more girls commits it…”

Certainly, Madam Mona Lisa may have been reading Stephen King and giving us “horror flick” from the men’s book of political gimmicks and lies. And this will not wash. What will rather wash is a thorough investigation into the controversy along and involving every member of the chain of command through whose office draft copies of the brochure passed. No one found culpable should be spared on account of political patronage. This is the only way we can establish teachable precedents, eradicate or minimize impunity, and dethrone the entrenched dictatorship of mediocrity.

And yes all the guys are telling lies and so she, too, Madam Mona Lisa, must commit to those lies so as to ensure strict partisan conformity and to please their political bosses. Madam Mona Lisa, please come again! Finally, we could want Madam Mona Lisa to always remember to take to Bob Marley’s advice: “Never make a politician grant you a favor. They will always want to control you forever.”


Abu Ramadan has said of Boamah: “Suddenly Dr. Omane Boamah has developed sore throat and cannot speak for us to know who is responsible for this shame that has befallen this country!”


“I don’t see how any normal person who has gone through some form of secondary school education would have put together these words…you could tell that other parts of the brochure were written quite well, so for me it’s either a combination of witchcraft, vodoo or sabotage.”


Omane Boamah has said the following in response to the brochure brouhaha:

“I have listened and listened. Several people have made very cogent points borne out of their genuine desires to develop the nation. This epitomizes nation building—a nation on the move in the right direction. Thanks for your contributions.”

We may, for the sake of argument, wholeheartedly agree with the first two and last sentences but not the third one. The first and last sentences clearly show how this messy controversy has become a humbling experience for Boamah, something we did not see in Madam Mona Lisa’s arrogant and uninformed interview. On the other hand, the last-but-one sentence is a little bit controversial in that the import of the controversy may go the other way, exactly opposite Boamah’s face-saving propaganda.

Still, there is a great deal in Boamah’s rhetorical and intellectual humility that Madam Mona Lisa can pick up on for her edification and development. Ironically, her shallow understanding or grasp of the controversy may speak to her shoddy work at the Ministry of Finance and her possible contributions to the poor state of Ghana’s present economy. Thus, her “overexcitement theory” is pure rubbish, a view which we believe may also advertently or inadvertently promote mediocrity, to say the least. One wonders if she could ever muster courage to bring herself to explain away her children’s poor grammatical constructions and factual inaccuracies in matters of Ghana’s political history in the same manner she flimsily has done in the case of the brochure brouhaha!


The kind of otherworldly grammar anachronisms we have identified in the brochure brouhaha thus far is the kind of jungle grammar taught to Ghanaian children who study under trees and who use cement block as furniture. Some of these “under-tree-classroom” jungle graduates may have found their way to the Information Services Department (ISD) and other such allied institutions.

This national and international disgrace may follow Ghana in a long time to come, which is why President John Mahama must show strong leadership and crack the whip where it matters because the presidency cannot afford itself being continuously tagged as incompetent, weak, and mediocre.

This is the time for the president to show the world that he is not what his enemies and detractors say he is.


Ghanaweb. “‘Rubbish’ in Brochure Could Be Due to Overexcitement—Mona Quartey.” March 12, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Error-ridden Indece Day brochure cost GHc450k—Abu Ramadan.” March 13, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Uproar Over Brochure Gaffe of Nation building—Omane Boamah.” March 11, 2016.

IMANI. “Error-ridden Brochure a Sabotage Against Mahama—IMANI.” Modernghana. March 12, 2016.

Ghanaweb. “Stan Dogbe Fingered in Error-Ridden Indece Brochure.” March 7, 2016.

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis