Mrs Junior Jesus, now Senior Satan, Disqualified?

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 Source: Casely-Hayford, Sydney

Critical News, 21st October 2012

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

You cannot take your eye off the ball for a minute and you cannot shut your ears to the debates. Every week I like to remind Ghanaians that we are no longer trying at democracy, we are practicing democracy.

Free SHS is kicking some NDC butt. President Mahama had an opening at his IEA Presidential Address, when 8-year old Angela Mensah, daughter of a taxi driver threw the schools issue into the mix with a question on peaceful elections.

This is so classic history reversal it needs discussing. In the fight for independence, we all should remember, the CPP touted “Independence Now”. The UGCC/NLM always maintained “Independence in the shortest possible time”. At least that is how we have paraphrased that issue since. The CPP won massively. It was difficult to counter such a simple and clear message. JDM’s response to Angela meandered into a step-by-step gradual reduction in subsidies and support, until it would eventually be free. But, he says, the Constitution already tasks Government to work their way to affordable education for all, at all levels. What the NDC has not really explained well is what programs will get us to this free point. What the NPP has not been able to nail down is how they will pay for this free education. Both parties have their nemesis in the financing and development of this essential corner post for our development. One thing is clear, I think, that whoever wins this election must provide free education to at least SHS. Its time is nigh.

But looking back in history, can you believe that we have been talking about Free Basic Compulsory Universal Education (FCUBE) for close to 20 years? Yep. Since 1993 all Governments have known about FCUBE. It is as old as our decentralization idea, both so important to development, both stuck in political inertia. The President’s argument that it is enshrined in the constitution is a tortuous one to explain. What voters understand is a simple and clear message. Education to SHS level will be made free. Nothing more need be said. The NDC is trying very hard to turn that message over its head, but it is awkward. If only they had thought of it first. The PPP also has a stronger education message, so if there is a 2nd round of voting, I dare say that will be a swing message.

I still stand by my prediction that this will be a 2-round affair. There are too many players gaining traction to make this a first round victory for any party, least of all the NDC with all the possible independents. They are in quick sand and the ground is yet to shift more. I suspect the NPP have a few more catchy ads to run yet. Listening to the Kpanlogo melodies they are kicking out, I suspect an Azonto one is yet to come and I believe that Ghanaians can still be swayed by catchy tunes. The issues debate is not here yet. Another eight years, maybe.

The Supreme Court made two judgments. It nullified the Local Government Ministry’s authority to create Districts, but advised Government to go back and fill the gaps in the process and pass required legislation. We have to be very clear that there is no link to the 45 Districts set up by the Electoral Commission under CI78, which decision went the other way. On this issue the Supreme Court threw out the petition to nullify the creation of the districts on the grounds that if they granted the wish of the petitioner it would place the future of Ghanaians in jeopardy. In this instance, the learned judges decided that the better good of Ghana would be served by allowing Parliament’s decision to stay. There is another suit scheduled for next Wednesday, 24th and that might just end the new districts and constituencies issue. I think it is time to move ahead of this case and get ready for the elections.

In which Nana Konadu presently might not be competing with other presidential candidates. She filed incomplete registration forms and the EC ruled her out. She plans to challenge the decision in court and her NDP party is threatening to hold the EC from going ahead with voting day 2012. But come on. How do you fail to complete and file registration papers? This is the most critical hurdle of the whole exercise. You cannot blame this on anyone. NDP party Chairman Josiah Ayeh claimed on air that when the documents left his hands they were complete. Yeah, right! We should bite that? Their case is even more compounded when you hear the executive quoting from an old law when it has been repealed and there are new regulations. Speaking on Joy FM’s News File on Saturday, Kwaku Baako, the only person I know who has been able to cite from the new regulation, offered a possible out-clause, which might offer the NDP a chance to lobby the EC over the next 7 days. Should this be so, we will continue to accept mediocrity, poor attention to detail, a measure of over-confidence and a certain slice of arrogance to our regulations. The NDP should know better as a party with some clout of disruption in the NDC, that it cannot afford to make such a fundamental misstep. All its executives are very experienced and qualified in process with the EC. Also the fact that they arrived at the EC’s office at 4.30pm, when close of filing was 5pm. The rules must be enforced. If there is a 7-day window to turn the decision, good for them. It might be a lesson well learnt.

Citizen vigilante Martin Amidu was overshadowed with all the NDP intrigue, but he managed to get a word in on his dismissal as A-G and he has challenged Chief of Staff Henry Newman for improper dismissal. The Supreme Court is yet to hear his case against Agbesi Woyome on the judgment debt issue. Remember? Refresh your memory here. You notice how the Woyome case is on the back burner? We need to check the court dates soon. I suspect the NDC is hedging that come December if they win, they can put that case and all its adjuncts to bed for at least another 4 years.

I won’t bother with the NDC/Huawei bribery accusation. Both the NPP and the NDC party are holier than thou in these matters. If the NDC has to come clean, so should the NPP. As for us citizens, we will be fooled by who can expose their opponent loudest.

So let me talk about religion and especially Christianity. When the ballot picks were made, NDC got the 1st slot. NPP had the 3rd. Some journalist opened a question bordering on which position would be favored by God. That our politicians responded to this question was for me another low peg in their thought process. Mills had 3rd position last elections and won. Nana had first position and lost. So there is divine meaning to this positioning? Nana Addo has been to Israel and Mahama has started lifting his eyes and hands up to the Lord whenever he is on a public podium. Every campaign delivery claims God will favor them over their opponent. Playing the God card has become major campaign rhetoric. Come December 7th Christian losers must accept that God did not think much of their lies. Of course in Christian parlance, the explanation would be that God does not think it is their time. You must have unswerving faith and unquestioning belief. Same way we did not make it to the World Cup semi-finals because Satan guided Suarez to punch the ball out of the net. Afterwards, I heard many Christians say, had we gone through, many people would have died from over-jubilation, and thus God saved us by making us lose. Tawdry.

And how disloyal the NDC supporters? I rode several taxis after the NDP congress and in every conversation I engaged, fellow passengers stated blatantly, God would punish JJ and Konadu, not being God-fearing Christians and for breaking the NDC. Even NPP supporters echoed this. But accusation was, it was Konadu, Senior Satan, who was leading the former Junior Jesus astray. This over-simplified Christianity is what our politicians play because they believe it is a vote-winning platform. So who will God favor this December? Here is my thought from the last election. Alternatively cut and paste this link into your browser. https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=156380.

This country is the most exciting place to be at this time. I am loving every moment of it and I hope fellow Ghanaians can feel me.

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

Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney