One More Reason Why The NPP Must Go!

Sat, 22 Nov 2008 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

I called Ghana this morning (20/11/08) only to learn that a bag of cement retails for anywhere from $9-$11. I can’t tell you how dismayed I am. My interest in the price of cement does not only lie in the fact that I have a project in Ghana, but also, because of the fact that, cement is a critical factor in our development effort. We can and will not call our country developed until we can move all our people from mud and thatch houses to cinder block houses or its equivalent. We all know the perils of living in mud and thatch houses. Among others, when the rains come with a vengeance, as it did in the north.

The cement story is one of elite arrogance, greediness, political corruption and plain old stupid policies by our government. As some of you will recall, Ghacem, a firm only Ghanaian in name but solely owned by Germans has been fleecing Ghanaians through its monopoly, not only Ghana, but the entire west African region and parts of the world as well. At one point, president, Kufour and Sir Alan Cash threatened to either revoke their monopoly status or impose price controls. Ghacem was quick to point to raising energy cost as the key reason for the increase in the price of cement. Today, energy prices have plummeted but we continue to suffer high prices. Nothing ever happened to Ghacem and they continue to dictate the price of cement. Even if you import from Togo, you will still be buying from Ghacem. I am told that most government contracts that require the use of cement go to Ghacem. This is the same company that has been funding both the NDC and NPP so that they can enjoy their monopoly status unimpeded. We still have not located the 17 million dollar cheque that was issued to the government of Ghana through the wife of a high ranking Ghanaian officer. Not even a trace on the return cheque has been done by our current government to find out who cashed that cheque. The dog and pony show that was set up by this corrupt NPP government to investigate the scandal has not done a thing to bring the culprits to justice. So, people the like of P. V. Obeng, J.J. Rawlings and many more continue to walk the streets of Accra with raised shoulders and a swagger of arrogance.

As far as I am concerned, a government that deserves to be voted back to power is a government that hears the cries of its citizens and acts to seek their interest. Invariably, it was Kufour and Alan Cash who testified to the fact that the Germans were fleecing us. They were the ones who said the prices were too high and threatened to use government power to address the situation. The fact is that it was merely a threat and a bluff. Puffery I call it!! The Germans knew they could not do a thing to them as long as they continue to push a pittance of their ill-gotten wealth to these corrupt politicians and their parties. The point I am making is that we all agree that the price of cement, a key and strategic ingredient in our development, is way too high. What the hell are we doing about it since it continues to skyrocket? How many Ghanaians can afford to pay $11 for a bag of cement? And we wonder why a lot of our people take bribes? What if I am a public worker in Ghana who wants to build a house? I surely cannot do it out of my soft earned salary. Why will I not take bribes to help me build a house just like Kufour and his band of corrupt politicians are doing or have done? Ghanaians voted in the NPP with the idea and prayer that it will seek their interest above foreigners and themselves. Now what do we see? What really is the justification for the unending and continuous increase in cement prices even as the price of crude oil falls precipitously? Who is really watching out for country Ghana? Surely this band of self serving and incompetent quislings are not watching out for you and me. Vote them out!!

My brothers and sisters, over and over again, the NPP has shown a penchant to put either their self interest or that of foreign interest over ours. The NPP is not on the side of all Ghanaians. It is on the side of a few Ghanaians. It is on the side of its own ruling elite who continue to rob us. They can afford cement even if the price rises to $20 a bag because they have their hands in the national till. You and I cannot afford it. What makes it more unbearable, is the fact that, the real rogues behind this glaring scam are foreigners who don’t give a hoot about you and me. I mean, we can jail a poor Ghanaian who steals a few fingers of plantain for 5years or more but cannot do a thing about these rogues who have beseeched and continue to besmirch our country? This is a situation that can be remedied if these cognitive misers alias corrupt politicians muster the political will to put an abutting end to this shame. I have always maintained that our real enemies are not outsiders but our own folks. They are so wicked and callous. All they worry about is what is in it for them, their immediate family and of course, cronies. I am frankly sick and tired of this nonsense and many more. I pray that the NPP is shown the door. I will rather take my chances with another group. They can’t be worse than these NPP quislings and we can surely boot them out when time rolls around. We have to give others a chance!

The NPP party, on numerous occasions, has chosen the interest of foreigners over Ghanaians. Here are a few examples, Book deal—Bristish Company (Mc Millan), Ghana Telecom---Norwegians and British, Wax print for Ghana@50--Chinese, Stadia---Chinese, Roads---Chinese, Presidential Mansion---Indians, Water Management---Indians, Black Stars soccer team—German etc. My friends, I am sure you notice the pattern. Most of these jobs can be ably done by Ghanaians. Go figure what these contracts cost in dollars and ask yourself why Ghanaians could not ably do the job. The sad part is that nothing is being done currently to make sure we keep these key projects to mainly Ghanaians given the unemployment situation. The NPP is a self hating government that has no business being in power in Ghana. If these people have identity crisis, let show them the door so that they can go fix their neurosis. They are welcome to restate their case to the electorate after being on the bench for a while. Just as the Republicans paid for the sins of George W. Bush, the NPP must suffer opprobrium for the misdeeds, recklessness and outright inanities of clueless and midget minded Kufour. I urge all nation loving Ghanaians with a vote to take a stand. Look at what America has done by taking a stand and voting for Barrack Obama. If whites can vote for Obama to oust the republicans, what reason do you have for not voting for your fellow Ghanaian to oust an incompetent government that teams up with foreigners to rob us blind? Our best hope lies with our people. They are the only resource we have. To demoralize and marginalize them is an unpardonable sin. We must believe in our people, provide opportunities for them and not call them lazy!!

My fellow Ghanaians, let us with one voice say enough is enough. Let us stop these Germans and their NPP enablers from fleecing us. Yes, I believe in the market but I don’t believe in ripping people off. There is absolutely no reason for the high price of cement in Ghana. And yes, this Germans have a record of fleecing other countries. They have been dealt heavy fines in Europe for these same predatory practices and I sure for the life of me don’t see why we tolerate them. We must open our markets to stiff competition from both inside and outside. We must make it easier to bring in cement without any conditions. Let flood the market so we can push prices down and allow our people to begin to move from the era of mud and thatch to cinder block and roofing sheet. Please don’t sit on the fence. Act now to free our people. Enough! Kick out the bums!

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 its hell” Harry Truman

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka