The Adventures of the Football Hooligan and the Wannabee President

Wed, 5 Jul 2006 Source: Quaye, Rikard

Readers will recall that in a previous piece, I sought to question the judgement of Hon. Nana Akuffo Addo, MP for Abuakwa and current foreign minister of our country.

At the time, Hon Akuffo Addo was at the helm of trying to enact one of the most ludicrous pieces of legislation ever attempted by any legislature anywhere on the face of this planet. He was seeking to bring back Ghanaians who by their own misdeeds had been convicted outside the country for drug peddling to come and serve the rest of their sentences in Ghana.

He had the gall to tell Ghanaians that their hard earned taxes was to be spent in renovating prisons to ensure improved conditions for his friends who by their greed and avarice had earned themselves hard time in purgatory. I questioned his rationale for wanting these people back in this country at all, and wondered how long before these brigands would be let out to continue their criminal enterprises. Last Tuesday, Ghanaians woke up to yet another Akuffo Addo faux pas, the kind of which only he could mastermind. We awoke up to the voice of the venerable Appiah Stadium. The semi literate ex football hooligan now turned serial caller speaking on Adakabre Frimpong Manso’s early morning program on Hot F.M. Appiah Stadium informed the whole nation that he was in Amsterdam after watching Ghana’s world cup participation en vivo. He informed listeners that he had taken a detour from watching the world cup in Germany and was in fact not planning to come back to Ghana because he felt his life was in danger. When pressed to expatiate on his assertion, he further revealed that the government had sponsored 150 serial callers to the world cup in Germany with plane tickets, boarding, and match tickets for the Ghana matches and 500 Euros each as spending money.

Appiah said that he had been excluded from the government sponsored brigade of serial callers to watch the world cup. The reason given for his exclusion was that, on a previously sponsored trip to Egypt to watch the Cup of Nations 2006, he had returned to reveal that certain officials had taken along their girlfriends, and in his view, this constituted waste of the country’s scarce resources.

He had therefore been deemed a pariah by the Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hon. O.B. Amoah. He further revealed that at a meeting in the office of the Hon Minister for Education Papa Owusu Ankomah himself, O.B. Amoah refused to allow him to go to the World Cup on the wings of the government sponsored largesse, so he had gravitated towards Hon. Akuffo Addo who obliged him with funds, a ticket and a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enable him get a visa from the German embassy.

What was so revealing about what this man had to say was not only in the actual revelations he made but he further contextualized and put in perspective the complete gamut of shenanigans and smoke screens that certain elements of this government have resorted to in order to convince Ghanaians that the hardships that they have been experiencing and their suspicions that although the government was telling Ghanaians to tighten their belts, they always found money for frivolities and conduct that would not pass the arbitrary standard that they set when the sent people to jail for causing financial loss to the state. Even more disturbing was this man’s claim that he has until recently he had regular audiences with the president, some of his ministers and other high ranking officials of the ruling party. He actually said that until recently when a certain Wofa Kwame Boateng of the president’s abode barred him from coming to the president’s house, he was a regular visit to villa HIPC. He said that he had even been instrumental in the firing of one particular minister of state.

If there is an iota of truth in what this man was saying, and I have no reason to doubt him because he was the star guest at the recent N.P.P. congress, Ghana is in serious trouble.

If these are the kinds of people who determine the direction of government policy in this country, where are we heading?

Is it a wonder that when junior doctors went on strike to demand wage arrears be paid to them, these serial callers went on an orchestrated binge on the airwaves to lampoon the doctors for abandoning their Hippocratic oath? All this time the government found money to sponsor this exercise in debauchery whilst our doctors and health professionals cried out for a living wage? Would it not have more beneficial to us as a nation if some of these hard working doctors were sponsored to the World Cup? Would it not have given them a much needed break from the rigors of the daily grind that they endure? At worst would the over 3.7 Billion cedis that was spent not have gone a long way to pay the doctors? Are Ghanaians surprised when these doctors pack their brains and belongings and hop, skip and jump out of this country at the earliest opportunity? I am not at all. In fact if I were a doctor, after listening to Appiah Stadium, I would have gotten out on the next available air current. Let us also recall that not too long ago, the owner of the popular Chronicle newspaper Kofi Coomson revealed that in 1996 when ex-president Rawlings wrote to CHRAJ to investigate 4 of his ministers as a result of investigative reports carried out by the afore mentioned paper, it was Hon. Nana Akuffo Addo who thwarted the progression of the case by ordering Mr. Coomson’s then counsel Mr.Yoni Kulendi to cease representing him at the hearings. Mr. Kulendi was at the time a junior advocate at the chambers of Akuffo Addo and therefore had no choice but to cease representing Kofi Coomson. The case needless to say, died an ignominious death.

It would be very interesting to note the irony that Hon. Akuffo Addo was at the time a leading opposition figure and member of the Alliance for Chance, which was involved in an intense campaign to highlight corruption within the N.D.C. government.

So the question these series of occurrences begets is this; If this man is prepared to engage in nefarious such activities now, what will he do once he is president?

What will he do when he has the kind of almost absolute power that our constitution bestows upon the presidency of this country?

Does he have any plans for the day after he is president?

This man who has made it clear that he would do anything to become president of this nation, is also making it abundantly clear to everyone that he will do anything that will lead him there, whether that deed is immoral, unethical, unbecoming of the high office he holds or even if it borders on the wrong side of what is law abiding and what isn’t.

Hon. Akuffo Addo in his zeal to win over the loony wing of his party to obtain the nomination, would resort to belittling his high office by approving visa recommendations on official letterhead under false pretences for a football hooligan to obtain a visa fraudulently, so that the corrupt reward regime that has been instituted with state resources and state funds can be perpetuated.

Is this the kind of person that the N.P.P wishes to present to the people of Ghana as a man capable of actually steering the nation after 2008? Is the N.P.P. telling the whole nation and indeed the world at large that this man who cannot separate right from wrong, and does not mind treading the grey area between what is criminal and what isn’t, the man they are going to present to Ghanaians come 2008?

What is patently obvious for all to see is the alacrity with which an abdication of responsibility to the people he is supposed to serve means nothing to him and the ruthless efficiency with which he expounds his “president for all the wrong reasons” agenda.

Does the N.P.P want to present to Ghanaians a man whose high office means nothing to him, if it conflicts with political expediency?

There is an Akan proverb literally translated says that “the animal that intends to bite is the one that bares its teeth” If anyone is unsure about what Ghana will be like under Akuffo Addo, look no further than his dishonorable diary of misdeeds during his life as a public figure. Hon. Akuffo Addo has clearly elucidated how he intends to govern the country. He intends to govern the country by ignoring the obligations that his high office places on him to do the right things.

He intends to con the people of this country into voting for him so that he can bring back drug peddlers, thwart judicial processes and the rule of law, hob-nob with questionable characters and shady individuals in the name of all that is politically expedient.

He intends to continue the ongoing mantra of tax and spend on the people of this great nation, whilst the same people do not have adequate medical care, do not have teachers to teach their children, do not have good roads to travel on, do not have the necessary social and economic infrastructure to advance toward the technological utopia that is the 21st century.

He rather prefers to spend their tax payers’ money on funding trips outside the country by groups of preferred echo bunnies who ostensibly call in to radio programs to propagate the fabricated hoodwinking of the long suffering people of this country.

For so many years Ghanaians have been abused, deceived and conned by our leaders and whilst we sink further into the degradation of poverty, disease and depravity, they grow richer, fatter and enjoy the trappings of wealth. Come November 2008, Ghanaians must endeavor to make sure that the future of this country is not mortgaged to characters like Hon. Akuffo Addo who have done us a big favor by giving us an insight into what they intend to do when voted into power. A man who does not know why he wants to be president, except that he wants to be president and will do anything and everything to get there.

P.S. Is it possible for Hon. Akuffo Addo to arrange for the return of Daasebre Gyamera? The renowned hip life artist has been busted in London for smuggling 2kg of cocaine in his suitcase. Most Ghanaians including myself are going to miss his inspirational music whilst he is in gaol. If he could at least spend his jail time in a renovated air conditioned cell in Navrongo, I am sure Daasebre will atone for his indiscretion with a chart busting album. And if I may be allowed to suggest a title, “Abankaba da me nsa”(I have been handcuffed) would be great.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Quaye, Rikard