The Attivorians

Wed, 4 May 2016 Source: Sydney Casely-Hayford

My sincerest apologies to all readers for missing last week. It gets more difficult to capture the mind’s conflicts from a hospital bed and diabetes is getting the better of me. The more I struggle to master the disease, the less I succeed in finding a solution. Nonetheless, I carry on as best as I can.

Thing is I had so much to say last week with matters cascading around the country, our President engaging on a tour with a brand new set of lying tools and his ministers explaining his “money in your pocket” statement. It reminded me of how others used to come out to explain what Jerry John was trying to say when words tumbled incoherently from his mouth. Makes me wonder sometimes if our leaders understand the use of language as an expressive tool.

The President says “putting money in your pocket” does not mean he will “put money in your pocket”, it means he has created conditions that will enable you to save the money you don’t have from the infrastructure he is building in the far future. He also does not think he can go round the whole country doling out cash. In other words, those of us who think he will physically bring cash to them should stop being stupid.

Well my retort back to the iPAD carrying President who chastised Otumfuo for not keeping his Facebook page updated, was he can send us the money by mobile money. No need to come all the way to McCarthy Hill and Darkuman. I use MTN mobile money. He can send mine pronto.

Well, my remark did not go down too well and I got sharp rebukes from party unfaithful and dodgy ministers. So I decided to follow him to Brong Ahafo in mid-week on his “Accounting to the People” tour to explain one on one what he meant.

And that’s a different story.

When I arrived in Wenchi he never appeared and by the time I got to Kintampo, he apparently was not going to show up there at all. Anyway I had business doing there for myself and I needed to capture some thoughts on development in the rural communities.

There is a myth that life in the rural communities is better and richer. It is true. But if you still want internet access, swimming pools and a nightlife, then pull back. We are not ready yet by any stretch of the imagination.

I kept pondering throughout the journey what it would take to fix this country such that we could all just travel by fast train to Kintampo, do our business for the day and come back before dark, without the bumps and grinds and dangerous trotro drivers and tippers, and articulators. I wondered where the money borrowed for developing the railways had been allocated. A task I will try and figure out before the end of the year.

Our rural development is a sham. Nightlife is a paltry street light with persons gathered under to make as much of the tea, bread and fruits they can find and trading is now virtually at a standstill. Yet our President insists that he has turned things round and we are at the cusp of the African Renaissance. I am sure many understand where he is coming from on all these, but so far I have no takers to explain the un-yet economic boom that has been in the offing for the last seven years. And I am tired of writing about it.

Something has to break and soon and I can’t wait any longer for Election Day to arrive. If we could change the constitution to allow for a voting out of the President on referendum, it will be the best thing we could do for the country.

. In the meantime, the Electoral Commissioner is messing us with a logo that makes no sense, does not appear to have any reasoning behind it and is a complete misplaced priority. We are in trouble.

If these elections are not free and fair and devoid of any suspicion we will have a time bomb on our hands and I hope the EC can see the looming anger. Unless of course, she doesn’t care.

So on to Ketu South, where the population growth far outstrips the possible number of maturing voters in the district. In the 2012 election, 77,837 voters cast their votes for John Mahama. Four thousand of them decided not to vote for Fiifi Kwetey their Parliamentary candidate who got 81,880, Lord knows where those voters disappeard to after the ballot was announced. So while the Parliamentary candidate got 89% of the vote, the Presidential candidate got 94% and both comfortably managed to find their way through as representatives.

But the cheating in the Volta Region has to stop. It is so ubiquitous there, the President can boastfully stand in front of them and call them his World Bank and IMF. They will come to his aid when he calls and guarantee a bail out, to stretch the analogous.

And that is what gave former transport minister Dzifa Attivor the confidence to abuse their allegiance by asking them to vote-cover her out of her guilt and make sure she stays out of jail to carry on as is, because she is their hero. A possible confession from someone who is yet to be convicted of a crime you can say.

In a village where few have made it to the position she has, I find it rather condescending that she should tread on the confidence bestowed in her by the community and after assuming a crime, she now asks them to free her of her faults converting her guilt to protection votes.

Thus was born a new generation of persons who I have discovered are the “Attivorians.” A lost tribe, now surfaced, with Kwetey “Attivorian”, leading their not so literate followers into a dangerous mindset that it is ok to do the wrong things as long as your people can stand tall and continue to provide “world bank support”, interest free for at least four years, no promised development to come, just keep me out of jail.

And so it might end up, because all the other “Attivorians” support the idea that should the NPP come to power they will be jailed. But they will be tried before they are jailed and only if convicted of a crime. Not because they are “Attivorians”.

Go to jail, do not cross the border, do not collect the ill-gotten gains.

Ghana, Aha a y? din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

Columnist: Sydney Casely-Hayford