Timidity Is The New Revolution

Mon, 13 May 2013 Source: Casely-Hayford, Sydney

Critical News, 11th May 2013

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I posted a very historical “Lest We Forget” piece on my Blog this week, written by a very good friend Kwasi Gyan Appenteng. Down memory lane to 1983, he strolls through time with palpitating nostalgia that hit hard and made me reminisce about times gone by, when revolution meant violence and student agitation shut down the University for two years. When I first saw the email subject matter, I thought, great, Kwasi has not forgotten Kume Preko and the murder of Ahonga and Ahulu, when we marched against economic hardship and VAT on 11 May 1995, but alas his hike was different. I found this recount of the crimes by ACDR’s (revolutionary guards as then called) a not-to-be-forgotten history of what happened that day. It is a painful Marxist memory of Ghana, after the nebulous Nkrumaism, which masked cult worship as an Africanus paradigm but really meant constitutional dictatorship.

This publication from Modern Ghana.com is short enough to repeat verbatim and carries the key mixes then and today.

The article was headed “KUME PREKO" On CNN, BBC”

“The mass show of abhorrence for the mismanagement of Ghana's economy gained international recognition with extensive coverage by CNN and the BBC. CNN transmitted the march live, while BBC devoted considerable airtime to the event.

According to our US and other foreign sources, the CNN coverage gave the international community real, first hand information about the level of discontent against the NDC government. The much-vaunted economic success and strongman image of Jerry Rawlings has suffered a big jolt as a result.

The organisers estimate the number of marchers at 100,000, certainly the biggest single demonstration in the nation's history. The milling crowd included people of all ages and their resolve proved that the so-called peace in the country has, all along, been the peace of the graveyards.

The extensive coverage accorded the march by the BBC served to expose the lies and disinformation put up by GBC. It was an opportunity for the organisers to state their side of the story, as opposed to the government monologue of lies served by GBC.

Describing the event as the "largest in recent years" and the "first major show of opposition to the Rawlings regime in thirteen years," BBC put participation in the march at "tens of thousands."

Responding to questions, Nana Akufo Addo, spokesman for the Alliance for Change, put the responsibility for the violence that erupted squarely on the government, which he said, hired and armed thugs to disrupt the march. Asked whether his group accepted responsibility for the violence he replied emphatically, "Absolutely none, none whatsoever."

Nana Akufo Addo said that "Kume Preko" "provided a forum for people to express their dissatisfaction with what is going on." He described charges that the organisers had whipped up emotions as "blatant lies."

Nana Akufo Addo said that the only regrets the Alliance for Change has is that Ghana is "still in the grip of people who have a very, very warped idea of a democratic system of government."

The other problem, he said, is of people in power who feel that they should hold on to power without question, at all costs”.

The deaths of two protestors, others who were beaten and mauled for even watching the march have never been investigated. The statute of limitation does not apply to murder and when the day of proper justice from an Ag’s department does arrive, we should expect some restitution for the families who gave up their sons to achieve even the imperfection in justice we have today.

Then as now, the opposition NPP has asked the courts to deliberate on what could be a major upheaval in the course of our history. We are in a full-blown democracy, sailing the waves of justice but fearing with each suggestion to the witness box that we could be sunk by a reticent group whose politically strung fortunes will fritter away under a gavel of the Supreme Court.

So when the National Security Agency popped up on Thursday at the Court Registry to “protect” the Pink Sheets, the Registrar showed revolutionary timidity. The whole NPP-Ghana, PPP-Ghana, NDP-Ghana and maybe some NDC-Ghana as well, sucked in some “Odaw-naa” aroma and let it out with great gusto when the “unsolicited” goodwill was rebuffed. Let’s say it. I don’t know anyone who believes that move was sincere. I listened to Security Coordinator Gbevlo Lartey’s reaction on Joyfm Newsfile on Saturday and I had an insecure palpitation after I heard it rationalised as a pre-emptive approach.

What Gbevlo Lartey forgets, but what Ghanaians have not forgotten are the many attempts by Government agencies to “protect” them. Nkrumah preemptively jailed people to protect Ghana under PDA, and we have still not forgotten how Kutu Acheampong was going to institute UNIGOV to ensure that he could preempt military coups and that was before half the ballot boxes fell into rivers. Traders at Kantamanto are up in arms because they do no trust the AMA, doctors do not trust the MOFEP to honor its word on payments and Ghanaians generally do not trust this Government with managing our economy, and the election process is in doubt. All this is translating into not so timid Ghanaians and we are no longer as hesitant to voice out.

Even Tsatsu Tsikata does not trust that the NPP can add a set of numbers and count to 11,842, but his call for a count is a good one. I say the Court would have had to get to that point anyway. On the mayhap that the Court decides the NPP Petitioners have enough credible evidence, it will have to ask for a count and calculation of the votes in play in order to determine whether this becomes a run-off or an outright overturn. This decision hastens the end game. We will do now what we need done at the end point. NPP counsel Phillip Addison agreed to this without fuss. Timidly? Or does he see something beyond Tsatsu’s pompousness? My lawyer friends tell me court trial 101. Never ask a critical question of a witness if you do not know the answer. The opponent’s acquiescence might not be as timid as you think.

So far Tsatsu has failed to break the seemingly timid manner belying Bawumia’s calmness. He lost his cool many times during cross, going as far as calling the NPP witness dishonest. As much as I feel his frustration, I think his tact is misdirected. Bawumia led a team, he did not fashion the documents. The evidence should be his target. Enough said, big-up to the witness.

I disagree with the alleged KPMG count and audit fee of $100,000. It is a ridiculous figure if it is true and my small advice to the Court is, save some money and use some pupils from Akoto Lante JHS. They can count to 1,000 even with the poor standards we give them. All we need is twelve of them for an hour and we will be finished with the count. Give them a set of pens and pencils each and award them a plaque for a job well done. KPMG can supervise for ghc1,000.

I hear the Petitioners delivered all the said count of 11,842 to the Registry, who had the responsibility to serve the Respondents. Surely, layman parlance can fathom logically, that the Court Registrar is responsible for the receipt and onward distribution of the documents. And they gave a receipt to the Petitioners. So whither this mega issue? Paragraphs “44 to 67” became a crystallizing point on Thursday.

And Gabby Asare Otchere Darko pitched his vociferous revolution with a “timidity” charge at the Supreme Court. Calling the Justices out, he mistrusted the basis of the ruling in favor of Bernard Mornah to exclude sitting on holidays and weekends contrary to Constitutional Instrument 74 determining the rules of engagement for the Election Petition. Court went ballistic, Gabby apologized but Kwaku Baako too called them out, but then he also made a slight detour, apologizing for being over-passionate. Mr Documents? Too much zest?

There was a revenge murder in Kumasi, fall out from election-related killing in Manhyia South. Tensions heightened, follow-up reprisals expected, Kumasi is always volatile with election violence. The CPP/NLM fighting was also murder related, Twumasi Ankrah stabbing EY Baffoe to death and triggering the unstoppable progress of our independence from Britain amid calls for secession. Some Chinese dudes shot and killed a couple of Ghanaians for gold and President Mahama wants us to pay more for electricity. Pay more? Mr. President, we should be looking at where the electricity is leaking. Illegal connections, weak transmission, stolen cables and such. Had we finished building the planned dams on time and completed the gas processing plant in December 2012 as promised, we would be glad to pay more, because it would be stable and consistent. Don’t give me a poor service and then ask me to shed more cash. That is wholesome insincerity.

My new Chinese meter runs twice as fast as the previous one. I haven’t added any new appliances, I haven’t increased my consumption pattern in any way, but my prepaid units are already gone, halfway through the month. I complained timidly at Bortianor and they are timidly investigating. Meanwhile I am a bleeding unit.

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

Columnist: Casely-Hayford, Sydney