Opinions of Thu, 30 Mar 201731
Dr. Valerie Sawyerr writes: Show your faces - Cowards!!!
Since the morning of March 27th, I have received lots of telephone calls and messages, mostly asking ‘what is going on’. Indeed, within twenty-three hours, I have counted at least 1,032 messages and calls, some from persons I do not even know. Some carry messages of comfort, others carry messages of combat wanting to know what I want to be done in response to the untruths being peddled.
I am grateful to you all for your love and support.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am not a ‘greedy bastard’. ‘Greed’ is defined as excessive and rapacious desire especially for wealth and possessions. ‘Bastard’ is a child born out of wedlock. Both terms cannot be applied to me by any stretch of one’s imagination.
Let me add that there are many beautiful and respectable people born out of wedlock. Indeed, I salute the single mothers who have sacrificed so much to ensure that their children have been fed, clothed, schooled and disciplined into worthy persons of society.
To those who were directly affected negatively by yesterday’s act of depravity, please remain calm and focused. It would be advisable to wait for the Kwesi Botchwey report, which will put us in a better position to determine the way forward for our Party.
I just finished a good session of praise and worship. I have a big smile on my face as I say - ‘Bring it On!
Part 1 … My first instinct was to find out who the players were and whether they should be taken seriously. It soon became clear to me that they were ‘followers’ of some section aiming to take over the reins of NDC going forward. I dare the actual persons behind the group to show their faces. Do not hide and pull these pathetic strings. If you are really men and/or women – show your faces! Cowards!!!
When you send gullible young men to do your dirty work, it is important that you draft better statements for them to read. Statements which will enable them to get the message across, no matter how dirty the message, but in a manner that will not expose the young men to legal action. When you push them to categorically state that ‘X is a thief’, you have exposed them to legal action.
But if you put in your draft that ‘there seems to be a widespread perception that X has misappropriated campaign funds’, you would have managed to get your message across while still protecting the young men. It may be a nasty untruthful message, but it would be safer for the stooges you are using to do your hatchet job.
As it is, if the victims of that press conference decide to resort to court process, you - the puppet master and/or puppet mistress - will be coolly relaxed in your room while the puppets face the storm. That does not show that you care about the puppets. It means you are prepared to sacrifice the puppets for your own agenda.
And to the puppets, I say - whenever you are looking for a tree under whose branches you will seek refuge, please find a good solid tree with branches that provide shade, not a diseased tree with thin branches, which keep falling to the ground.
Part 2 … My second instinct was to look at the caliber of puppets used. I received pictures of the front liners and others at the press conference and looked through to see who they were and how they should be weighed.
Part 2A … During the campaign, I paid surprise visits to various Greater Accra constituencies to ascertain how effective they were on the ground. I usually had a small team with me. I would ask them to identify the most difficult areas and go round with them – house to house, market stall to market stall, mechanic shop to mechanic shop.
When we got to the Okaikoi North constituency, most of our time was spent listening to complaints from the constituency executive such that in the end we only managed to go round one market before leaving.
I gave them a mobile PA system, to make house-to-house campaigning easier. They said they needed funds for mobilization so I gave them some. These were all personal contributions - not coming from Party or campaign funds.
One of the executive members present was Kodzo Hamenya Keglo, the spokesperson of the Action Movement.
On November 24, 2016 at 8:18pm he sent me the following message
“Thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks from Okaikoi North constituency. We are grateful momy. Momy may God bless you for this wonderful assistance to our constituency.
We will work hard. We have just finished our house to house with your machine. We will not fail you I promise. We will put it into writing on the critical areas for you for your assistance. We are grateful. Secretary Okaikoi North constituency and election director.’
There was also something else he wanted done. I did it - but I will not go into the details.
Even as I smile, I ask - is this a person I should take seriously?
Part 2B … Emmanuel Ashaley Tetteh was at the high table during the press conference. He is the Klottey Korle Constituency Communications Officer and was a henchman for the Klottey Korle Parliamentary Candidate’s campaign team in the 2015 Primaries and the 2016 election. He would climb the stage during mini rallies in the constituency and say scandalous things about me - so this is nothing new.
At a point in the campaign, the young NDC men of Klottey Korle started complaining that the PC was not campaigning for JM. Some of them therefore formed a group called Klottey Korle for JM (KK4JM) whose aim they said was to promote JM - not to bring down the PC. Their impression was that she was largely campaigning for herself alone, and that others needed to campaign for JM for a balance to be struck.
Ashaley led gangs to beat up and brutalise members of this group and to prevent them from campaigning for JM. Hundreds of posters of JM, which had been pasted, were covered at night with posters of only the PC. Thousands of NDC flags were torn down at night because they were hung by KK4JM. Vehicles would follow the KK4JM van, which was going round touting the good works of JM.
As soon as they passed through an area, they would follow announcing that the KK4JM group was an NPP group and should not be listened to. Any challenge would lead to macho men appearing at the homes of the young men to threaten or beat them up. Several cases were reported to the police. A reign of terror was perpetrated in the constituency to prevent those campaigning for JM from doing so.
The results? The PC won but JM had less votes. Those whose eyes are not covered with blinkers can make their own deductions.
We woke up one day to find pictures of Ashaley all over our whatsapp platforms running on the streets of Sukura in his underwear. Apparently, he had been caught in flagrante delicto on another man’s wife and was beaten up.
Even as I smile, I ask - is this a person I should take seriously?
Part 2C … I remember one day, as I walked into Flagstaff House, I met someone at the entrance who greeted me nicely. It was obvious he knew who I was, even though I didn’t know him. I smiled nicely and struck up a conversation. He walked with me towards the elevator. On our way he said ‘Madam have you seen that tall man over there’.
I looked and saw a dark gentleman standing there. He looked quite presentable. I asked what the problem was. He said ‘he is an armed robber, he poses as part of national security but has been doing very dangerous dirty jobs robbing people’. I said - ‘as in actual armed robber?’ he said ‘yes’. I told him not to spread rumours but he insisted that he knew what he was saying.
We parted at the elevator, as I wanted to walk up the stairs for exercise.
Even though I had tried to brush away what he said, I quickly called one of the security heads, described the man to him and told them to check on his background and if he was a suspicious character they should be circumspect in allowing him into the Flagstaff House to prevent any possible scandals.
As I looked at the pictures, I recognized him in a khaki vest. I understand he was JJ’s boy. I do not know if this is so.
Even as I smile, I ask - is this a person that I should take seriously?
Part 2D … I sent pictures to some of the youth on the ground to see if they could identify others in the group. One of the gentlemen was described to me as a ‘chicken thief’. They claim that anywhere you see him, if you have live chickens, ensure that you do not take your eyes off the chickens. The message that came back was ‘Madam please don’t mind him he is called ‘Kankpe Wuor’ because he is known for stealing chickens. Chicken in the Ga dialect is ‘wuor’. ‘Kankpe’ means something that is hardened. They claim he was a FONKAR boy. I do not know if this is so.
Even as I smile, I ask – is this a person that I should take seriously?
Conclusion … What I will say to all those who were maligned by the press conference is – Do not take it to heart. Do not be discouraged. Continue working hard for the Party as we wait for Prof Botchwey’s committee to submit its report. Let peace reign!
Of course, since the statements were seriously unguarded and highly defamatory, to say the least, it may be useful to pursue the option of redress in the law courts.
Needless to say, the NDC Party will have to sharpen its disciplinary structures to bring hope to the battered, because not everyone will accept this kind of indiscipline and let things be - for the sake of the Party.
Still … ehe edzor bordorrrrrrrrrr!!!
Wor dzii NDC, ni wor shee moko gbeyee
… (we are the NDC and we fear no foe)
Wor dzi t3saaa, ahum ko ny33 wor atswa
… (we are the rock, no wind can blow us down)
K3 wor heny3loi borlee wor
… (when our enemies surround us)
Wor ts3 nyonmor y3
… (our father God is with us)
Wor shee gbeyeee
… (we are not afraid)
Gbortsui ashi gb3nt3 – emashi dani kanya ba!!!