“I do not believe I owe anybody an apology for believing that if the current ‘Dun-dum’, now part and parcel of our lives as Ghanaians, as well as the general hardship in society, had occurred during the Kufuor regime, Ms. Benyiwa-Doe would have gone naked on the streets at various locations in the country inviting ordinary citizens to have a good look at her privacy.”
I am a very angry Ghanaian. I am annoyed by the fact that in the 21st Century, this country of 25 million people sleeps in darkness. I still cannot fathom why we should allow this administration, which made so much noise about power outages while in opposition, and advertised their capabilities of solving the problem within the first 100 days of administering this country, to put this land of riches and a proud people in perpetual darkness.
I am livid that businesses founded on the sweat and toil of ordinary Ghanaians are ending up in ruins, with their proud owners ending up on the scrap-heap of unemployment, simply because the directors of the state have failed to generate enough power to meet the demands of domestic and business use.
For me, all officials of state have failed the nation. That is why I am barely able to control my emotions at the ugly noises coming from the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Ebo Barton Odro, who is threatening media practitioners for taking issues with him recently, over an unguarded statement on the collapse of businesses, at a time when the administration, of which he is a key member, has abysmally failed to provide power for both domestic and business consumption.
To add salt to injury, Mr. Baton Odro is quoted as threatening the media for calling him to order. He is said to have told Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem programme on Tuesday that he did not say anything about the power crisis during the launch of Mr. Gyan Baffour’s book and after.
“I didn’t say anything on the ongoing power crisis; so I am very much surprised to be quoted saying something like that. I never made such a statement,” he told his host.
The lawyer in him then took over. “I cannot allow them to tarnish my name, and so I will advise myself. It is very painful.” It is indeed painful, if everybody turns against you for something you think you did not say. In that case, what exactly did Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro say to Citi FM after the book launch last week.
If the Deputy Speaker of Parliament did not mention the energy crisis, what was he admonishing entrepreneurs to do? In any case, if he did not mention the energy crisis, why was Ms. Kate Addo, Deputy Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, thrown in to douse the fire? What brief was given to the Deputy Director of Public Affairs before she talked to Citi FM.?
Read the lips of Ms. Kate Addo. He (Mr. Ebo Barton Odro) recognised the difficulties of the power crisis, but was also urging businesses to consider the other factor when looking at and assessing the viability of their businesses.
“The plan was not to down-play the effect of the ‘Dum-so’, but also to draw attention to other factors,” Ms. Addo told the radio station. I do not think the media houses taking issues with the First Deputy Speaker put these words in the mouth of the Deputy Director of Public Affairs of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
I do not know how the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament is gauging the mood of the nation. The average Ghanaian as an angry person and those whose lives are propped up from the state treasury ought to behave appropriately. I do not believe any newsman is intimidated by threats of legal action from those who have failed the nation.
If Mr. Barton-Odro does not know, he is one of the sources of anger in the system. His role as Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, when millions of state funds were parceled out and doled to undeserving Ghanaians and foreign firms in dubious judgment debt claims, is a sore point in the socio-political evolution of this nation.
Never in the annals of Ghana history has state funds been so recklessly misapplied, as when Mr. Barton-Odro sat at the Attorney-General’s office with Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu as his boss. Instead of providing the legal advice to safeguard the State Treasury, Mr. Barton-Odro and his boss supervised over a looting spree, during which millions of Ghana cedis, and millions others in foreign exchange, were handed over to undeserving people and foreign enterprises in very dubious judgment debt payments.
In any jurisdiction, Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro and his immediate boss at the Attorney-General’s Department would have faced prosecution. In Mahama’s so-called Better Ghana, the Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North rather presides over Parliamentary proceedings and calling MPs to order.
His boss is also a Vice-Chairperson in the ruling National Democratic Congress, after doling out state largesse to undeserving elements. How callous can the system be? Instead of accounting for his failure at the Attorney-General’s Department, Mr. Ebo Barton-Odro had the nerves to look at Ghanaians in the face and pontificate that the “State has no case.”
How does the learned counsel, representing his proud constituents of Cape Coast North, reconcile his statement with the ruling from the Supreme Court that Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, for instance, has no contract with the state and should refund the whopping GH¢52 million handed to him under the supervision of Mr. Barton-Odro and Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu?
Is Mr. Barton-Odro aware that the same Attorney-General’s Department is in court fighting to retrieve the money that was doled to the man, described as a financier of the NDC?
These are very trying moments for the average Ghanaian. Management of state resources, coupled with official failure to address basic needs of society, are combining to drive Ghanaians crazy. That is why those who have contributed to the mess in society should not behave as if the people of this country owe them a living.
“The abuse of greatness,” wrote William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar, “is when it disjoins remorse from power.” If the Honourable Member from Cape Coast North will not show remorse for the harm he has done this society, by supervising over millions of state funds doled out needlessly, he is advised not to rub salt into the wounds of long-suffering Ghanaians.
When the newsman at Adom FM asked Mr. Barton-Odro’s opinion on the crippling energy crisis, I do not think he saw the lawyer as the chief engineer at the generating plant at Akosombo, or the boss of the Thermal Plant at Aboadze.
The question was asked following the controversy over what he is quoted to have said on the effect of the energy crisis on industry and society generally. I do not think Mr. Barton-Odro spoke like an Honourable Member of Parliament, when he responded that he did not generate power.
Not many of us in this Republic are directly involved in generating electricity. As end users, we feel the impact of power or lack of it in our homes, offices and business operating premises. In my humble opinion, it is how the former Deputy Attorney-General feels about the crisis that formed the the genesis of the question.
These, as stated earlier, are no normal times. The average Ghanaian is going through the worst crisis since Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared this nation independent of British colonial rule on March 6, 1957.
By the way, in all this crisis, where is Ms. Ama Benyiwa Doe, the acidic mouth that once led the women’s movement in the NDC, and was rewarded with the Residency in the Central Region for leading the insulting brigade against then Head of State at random, when Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor sat at the Castle as Constitutional President of Ghana?
I do not believe I owe anybody an apology for believing that if the current ‘Dun-dum’, now part and parcel of our lives as Ghanaians, as well as the general hardship in society, had occurred during the Kufuor regime, Ms. Benyiwa-Doe would have gone naked on the streets at various locations in the country inviting ordinary citizens to have a good look at her privacy.
Empty barrels, an old English adage suggests, make the most noise. If the authorities cannot solve the problem, the best they could do for the good people of Ghana is to allow us to suffer in silence. And that includes the Honourable Member for Cape Coast North.
Source: Ebo Quansah
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