Where Is Jerry Rawlings In Our New Corrupt Ghana?

I am beginning to nurse the feeling that promises come to President John Dramani Mahama naturally. The Head of State of this Republic does not appear to need to make much by way of efforts to come out with some of the promises he goes about making. At least, that is the impression I gather, following promises he continues to make, as if he is still on the campaign trail. Yesterday, the front page banner of state-run Daily Graphic screamed: �Ghana will reclaim top spot �In cocoa production.� The story reads: �The President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, says the government is committed to making the needed investment to increase cocoa production, and make Ghana the number one cocoa producing and exporting country in the world.� At the time President Mahama was making this declaration at the Fifth Anniversary celebration of Gargill�s Ghana cocoa processing plant at Tema, most cocoa farmers in the country were, and, reeling from low yields, as a result of the government�s propensity to back off, after promising the moon. In spite of roof-top advertisements of the government�s declared commitment towards the mass cocoa spraying exercise, and mobilising agriculture extension officers to aid farmers on the ground, a good number of cocoa farmers have virtually been left on their own. With low cocoa yields staring this country in the new season, it is difficult to conjecture where the political will is coming from to help boost the industry to maintain this country�s second position in world cocoa production, let alone, talk of overtaking Cote d�Ivoire as the world�s top producer. The strange decision by officialdom not to open the cocoa season in September, coupled with very late transfer of funds to the buying agencies, means that a number of cocoa farmers in this nation�s leading cocoa producing areas in the Western Region especially, have already found new markets in La Cote d�Ivoire. Yet, President Mahama goes on in a campaign mood promising to uplift the mood of farmers smarting under poverty and very stressful working conditions. From his days as Vice-President of the Republic to his leadership of this nation, President Mahama has exhibited great tendencies to make promises that are proving elusive to keep track of. The news in these promises is that they are invariably never fulfilled. The moment the vapour from the Presidential mouth dissolves into the natural air around, the promises are consigned to the backyard. I recall the demeanour of the then Vice-President on a certain 10,000 housing units featuring a certain company from Korea. The STX Korea deal occupied the centre stage of the governance process in this country for nearly two years, after deceased President John Evans Atta Mills was chaotically sworn in at the Independence Square in Accra in the mid-afternoon of January 7, 2009. When it was obvious that the state was flogging a dead horse, the government still went ahead and committed state funds. Apart from expenditure involved in sending many emissaries on various trips to Korea, US$250 million of state funds was supposed to have been committed towards an insurance package for the project. One would expect that he state officials involved in flogging the STX Korea deal would update hapless Ghanaians on the insurance package, at least. Yesterday, Joy FM replayed the Presidential voice promising to end or minimise corruption. I heard Mr. Mahama saying, loud and clear, that those associating him with corruption do not know him. He may have a point. But the prevalence of corruption under his watch makes it very difficult for any objective analyst to fail to finger his administration for the prevalence of greed in society. The other day, world renowned Gallup Poll placed Ghana third on a list of 123 nations, where the media was largely recognised to be free. Instead of announcing measures to deal with the canker, government officials went into overdrive rubbishing the report. Meanwhile, every Tom, Dick and Harry knows that in Ghana no one could get quality service in any state institution without paying through the back door. On Joy FM, yesterday, President Mahama insinuated that he might not be corrupt as the leader of this society. He might have a point. There is evidence though that cronyism is flourishing under his watch. The accusation that the President�s bother -Ibrahim Mahama�s company � Engineers and Planners -had refused to pay monies borrowed from the Merchant Bank for the entire five years that the National Democratic Congress has been in power, should be a matter of concern to the Presidency. It is alleged that the weight of the over US$50 million borrowed in 2007 may have forced the bank to yield to a take-over at a relatively cheaper rate. There is the small matter of the acquisition of five aircraft including an Embraer 190 jet from Brazil, and said to have been purchased for the Ghana Air Force by then Vice-President Mahama. In one of his famous Epistles, Mr. Martin Amidu, former Attorney-General, well revered in the Ghanaian society for his vigilante duties, alleged that the purchase might have been done without candour, and that the late President John Evans Mills even ordered an enquiry into the acquisition, even though party gurus succeeded in frustrating the process. The opposition New Patriotic Party seized on this revelation and called for a proper investigation into the purchase. Mr. Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, General Secretary of the NPP, was cited by the Statesman newspaper as demanding a thorough enquiry. He asked the former Vice-President to come clean on the deal. In the estimation of the NPP scribe, Embraer�s own quoted price was $45 million. Ghana bought the aircraft for $55 million. He said options, including an extra tank, costing $8m, staircase at $1m, and in-flight entertainment of $1.4 million, brought the total cost to $88m. �In the light of these revelations, President Mahama must finally clear his name because the late President, just like the NPP and indeed all Ghanaians, felt there was something worth investigating about the Embraer deal,� the NPP General Secretary stated. �On the hanger, the Ghana Air Force, in 2008, contracted to build standard aircraft hangers with the standard features/provisions of maintenance facility, stores, fire tenders and offices for crew and engineers at the cost of $5m each. So what other additions could have bloated the cost of a hanger two years later to $17 million?� Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, queried. This country is a very interesting society. The other day, when Mr. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin complained of governmental inertia which had left most citizens at the wrong end of the economic miracle, President John Mahama asked for a party delegation to meet with the one-time Majority Leader in Parliament to resolve the matter. I am afraid the President would have to arrange to meet the entire population of this nation. I am of the view that most Ghanaians, with the exception of the few sycophants in the mode of Bernard Allotey Jacobs, who was paid GH�67,000 from electricity tariffs for trading lies on air, on the state of the people�s wellbeing, The ordinary Ghanaian is facing the worst economic crisis since this country returned to democratic rule in 1992. There are homes out there, where heads of household are unable to afford a single decent meal. Yet, there are so-called businessmen out there hooked on cronyism. When I read that Rlg, belonging to the Agimbire Group of Companies, has been rated the leading company in Ghana�s Club 100, I told myself that this society is heading for the dogs. I can state without any hint of contradiction that Rlg and all those companies under the Agambire Group owe their rise to some form of state largesse. In the run-up to the 2012 Presidential and Legislative elections, the state of Ghana suddenly discovered that one lap-top per child would aid education in this country. Millions of state funds were poured into the coffers of the Agambire Group, particularly Rlg, in a carefully orchestrated plot to buy our votes. I do not know how President Mahama feels about leading a nation that pours money into private companies in dubious circumstances. But the tree planting exercise in the north, in which GH�33 million of public funds was poured without any tangible returns, as well as the guinea fowl project, in which GH�15 million of public funds was parceled and doled out to Asontagba Cottage Industry, cannot qualify to be described as an exercise in candour. The recent revelation in the report into the operations of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency, in which the state lost over GH�200 million in a clever plot to �create, loot and share�, featuring companies apparently set up to plunder the state, does not portray a nation with the leadership worrying about how state coffers are applied. When one recalls the fact that the founder of the party in power sanctioned the state assassination of human beings, on the pretext that people had used their influence to borrow �50,000 of the old currency from the bank, I am tempted to invite Jerry John Rawlings to explain why this nation should not put him on trial for the cold-blooded murder of innocent citizens. I was appalled to hear the former junta head calling for support for a leadership that has failed itself and the nation at the weekend. I am afraid we are pushing closer to the era, when street agitations could render the whole nation paralysed. In Akan folklore, when no one warned the camel when it started throwing its legs about, all animals in a rich man�s compound suffered. I am afraid all Ghanaians are bearing the brunt of an administration that is heading for nowhere. President John Dramani Mahama is on notice to reform his administration before some overzealous youths take everybody in this country hostage. Life is hard in Mother Ghana!