Goodbye 2013, Drag In 2014 - Sydney Casely-Hayford Writes

December to Rememba. 24th night at the International Conference Center, what-a-blast, and I became a Kakie fan. Of all the performances that night, I enjoyed watching Kakie gyrating and showing us her singing dancing combination more than anything else. Of course, EL, Ketche, Bisa, Batman and the rest were really great, and Tiffany too, and don�t get me wrong it was overall a very well choreographed and well managed program, the sound quality was good, lighting was excellent and the performances were of the highest standard. I came home at two in the morning, thinking I spent a well earned night in the unspoken space of the stretch denim and white blouse young lady in the aisle seat to my left as she hip-twirled and rhythm-bumped to �Tonga� and a host of other songs, cyber crotch-stabbing a target for later that night. I recognised the hits, the benefit of having many nieces at this age and I thoroughly enjoyed my night. And it got me thinking, shouldn�t we reach out further, string this creative music into something more dynamic? Plan a week-long Independence day event from March 1st every year? We could have events every day for seven days. Stage plays, poetry, episodic trips to places in Ghana, inter-regional tug of war and football, independence marathon. Invite our friends from Nigeria, Cote D�Ivoire, Togo, South Africa, Senegal. Let them bring their best performers to join us, we could teach each other a lot of things. Hmm, might have to rethink Nigeria; Boko Haram might follow. But I can name a whole load of interesting activity that could become our annual celebration. We can still end with the now traditional and excruciatingly very boring march past at Independence square, so the �revolutionaries� can have their bit, but I think Ghanaians should celebrate independence day with what makes them happiest. There were Churchgoers in the crowd on the 24th and they danced just as provocatively as my non-church peeps. Render unto Caesar; and Allah - may his name be blessed. X�mas in Ghana was quite subdued for me. I had family, close friends and important associates calling and wishing Christ another birth, but the nativity plays were less this year, maybe because I don�t have any grandchildren yet, but of course I had the proverbial workers and artisans I work with through the year, coming round to �greet� and say �thank you�, and that costs thirty cedis a pop. The X�mas greeting is at least twice as expensive as the normal, but I was well prepared, one step ahead, envelopes ready for the regular and more consistent service providers, the unexpected ones catered for on an �as I feel� basis. I know Christmas as a time of giving and sharing, caring thoughts and well-wishes to all humankind and we do this every year, so when President Mahama decided he would not spend Xmas with Ghanaians in Ghana but in Dubai, he left Johnson Asiedu Nketia to give us reasons for the temporary sojourn. We understood from his message that JDM needed to get away from the pressure of intruders into his space, spend quiet time with the family and visit with �Ghanabaians� (Ghanaians in Dubai? Ugh, terrible construct). Well, I immediately sent email to Roland Agambire, whose AGAMS Group is headquartered in Dubai and asked him to rally all the Ghanaians he could find and ensure they give our President and family a rousing welcome but leave him alone to get some well needed r&r. Unfortunately, the AGAMS Group email kept bouncing back and gmail gave up after so many iterations so I am not sure the message ever got to Roland. All the same, we are waiting to hear from the AGAMS Group next year, because we understand from EOCO they have prepared a docket for the Attorney General to take some action. Merry Xmas Roland. The Daily Guide published a sensational story of an impending Government reshuffle saying goodbye to 2013 and usher in 2014. Sherry Ayittey to leave/go? Fiifi Kwetey to be sacrificed? etc. If it is true and if the intentions are sincere, 2014 might start with a major bump in the ratings for JDM. But there is so much to fix that I am afraid we are going to have to drag 2014 into the history books with a lot more effort than just changing faces and roles in Government. Next year, I think Ghanaians will have to decide once and for all whether to continue to listen to politicians speechifying on corruption or seriously pressure for change. Legislation through Parliament does not require funding from the World Bank and IMF and since Parliamentarians have already been paid and budgeted for, lets legislate the laws on the floor of the house and move on. 2014. We need a private members bill, we need a freedom of information bill, we need a broadcasting bill, we need to better improve decentralization, and we need to change the way we are represented in Parliament. Lets get away from the first past the post system, which does not help anyone, and conceptualize our own representative democracy. We need land reform. We have to fix galamsey issues once and for all. We spent money on a constitutional review and it is gathering dust under the mango trees. We need all Ghanaians anywhere to vote in elections, we need to reform the electoral laws, modernize and eliminate any controversy during elections, revamp the education system, get some standardization for artisans, stamp out shoddy contractors and jail some corrupt officials. Habah, I can go on and on. There is so much and most of it is legislation, then supervision, then implementation. Can�t we do this? By ourselves? We need a leader; a determined, strong and decisive leader with the weight of destiny on his back. What Ghanaians want is to proudly shout out to the world that we did it by ourselves, for ourselves and we will continue to improve with every passing year, because we were first to black independence South of the Sahara and we will stay there, whether it is football, politics or culture, even azonto. Many things shape our destiny, not least that we sit in Tema located on longitude O� (or the Greenwich Meridian) and on latitude 5� north of the Equator. It is the closest land settlement nearest or closest to the centre of the world where the Equator and Greenwich Meridian meet at coordinate O,O. What a great tourist opportunity. No one in the World can copy this geographical position. So JDM while you were away in Dubai, the dum so, dum so never went anywhere, some of us had no water throughout Xmas, the streetlights still did not come on, the sides of the roads are still pollution dominant and the bitumen is fighting for space with the potholes. But we continued to dance and make merry, and we prayed and gave presents and received what was offered, because that is what Xmas calls for. Folks, this is the last Critical News for 2013. I have written fifty-two articles; every week for one year. Unless something debilitating happens to me next year, aluta continua! I hope my writing is filling a void and hopefully someone is reading and understanding. Readers who recognize me and boldly greet to appreciate my effort encourage me. Bless y�all and may 2014 see us bolder, and more demanding of our leaders. Ghana, Aha a ye de papa. Alius valde week advenio. Another great week to come!