It is difficult to conceptualize how those who package and disseminate information on behalf of the administration of President John Evans Atta-Mills go about their business.
The other day, a glossy book was launched intended to extol the virtues in the National Democratic Congress administration of the former law lecturer. The Green Book turned out to be exactly what the other green book was – a collection of phantom pronouncements.
Yesterday, Deputy Minister of Information Agyenim Boateng tried, I must state rather desperately, to explain away why Stanislav Xoese Dogbe’s name was missing from a list of special aides that the President submitted to Parliament. If the Deputy Minister is to be believed, it was an omission on the part of the occupant of Government House.
The interesting thing about this answer is that it continues the line of public pronouncements intended to play on our intellect. A person, whose name is threatening to become synonymous with underhand dealings in this administration and for which a whole lot of top officials had battled for the past year, in a desperate effort to clear him and the administration from any wrong doing, was forgotten by the very person employing his services. It is a very interesting proposition.
In Act V Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the doctor invited to attend to Lady Macbeth, following the sleep walking act, stated succinctly:
Foul whispering are abroad. Unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles: infected minds
To their pillows will discharge their secrets
More needs she the divine than the physician
God, God, forgive us all! Look after her;
Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
And still keep eyes upon her. So good night;
My mind she has not mated, and amazed my sight:
I think but dare not speak!
If an official documents sent to Parliament House and signed by no mean a person than the Head of State himself could not be relied upon to reflect the truth, then God save this nation. I am aware of the situation of truth in the scheme of affairs of this administration.
Truth took flight at the swearing in of this administration, when the President tripped on his way to the podium and missed his lines as he recited the oath of office. In societies where the oath has much meaning, the President would have been made to recite it again.
For me, as a national, the President has not been properly sworn into office.
A head of state taking office in circumstances where his winning margin had to be multiplied more than tenfold to match spoilt ballots ought to take off without blemish.
But the greyhounds in this administration would not let us have peace. Obviously, distraught by what took place on January 7, 2009, truth took it’s flight and has since never been located anywhere near the four borders of the nation which explains why one could not put any premium on pronouncements even from high places.
In one instance, Stan Dogbe used the GH¢169,000 to educate some of us who have problems understanding the kind of budgets and economic policies showing growth in the economy, while the average Ghanaian shrinks in his or her well-being.
It is four days to Christmas. In any economy that is booming, one expects the average person to afford the basic necessities of life to make the Yuletide meaningful for the family.
But the large mass of Ghanaian family heads would wish the Christmas cup could be passed over them.
Even market queens, normally the happiest of group of Ghanaians as Christmas bell begins to toll, are all crying. Goods are not being patronized because the rising costs are driving customers away.
And this is the economy witnessing rapid falling inflation since the former tax-man took centre stage of governance.
To add to the phantom nature of pronouncements on the economic front, Ghanaians woke up barely one month ago to be told that apparently, the economy had grown beyond anything imaginable while we all slept.
On assuming power in 2001, former President John Agyekum Kufuor and leading economists of his administration harangued all of us into believing that the economy had so fallen in revenue mobilization that there was nothing in the kitty.
There was no way this nation could pay its creditors and still survive. We were already in the poor man’s club of Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries. HIPC was officially declared as a state policy.
When the Atta-Mills administration took charge, there were two types of economies sold to the world.
While Hannah Tetteh and other rotweillers screamed that Ghana was broke, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor was painting a glossy picture of the economy, bequeathed by the previous administration, to secure financial aid from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The ground rules were set very early. This administration has more than one way of describing the same situation, which is why Stanislav Dogbe appears to have two different descriptions.
In Parliament, where the law of contempt could be used to embarrass state officials, Mr. Dogbe is not one of the 25 people smuggled in as Presidential aides – a clever means of making ministerial appointments look to be on the lower side.
To those of us, wretched of the earth, who could only make noise on the air and newspapers at best, Stan is a Presidential staffer who had every right to collect the GH¢169,000 on behalf of his Minister.
In all these permutations, Zita Okine Quaye, the Minister in question had not even been questioned. Did she or did she not receive the money after poor Stan had signed for it?
An okro mouth said the other day that Zita travelled to the United States to give birth, around the period Stan signed for the money. Apparently, she could not bring herself to climb the stairs all the way to the sixth floor of the Maternity Ward at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
There was the small matter of the child acquiring a United States Citizenship. If Alfred Vanderpuije, the bearded boss of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly could travel in the Vice-President’s entourage outside the country using his American passport, why would Zita’s child not lay claims to a foreign citizenship when it grows up? Truth, in all honesty, will take time to return!