While billions are doled out to Woyome
…Ghanaians prepare to spend X’mas without hope
Ebo Quansah in Accra
Carols blaring out from radio, television and public places tell the story of the approach of Christmas, signifying the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, over 2,000 years ago. The story is told of shepherds tendering their sheep by night, when the angel of the lord appeared.
In Luke chapter 2 verse 10-12, “the angel said to them. ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will to all people.
“For there is born to you this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you. You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger
“And suddenly, there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest. And on earth be peace, goodwill towards men.”
Peace has never been in short supply but many will argue about goodwill towards men, as Ghanaians prepare to celebrate the Yuletide unable to afford the basics that make life meaningful.
The shops are not without goods. But most of them are so priced beyond the means of Ghanaians that window shopping has replaced the art of buying and selling. Market women and shop owners sit by their wares without buyers.
A middle aged woman shop owner told me that she has been sitting in the shop without purchases for weeks on end. “It is getting frustrating. But it is a fact that Ghanaians do not have the purchasing power, even at Christmas time like this.
“What is so irritating is that at a time most of us cannot even afford the basic necessities of life, this government has packed GH¢58 million of our money and handed it over to one person. This is scandalous and all those responsible have to pay for it.
“President Atta Mills cannot tell Ghanaians that he is unaware of this scandal. If he does not know, then what kind of government is he running? Atta Mills is a failure. But that is not even the problem.
What is worrying is that Ghanaians would visit his sins on all Fantes and make it extremely difficult for a Fante to make a case to become a head of state after this mess. Atta is a disappointment,” said the woman in impeccable Fante.
It is difficult to conceptualize how this country has nose-dived into this economic mess after President Mills had taken over promising to lead this country into prosperity. What is even more tragic about the Ghanaian situation is that officials of this administration continue to beat their chest for this gigantic failure.
On Tuesday, Minister of Information Mr. Jon Tia Akologo, the official public relations officer of the Mills administration addressed the media and virtually insulted the large mass of people at the wrong end of the economic mis-adventure.
In the view of the Minister, those of us who have been unable to follow the so-called Action Year proclaimed by the Mills Administration, has been pretending the whole year to be asleep.
Read the lip of Mr. Tia Akologo: A lot has been done by the Mills-led Administration. It is only those pretending to be sleeping who are not seeing it. They are refusing to see.”
I am afraid, I have seen no action at all in the whole year. I have lived through the year. I cannot put my finger on anything that can be described as action. If anything at all, the year has been a catalogue of monumental failures on the part of this try and error politicians.
After declaring 2011, a year of action, President John Evans Atta Mills broke the grounds at the Police Training School at Tesano and announced that the ceremony marked the beginning of the construction of 30,000 housing units to be undertaken by a Korean company – STX Korea.
One year on, not a single block has been laid. The whole scheme under which the Government of Ghana rushed an agreement through Parliament for the right to contract a $1.5 billion loan from Korea has been a fiasco.
There has been more courtroom drama over the deal than getting the project under way,
It is one project that has led to eggs on the faces of the President of the Republic, his Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr. Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin and party officials who brokered the deal.
When President Atta Mills went to Ho and Sunyani to break the grounds for the construction of two universities in the two regional capitals, he announced that lectures were to begin last September. We are still waiting for the actual construction to begin.
For me, the story that sums up the fact that there is more hot air than substance to this administration was the episode at the Mawuli Secondary School at Ho, where a dormitory block, obviously started during the Kufuor era, had to lie fallow after completion while nearly 300 girls slept in the open.
We were told that the poor girls had to endure the vicissitudes of the weather and dangerous reptiles because it was awaiting official commissioning by the President of the Republic who was in America cooling it off on holidays.
The school girls had to endure all those hardship because the President had to benefit from the publicity of having completed a project in the Volta Region, the ruling National Democratic Congress’ World Bank.
As the year wound to a close without any hope of Ghanaians affording the basic necessities of life to make the Christmas and New Year festivities memorable, it emerged that the Mills administration that made so much noise about the need to curb corruption, had doled out as much as GH¢58 million of public money to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, a financier of the ruling party, in circumstances that could only be described as scandalous, for want of a more explicit explanation.
In a bizarre financial and legal engineering, the Attorney-General, the chief legal officer of Government conspired with the individual to virtually dupe the state. On Tuesday, the New Patriotic Party in Parliament called for an independent enquiry. In the meantime, they asked for the head of the Attorney-General at the time, Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu, now Minister of Education.
On the same day that the minority demanded an enquiry, President Mills referred the matter to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for investigation.
What makes this the joke of the century is that EOCO is under the thumb of the Attorney General. Its Executive Director, Kwaku Akpadzi Mortey has been known to do the dirty work of the NDC in government.
There are many out there who are of the opinion that he could not be relied upon to do any good work. At least the handling of the Ghana Football Association’s fracas with the Mills regime by EOCO told a lot about how the EOCO and its boss are being used by officialdom.
The Minority in Parliament believe it is a mere diversionary tactics to refer the matter to EOCO. They called for a full scale enquiry with a judge of repute heading the commission. On the other hand, the matter could be referred to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee.
“We are challenging the President to refer the matter to Parliament to do a thorough investigation. What has been done could only be self-seeking. It is bogus and fraudulent,” said Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu, when he talked to The Chronicle at Parliament House.
Meanwhile, Ghanaians are reeling under one of the most austere moments in the history of this nation. Although it is Christmas, many are those who do not feel the effect of the festivities. Ghana under Atta Mills is a country of want and depravity.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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