Feature: When The Coach Refuses To Field Top Players …He must be rehearsing excuses for defeat

Once upon a so-called Revolution, it was sacrilegious for citizens to sing any tune other than the officially composed version by the Military High Command. It was all ‘Jerry John Rawlings, bla, bla, bla.’ Refusniks had the terrible task of entertaining ungodly hour visits by the murder squad.

Needless to state that hundreds of Ghanaians were dispatched into very shallow graves. As I write, my good friend, Kwesi Pratt, has a list of some 300 Ghanaians who disappeared from this earth, so that Jerry Rawlings could be Head of State of this Republic.

Apparently, not all excesses were dispensed with when time was called on the return to civilian constitutional rule. Murder and disappearances were abated, but fear was still visited on those who could not recite the new gospel.

The Akans would tell you: Mogya Mpa Hurue Tiri Mu, translated as, Blood could not leave the head of the tsetse fly entirely.

Since it is the same military oligarchy that begat umbrella politics in this country, the NDC, without the P, has not succeeded in ridding itself of atrocities and naked abuse of power.

Even though, officially, the political party founded by Jerry John Rawlings has undergone a number of leadership changes, there are still remnants of good old way of doing things.

Nearly 12 years after his death, no one knows what killed ex-President John Evans Atta-Mills. He was buried without a death certificate. The autopsy report on the deceased Head of State, is also a state secret.

When Mr. John Dramani Maham succeeded the Ekumfi-born ex-President, his regime introduced a new concept into national politics. All ministers drawn from Parliament, received double pay, completely against the spirit and letter of the official law of the state of Ghana – the 1992 Constitution. And they say they are Honourable!

In the run-up to the 2024 elections, more Apo are emerging of ex-ministers and their cronies acquiring properties in all manner of places. Just by the way, these are the same revolutionaries that visited all kinds of mayhem on citizens for acquiring properties by dint of hard work.

As I write this piece, I have in my mind’s eye, the sad story of Mr. J.K. Siaw, a Ghanaian businessman and philanthropist, who built the largest brewery in West Africa.

When Jerry Rawlings emerged with his anti-business agenda, Mr. Siaw’s Tata Brewery was seized and sold to foreign business interests. Now, Tata Brewery is referred to as Achimota Brewery, owned by foreign-interest holders. Mr. Siaw himself died in penury existence in exile.

It is difficult to rationalize the seizure of power by force of arms, other than the concept of replacing those who made money by sweat of their endeavours, with those who shouted slogans. Sad to relate, but it was an exercise of changing poverty-stricken sloganeers from penury existence to nouveau rich of society.

As you read this piece, pieces of information are emerging of people who allegedly used their offices in Parliament and Government House to enrich themselves. Some are said to own properties in Dubai and other exotic places.

Apparently borrowing a leaf from their colleagues at the other side of the political divide, key members of the current administration are also singing a new tune.

The news that Minister of Agriculture, Bryan Acheampong, is acquiring majority shares in four flagship hotels owned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) is disheartening.

A minister of state has no business acquiring state property. It is unethical. It is immoral. I expect President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to put his foot down and order his minister to take his hands off state properties. Elsewhere, the Minister of Agriculture would have been sanctioned for daring to make the move in the first place.

I learn that Mr. Freddie Blay is making ugly noises for public condemnation of his son’s acquisition of the frontage of the La Beach Hotel. In other words, La Beach Hotel would soon operate a hotel without a frontage. Whether it is Freddie Blay himself who is making his son a puppet under the deal, or it is the son who is the real Mackoy, the acquisition stinks.

Mr. Blay was the chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party, until recently.  These acquisitions by men in government and in the ruling party show the ugly side of capitalism. They should never be encouraged.

We are still dealing with the scandalous Cecelia Dapaah issue of one million dollars and several thousands of Euro stolen from the bedroom of a minister of state. These scandals are undermining the efforts of Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the best material in this country, to lead Ghana.

Writing about scandals bring me to the gist of this feature. Apparently, Mr. John Dramani Mahama is seeking Presidential office in the December 2024 Presidential election without the assistance of his best materials.

When Mr. Haruna Iddrisu and Muhammed Mubarak Muntaka were relieved of their duties as Minority Leader and Chief Whip respectively, the announcement was received with a pinch of salt. Many felt it was an April fool deal that missed the April date.

These two personalities, without any shred of doubt, are the best materials available to the NDC within and without the House. How could the party dispense with their services at such a crucial time? Many political commentators pointed fingers at Mr. Asiedu Nketia, who many felt was flexing his muscles as newly elected head of the party and that parity would be restored in no time.

The restoration of parity never came. Instead, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson took his turn as Minority Leader. Now, any notion of Haruna or Muntaka playing any lead role in the political party Jerry Rawlings signed into existence with his blood, has been extinguished with the announcement that the two leaders would play no roles in the run-up to the Presidential elections in December.

It is the equivalent of the coach naming his team for a crunch game without his top stars.

In place of Haruna and Muntaka, we have General Secretary Fifi Fiave Kwetey and Chief Biney of Ekumfi fame. Mr. Kwetey is well known for setting records straight, a programme conceived and nurtured from the propaganda third floor office of the Adabraka office of the NDC.

Chief Biney, was an otherwise decent advocate of NDC politics until Nana AkufoAddo cited the very first One District, One Factory in Ekumfi. While the factory was proceeding according to plan, Chief Biney was going on radio and television to run the project down.

One of his infamous pronouncement was: Nkrantse Agye Ho No Nyinara Afa. Grass cutters have taken over all the place; inferring that the project site was so weedy that grass cutters were having a field day. Apparently, in the NDC, the more you try and run-down NPP projects, the more you are acknowledged as a lead advocate of umbrella politics.

An otherwise decent character, Chief Biney, has done well for himself. I wish him well on the campaign trail.

Wishing Chief Biney well does not wish away the effect of the decision to cast aside Haruma Iddrisu and Muhammed Mubarak Muntaka. The official explanation from the Office of the Presidential Candidate is that by excluding Muntaka from the National Campaign platform, he would have more time for his own campaign to retain the Asawasi seat for the NDC.

A deafening silence envelopes the decision to side-step the former minority leader though.

While the jury is still out on the effect of the two leaders on the NDC campaign, political commentators are equalling the No Show verdict to that of a coach leaving his top stars from the team sheet, while he confronts the team’s bitterest rivals.

Whether it is a strategy to confuse the opponent or not, December 7 has the answer. Many pundits believe though, that by leaving out his leading advocates, Mr. John Dramani Mahama must be rehearsing various excuses for defeat at the polls on December 7, 2024.

We await the verdict with bated breath.

I shall return!

Ebo Quansah in Accra


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