?There is no power in the tongue of man to alter me. I stay here on my bond??Shylock in .The Merchant of Venice?.
The story is told of the Ghanaian economic refugee in search of job and who found himself at the office of a zoo manager somewhere in Europe. The zoo had just lost its only surviving chimpanzee. The Ghanaian economic refugee accepted the offer to dress in a uniform to look like a chimpanzee to replace the dead chimpanzee in its cage. He was told that apart from his basic wages, he would earn additional bonus depending on the number of visitors he could attract to his cage. To earn his bonus, our Ghanaian refugee turned chimpanzee resorted to dancing ?azonto dance? which brought a large number of curious visitors to his cage and also helped to fill his pocket with the green buck. In his attempt to gain more fellowship to his cage, he decided to combine break dancing with the azonto dance.
Unfortunately for him, in his exuberant display of acrobatic skills, he landed in the next cage which incidentally was occupied by a lion. He sensed the lion approaching him and immediately shouted on top of his voice in a Ghanaian language: ?Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I am dead? with his eyes closed. Then he heard what he suspected to be the lion also speaking in a Ghanaian language: ?You fool, why you are disgracing us like this?. Apparently, the ?lion? was another Ghanaian dressed to look like a lion. The zoo incidentally was populated of Ghanaians dressed in animal uniforms to perform azonto and break dances to entertain visitors to the zoo to a maximum effect.
As a blackman, I feel ashamed of the caliber of leadership we have imposed on us since the dawn of independence. I always pity the blackman who finds himself struggling for a living in the whiteman?s country, since I believe the whiteman only shows ?fanfool? respect to those hard working Africans in foreign lands. When Prof. James Watson, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, made a remark about the African that; ?All our social policies are based on the fact that their (Africans?) intelligence is the same as ours- whereas all the testing says not really, he was taken to the cleaners by many social commentators. But he was on solid grounds, judging from the don quixotic behavior of our African leaders. Indeed, most of our leaders we have had since independence at all levels and in all fields have turned this continent into one mighty zoo from their animal behaviour. Currently, any first time visitor from any of the advanced countries to Africa and Ghana for that matter will be forgiving for believing that he is visiting a zoo, judging from the behaviour of most of our leaders.
When The Constitution Review Commission (CRC) was collecting views from the public, there was overwhelming evidence that the people of this country considered the powers invested in the presidency too much. Yet, when the final report of the CRC came out, it became quite obvious that the same people who complained about those excessive powers failed to make the necessary recommendations for reining in those powers. Indeed, parliament as currently constituted has become a subservient appendage of the presidency, one major reason being the constitution empowering the presidency to nominate cabinet ministers from parliament. I thought clear recommendations would come out to abolish parliamentarians doubling up as cabinet ministers. This never happened. Again, the general consensus was that the presidency was held to captive by his constituency during his first term of office because every president would want to be elected for a second term. A recommendation which I made to avoid this was that the presidency should be restricted to one term of six years. This got support of only one gentleman, a medical officer. ?Another sore issue is the appointment of district chief executives (DCEs) by the presidency. The CRC recommended that DCEs should be elected by the citizens. President Mills threw this wonderful recommendation overboard and elected for an unworkable hybrid which sought to entrench the status quo. Why do we always behave with the instincts of an animal?
I was thinking Ghanaians have had one zoo too many when our leaders who either in private or public condemned President Mills for the corrupt and incompetent manner he managed the affairs of this country while alive, only to rise up in one unison after his death to sing praises of his private life which unfortunately never translated into his? management of public office, until Kwadwo Afari Gyan and President Mahama?s NDC administration decided to don on the uniform of a mountain gorilla and dared all well-meaning Ghanaians to a duel of fists. ?The Animal Kingdom zoo scene this country is currently witnessing, which has been created by Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan and President Mahama?s NDC administration, will sooner or later suffocate all of us if good counsel and common sense do not prevail over this unprecedented gargantuan show of tomfoolery. Cogent arguments have been espoused by intelligent and patriotic citizens as well as latter day politicians who in their own times refused to listen to reason and sowed the seed for the current debacle Dr. Afari Gyan and President Mahama?s NDC administration is creating for us.
THE GHANAIN TIMES?of Tuesday, August 28, 2012 had a double decker headline on its front page: ?We?ll go ahead with new constituencies ? EC?. The story which followed quoted Mr. Christian Owusu Parry, the Electoral Commission?s acting head of Public Affairs. The story depicted the level of crass impunity and gross arrogance and abject levity and the generative divine wisdom which the Electoral Commission under a Chairman whose every action depicts a gambler? fast approaching his senile state has foisted on the nation during these past weeks. Times and space which should be used for productive and enlightened exercise are being wasted on an issue, creating more heat than light because of the uncouth and unacceptable belligerence of a public officer intoxicated by the enormous powers bestowed on him.
Why is Dr Afari Gyan behaving as if he is a candidate who has been prepared for the operating table of a clinical psychologist? Why does President Mahama continue to talk about unity when he is in fact consciously and deliberately presiding over the destruction and disintegration of this country? Is there no voice sweeter than the voice of the goddess, who almost led King Odysseus and his crew of brave warriors to destruction but for the fact that he had the presence of mind to ask his brave warriors to tie him to the mask, to dissuade Dr. Afari Gyan and President Mahama and his NDC cohort from this chosen path of national destruction? Is our legal system so infantile and impotent to stop Dr. Afari Gyan and President Mahama and his NDC administration for making a fool of all of us despite the huge economic and social cost of their ill-advised chosen path of ignominy?
When President Kufuor?s NPP administration wanted to increase the district assemblies from 110 to 139, it went on a road show to solicit views. At a forum at Golden Tulip where virtually all the people who served as Ministers of Local Government in President Kufuor?s NPP administration were present, and where I was also present (indeed I sat next to the late Kwadwo Baah Wiredu who at one time was the Minister for Local Government in President Kufuor?s NPP administration), cogent arguments were put forth against the creation of new districts.
However, President Kufuor?s NPP administration went ahead to create the new districts which brought no benefits or visible development to the grassroots. There were strong opinions against any increase. I was one of those who opposed any increase. I believed then and still believe that the original 110 was even too many and that this country could conveniently deal with the number 60. I found the argument for the creation of more district assemblies also highly spurious and disingenuous.
The argument was that more district assemblies would hasten development to the grassroots. It was shocking the NPP was the party putting up that argument. If there is a government in the history of this country which brought rapid grassroots development to the people of this country, then it was Dr. K.A. Busia?s PP administration and this was done without large number of district assemblies. If indeed the creation of more district assemblies would bring rapid development, then it stands to reason that every hamlet and every village should be converted to a district assembly while we break up all cities and towns into hamlets so that they can also be converted into district assemblies. The creation of 29 more district assemblies by President Kufuor?s NPP informed Dr. Afari Gyan to also create additional 30 constituencies, a highly unnecessary and wasteful exercise similar to the creation of 29 additional district assemblies by President Kufuor?s NPP administration.
Source:?Kwame Gyasi
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