I have always thought that the single greatest disservice done by Britain to postcolonial Ghana, was to have allowed a congenital crook, thief and convicted criminal like Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata to study law within the august and historical confines of Oxford University. Now, we are reaping the toxic fruits of what a misguided professional schooling can engender. Needless to say, when the oil-drill ship judgment-debt scandal broke, vis-a-vis the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), I knew right away that the incorrigible mischief-maker that is the Rawlings-fired and Kufuor-convicted former GNPC chairman and CEO had to be smack-dab amidst the details (See “Tsikata Defended Societe Generale’s $40 M Debt Claim in 1988 – Baako” MyJoyOnline/Ghanaweb?11/30/13).
What is significant to bear in mind here is not that the drill ship was sold for $24 million to defray a judgment-debt settlement of $19.5 million owed to the French corporate creditor, Societe Generale; neither does it regard the allegedly missing $3.5 million, being the remainder of the drill ship’s sales proceeds. Rather, it is the fact that Mr. Tsikata had demonstrated gross incompetence by not having been able to put? the drill ship to profitable use. The latter state of affairs clearly appears to have been the motivating factor compelling the Kufuor government’s sale of this virtual white elephant, especially when the then newly elected administration was also faced with such ill-conceived mountain of a legally binding contractual debt racked up by a predecessor that it could not cavalierly ignore.
Needless to say, Ghanaians have the editor-publisher of the New Crusading Guide to thank for doing the necessary diligent legwork required of a journalist worthy of such description. Now, we all know from incontrovertible minutes acquired by Mr. Kweku Baako from the archives of the GNPC, that the self-righteous Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata actually collaborated, and may well have connived, with Societe Generale to scam Ghanaians to the whopping tune of $40 million. That the convicted mastermind behind the Rawlings death squad through much of the 1980s would muster such a curious chutzpah as to claim that debts owed Societe Generale could have been settled for a relatively smaller sum of $12 million, instead of 19.5 million, is what makes this certified thief and pathological criminal all the more peevish.
But that Mr. Tsikata would also muster the temerity and impudence to call former President John Agyekum-Kufuor “a debt collector for Societe Generale,” after having evidently colluded with the French corporate creditor to callously cream the Ghanaian taxpayer of a judgment debt of more than twice of what the Kufuor government settled for, is what makes the Vanguard Trokosi Nationalist all the more deserving of death by firing squad.
Needless to say, others have been tied to stakes at the Teshie Military Range and summarily executed for legitimately contracting a piddling GHC 50,000 (Fifty-Thousand Cedis) personal bank loans, for the godly cause of building decent homes for themselves and their families. And so it is, really, quite furiously fascinating that among the major housing-policy achievements of the Rawlings regime was to cheaply sell off state-owned real-estate properties to the key operatives of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Tell me about “Transparency, Probity, Accountability and Justice,” my dear reader.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York