Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rawlings Was a Goldman and Sachs Muppet! But...

Rawlings Was A Goldman Sachs Muppet! BUT...

Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah

I just checked the current price of gold per ounce before settling down to write this article. It is $1563.2 as of 2012-05-14 14:16:29 EST. In August 1999, it was a different story. The price of gold was deliberately engineered to fall to as low as $252/ounce. That was when they struck at us. This case is an additional reason why Mr. Jerry John Rawlings deserves a quiet life in prison, to meditate on his human qualities that led him to the foolishness of controlling key decisions on behalf of all Ghanaians, in a dictatorial fashion, on the basis of pure ignorance, or personal greed, and causing a gargantuan financial loss to the good people of Ghana.

It is impossible to compare this with any form of robbery in our recent history. It is a gigantic fraud orchestrated with Ghana as a sitting duck, whose principal beneficiaries appear to be working in concert, with the clueless Rawlings nodding like a muppet, as imperialists swindled us of our gold! I was especially grateful that a Ghanaweb NPP serial-commentator, who goes by the name, Justice Sarpong, brought this up. The other day, I was looking for the information to no avail, in order to support a comment, when 'Greg Smith, a London-based Goldman Sachs vice president, publicly resigned from the financial firm in a scathing New York Times op-ed piece published Wednesday, March 14, 2012. See: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs - NYTimes.com http://nyti.ms/zO9WWG,

“In the article, Smith lashed out against Goldman's "toxic" culture which, he feels, places profit above the best interests of clients.” NMAWorldEdition gives a summary. “Smith likened the business to an elephant hunt, where bankers push investors into deals that will make the most money for the firm. Adding insult to injury, Smith claimed clients were consistently referred to as "muppets" in internal emails.” And one only needs to read the case of Ashanti-Gold in order to grasp the magnitude of Greg Smith's statement. This is a story of how AngloGold, a British company, bought Ashanti Gold, which was the 3rd largest Gold Mining company in the world, for a song!

AngloGold is an important British company, and I wouldn't necessarily call this a conspiracy for the simple reason that I have no evidence. Also, as Crossed Crocodiles wisely puts it, “I don’t believe much in conspiracies, eventually people talk. The more people that know a secret, the less likely it is to stay a secret. Common interests are a different matter. Individuals and groups can organize and act as powerful forces to protect their own interests without the need to conspire.” [See: IMF’s Man Ouattara Now Head Of ECOWAS http://bit.ly/zy6Cfq.] We may have to keep that in mind if we want to understand how we were swindled of our gold.

Ghanaweb Business News of Wednesday, 21 April 2010, carried a story of “How Goldman Sachs Screwed Ghana”. See: Business News 2010-04-21 http://bit.ly/cZTuoQ. “In 1998,” the story begins, “Ashanti Gold was the 3rd largest Gold Mining company in the world. The first "black" company on the London Stock Exchange, Ashanti had just purchased the Geita mine in Tanzania, positioning Ashanti to become even larger. But in May 1999, the Treasury of the United Kingdom decided to sell off 415 tons of its gold reserves. With all that gold flooding the world market, the price of gold began to decline. By August 1999, the price of gold had fallen to $252/ounce, the lowest it had been in 20 years.”

Goldman Sachs, the global financial institution,”with fraud allegations levied against it has a long history of setting up its clients for a fall, and making handsome profits”, were not only in professional relationship with the 15 European Banks involved in this drama, most importantly, they were also the Financial Advisors to AngloGold, This is clearly a story that reeks with conflict of interest and end up with the hangman's noose around the neck of Ashanti Gold, which killed it off, and enabled its largest competitor in Africa, to buy it off for pennies! This fraud was carried out under the careful supervision of Rawlings, whose so-called “revolutionary vigilance” depended upon the advice from Goldman Sachs!

Goldman Sachs is a trader in gold as well as in Hedge contracts. To make maximum profits, it needs to buy cheap at the supply end, and sell high, at the selling end. In the case of Ashanti Gold, it did more than that. They were paid money for setting up Ashanti-Gold for an inevitable fall from which they directly stood to benefit. The Rawlings PNDC called them in as consultants, and Goldman Sachs simply walked in with their salesmen who sold their toxic products for a nice fee. “The muppets have swallowed the bait!” - they must have sent an e-mail back to headquarters, the day Ashanti Gold, decided upon their advice, to buy their Hedge contracts and bet low!

“Goldman Sachs recommended that Ashanti purchase enormous hedge contracts - "bets" on the price of gold. Simplifying this somewhat, it was similar to when a home-owner 'locks in' a price for heating oil months in advance. Goldman recommended that Ashanti enter agreements to sell gold at a 'locked-in' price, and suggested that the price of gold would continue to fall.” Then,  “In September 1999 (one month later), 15 European Banks with whom Goldman had professional relationships made a unanimous surprise announcement that all 15 would stop selling gold on world markets for 5 years. The announcement immediately drove up gold prices to $307/ounce, and by October 6, it had risen to $362/ounce.”

The noose was “locked-in” tight around the neck of Ashanti Gold. With the price of gold rising, Ashanti found themselves being forced to buy gold at high world prices and sell it at the low contract prices to make good on the contracts. In a few weeks time, Ashanti found itself with 570 million dollars worth of losses. It had to beg the 17 banks not to force the execution of the contracts. Who served as the negotiator for the 17 banks and Ashanti? Goldman Sachs. The same company that designed the contracts for Ashanti, making a profit in their sale.”

The basic bankruptcy of Ashanti drove its stock price from an all time high of $25 per share to a paltry $4.62 per share. AngloGold could pocket Ashanti Gold with ease, there and then the price of gold has seen nothing but rising! Goldman Sachs was, of course, paid by AngloGold for their “services”! There is no doubt, that both the British and US governments who facilitated the regime of financial derivatives that produced these toxic Hedge contracts, and creating the enabling environment through the manipulation of the price of gold, would consider such an assault on their own company of national importance like Ashanti Gold is to Ghana, as an act of war.

We have been made losers in a war we did not even know was going on. Led by a leader who did not have a clue, and would not let those who know, even dare to open their mouths! We even had to literally pay our enemies to come and shoot to kill us in this undeclared war for our gold! This is why, if for no other reason at all, it is very important for Rawlings to shut up in shame. I strongly recommend an investigation into the matter, and those responsible for the gargantuan loss punished according to law. I also call upon the Mills Administration to take steps to sue Goldman Sachs for professional misconduct and conflict of interest in their capacity as Financial Advisors to AngloGold, and to seek damages. One thing President Mills must make sure he follows religiously, is not to allow a reckless, dangerously ignorant person to have any say in how this country ought to be governed.

There is something I want to say about the integrity of President John Evans Atta-Mills, before I proceed. Reading Wikileaks on the Akufo-Addo wee saga, my attention was drawn to a completely unrelated but very interesting revelation. I remember that when Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., was first seen openly supporting the NDC candidate, many were those who accused him of inconsistency, because he used to support the late Professor Adu Boahene of the NPP against the NDC. How could the same person who had been jailed several times by the PNDC of Rawlings, who has been a vocal critic of the Rawlings' dictatorship, turn around and support a political party founded by the same Jerry John Rawlings? It was considered as an unpardonable blunder by the NPP and unthinkable.

Consequently, Mr. Pratt was given all sorts of names. Prominent among them was "opportunist", "a Rawlings spy", "stomach politician" "naive" and so on. Well, it turns out that the guy is far smarter than he looked to his critics! From the WikiLeaks accounts, Mr. Pratt displayed an extra-ordinary insight into the workings of Ghana's politics, and never gave up his struggle against the Rawlings dictatorship. We now understand why his support for President Mills was far from being inconsistent. Like the ancient Romans, Mr. Pratt's support for the NDC candidate was clearly the best way to kill fire with fire.

With brilliant analysis and a rare display of political insight, the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper correctly predicted the fall of Rawlings under an Atta-Mills Administration, and feared that the Rawlings dynasty could prosper better under an NPP win in the 2008 Presidential election. Thus by supporting the party founded by Rawlings, Mr. Pratt was actually helping in the political demise of Jerry John Rawlings! What is interesting is the fact that this was a time that most analysts were seeing a perpetuation of the Rawlings era under President Mills.

Kwesi was one of the few Ghanaians who saw through the lie that President Mills was a Rawlings Man and not "his own man". I am sure that at that time, even if President Mills had come out to say, in his characteristic manner, "My brothers and sisters, I am my own man!", few would have believed him! But Mr. Pratt knew it even then! A lot of attention is being paid to a very funny revelation in the same cable that “Nana used to smoke a lot of marijuana, and I'm telling you, a lot. Even in the morning, there used to be a cloud around him and you could see that he was high”. But just after that we have the following insight into the insightful politics of the Insight Managing Editor.

Kwesi Pratt is not just a principled, militant and courageous leader of enlightened public opinion, but an intelligent, clever and deeply insightful one! WikiLeaks, Reference id 08ACCRA1509, Subject: Ghana Elections: Political Pundit Predicts Ndc Win, Source: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2008/11/08ACCRA1509.htm:

¶ 3. (C) On the subject of the NDC, Pratt said that Atta-Mills was one of the most incorruptible politicians in Ghana. It is just not in his character to take bribes, and in fact that was why former president Jerry Rawlings chose him as his running mate in 1996. About a year before that  election, Pratt said, Rawlings had paid a visit on Atta-Mills, who at the time was the director of Ghana's Internal Revenue Service, to check on income figures he had been given by his finance minister, Kwesi Botchwey. When those tallies didn't add up, Rawlings lost faith in Botchwey (who resigned shortly afterwards, following 12 years in that position) and somewhat like Diogenes searching for an honest man, Rawlings chose the political neophyte Atta-Mills as his vice-presidential candidate. (NOTE: An interesting historical aside: Rawlings and his first-term vice president, Kow Arkaah, never got along well, but Arkaah's fate was sealed when Rawlings suddenly attacked him, punching and kicking him, at a cabinet meeting on December 28, 1995. Even after the beating, Arkaah stubbornly remained in his position, and one year later, while he was still sitting as vice president, John Kufuor, the opposition NPP flagbearer, chose him as his vice presidential candidate, giving Arkaah the strange  distinction of running against his own government while still in office for the same position he already held. END NOTE)  ACCRA 00001509 002 OF 002

¶4. (C) To prove his point about Atta-Mills' character, Pratt said that Rawlings had tried to extract a promise that Atta-Mills would allow him to name four key cabinet positions -- Foreign Affairs, Interior, Defense, and Finance -- in exchange for Rawlings and his wife actively campaigning on Atta-Mills' behalf. According to Pratt, Atta-Mills refused, and when Pratt asked him why, saying that he could have said yes and then reneged on the agreement after being elected, Atta-Mills reportedly said that he couldn't do that, because he is not a man who can go back on his word. In the end, both of the Rawlings have been campaigning vigorously for Atta-Mills because, Pratt said, Nana Agyemang Rawlings is convinced she will go to prison if the NPP is victorious.

¶5. (C) Repeating what the Embassy has been hearing from other sources, Pratt said that Rawlings has no real influence over Atta-Mills. The two men, whose personalities are diametrically opposed, have little in common, but have arranged a political marriage of convenience that will be annulled as soon as Atta-Mills is inaugurated. If the NDC wins, Pratt is convinced, Rawlings will no longer have a political voice that resonates with the people, and the victory "will put an end to the Rawlings factor forever." In the case of an NPP win, however, Pratt fears that Rawlings could gain a new lease on life in national politics, re-emerging as a redemptive figure hailed by an army of disillusioned and disenfranchised youth. They will lose faith in the political system as represented by moderates such as Atta-Mills, and more readily succumb to the spell of Rawlings-style demagoguery.”

In retrospect, we are all the wiser. The Rawlinges were cut down to size at the Sunyani Congress, where his wife was only able to garner a humiliating 3% vote challenge to the incumbent. Afterwards, it took their robbing shoulders with the NPP, to become “relevant” again as a political nuisance to the NDC. Such morally and ideologically bankrupt couple want to control a ruling party which did not vote for them, and by extension the destiny of all Ghanaians! It is such a pity that the NPP is not interested in the principles of democratic governance of this country but are rather foolishly latching on to the ridiculous claims of the Rawlingses to have intellectual property rights in the logo of a whole political party! They remind me of a pair of cockroaches with their backs on the floor, kicking in the air as if that is the only solution left to get up. Methinks it is time for the couple to quietly remove themselves and to move on into the dustbin of history.

Oh, how I wish the mere departure of Rawlings would signal the end of our woes! But it wouldn't! In fact, the news coming out from the Minister of Trade is equally alarming, if not more! The problem Ghana faces currently is that her position on the EPA, is not different from that of the NPP, so there is no strong opposition from anywhere. We have not even heard of the position of the CPP on the matter. This concerns an announcement by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, in an interview published in the Monday, 27th February 2012 edition of Business & Financial Times. The paper carried an interview with the Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh, on the Economic Partnership agreement (EPA) titled ‘The EPA debate”.

According to the interview, “the Minister is committed to the ECOWAS Platform for the full EPA with the European Union. However, failing that, in her view, then Ghana should fall back on the Interim EPA between Ghana and the European Union.” There has since been a lot of reactions with the Minister in question remaining tight-lipped. This is a matter that concerns not only our own lives, but the fate of our continent and the future of our children. If the Minister thinks we are going to keep quiet over this, she must be joking!

Someone needs to draw the President's attention to the fact that some of his friendly observers are worried. And we have reasons to be, owing to lack of assurances by the President himself on what direction Ghana ought to take. I repeat a part of an appeal by Sylvester W. Bagooro, Political Economy Unit of TWN-Africa, Email: politicaleconomy@twnafrica.org, and then rest my case. See: Rejoinder: The EPA Debate, sorry, Hannah Tetteh is wrong! http://bit.ly/JIafk2

“First of all, a most recent study (South Centre, November 2011), which updates the 2005 study undertaken by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA, April 2005) estimates that the cost, due to new duties under the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) that Ghana will incur will be in the region of $52 million, whilst that of her current commensurate loss of tariff revenue from an EPA will be about $374 million.

It means that failure to sign the EPA the companies will lose $52 million (paid as duties to EU) whereas signing it will mean that Ghana government will lose $374 million as tariff revenue. The costs of signing an EPA far outweigh the benefits even from this narrow and limited criterion of net fiscal balance.

Secondly, Ghana will have to say goodbye to any industrialisation efforts if the EPA was signed with the EU. The EU’s position, as indicated in the interim EPA, on the elimination of tariffs for 80% of trade; restrictions on the use of export taxes and quantitative restrictions; the provisions on the bilateral, and the standstill clause; will undermine Ghana’s efforts to industrialize and its ability to move up the industrial value chain. As a result, Ghana will remain a perpetual supplier of raw materials, with all the adverse implications that this entails including worsening the unemployment situation in the country.

For industrial development, Ghana needs to ensure that the policy space is maintained for those industrial sectors which are being developed. Binding most tariffs at zero level under the EPA will disable Ghana’s ability to protect the sectors that are being developed to move up the industrial value chain. As acknowledged by many world renowned economists, no country, with the exception of Hong Kong (Province of China), has managed to industrialize without going through the infant industry protection phase.

Furthermore, Ghana, as a country, needs to take into consideration the long-term threat to its development. The EPA envisages going beyond trade in goods to trade in services as well as trade rules in areas such as Investment, Procurement and Intellectual property. Late last year the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) was reported to have raised the alarm about how Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is crowding out domestic enterprise. One of the causes of this is the devastating effects of the indiscriminate trade liberalisation that Ghana and other African countries have autonomously pursued for the last 25 years.

As of now, these autonomous measures can be reviewed and even strategically reversed. However, a binding free trade agreement like the EPA, complete with non-execution clauses and far-reaching sanctions regime, prohibits the positive interventions in support of domestic producers which are the tools of any meaningful industrial policy.

Finally, one of the main lessons of the global economic crisis that has cast its shadow since 2008 is that this is the time to be diversifying trade away from over-reliance on EU markets. It is clear to all observers that the economic chaos that has engulfed the EU in its Euro-zone shows no end in sight and the prospect of long- term stagnation is becoming ever more real. Why should Ghana hang its hope on a market that is in serious crisis?”

For the avoidance of any doubts, President John Evans Atta-Mills is the best man for the job, so far as I am concerned. The very fact that this matter about Rawlings came up from Mr. Justice Sarpong, an NPP busy-body, more-brawn-than-brains kind of person, released this in a forum specifically pointing out that Akufo-Addo is still the greatest threat to peace in Ghana in the year 2012, without commenting on the irritating facts, [See: Akufo-Addo Is His Own Straw Man! | Feature Article 2012-05-13 http://bit.ly/L4KxDQ] shows that the NPP is slowly developing a guilty conscience about the incessant ethnocentric calls for death and mayhem on other ethnic groups, led by Nana Akufo-Addo himself, with his “We Akans are not cowards” and “all lynch be die!” “We must take power at all cost”!

President Mills needs to know, as the front-runner in this race, that Ghanaians are counting on him to do the right thing. Akufo-Addo's Victory 2012 is sinking from internal sabotage and intrinsically stupid utterances by its leadership. The President needs to crack his whip and bring this Minister into order, otherwise the difference between his candidacy and that of the Akufo-Addo candidacy would narrow down so close that it might not even matter who would win! I hope this would not be the case, as the political energy behind the President could go dramatically down. I know for instance that the CJA is watching this with eyes wide open.

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!

Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

Give me a follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TheOdikro

Friday, May 11, 2012

Akufo-Addo Is His Own Straw Man!

Akufo-Addo Is His Own Straw Man!

Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

"What has Akufo-Addo done, and why can't you understand Sarpong's piece! What you done here is a subtle construction of a straw man, in fact, a very weak one, and cutting him down. Grow up Akyea! You are old enough to be a great great grandfather!"

Author: Akadu Mensema, Date: 2012-05-11 00:37:14
See: Akufo-Addo Is Still The Greatest Threat To Peace In Ghana. | Feature Article 2012-05-11 http://bit.ly/J3AZyK.

Here is a supporter of Akufo-Addo who has seen the light without knowing! If I had been deliberately constructing my portrait, it would not have so surprised me. But the fact that I have been painstakingly putting facts together to arrive at a better appreciation of the danger lurking around, makes this observation very pertinent. Akadu Mansema, claims that "What you [I have] done here is a subtle construction of a straw man, in fact, a very weak one, and cutting him down". Whilst I readily agree with the opinion that I have successfully exposed "a straw man", I refuse and reject the insinuation that I have anything to do with it! Nana Akufo-Addo alone is responsible for his weaknesses and his downfall, not me!

I was not the one that asked him to go and utter those ethnocentric and highly stupid statement of “We Akans are not cowards...” I did not teach him to chant “All die be die!” I was equally not the person who reported to him of his impending defeat in the wake of an inevitable second round of voting for the 2008 Presidential elections! When in January 2009, the Akufo-Addo camp was experimenting with everything to subvert the will of Ghanaians, and refusing to gracefully concede to defeat, they were acutely aware of the fact that they had genuinely lost the elections. The fact that this nearly brought Ghana to the brink of a civil war makes it even all the more despicable.

I find it alarmingly significant that for the first time in the history of our country an individual has been identified by a report produced by group of experts commissioned by the US Africa Command as saying,
The role of the NPP leader and expected presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will be crucial, and early signals suggest reason for worry. Akufo-Addo is desperate to mobilize support, and he has played the ethnic card, referring to the NPP as “We the Akans,” urging his supporters to “all die be die”—that is, they should be willing to die to ensure the NPP’s victory…” from: Scenarios: A Contested Election Result, GHANA: Assessing Risks to Stability, By David W. Throup Contributor: Jennifer G. Cooke, Richard Downie, Jul 7, 2011.

What hope do we therefore have for peace in Ghana if it depends upon an individual we all know fully well is most unlikely to concede defeat, even where it is crystal clear that he had been fairly beaten. If he had done so in the past, what makes you think he is not going to do the same thing? To begin with, this report is not some NDC propaganda, but the basis of a professional assessment by security experts in the United States, good enough to be commissioned by the US Africa Command. The report states clearly, “a second, low-to-medium-probability but high-impact scenario would be a violently contested presidential election in December 2012, which would have the potential to produce chaos.”

This is death and mayhem for thousand of innocent Ghanaians we are talking about here. Since this is about Peace and War, it is very much worthy of the attention of those of us who want peace to prevail in our country. The report specifically pin-points Akufo-Addo's role in ensuring the peace to be “crucial”. But gives a very pessimistic account of the prospects. So, if the peace of our country depends upon a serial sore-loser to gracefully concede defeat when defeated, are we not already in trouble? Just as we all know, the report rightly points out that “The role of the NPP leader and expected presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will be crucial, and early signals suggest reason for worry. Akufo-Addo is desperate to mobilize support, and he has played the ethnic card, referring to the NPP as “We the Akans,” urging his supporters to “all die be die” — that is, they should be willing to die to ensure the NPP’s victory…”

If the future of this country depends upon a serial sore-loser accepting defeat, are we not leisurely strolling into war if we do not challenge and expose this man? People like that should not even be allowed to contest. They should be automatically be disqualified from contesting, the moment the illegally take measures to undermine the integrity of the Electoral Commission. We all know what happened when Akufo-Addo contested with President Kufour in 2000 NPP Congress. Even at that time, Nana Akufo-Addo's reputation of being someone who loses in a fair competition but whines about it on a constant basis, blaming everyone around them for their loss except themselves.

Ghana was very lucky that in 2008, we had a President from his own party who knew him very well and was ready to put his big feet down. Akufo-Addo's political tautology of calling on the Kufour Administration to protect NPP supporters, could have been laughable, but for ominous warnings for the future. In his speech "acknowledging" the announcement of the Electoral Commissioner, he called on President J.A. Kufuor, the security forces and the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the party’s supporters, because “I am concerned that if positive steps are not taken to protect and to reassure them, they will be compelled to defend themselves.”

If Akufo-Addo was already speaking like that, even under the NPP Administration, when his own bodyguards were doing most of the beatings in town,including beating the body guards of candidate Mills in public at Cape Coast during the Afahye, and in Kumasi, during the Odwira Festival, what is he not going to say next time around? Akufo-Addo was fully aware that he was bound to lose, as soon as the vote went up for a second round. That is what Dr. Arthur Kennedy tells us from his book, "Chasing the elephant into the bush". This has been unwittingly confirmed by people close to Akufo-Addo like Gabriel Asare Otchere-Darko, who claimed only five Ghanaians have set eyes on the report so far.

The first time we got a hint of the Larry Gibson prediction was from his book, “Chasing the elephant into the bush”. This is how Colin Essamuah put it in his book review:

Dr. Kennedy makes clear, line after line in his book, that the NPP as a corporate body, then and now, suffered fatally from a delusional triumphalism that electoral defeat was impossible, and therefore, unthinkable. This illogical belief affected every political decision, and every propaganda step they took during the campaign. It is delusional triumphalism which produced 18 presidential aspirants, including ALL the senior ministers in the Kufuor cabinet, including his blood brother, Kwame Addo-Kufuor, plus three sojourners in Europe and America, Boakye Agyarko, Agyei-Barwuah and the author himself. It is the delusion of victory that produced the inherent belief in party ranks that the opposition NDC was no factor, even though as early as August, 2008, the NPP had been warned that the non-existent opposition NDC could force a second round, courtesy the advice of Professor Larry Gibson.” [Book Review: CHASING THE ELEPHANT INTO THE BUSH: THE POLITICS OF COMPLACENCY – by Colin Essamuah, 5 January 2010, ModernGhana.com http://bit.ly/yB7sQq]

For Akufo-Addo to pretend that he lost the elections because his millions of supporters in the Volta Region were prevented from voting for him, is to take all of us for fools! Even in his contest with Alan Kyeremanten, the Volta Regional branch of the NPP gave 96% of their votes to Alan Kyeremanteng! Which votes was he talking about that he nearly led Ghana to the precipice of war as a result of such bĂȘtise? Who in Ghana did not know that the Volta Region was an NDC "world bank"? The NPP was then in power, and in charge of law and order, yet these so-called "learned men" did not even know how to file a simple electoral complaint. They even confused Ghana's electoral laws with our criminal law! And they call themselves lawyers! Even though the Minister of the Interior was an NPP stalwart they chose to complain like children to the Electoral Commission instead of directing their criminal complaints to the police!

Even though his party boasts of brilliant lawyers, there was no one available to furnish the Electoral Commission following the laid down procedures of Ghana's Electoral law. As indicated by Dr Afari-Gyan, “In respect of the materials submitted by the NPP in the nature of evidence, the Commission found out that; some of the issues raised bothered on criminality and, therefore, fell outside the competence of the EC.” He went further to indicate, "In the purely electoral matters, the Commission did not find the evidence provided to be sufficient to invalidate the results. "In view of these findings about the complaints of the two parties, the results as previously tallied from the 229 constituencies remain unchanged. Accordingly the results of the runoff in the Tain constituency, which was held on January 2 2009, have been added to the national tally," Dr Afari-Gyan stated. [Prof. Mills wins Election 2008, General News of Saturday, 3 January 2009, GNA http://bit.ly/zKNpH3]

A further attempt to throw the entire electoral process out of gear was thrown out of court, when on January 1st, a Public Holiday, an ex-parte motion calling on an injunction on the Electoral Commission to provide the electoral results was dismissed because it was secretly served on the court, and on the blind side of the principal stake-holders, namely the Ghana Electoral Commission, and the New Democratic Party which won the elections. The court, instead, indicated that looking at the nature of the case and the exigencies, it was prudent for the interested parties, namely, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the NDC to be served on notice with the pleadings to enable them to react appropriately. Even though the NPP was in power, not even the President was informed about this dirty move against our democracy!

There was also a condemnation by the legal brain and a former National Chairman of the NPP, and a member of the Council of Elders of the New Patriotic Party, the late Mr. B.J Da Rocha considered “the action taken by the party against the EC is neither in the interest of the nation nor the credibility of the NPP.” The Party Chairman Peter Mac Manu, and counsel Atta Akyia had earlier filed two writs to put an injunction on the Tain election and to stop the EC chairman from declaring the results of the December 28 runoff. Mr. Da Rocha said the "action is wrong and must be abandoned." He told Joy News on Friday, “the constitution must be allowed to play out without any interference.” He intimated “there are provisions within the constitution which allows for the party to seek redress of all their grievances, adding the process must be allowed to go on.”[Da Rocha: Leave the EC to do their job | Elections http://bit.ly/wgqCmZ]

Meanwhile, the Akufo-Addo camp, fully aware the end had come, refused to give up! A member of the Governing Body of his public relations outfit, The Danquah Institute, even wrote a complete feature article calling on the President-elect to hand over power to Akufo-Addo! [See: “Atta-Mills Must Concede Defeat!” By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., ModernGhana.com, Featured Articles, 31 December 2008] The refusal by Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat in the 2008 Presidential elections nearly plunged the country into a political turmoil. 

And political turmoil is exactly what the President warned about in his New Year message: “For many Ghanaians the joy of the New Year has been tampered to an extent by the intense anxiety and high tension arising out of the ongoing Presidential elections which is yet to throw up a clear winner, despite last week’s run-off. The two contesting parties have raised pertinent concerns which are being addressed by the Independent Electoral Commission, among others. It is important however that we meet the Constitutional time table for handing over on the January 7th. I therefore urge all stakeholders to yield to the authority of the Electoral Commissioner when he declares the results. Any outstanding issues may be settled later by due process.” [Ghana: President calls for calm - Posted on Friday 2 January 2009, Kent Mensah, AfricaNews editor in Accra, Ghana http://bit.ly/wGfhmj]

We never got much information from what was in the report until the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, and Akufo-Addo's right-hand man, felt compelled to react to the speculations raised by the Dr. Kennedy revelations. He began: “EVER SINCE Arthur Kennedy published his book, 'Chasing the Elephant into the Bush', and more so since the NPP presidential primaries got going, several commentators have used the analysis of Larry Gibson to score points against Nana Akufo-Addo.” Yet reading in-between the lines, it was clear that Larry Gibson has not predicted a win for Akufo-Addo.

Even though Otchere-Darko asserts that: “Larry Gibson's work was assisted by the Danquah Institute, and I can say that only five people, including me but excluding Dr Kennedy, have copies of the full details of his work which helped inform the 2008 campaign. Arthur K, like the candidate, only benefited from the briefings of the opinion polls and other analysis made by Larry.” Which by implication, gave him more authority to correct the impression given by Dr. Kennedy that Professor Gibson predicted the defeat of the NPP flag-bearer. He ends up confirming what Dr. Kennedy was claiming to be true, providing further damning details in the process.

For instance, Otchere-Darko states that: “Larry's first opinion poll was conducted in May 2008, five months after Nana Akufo-Addo was elected for the first time as flag-bearer. Prof Mills had been consistently on every NDC presidential ticket since 1996.” A statement that could only mean that the result of the Larry Gibson first opinion poll was negative to Akufo-Addo. He also asserted that: “There is a lot of talk these days that the NPP lost the 2008 elections because the party did not market well the achievements of President Kufuor. Yet, Larry Gibson's polls had shown that Ghanaians simply were not convinced about the NPP record on the economy – the most important indicator on all the electoral indices.”

If our peace of mind as a country depends upon such a person accepting defeat when he is defeated, don't you think we are already in trouble? Don't you think we need to talk to him not to cause trouble next time? Don't you think he needs to be exposed for what he is really is and starve him of any public support for his nefarious plans? I do! And that is exactly what Nana Akyea Mensa, The Odikro, has done here! We do not have to invent a straw man, all we need to do is to show who he is. And trust Ghanaians in their wisdom, to take care of the rest, and put the appropriate pressure on Akufo-Addo to do what is right and just.

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Akufo-Addo Is Still The Greatest Threat To Peace In Ghana.

Akufo-Addo Is Still The Greatest Threat To Peace In Ghana.

Feature Article, by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.

I am often bothered by the sheer sense of irresponsibility on the part of those who try to play with the fire of religious strife for their parochial political ends. It is as though they have no respect for Muslims, and can just ask them to go to war for them on demand! One such disgusting attempt can even be seen from the title of an article published on Ghanaweb, “NDC Crusaders Calling For Genocide On Moslems”, by Justice Sarpong, Feature Article of Wednesday, 9 May 2012. Sadly enough, what we read in the article and witness there is a clear admission by some supporters of the NPP that they no longer have any confidence in their own ability to campaign constructively to move our nation forward. Hence the need to resort to such scatterbrained tactic.

One would have thought that our politicians would demonstrate a real mettle of statesmanship and rise up above petty party differences and put Ghana first in all their endeavours. It appears the disastrous attempt to make free education the hallmark of his 2012 Campaign have made them rather shy to even discuss the solutions they envisage to the hydra-headed problems facing Ghanaians today. Nothing of that sort has been forth-coming, apart from the chanting of war songs and spending a lot of energy in hiding behind tribal and religious passions to do the political job of causing confusion on their behalf!

It is in this sense that I see the article by Justice Sarpong as a
thinly-veiled attempt to provoke a religious conflict in the country without any basis other than the say-so of the Ghana Muslim Coalition for Reformation whose intentions and abilities remain unknown to the general public. There is no way one can even compare what he purports to report as an incendiary statement by the NDC candidate, the Alajo Obama. Assuming that those silly utterances were indeed true and they emanated from "the flatulence and spastic rantings by this NDC Alajo Obama", there is no way that could be comparable with the rantings of Ken Agyapong!

Ken Agyapong specifically declared war, called for the lynching of human beings, irrespective of party political affiliation. According to Ken, the people of the Ashanti Region should lynch the NPP National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, a Ga, on sight, if he ever sets foot in the Ashanti Region! Ken Agyapong did broadcast this diatribe live on radio, and there are millions of independent witnesses. There is no verifiable source that confirms even the words being attributed to Alajo Obama are true! Trying to equate one million cedi worth of goods, with any goods worth ten cedis is to devalue one million cedis to the level of ten cedis!
Any attempt to reduce the magnitude of this stupidity displayed by Ken Agyapong, will simply not wash. Dubious as the source of the information concerning the so-called Alajo Obama's call for Christians to "rise up", it does not call for a war. Calling upon people to go and lynch others is not the same as calling on anyone to "rise up", because the others are offering scholarships to their children! Perhaps he wants to mean they must "rise up" and equally offer scholarships to Christian children, just as the Muslims do. That would have been my own conclusion, that our two major religions in the country to positively learn from each other for the benefit of our children. This is different from asking Ghanaians to go and lynch left and right!

Justice Sarpong concluded his piece with: “The flatulence and spastic rantings by this NDC Alajo Obama should be condemned by all peace loving Ghanaians to avoid maelstrom in Ghana.” In trying to make an anthill look like a mountain Justice Sarpong deliberately attacks an imaginary "flatulence and spastic rantings" and in the process, releases quite a large quantity of his own! If Justice Sarpong wants a sincere discussion of the threats to peace in Ghana, he must know where to begin. The real threat facing Ghana today is Nana Akufo-Addo who is increasingly becoming unlikely to concede defeat, even if he himself was convinced he had genuinely lost, and plunge the country into a political strife, not Muslims nor Christians.

Whatever you do, try to take religion out of your politics and avoid such desperate attempts to call on others to fight your enemy on your behalf. It is funny because lack of tact is transparent. There is obviously nothing ingenious about this! The last time around, Akufo-Addo refused to concede defeat, he merely "acknowledged" the results declared by the Electoral Commission, whilst insisting that he had been cheated. Today, we know that at the time Akufo-Addo was throwing dust into our eyes with his "one-touch victory" mantra, he was fully apprised of his impending defeat at the polls by his own pollster, Professor Larry Gibson!

In the lead up to the 2008 general elections, it was pathetic to see Okoampa-Ahoofe taking a free-ride on the Akufo-Addo campaign-hype of “one-touch” victory, even though the NPP flag-bearer had been left in no doubt by Professor Larry Gibson concerning his own chances of winning against the then NDC candidate, Professor John Evans Atta-Mills. Thanks to the revelations in Dr. Arthur Kennedy's book, “Chasing the elephant into the bush”, we now know that even as Akufo-Addo was stubbornly refusing to concede defeat to the winning candidate, as expected of any decent politician, Akufo-Addo was already aware he stood no chance of winning the race in the first place!

This is the real threat we face today! A dishonest politician who refuses to concede a simple electoral defeat and is doing everything possible to cause trouble as a result, including disgusting attempts to fan inter-ethnic hatred, religious animosity, xenophobia, and other cheap and sensational means to whip up primitive loyalty to their nefarious agenda of subverting the will of the people! How come that even before the 2008 elections, Akufo-Addo's own private pollsters predicted an Atta-Mills victory, yet Akufo-Addo claimed he had been cheated when he lost? The desperate cheap tactics deployed at the last minute in attempts to stem the tide with “the Rawlings' Hit-list” hoax only worsened matters, as President Mills emerged not only victorious but also to be “his own man”. 

On the other hand, Akufo-Addo's popularity, insufficient as it was in 2008, has been on the wane, as a result of reckless statements such as “We Akans are not cowards” and so 2012, All die be die!”, coupled with a series of drug-related scandals and allegations. The most damning of them all being the Wikileaks cable that points to his penchant to smoke marijuana early in the morning! Having clearly lost the political space, the only option they think of is exploring the military means to subvert the will of the people, kill and maim in the name of “All die be die!”
It seems we are sitting on a time bomb, with a serial sore-loser who is most unlikely to accept defeat even in the event that he himself knew to have been beaten in a free and fair contest! The is where the trouble is going to come from! If Akufo-Addo did not even feel embarrassed calling on the NPP Administration to protect NPP members before they take the law into their own hands, what is he not going to say under an NDC Administration? If he knew in advance that he was going to lose the elections, and come election day, he loses the elections, but refuses to concede defeat, what are we to expect of such a person? This is what Justice Sarpong needs to look at, if he sincerely wants peace in Ghana!

Forward Ever! Backwards Never!

Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.