Business in Ghana

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Vulture Chronicles. Critical News, 7th June 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on June 8, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

We had a very bad accident. Over one hundred and fifty dead and still counting. So far the security agencies have not been able to give us a final count and the total cost of damage to families and businesses.

Needless deaths by any standard and unnecessary, since it was all government-made and could easily have been avoided if only we fulfilled promises we make on both the campaign platform and time in between.

My heart broke when I saw pictures of the dead and the damage to cars, property and surrounding areas in Circle and other places.

I rushed home after lunch that afternoon, the rain held us up in Kanda for a few hours and we took the next best lull in the outpour to set off home, not because we anticipated a flood, but simply commenting “it is really coming down, we must get home before the traffic gets out of hand”.

And on this note I have to say the Ghana Police MTTU division has kicked up a notch in their services. If we still had the kind of traffic control we were being served three years ago, most of us would be kicking six feet under.

And here is my first vulture proverb in this story. “Live with vultures, become a vulture; live with crows, become a crow”. Where does Ghana want to pitch its tent in the flight of civilization?

I heard pathetic arguments during the week from persons who want to blame the citizens of this country for the floods. We are the cause of all this because we dump refuse in open gutters provided for us by the Urban Roads and Ghana Highway Authorities and we throw waste into the streets where there are no bins for refuse collection.

The taxpayer pays a government official. We provide for their accommodation, give them a car, fuel the car, and give them a home to sleep in with their families. We pay their electricity bill, the water bill and provide them with a security guard to watch over them. We pay for their tickets when they travel abroad. They only fly business or first class, which ticket we pay, and we pay their hotel room when they stay more than a night.

To crown it all, we give them a per diem allowance for the time they spend outside Ghana. We even give them a share of the District Assembly Common Fund, which we don’t even ask what they use it for and whether they totally retire that money at the end of every year.

Having forked out all that money, should I also do the work I elected them to do? Should I continue to clean the gutters and drains and also “beg” them to plan, strategise and execute a manifesto? on which basis I pressed my thumb with “Indian” ink to support their ideas and pamper them to execute what they offered?

Even Jesus did not have this level of benefits from his board of disciples and the “Bethlehem Fund” into which he was born and was the sole beneficiary.

And this saying captures most of what I heard. “When it is in an unlucky phase, the vulture below, shits on the vulture above”. We the citizens of Ghana have the high ground here. What we are hearing is an attempt to do the impossible to us and defy gravity of reason.

Because “The vulture perches on the trees because it does not feel sure on the ground”. Not certain and out of all ideas to manage the country, this government now wants to blame us for what they said was “zu, za, zuzu, zaza”.

Mayor Oko Vanderpuye is the god of the NDC’s funding source in Accra. After making good his path to African global kinship courtesy of Zoomlion, he is ensconced in his realm as mayor for life. Nowhere in my life politics, have I known someone to be so securely incompetent that even his staged conference of Mayors, could not be stopped by one of the worst tragedies in our history.

God provides for the blind vulture”.

The Mayor must either leave that seat or be removed “olijoo, li joo”. Unfortunately, a sensible call like this is in the murky dykes of corruption and inaction, one that our President has until today not found courage to remedy.

But here is one of my truly favorite vulture proverbs. “When they wish to eat a vulture, they call it a guinea fowl”. Isn’t that so apt? And I am not making these up. I am not that smart. Let me provide the link for all those who will soon call with insults and curses, and isn’t this what they did with SADA? Under the guise of raping the project, they gave us “akomfem”.

For us the citizens of this country, it is now imperative that we take the affairs of governance to heart and kick out non-performers. We stay in this abyss at our own peril. “No matter how high the vulture may choose to soar, the eagle will remain king of the sky”. And that is who we are as citizens. Owners of our constitution and eagles of our own destiny.

The painful part in all this? While we thought there was something going on regarding the $795million Conti project to drain Accra, there was and still is some back and forth about financing the project. While lives would always be at risk in the metropolis, our managers of the economy and the leader of the executive, think that making promises for tomorrow and waiting out an election year is the way to cure the problems in Ghana.

It is a shameful state of affairs that the government does not accept responsibility for failure; and in all the vulture tears it can find, has not taken on a single failure of non-intervention as their blameworthiness in not protecting the lives of the people of this country.

And here is one for Zita. “A sparrow in hand is worth more than a vulture flying”. So many gaffs by goofs, appointed by meme gaffers whose incompetence has now been transferred to the citizens, who have done no wrong than to be born in Ghana and want to stay in Ghana.

The President must have been reflecting inward sentiment when he used the allegory of a vulture waiting till tomorrow to fix its house. Who in this country has made more promises to deliver than President Mahama?

Now he has all his ministers and institutional heads believing that procrastination has become the new success in life. “Live with vultures, and become a vulture; live with crows, and become a crow”.

And as I near the end, “If you would resemble the vulture, look out for a carcass”.

And herein a message to all ministers whose portfolio is attached directly or indirectly to this catastrophe. You have blood on your hands and no amount of regret or sorrow will wash away the needless pain and sorrow you have colluded to create.

I believe we must apportion blame. How can you move forward with the same bunch of heartless non-performers day after week, after month after year, when all they think about is retaining their positions and stuffing their pockets?

Read this delivery from Apple chief executive Tim Cook’s commencement address to the graduating class of George Washington University, May 17, 2015, and tell me as a citizen, whether this does not motivate you enough to stand up and fight the incompetence.

“The sidelines are not where you want to live your life. The world needs you in the arena. There are problems that need to be solved, injustices that need to be ended, people that are still being persecuted, diseases still in need of cure. No matter what you do next, the world needs your energy, your passion, your impatience for progress. Don’t shrink from risk. And tune out those cynics and critics. History rarely yields to one person — but think, and never forget what happens when it does. That can be you. That should be you. That must be you.”

I looked long and hard for the proverb that would say we should not be like the proverbial vulture that says he will build his house tomorrow and I could not find it. Did our President paraphrase the saying a little? Or did he ……?, again?

Surely not. He would tell us the truth about this one abi?

Ghana, Aha a yε din papa. Alius atrox week advenio. Another terrible week to come!

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