Business in Ghana

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Dompe Chronicles. Critical News, 10th April 2016

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 11, 2016

Sydney Casely-Hayford,

My two dogs are fighting. They are direct siblings from the same stock, not much difference between the two and are well matched in size, speed, performance and guile. The fighting has been going for some weeks now and it has intensified as they grow bigger and bolder, jockeying for which will become the alpha male. Nothing I do and no matter what punishment, they will find a place and something to fight over.

I expected this would happen, but my approach was to rear them together as playmates, from the same litter and eliminate any animosity because they would hunt together, bark together and seek out trespassers together.

I am not so naïve to think they will never fight over something and of course the inevitable mating season as they mature is bound to create havoc, but for a short while. That day has not even come yet.

So the fighting started over some pieces of chicken bones. The usually quiet one, fed up with being bullied, rallied against the other only to find that he had been retreating for no good reason. He could match the slightly bigger in strength and speed and even won the first fight.

It is not easy to break up a fight between two huge Boar Bulls and one fight after the other got more ferocious. So much that it became necessary to split feeding times and keep each from the other’s “dompe”. So there is a formula for stopping the raging “dompe” battles.

And if it had ended there, I would have been content with the solution. But here is what happens next.

Each dog calls for attention and affection all the time and they come to appreciate rewards and conversations between owner and protector. Eventually, jealousy creeps into the game, each one trying hard to get as much affection as possible and convincing me, owner, of their un-assailed loyalty.

But neither will accept that I will pet the other in their presence. After the first noticeable fights because of this, it became very clear to me, that my own pleasure of petting them was eroded. Fighting became very intense and looking like a fight to the death every time it started. Of course, not being as strong and not in the Boar Bull world, I have had to make human decisions and determine words and understanding of dog behaviour, which we did not go beyond when we studied Pavlovian responses in university,

So I ask the question now, “what is in the Boar Bull’s head?” What is he thinking of when he starts a fight for my attention? That I will prefer him to his brother because he nearly crushed his brother’s throat? That he is better for me to keep and give all my attention because he nearly killed his brother this morning? It is a puzzle with no answers.

And my solution? In order that I may have my piece of mind and not be scared about being caught in a fight between two huge animals, I have chosen to let one of them go and leave the other alone as the alpha male. And that is the only way I have bought peace.

I have moved from a two-guard-dog occupation to a one-dog one and in the end I am the loser, not sure what the victor is thinking, if someone won or lost. But thankfully I am not in the dog world; I can rationalize thought and discern what is good, bad, and not so ugly as to be nauseating.

But Mr. Nmai Ollennu of WAEC disturbed me during the week when he said students either have the advantage of “leaked” papers ahead of exams or they might have “foreplay” of some answers. Actually he did not say foreplay, I misread the text and saw foreplay in place of fore knowledge.   Then I went on with gusto and posted lots of stuff on my facebook page about foreplay. Nmai, I apologise. But that does not mean you guys are off the hook with the abysmal supervision of the questions.

This has been going on since I was in secondary school in the mid-sixties into the early seventies and I am at a loss why one of the most corrupt institutions in the country can’t figure out how to plug its own mess.

The case of Ouzman in the UK Serious Fraud Office on my mind, how the UK can investigate and find officers in Ghana culpable in a major examination fraud case and we don’t even hear a murmur in this country?

It is like the exam leakage. It whispers through social media, all the time getting great “foreplay” by the students and their teacher accomplices.

We can’t grow enough corn, we don’t grow enough rice, we can’t see our way clear to growing enough tomatoes. We don’t process enough cashew, we can’t supply one of the largest fruit drink makers in the country with enough pineapple and mango for it to continue to earn a decent living for its shareholders and pay its workers without a struggle and we are proud to announce that we are the second largest economy in West Africa.

A Nielson report just a couple days ago shows Ivory Coast as the preferred destination to do business in Africa. Not South Africa, not Nigeria, not even Rwanda or Senegal. Ivory Coast! Just out of a brutal civil war and massive chaos in its economy, has turned around and is making itself heard and appreciated by the international markets.

Their new leader, Outtarra (been at the helm for just five years and a bit) is showing a way the rest of us can emulate. How difficult can it be to take twenty million people and with adequate resources and good innovative solutions, make a quick “u” turn and move the nation forward?

Instead of paying attention to development matrices that we can use to conjure growth and wealth, we are busy arresting persons under some unnecessary procedure and accusing them of training fifteen people to cause treason in Ghana. Or is it because we have a history of Coup D’états and the coup makers are still sitting in our midst poised and ready to strike one more time?

Please don’t sell that nonsense again. Bigger challenges face us and an election-spending spree is looming. No matter what who says what, they will be off and spending. Either what they do not have, or what they have stolen and stashed away for this day.

And that is how the fight started. President Mahama stood up to say the NPP had done nothing progressive ever for the Volta Region, his Government’s world bank and now its IMF and their successful bailout positions since dot.

And the other big dog that would have none of this roared from his kennel and made it very clear he had achieved much more and he called on testifiers to proclaim his role.

So I ask, “for what and whose attention is all this?” Who are these two political bull pits fighting to court and what happens if one should have to leave the arena so the other can alpha-bark and strut their stuff to the very public that will be the biggest losers from the fight?

Whither the Ghanaian voter and citizen in all this unnecessary “dompe-boar-bulling?”

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

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