Business in Ghana

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A Thorny Democracy . Critical News, 6th December 2016

Posted by Business in Ghana on November 7, 2016

Sydney Casely-Hayford, thenewghanaian@gmail.com

I haven’t had a chance to eavesdrop on conversations between strangers for a long time. It’s a favorite pastime, to sit on the adjacent table and actively listen to the arguments and illogic of lovers. Especially lovers, because you don’t have the history of the relationship; and you are always two steps behind understanding the purpose of the actions from both sides.

So this Saturday afternoon; matter!

I have wound up from Citifm’s “The Big Issue”, where host Umaru Sanda had stopped me from making my crowning statement on the position taken by EC Chair Charlotte Osei.

I was heading for a classic that John Mahama has kitted his Ford Expedition “gift” car, not with Akonfem in it, but with a machine gun, discovery given to us by CHRAJ in explanation for thwarting the impeachment of President Mahama, when the NPP had tried, albeit lamely, to saddle the President with a corruption charge.

Knowing now that the President has a car that has machine gun power, me being me, am now wondering how many other cars in the pool or even exclusively does the Presidential fleet have, kitted out with various types of weapons and grenades. And why would he want to do that anyway?

So I connected some far-fetched dots and figured it must be because the Electoral Commission seems to be driving us into a constitutional crisis and maybe even a “war”? Of sorts!

Totally illogical, but if we are not in a war mentality, why would President Mahama have his car mounted with a machine gun? This is supposed to be a car he would use as and when occasions arise or even be made available to any other person entitled to access the pool. Unless the car is fitted with special GPS coordinates programmed to find its way “driver-less” back to Burkina Faso if the fear should grip him, why mount a machine gun?

What could happen if a car with this kind of firepower is left in the hands of Koku Anyidohu or Sam George for that matter? I don’t think “Ablakwabish” is strong enough to order bodyguards to fire into a crowd for riot control purposes, but if Koku can sack people from their post in Kumasi as he wanders through the graveyard looking for his former President, I am in no doubt he can issue “war” commands.

So, I am sitting strategically next to Tracy and Issah, who are going at it with some real vigor. Issah is clearly upset because he caught Tracy in bed with his girlfriend Issabella (these are real names).

Tracy is in no mood to apologise. She is attracted to Issabella same as Issah is attracted to Issabella.

“She was my girlfriend before I introduced her to you and we have always slept together since we were in school. Everyone in school knew Tracy was my “supi” and we never hid it. The only reason why she comes to the house is to see me. Whatever goes on between the two of you is fine with me. Even if we break up, Tracy and me will always be open minded about our relationships.

“Tracy is now my girlfriend and you have to leave her alone so we can grow our love. I intend to marry her one day and I cannot propose to her if you continue to entice her into your bed”. This is Issah.

Now I am paying rapt attention. This is an African movie “in different stages of completion” unfolding right before my eyes. I title the movie “Those who have Eyes”, so I can remember the detail.

“So if you are so determined to marry her, why do you keep inviting me to join the two of you in bed?”. Issabella.

Issah. “Tracy says the relationship is sweeter when you are involved. If I want to keep it alive, I have to bite my tongue and compromise”.

“And after you get married, what then? We still keep the triangle? Or you invite another to join you?” Issabela.

Then Issabella drops the bombshell and I can’t tink far anymore.

“You know Mama does not like her?”

I pay my bill quickly and skip the joint. The twist in the tail, too much for my aging mind.

And I leave it there and back to Umaru Sanda, who commanded me to immediately withdraw my commentary on the EC or ……. I quickly withdrew for the sake of peace, to avoid another Richard Sky debacle as happened sometime ago when he and I had a confrontation about Nana Konadu Rawlings and women in politics.

So I am wondering what it is with women in politics and the extreme sensitivity we are developing about some biases in our democracy.

Betty Mould did not work out too well, Marietta Brew is not achieving much, Nana Oye is now quiet and not helping too many children and women, Jane Nana Opoku is not really solving the education problem and the least said about Dzifa Attivor the better. Is it just bad luck or are we simply picking the wrong mangoes?

I deliberately reserve my judgment of EC Chair Charlotte Osei because I am at a total loss what to do with her. This week has seen one court case after the other and we are still seeing suits against her and the Commission regarding presidential candidates and election timelines.

We are also pushing the A-G to do something drastic with Alfred Woyome and collect our 51.2 million cedis before this government figures another loophole to stop the pursuit of our cash.

Unless I am wrong, we have run out of time to hold the elections within the constitutional limits to manage a true and fair democracy. We already have many problems with this constitution and instead of dusting the Constitution Report off the shelves and implementing the recommendations to plug the loopholes, we are sitting in radio stations pontificating about creating more districts and regions with no clear criteria as to what this action will achieve.

I must be one of the few Ghanaians who is not thinking correctly, because whatever frequency I tune into, I hear the same echoes around the borders, not a one of them appreciating that we have lost true democracy for the sake of pampering the support base and the sycophants who want to be ministers and members of Parliament because they shouted “choo boi” the loudest.

When you want to establish a fair democracy such as we have been trying, you can end up descending into the gutters like Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton and if you are not careful you start sounding like a developing country where vote rigging becomes the dominant discussion of the election.

That the USA should start yanking at each other because of accusations of possible vote rigging and Britain might also be heading into a constitutional crisis from the BREXIT vote challenge in their Parliament, just tells you, that if Tracy and Issabella blink too long it will become perfectly normal that brother and sister can share the same girlfriend and even themselves, and choose to discuss it openly in public.

We have entered an era where weird has now become the broadminded level for making what is barbaric the new acceptable.

What the EC is doing borders on weird and before it escalates to the point of violence at the polls, we better sit up in the courts and respect some rules and keep the barriers strong. Everything democracy is good, but shaping thorny democracy into acceptable cannot be on.

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

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