The Ghanaian big man

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In whichever direction you want to spin Chairman Ofosu Ampofo’s ‘No Contribution No Chop’ declaration, I am convinced that for once, a Ghanaian political party has been forthright with the people.
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One of the reasons cited for the entrenchment of corruption in Ghana has been that “they-who-pay-the piper”, that is party bankrollers, must be facilitated to recoup their investment before the end of four years.


In whichever direction you want to spin Chairman Ofosu Ampofo’s ‘No Contribution No Chop’ declaration, I am convinced that for once, a Ghanaian political party has been forthright with the people.

That statement reveals the one real, unspoken motive why people would sell their mother, if it came to that, to raise the millions needed to prosecute an election. It’s all about “chopping”.

It is precisely because the “chopping” must be limited, considering how much it costs to put up a 2 x 4 bedroom in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale, that money-bags in the party must necessarily be few.

Otherwise, to my mind, what better sense can it make to democratise the funding of a party by allowing every pocket, no matter how small, to drop in a widow’s (or widower’s) mite? If the NPP and the NDC have, each, a membership that exceeds three million, doesn’t it make simple arithmetical sense to levy each member a minimum of GH¢2 a month? With an average of even one million paying faithfully, that’s a cool GH¢2 million every month, GH¢24 million every year and a handsome GH¢36 million by the beginning of the fourth year.

For the big choppers, however, this shouldn’t work or be allowed to work. For them, that amounts to democratising the award of contracts, distributing ambassadorial, board and state-CEO appointments, a system that, to them, must be avoided at all costs.

How else shall the Ghanaian society know who is a big man!

And it means a lot to be a big man in Ghana.

Who does not want to live in a Trassaco Valley, “Esikafoambantem” type mansion? Even Rawlings, who, in 1982 openly declared his distaste for any accommodation with more than one WC, has had to revise his philosophy, 20 years down the line. So who wants to be counted among the ‘Verandah boys’!
It is haram, an insult of the highest unforgivable order, to expect a Ghanaian big man (state official) to fly economy.

Especially if there is going to be transit connection anywhere in the world, particularly, Dubai. Kai! I, who write this, I have tasted that life on more than a few occasions, and I can assure you that the effect can be intoxicating.

Who wouldn’t love the feel of a ‘Mayan’ or ‘Gran Habano’ cigar in his mouth, while sipping a ‘Shipwrecked’ champagne (costs USD14,181.81 per bottle!) from an Adam Whobrey glass!

Except as an eye-wash or a photo-op to pretend that “we are all equal”, will a Ghanaian big man ever want to sit in an Aayalolo bus, let alone ever consider a bicycle ride from home to office? Sweat? The last time I checked, a bicycle ride need not be so brisk business.

Rip Van Winkle? O, I am not unaware that all the fingers on the human hand cannot be equal. That is utopian. All I seek is a system of transportation so comfortable which the MP or minister or university professor would not find condescending to patronise.

Is it to show this wide difference between “them” and “us”, that we insult one another, fight and kill to land ourselves in Parliament or get appointed as a minister, board chair or MMDCE?

So somebody has to die in Ayawaso West Wuogon.People have to be trained in the art and science of snatching ballot boxes. It does not matter if my pastor, bishop or imam is listening: party communicators must excel in lies and insults.

So why has the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election violence probe report not been released?

Dear reader, has the thought ever struck you that Nana Akufo-Addo could have died in the 1995 Kumi Preko demonstration? If he so risked his life to see an end to impunity and establish a society where Truth Stands (apologies to the V Mates at Legon’s Commonwealth Hall!), why would a mind like this change in less than four years of becoming President?

Would I be a Rip Van Winkle to express shock?

On February 4, three days after the incident, the President asked the police to conduct a “rapid inquiry” into the matter, saying, "I expect all persons who are found culpable, at the end of the process, to face the full rigours of the law."

It’s been seven months. Where is the law – not to mention its “full One of the reasons cited for the entrenchment of corruption in Ghana has been that “they-who-pay-the piper”, that is party bankrollers, must be facilitated to recoup their investment before the end of four years.

In whichever direction you want to spin Chairman Ofosu Ampofo’s ‘No Contribution No Chop’ declaration, I am convinced that for once, a Ghanaian political party has been forthright with the people.

That statement reveals the one real, unspoken motive why people would sell their mother, if it came to that, to raise the millions needed to prosecute an election. It’s all about “chopping”.

It is precisely because the “chopping” must be limited, considering how much it costs to put up a 2 x 4 bedroom in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale, that money-bags in the party must necessarily be few.

Otherwise, to my mind, what better sense can it make to democratise the funding of a party by allowing every pocket, no matter how small, to drop in a widow’s (or widower’s) mite?

If the NPP and the NDC have, each, a membership that exceeds three million, doesn’t it make simple arithmetical sense to levy each member a minimum of GH¢2 a month?

With an average of even one million paying faithfully, that’s a cool GH¢2 million every month, GH¢24 million every year and a handsome GH¢36 million by the beginning of the fourth year.

For the big choppers, however, this shouldn’t work or be allowed to work.

For them, that amounts to democratising the award of contracts, distributing ambassadorial, board and state-CEO appointments, a system that, to them, must be avoided at all costs.

How else shall the Ghanaian society know who is a big man!

And it means a lot to be a big man in Ghana. Who does not want to live in a Trassaco Valley, “Esikafoambantem” type mansion?

Even Rawlings, who, in 1982 openly declared his distaste for any accommodation with more than one WC, has had to revise his philosophy, 20 years down the line. So who wants to be counted among the ‘Verandah boys’!

It is haram, an insult of the highest unforgivable order, to expect a Ghanaian big man (state official) to fly economy. Especially if there is going to be transit connection anywhere in the world, particularly, Dubai. Kai! I, who write this, I have tasted that life on more than a few occasions, and I can assure you that the effect can be intoxicating.

Who wouldn’t love the feel of a ‘Mayan’ or ‘Gran Habano’ cigar in his mouth, while sipping a ‘Shipwrecked’ champagne (costs USD14,181.81 per bottle!) from an Adam Whobrey glass!

Except as an eye-wash or a photo-op to pretend that “we are all equal”, will a Ghanaian big man ever want to sit in an Aayalolo bus, let alone ever consider a bicycle ride from home to office? Sweat? The last time I checked, a bicycle ride need not be so brisk business.

Rip Van Winkle? O, I am not unaware that all the fingers on the human hand cannot be equal. That is utopian. All I seek is a system of transportation so comfortable which the MP or minister or university professor would not find condescending to patronise.

Is it to show this wide difference between “them” and “us”, that we insult one another, fight and kill to land ourselves in Parliament or get appointed as a minister, board chair or MMDCE?

So somebody has to die in Ayawaso West Wuogon.People have to be trained in the art and science of snatching ballot boxes. It does not matter if my pastor, bishop or imam is listening: party communicators must excel in lies and insults.

So why has the Ayawaso West Wuogon by election violence probe report not been released?

Dear reader, has the thought ever struck you that Nana Akufo-Addo could have died in the 1995 Kumi Preko demonstration? If he so risked his life to see an end to impunity and establish a society where Truth Stands (apologies to the V Mates at Legon’s Commonwealth Hall!), why would a mind like this change in less than four years of becoming President?

Would I be a Rip Van Winkle to express shock?

On February 4, three days after the incident, the President asked the police to conduct a “rapid inquiry” into the matter, saying, "I expect all persons who are found culpable, at the end of the process, to face the full rigours of the law."

It’s been seven months. Where is the law – not to mention its “full rigours”?

Has our beloved Nana Addo changed in three years so much that the voice of the people means nothing? Free SHS, yes; Paperless-ness, thumbs up. But why should it not be possible to trust the President’s word?

Yet, trust is the most vital ingredient of leadership and that is what the floating vote looks for. They are not “masses”; they are not noisy, but their small number makes all the difference.

Has our beloved Nana Addo changed in three years so much that the voice of the people means nothing? Free SHS, yes; Paperless-ness, thumbs up. But why should it not be possible to trust the President’s word?

Yet, trust is the most vital ingredient of leadership and that is what the floating vote looks for. They are not “masses”; they are not noisy, but their small number makes all the difference.

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