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December 2008

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Every New Year is a blessing and I am glad that I have lived to see the start of yet another one. I may not be alive when it ends but I hope that every day of this New Year will be full of happiness, joy and laughter. That’s what I wish for all my friends (and even the unfriendly ones) who visit my site regularly.

 I have made quite a number of friends (and several enemies) since this site came online. I am grateful for each and every one of you. May we continue to use this site as a platform to discuss issues, exchange ideas and challenge each other to be better than we are.
The New Year comes as our nation faces some very trying times. May we all find the wisdom and the grace to live together as one people whiles celebrating our diversity.  
The very best of the year to you all.

Hello Nana, I suppose you want to be seen as a gallant fighter, unwilling to give up until the last breath. I don’t think you support ‘Phobia’ but I am sure that, at least for now, your motto is “never say die until the bones are rotten.” That’s why you want the nation to keep sitting on tenterhooks even into the New Year as we anxiously wait to see who our next president will be. But do you really think you stand a chance?

I think you don’t. The results of the presidential elections so far point to a very close race but it is certainly not “too close to call”. I called it for Atta Mills on Monday afternoon. The chairman of the Electoral Commission, Kwadjo Afari-Gyan is paid to hasten slowly with these things so it took him a while longer to conclude that Ghanaians had put John Atta Mills in pole position to succeed John Kufuor. He beat you by a mere 23,000 votes out of more than nine million cast. Already, historians are saying that this is about the most closely fought presidential race in Africa. You’ve made history, Nana, but that’s about it. You lost the race.
It is true that technically, Mills cannot start packing for the Flagstaff House – until voters in the Tain constituency have also had the opportunity to cast their ballots. That has been scheduled for the second day of the New Year.
Nana, if you were not suffering a bout of shock-induced delusion, I am sure you would appreciate that there is no chance of you polling voting numbers in Tain which will be substantial enough to overturn the results as they stand now. The logic doesn’t favour you. Neither does mathematics. You need a miracle but you won’t get that until snow starts falling in Bunkprugu Yonyoo.
Tain has a voter population of approximately 54,000. In the first round of the presidential poll, about 33,000 of them turned out to vote. Mills won 50.75% of the valid votes and you got 46.75%. The part of my brain that handles all my mathematical issues blew a fuse when I heard the news about the folly of a government seeking a loan from a Chinese barbering shop in England. But it’s still able to juggle with numbers and after poring over the figures from Tain I have come to the conclusion that this is the end of the road for you. You need to pack out and come back to try your luck again in the next Olympic year.
I will explain but I need you to put on your thinking cap before reading any further.
In the unlikely event that on Friday, all of the voters in Tain turn out to vote, you will need to win about 23,000 ballots just to overturn Mills’ current lead. At the same time you also need to pray that Mills doesn’t win more of the remaining 31,000 votes than you will. In the best case scenario, therefore, you need to win more than 23,000 votes and expect Mills do win nothing.
At your age, I suppose I can safely assume that you know that the world hardly ever presents anyone with best case scenarios. Therefore, you need to look more at just one of the worst case scenarios.
Tain is not Nhyiaeso so surely, you won’t get a 99% voter turn-out. With the nation’s attention transfixed on this uncounted constituency, I don’t think that whatever magic your party performed to bring out the people in their numbers in Nhyiaeso to vote so massively for you can be repeated in Tain. You see, that kind of magic doesn’t work when so many eyes are watching. But then even if we get a 99% voter turnout in Tain, a look at past voting trends in Tain shows that the ballots are likely to be split, probably with a slight tilt in favour of Mills.
So, Nana, tell me: if you think about this rationally, with a wee bit of mathematical deductions and reasoning, what in the world makes you think that you will win Tain and the presidency? Please take an anti-delusional pill and when it starts working in your system, you will very easily realise that you stand no chance in Tain.
That’s why I am appealing to you – not for the first time – to throw in the towel. Concede defeat and make the poll in Tain a mere cosmetic event. A concession will save the nation the anxious agony of yet another election. The anxiety in the country is so palpable, I can taste it. Never in my short life have I felt so much tension in this country. Spare us the anxiety and the tense moments.
A concession will not make you seem weak. It will show that you are a wise man who knows when to call it a day. People say you are too desperate for power and that’s why you don’t want to concede. You may be desperate but are you so desperate that you prefer to bank your hopes on a miracle you will never get?
A concession will also make you the man who starts the process of unifying the nation after a very divisive campaign season – not the man who will eventually become president. That in itself is an honourable accomplishment.
Finally, Nana, a concession will give the incoming administration a little more time to prepare for the transition. If you don’t concede now and wait until after the vote in Tain, the next president will have just about three days to make the transition. Granted that Prof. Mills has served in government before but I think he needs more than three days to make the transition from an opposition leader to the head of government.  
Nana, nothing can detract from the fact that you fought the good fight. You gave this more than your best shot. But the people have spoken that it’s not your time yet. Remember what Alan Kyeremanteng did for you in December 2007 and exit whiles you can still draw some applause. If you do so, everyone will know that Mills might have won the votes (and the presidency) but you would have captured the hearts and the minds of Ghanaians. That’s a currency you can’t afford to squander if you still have presidential ambitions.  
atoKwamena

The NPP is grabbing at straws. The mighty have truly fallen and now all they can do is put up spurious challenges and do all they can to throw doubts in the minds of the electorate. But the fact remains that in the next few hours the EC should officially declare John Atta Mills as the successor to John Kufuor.

Few gave him a dog’s chance. This is his third shot at the presidency and since he started trying some eight years ago, the odds have never been so stuck against him.
First, his party is broke. Some doubt this but I am sure the NDC ran this year’s campaign on a very lean budget. The ruling NPP, on the other hand, seemed to have a bottomless purse. There were times when I heard about 10 NPP adverts on radio within a 60-minute period. The NDC’s adverts by contrast were few and far between.
Secondly, this year saw Prof. Mills being maligned much more than ever before. His health was a campaign issue. His opponents painted him as a sickly, dying man who would spend much of his tenure in hospital wards than in his presidential office tending to the problems of the nation.
Thirdly, they claimed he lacked a solid pair between his balls. They called him a poodle who wouldn’t hesitate to do the bidding of his dictatorial political benefactor. It was claimed that a vote for Mills would amount to a vote for Jerry Rawlings.
But at the end of two rounds of voting – and after almost all the ballots have been counted – Ghanaians decided that they would rather make the sickly “poodle” their president. They have well and truly spoken that even with Rawlings lurking in the shadows, they still prefer the two-time loser and his party with a very bad reputation (they used to shave people’s head with broken bottles for Christ’s sake) as their leader. By making such a choice, Ghanaians dealt the NPP and its candidate the most embarrassing rejection a ruling party could suffer anywhere.
When Nana was chosen as the NPP presidential candidate in December last year, he proclaimed that “this election is ours to lose”. He was confident because he and the ruling party felt they had governed so well Ghanaians will not hesitate in renewing their mandate. But they were wrong.
The result of the first round vote was an indication that Ghanaians were not satisfied with the NPP and their much-touted successes. The people spoke that they have had enough of the NPP and all the bad things it stands for – arrogance, wanton waste, cronyism, a president who inexplicably decides to reward himself with an expensive medal whiles calling his poor, hungry citizens lazy, corruption and greed. But they were unsure of the alternative because the NDC was a very bad, abusive government and at the time they lost power, Ghanaians had grown well and truly tired of their misguided policies, their dictatorial founder and the party’s penchant for trampling on the people’s rights with impunity.
Has the NDC changed? I am not so sure. I once heard of Prof. Mills closest aides, literally threatening one of the big guys in the NPP and I was shocked. He convinced me that the NDC is still full of thugs and goons. Only time will tell whether the NDC will form a leaner, meaner and better government. Yet, in spite of all the doubts about the NDC’s ability to govern and govern well, Ghanaians chose to risk the next four years under the party.
You can spend an eternity analysing Prof. Mills’ victory and the NPP’s heavy losses in parliament. However you look at it, there is only one bottom line: the people voted more against the NPP, not necessarily for the NDC.
It’s a very serious indictment of John Kufuor’s presidency. It shows that he has not done as well as he thinks he deserves credit for. To hell with all those international awards – those who gave them to him do not feel the pain and frustrations of Ghanaians. Now the people whose voices matter the most have spoken. The ‘elephant’ should go back into the bush.
The results so far show that Mills did not only win the most votes but he seems to have received more of a national mandate than Nana Addo does – even though the numbers seem so close. Whiles Mills garnered votes from almost every corner of the country, most of the ballots for Nana were cast in the Ashanti and Eastern Regions. Furthermore, Mills made substantial gains in the second round – compared with the first round results – but Nana suffered significant losses in several areas. This is sufficient proof that the NPP has well and truly lost power. It’s the end of an era.
I am appalled that despite their claims to be the most democratic of all of Ghana’s political parties, the NPP is refusing to concede defeat after the people have spoken so resoundingly. There are reports that they are planning to go to court to challenge some of the results – they want to subtract some of the vote tallies from certain areas whiles adding more to the tallies from other areas.
Truth be told, the run-off polls didn’t go as well as the first round. We should all be bowing our heads in shame at some of things that happened in certain parts of the country. But the NPP cannot turn around and accuse the NDC of being behind all the anomalies. As the US assistant of state responsible for Africa, Jendayi Frazier, put it both parties behaved “irresponsibly”.
The things that happened on Sunday and the pronouncements of the politicians – including the baseless rumours and allegations, mostly exaggerated fabrications – could have taken this country to the brink. But almost all the observers have declared that these cannot affect the general outcome of the polls. And I agree with them. That means that Nana lost and Mills won.
The onus is on the ruling party and its leaders to stop whining like little kids. I know the prospect of going back to opposition is hard to bear. But that’s what happens to a party that loses touch with the people. Instead of wasting time challenging results, they should rather focus on preparing their minds for life in opposition.
The next administration also needs to immediately start working the necessary transition arrangements. Barrack Obama had 72 days to make the transition. Atta Mills has only a little more than a week. The sooner he starts thinking about the transition the better.
Finally, Ghanaians just want to move on – probably forward. If Nana Akufo-Addo truly believes in Ghana, he should concede graciously and start thinking about ways he can help the country to continue “moving forward” – with him as a passenger, not in the driving seat. 

If the nation wasn’t so tired of the politics, the 21 days leading up to the presidential run-off would have been the most exciting part of the campaign season. The propaganda has been acrimoniously intense and the politicians have been at their silliest. The accusations and counter-accusations have been petty and baseless – at best! None of it got to me. But it all points to a very high level of desperation in both camps.

Nana Addo’s camp feels that he came within a hair’s breadth of winning the presidency and that the second round should only confirm that he won what the communication director for his campaign, Arthur Kennedy, describes as the “popular vote” in the first round.
Prof. Mills and the NDC, on the other hand, have been feeling that the former vice president has never come this close to getting the job he has been seeking for almost a decade – he only lost the first round by the whisker. The Mills camps has been so buoyed by their gains from the first round, particularly the narrow ‘majority’ they secured in the parliamentary poll that  they seem to be thinking it’s now or never.
If Prof. Mills doesn’t win, he could as well kiss his political career goodbye and head back to the classroom. He has been through it before but the pain of a third defeat will be worse than the combined agony of his two previous losses.
For Nana Addo, a defeat might seriously hamper his chances of ever leading the NPP into the next presidential poll. For a man who carries himself as if he was born to be president, that could deal his pampered ego a lethal blow!
So, on both sides, the stakes are very high indeed. And the dirty politicking over the past three weeks must have made this abundantly clear to all Ghanaians.
But today, we decide and by Tuesday afternoon either Prof. Mills or Nana Addo will be suffering a severe bout of depression and grieving the loss of a diadem which seemed to be so close in hand. There will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. I hope they have prepared for this eventuality. If they haven’t, I’d suggest the following.
First, both men should write two speeches: one for victory and the other for concession. Much time should be spent on the latter. Nduom did a very good job on his concession speech in the first round and I think he should help both Nana and Fiifi write theirs.
Secondly, both Nana and Mills should get a standby ‘shrink’ – someone who can help them vent and support their ascent from the deep, dark hole of the vanquished. They can’t pretend to be ‘men’ and try to do it all by themselves. The man who loses this election will most definitely need a professional shoulder to cry on. Perhaps, we should create a VVIP ward at the Ankaful Psychiatric hospital for the loser.
Finally, I’d suggest that both Nana and Fiifi book a vacation to an exotic island – just in case. After trekking up and down our dirty, smelly country for so many months, both candidates deserve a break. The winner has the next four years to relax and chill out but the loser should go and take it easy in a place like the Bahamas for about four months. But this should only be after the shrink has certified him as “properly screwed”. I hope they haven’t exhausted their campaign budgets. Whatever is left should be able to pay for a relaxing, vacation in the Bahamas or the Dominican Republic.
From all indications, this race is going to be very close. An analyst whose prediction of the first round was almost spot on suggests that the victor and the vanquished might be separated by just about 50,000 votes. That’s very close. If it turns out to be this close, it will make the agony of defeat even more difficult to deal with. But that all the more reason why the candidates should brace themselves very well for defeat, realising that despite all they have said on campaign platforms, both of them have not been “ordained” by God to rule; only one of them is destined to be our leader – for the moment. At the end of the day, we will choose our leader and we expect the rejected candidate to graciously accept defeat and deal with it (with his shrink, of course).  
Sadly, both parties have tried to prepare the grounds for a rejection of the results. The NDC did it before the first round but the shock of the opposition party’s upsurge forced the NPP to also rev up its propaganda machinery, spewing forth some very spurious allegations. It’s all going to end today and we need Nana and Fiifi to realise, like the true sportsmen they both claim to be, that as in every game the decision of the referee (or judge) is final. We have had enough of the politics. We just want to get on with the nation building – and our lives!
 

I was so delighted when I heard Kojo was going to stage a concert this year. But I was almost disappointed when I heard where he was planning to stage it.

“Accra Mall?” I asked. “How the heck is he going to pull that off?”
Despite my scepticism I showed up for the show at the Accra Mall because, for me, whenever and wherever Kojo Antwi sings, I’d rush to go have a listen. And I wasn’t disappointed at all.
The set up was not as fancy as I know Kojo would have loved it to be had the show been staged at the National Theatre. But he made the best of what he had and there wasn’t a single technical hitch. The sound was a blast of quality and clarity, something you hardly get at the National Theatre. And lighting was beautiful. I particularly enjoyed those sporadic flares of colourful lights from the torches atop the stage pillars.
The stage at the mall’s food court was quite small but there was enough room for the ‘mapouka’ chicks to do their thing. By the way, I didn’t go with my wife – she chose to stay home and rest, having partied long and hard on the eve of Christmas Eve – so I could watch all the ‘mapouka tremors’ without batting an eye.  Don’t worry, she won’t read this and she will never know if you don’t tell her!
Before the ‘mapouka’ Ohemaa Mercy impressed me a great deal with her performance. As I watched her, it dawned on me that gospel acts are better at live performances than the secular ‘musicians’ – that is if you count people like Tiny and Tic Tac as musicians. Ohemaa Mercy belted out her tunes with such verve that I decided that whenever she decides to stage a concert of her own, I’d surely like to see it. What impressed me most was that she sampled some of the rhythms of my favourite reggae artiste, Lucky Dube, and fused them very brilliantly with two of her most popular songs.
Before Ohemaa Mercy, though, Morris Babyface, a very talented musician, pissed off the crowd so much when he started telling some lewd homophobic tales. He thought he was joking but the crowd wouldn’t have any of that. I also didn’t get the head or tail of what he was talking about and I gladly joined the others to boo him off the stage. This, sadly, was after he had played the piano with such finesse and sung a beautiful Christmas carol. Someone should kindly tell Morris to stick to the music. Better still, if he wants to tell jokes, he should keep the very explicit ones within his inner circle.
I think the Guinean gal, Kamaldine, also did a very marvellous job. I like her style and she reminded me so much of someone… If you want to know who, ask my friend Akwasi Sarpong! 
After Kamaldine, we had to endure a lot of suspense as we waited for Kojo Antwi. Just when we thought the legend was getting up on stage, the MC, Kwesi Kyei Darkwa (KKD), decided that we should go “stretch” our legs. It was a break we didn’t need.
When we got back to our seats, Kojo Antwi came on stage at about 20 past midnight. And there was no stopping him. He performed for three straight hours. The good thing about a Kojo Antwi concert is that he’s playing some of the most popular tunes by a Ghanaian musician, songs we love to hear and sing, but they don’t sound exactly as they are on CD. That’s what live musical concerts are supposed to be about? Not what we have to endure at almost every ‘concert’ in this country where we are forced to tolerate a bunch of ragamuffins miming to their own tunes, jumping around like little rabbits and holding their crotches. Kojo is different and that’s why I’ve vowed that if it’s within my means I will not miss any of his concerts for anything!
I have seen many of Kojo’s live performances but this year’s was exceptional because it was more interactive. He was close to the audience and the longer he engaged with them, the more he ‘flowed’. As the crowd danced and sang along, he seemed to be having a very good time of his own and I got the impression that he didn’t want the show to end. It was very strange that it was the audience which was rather craving for the show to end – not because they were bored but because it had been a very long night and they had been excited enough.
Midway through his performance, Kojo decided to surprise the audience with one of the most prolific musicians of old – Dr Paa Bobo. He sang one of my most favourite highlife tunes – ‘Fa wonsa bewo meni’ (poke your finger in my eye). “It doesn’t matter if I die for love,” Bobo sang in Twi. It was a wonderful performance, which reminded me so much of those GBC Radio 2 days when there was a programme called ‘Guitar Band Stand’.
At the end of Paa Bobo’s performance, Kojo called Kamaldine back on stage for a high-tempo duet, which saw the Guinean chanteuse shaking her meagre assets. It was all in good fun. When Kojo took over again, he declared that he wasn’t ready to sleep.  KKD responded that there were people in the audience who actually had places to lay their heads, yearning to go home. That was when Kojo started drawing the curtain on what turned out to be one of his best performances ever.
I am glad I was a part of it. It was the best present I got this season. Thanks, Kojo. I can’t wait for the next one.
 
 

Sometimes I get the impression that the guys at the National Security Council (or whatever they call themselves) – I mean Dr. Sam Amo and his people – think this nation is occupied by 22 million mindless creatures. I don’t understand why they think they can take any decision, use “national security” as an excuse and expect us not to ask questions. It really baffles me.

A few days before the first round of voting, we were told the Ghana-Togo border will remain open. But then on December 5, people on both sides of the border were dealt a serious “shock and awe” blow as they woke up to find that the passage through the eastern frontier had been shut. No one was coming in, no one was going out.
There are some people on the Ghana side, who have to cross the border to attend to the call of nature and then come back to start their day. There are others who cross over to Togo to fetch water. There are people on the Togo side who come to Ghana to school, socialise and work. All these people were seriously inconvenienced for the period the border was closed.
But those who are most unhappy about the closure of the border before the December 7 poll are Ghanaian voters who had been assured that they could wait and cross the border anytime to come home and cast their ballots. They were forced to stay on the other side and watch their compatriots voting on TV5.
It must have been a very depressing sight. You want to go and exercise your civic responsibility but thanks to the failure of people like Dr. Amo to make up their mind, get it right and on time, you are unable to do what you want (or need) to do. If they had been told the border would be closed on a certain date, I am sure even the most foolish amongst our compatriots on the other side of the border would have made alternative arrangements. Yet the border was closed – most annoyingly, without any warning and till date, we don’t know why that happened. That’s why I say Dr. Amo thinks he can do anything he wants and get away with it.
As things turned out Ghanaians are going to the polls again and our compatriots on the other side of the Aflao border do not want to be denied their right to vote for the second time in a month. They have complained to their chiefs, who have duly petitioned the government to keep the border open.
The National Security Council, meanwhile, has issued a terse statement which instead of assuring people, only succeeds in deepening the confusion and throws up more questions than answers.
According to the NSC, there is intelligence to suggest that some people who are not Ghanaians and not registered as voters are being brought in from neighbouring countries to vote in the presidential run-off.
Let’s give the NSC the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is dependable intelligence and it’s not one of their usual ‘Jack and Jill’ stories. But the question must be asked: is closing the border the right response to this intelligence? Maybe. In that case, if the NSC thinks that aliens should be prevented from coming in to vote, they should close down all the borders – in Aflao, Paga and Elubo. They could as well close down the airports and harbours. Any decision to close down only the Aflao border will most definitely be subject to different interpretations and misinterpretations.
If you consider that the Eastern border provides an entry (and exit) for people from a part of the country which is known to be a stronghold of the opposition, you can’t begrudge anyone for thinking that any decision to close the Aflao border is a calculated attempt to prevent some Ghanaians from coming in to vote – most probably for the opposition.
Nonetheless, how on earth does Dr. Amo and his so-called security operatives expect aliens who have not registered to vote? How on earth is that possible considering all the checks that have been built into our electoral system – photo ID cards, polling agents and all?
It will be very foolhardy for me – living in Accra – to move to my hometown, Essikado, and expect to be allowed to vote when I didn’t register there. It just won’t happen. I might end up with a bludgeoned head and a few broken limbs. How easy then will it be for a Nigerian – a typical alien – to move from Abeokuta, come in here and vote in Atimpoku? It doesn’t make sense. Simply put, someone should please sit Dr. Amo down and tell him that he’s blowing a lot of ‘jazz’ and at this time, if we want to listen jazz we’d rather settle for Dizzy Gillespie.  
I agree, therefore, with the chiefs from the Volta Region that the Aflao border must remain open. All our borders must remain open. Economic and social activities along the borders must not come to halt because we are voting. If the security people claim to have intelligence, they should go right ahead and arrest the people who are supposedly intending to bring aliens in to vote. In any case, aliens can’t vote if they have not been registered to do so. But if – for any reason – they have been registered and issued with a voter’s ID card, labelling them as ‘aliens’ is not the right thing to do – not at this time when passions are so high. Just as a reminder, that’s how the war in Cote d’Ivoire started – people from a certain part of the country did not take kindly to being barred from the electoral process with the spurious justification that they were ‘aliens’. None of that nonsense here! 

For those of you who haven’t seen it, find below the so-called ‘hit list’ purportedly drawn up by the NDC. It makes very interesting reading.

But at the end of the day, is it something we should even bother our heads about? I don’t think so. I think it’s sheer propaganda. But then I have been accused of being too simple-minded. >>>
 
Fellow Ghanaians, the cat is finally out of the bag and the thorn in the nation’s flesh has finally been caught red handed. Judas Rawlings John sent this unedited email below to one of his operatives who graciously passed it on to us. Read it for yourself and let ghanaians know about it via media and internet. this is just the beginning. Stay tune + Be Blessed. Major Seth Arkoful  
 
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2008 03:52:27 -0700 (PDT)
From:
"J. J Rawlings" <rawlingsjj@yahoo.com>                                         
Subject : MARSH POTATO – additional input
To: "Atomic Breeze" yahoo.com>
 
In my recent despatch to " MARSH 1" and "BULL DOGS", "RAINBOW 5" was to draw "MAPS" for a "MILD BUFFER" and "ROUGH HARRIS" ops.
It is crucial for us to intensify the MILLS campaign in order that "MARSH SIGNALS" are not picked up by the NPP and most especially by Fifi, John and the likes of Haruna, Hannah, Jamal, Alex, Anyidoho and Victor – ex boy.
MARSH OPS 1
(1)  Create every opportunity for chaos in the days before "MARSH DAY"
(2)  Maximum security focus will be at polling stations on "MARSH DAY". Create diversionary situations away from the polling stations and ensure electronic media pick them up on air. Back them up with strong phone-ins and text messages.
(3)  Kite Centre will do text blasts to phone subscribers nationwide. Contents will be frightening, thereby creating an atmosphere of pandemonium.
MARSH OPS 2
"MARSH ARROWS" should be directed at list below outside polling areas. Should look strictly like an Akufo-Addo attack on the Kufuor camp in order to break the NPP’s ranks. The source "MARSH ARROWS" should be legitimized in the eyes of the public and international community by launching  arrows  on names of our own on this list  and  the one passed on to you by "DON 1". The level of casualty on our own will depend on what their offence is. Example are those who attacked Nana and myself on Fifi’s behalf. Others are those who made money under our watch and have refused to support the party. Hear ex-boy on Joy FM last week. Nunoo -Mensah flirts with NPP and cannot be trusted. Why on earth should our own Sam Korankye Ankrah collect Kufuor’s award? Results of ops should vary from threats to broken anatomy to outright wasting. Period should be from "MARSH DAY" till a month after the elections.
We gave birth to the NDC and made them all what they are today after a hard won revolution, at a time when these cowards were hiding under their beds. Today, they want to take over our asset, reaping heavily where they have sown little or nothing. With respect to Fifi, the least said about him the better. Akufo-Addo is far better candidate in terms of public appeal. He is charismatic, fluent, healthier, politically up to scratch, streetwise, globally accepted and has a better message. We also have a problem with the floating voters and Spio would have been the right choice. This is why I said the NDC is not ready to take power. Hear what Kufuor is saying about Fifi’s health. This kind of enterprise requires a very healthy person in the eyes of the public and we all know that our man is not. Are we waiting for him to drop dead in November? John Mahama may have an appreciable level of public appeal but not what can translate to votes. He is not frontline leadership material. The man worked under me and I know him. I have been in politics for quite sometime now and have stood twice for elections and won. I have been Head of State of this nation for about two decades and privy to what most of you are not privy to, so when I speak, the NDC should listen. The NPP people are very smart so we should not take any chances.
As for the GA people, they exposed all our land dealings with them to Kufuor. Now they want to use us to blackmail Kufuor. They can go to hell. After all, the majority of occupants of Greater Accra are Akans and other tribes, not Gas.    
All ops, foreign and local on the ground are ready. This ops must be executed with the sharpest precision to accord it the credibility it requires. Keep track of your shadows and beware of the Army and Police who seem to have developed some stupid love for this government, thereby making it difficult to break their ranks. Kufuor and his brother Addo-Kufuor have cocooned  them. God help us.
Justice
 
Date: Wed, 14 Oct 2008 04:14:07 -0800 (PDT)
From:
"J. J Rawlings" <rawlingsjj@yahoo.com>                                         
Subject : MARSH POTATO – LIST
To: "Atomic Breeze" <ali@yahoo.com>
 
People of Ghana, on Rawlings’ Hot list of people ‘to be dealt with’ being circulated by email amongst certain NDC gurus and operatives, are names such as Rev. Aboagye Mensah, J.A. Kufuor, Francess Essiam, IGP Patrick Acheampong, CDS J.B. Danquah, Nana Ama Kufuor, Steve Asamoah Boateng, Archbishop Palmer Buckle, Professor Attefuah, Gabby Okyere Darko, Kweku Baako, Kwadwo Mpianim, D.K. Osei, Alan Kyerematen, Ken Ofori Atta, Yoofi Grant, Oboshie Sai Cofie, Kwabena Agyepong, Paul Afoko, Kwame Sefa Kayi, Egbert Faible, Alfred Ogbami, Ken Koranchie, Akuaba Gyasi, Paul Adom Otchere, Randy Abbey, Adakabre Frimpong Manso, Brig, Gen, Nunoo-Mensah, Haruna Iddrisu, Baba Jamal, Joe Ghartey, Ben Ephson, Benard Avle, Fred Chidi, Joyce Aryee, Dr Richard Anane, Osafo Marfo, Kofi Wayo, David Ampofo, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Nana Akufo Addo, Andy Awuni, Maxwell K. Jumah, Kennedy Agyepong, Alhassan Haruna, Abu Jinapor, I.C. Quaye, Catherine Afeku, Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi, Nana Ohene Ntow, Lord Commey, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Ben Owusu Mensah, Appiah Menkah, Baby Ansaba, Mustapha Hamid, Sam Okujeto, Kwame Boateng, Dr Sam Amoo, Prof Addae Mensah, Dr Obed Asamoah, Dr Amoako Tuffour, Rev Dr Mensa Otabil, Bid Ziden, Steve Amoah, Rev Asante Antwi, Ursla Owusu, Addo Kufuor, Ransford Tetteh, Freddie & Gina Blay, Kofi Coomson. Kwamena Bartels, Maame Dokono, Peter Mac Manu, Kumi Bruce, Dr Charles Mensah, Nana Ababio, Kwesi Pratt jnr, Nana Akomea, Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Kan Dapaah, Courage Quarshigah, Dr Apraku, Nana F. Ofori Atta, Chief Addo Kufuor and numerous NPP Ministers of State, former NDC Ministers of State, Some Beneficiaries of deals and contracts during  the NDC era, MPs, NPP leaders in Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Volta Regions, Social Commentators, Serial Callers, Members of Boards and Committee’s, Service Commanders, NPP Executives, Family members of J.A. Kufuor, Nana Akufo-Addo links, Businessmen and Women, Some leaders of Identifiable  Groups, Religious Leaders, DCE’s, Traditional Rulers, Lawyers and Judges. 

“Natty trash it ina Zimbabwe
Mash it up ina Zimbabwe
Set it up ina Zimbabwe
Africans a liberate Zimbabwe
Africans a liberate Zimbabwe
Natty dub it ina Zimbabwe
Set it up ina Zimbabwe
Africans a liberate Zimbabwe”

– Bob Marley in Zimbabwe’
The legendary reggae musician wrote the song ‘Zimbabwe’ as a war chant in support of the Independence struggle in the Southern African country. That was about 30 years ago.
Today that song is as relevant as it was when the people of Zimbabwe fought for their independence from British rule. Today, the people of Zimbabwe are engaged in what is essentially a second struggle for independence – from Robert Mugabe, the guy who bravely won the first one for them.
The Mugabe of today is the antithesis of the Mugabe who fought for independence. The earlier Mugabe cared about his people. He was in touch with them and he risked his life to have their needs met. Today’s Mugabe doesn’t care about anything beyond his nose and he has lost complete touch with his people. When the whole world looks on aghast as people die of cholera, he insists that there is no such disease in the country. The Mugabe of today won’t give up anything (not even his position) to ensure that his people get what they need – food, water, jobs, good healthcare and education.
Yesterdays, Mugabe was a wise, calculating warrior. Today’s Mugabe is nothing but a delusional coward whose head doesn’t seem to be properly screwed on.
It’s incredible how Mugabe has, in the words of the venerable Archbishop Desmond Tutu, turned “a bread basket” into a “basket case”. It’s an astounding feat and it will take a long time for anyone to even attempt to equal Robert Mugabe’s record of destructive tyranny and misrule.
So what happened to Mugabe?
First, I think Sally’s death affected Mugabe in more ways than we know. He lost a sweetheart and an advisor. After Sally, the lonesome Mugabe married a woman decades his junior. I am sure she can’t stand up to him as well as Sally did and he doesn’t care a toss about what she says – that is if she’s allowed to say anything at all.
Secondly, I think Mugabe became so power drunk – like all those who led various African countries to independence did. Mugabe feels that without him at the helm Zimbabwe will fall on its knees – or, in his delusional mind, into the hands of white colonialists. So he decided to do anything and everything he could to just hang on to power. Desperate people do desperate things that often make us all desperate. That’s what Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe.
Thirdly, and most important of all, I think that in his desperation, Mugabe experienced some ‘fluctuations’ in his ‘upstairs’ and this might have blown a few fuses in his brain. The man has quite simply gone mad. He has lost it and he deserves to be in a psychiatric ward, not a presidential mansion.
I know a lot of Ghanaians (and Africans) still admire Mugabe. They think he’s still a freedom fighter who is standing up to white imperialism and they will continue to encourage him to do whatever he is doing.
But whether you are a fan of Mugabe’s or not, I need you to realise that this is not about him. It’s about the people of Zimbabwe and the future of their country. Think about the hundreds who are dying of cholera, the starving millions, the thousands who have been forced to flee the country to escape persecution and the economic hardship and the fact that the right of Zimbabweans to choose their leaders has been taken away from them by a senile old man.  
We in Ghana went to the polls a fortnight ago. Within three days we had the results and we know we have to try again. It was an election widely accepted as free and fair. We are happy and we are proud for what we did on December 7.
In March, when Zimbabweans went to the polls the results were not released for about a month as Mugabe and his henchmen doctored the numbers in his favour. It was shameful – to say the least. But as if that was not enough, the opposition was so intimidated that they had no choice than to pull out of the second-round of the presidential ballot.
I think Zimbabweans deserve better. They don’t deserve any less than Ghanaians. The time has come, therefore, for the rest of Africa to once again heed Bob Marley’s call from 30 years ago and help liberate Zimbabwe. “Africans a liberate Zimbabwe”, the reggae legend urged.
Mugabe has been pampered for much too long. His fellow African leaders used to enjoy rationalising his madness. But not anymore. Now those who won’t condemn him prefer to just keep quiet.
The good news is that an increasing number of African leaders are coming to their senses and realising that it is mad cows like Robert Mugabe who give our continent such a bad name. My favourite African of all time, Nelson Mandela, has spoken out bravely against Mugabe’s sheer stupidity. So has Archbishop Tutu, who suggests that Mugabe should be arrested and kicked out by force if he refuses to go. The leaders of Botswana and Senegal have also condemned his misrule and called for some action to oust Mugabe.
In response to the rising condemnation of his misrule (which makes the Taleban look like an angelic host), Mugabe insults all of us by proclaiming that no African is “brave enough” to oust him. “Zimbabwe is mine,” he defiantly insisted.
Well, at least I am brave enough to wish him dead. We have all been taught not to wish anyone dead. But these are desperate time. So I am going down on my knees – something I don’t do often these days – to pray to God, plead with Him to have mercy on the people of Zimbabwe and strike Mugabe dead so that they can regain the freedom he won for them with his right hand but took away with his left. Mugabe must die! He is more useful dead than alive and he must go. Whatever it takes!

For the past two years I have been dishing out the SOGO (Senselessness of Ghanaian Origin) Awards.  Often, I sit in my kitchen (or loo) to select the award winners. This year, the competition is so tight I don’t want to be the only one deciding who wins what.

This is where you come in.
Please nominate people for the following categories.  
  1. Loose talker of the year – Awarded to the person who has successfully failed to co-ordinate his tongue and brains, in such a manner that anything he/she says is outright dubious, needlessly controversial and/or totally senseless. 
  2. Brofo yedur speaker of the year – Awarded to the person who delivered an unnecessarily large number of verbal scud missiles. This is also known as the Krobo Edusei Memorial Award. 
  3. Konongo Kaya of the year – This is a very special award to recognize the obstinacy of one individual who has decided to take up a job he knows he has neither the qualification nor the competence to accomplish and yet, he refuses to give up the job in question. 
  4. Lazy bones of the year – As the name implies, this is to recognize the country’s most underperforming individual or group of individuals. This is for those who have made the heaviest weather of what we pay them to do, thereby messing up a lot of things for us all. Selecting the winner of this category will not be easy because… well… there are about 22 million incompetent people in the country right now. 
  5. Jack and Jill Story of the year – There are certain stories that made our jaws drop to the ground in utter disbelief. In other words, these are the stories that are best told to little kids in village kindergartens. So the Jack and Jill story of the year award is to recognize the tall tales that should not even be told to the toddlers at Merton Montessori. 
  6. Patapaa of the year – this is to reward the person who doesn’t know that when you are beaten senseless, you can save yourself from further torrential hostilities by throwing in the towel. 
  7. Skin pain campaign of the year – This is in recognition of the most successful ‘ahooyaa’ campaign of the year. 
  8. Fad of the year – Ghanaians tend to be a very ‘copiatus’ bunch. One person does something and everybody else starts doing the same. The ‘fad of the year’ is to recognise our senseless copiatus tendencies. 
  9. Song of the year – This is the track that did not only get us grooving to its beats but also forced us to brood over some pertinent issues.
  10. Frequent flyer of the year – this award was specially created for just one man. With or without your nomination, he will win it this year too.
Award winners will be named a week before my birthday – on radio! 

Whose idea was it for NPP operatives to go about shedding crocodile tears and apologising for unspecified wrongs? I am hope it isn’t the recommendation of a paid consultant.

I think the whole thing started in Kumasi where the Mayor – chided for failing to get the people to turn out in their numbers to vote in the first round – decided to say “sorry” for certain wrongs she might have committed. She particularly mentioned the senseless ‘decongestion’ exercise as one of her major mistakes and apologised for the inconveniences it caused and the despair it brought to many hearts.
Shortly thereafter, the MP for Cape Coast, Christine Churcher was on her knees apologising and begging fishermen in Elmina not to vote on tribal lines. That’s euphemism for “the fact that Mills is a Fante doesn’t mean you should vote for him.”
Not long after Miss Churcher’s theatrical display of remorse, the epidemic hit – almost everyone started apologising. Nana Akufo Addo said “sorry” in his own unique way and some of his underlings also muttered a few words of apology. But the icing on the “sorry” cake was provided by President John Kufuor. In all of these cases, though, no one bothered to say exactly why he or she was saying “sorry”, leaving some of us to ask: “what on earth are they apologising for?”
Take President Kufuor’s apology for example. It was carefully couched in nuanced Akan. “I am sorry if I have done anything to offend any of you,” he said. “The one who fetches the water is the one who breaks the pot.”
Words like these do not make for a sincere apology. That’s why Ghanaians are asking: what are they apologising for and why now?
I can’t answer the first part of the question and the answer to the second part should be obvious to every Ghanaian above 18.
The NPP’s heavy losses in the parliamentary poll have been partly attributed to the ‘arrogance’ of some of its members. The party’s flagbearer is accused of being one of the most arrogant men to ever vie for the highest office in the land.
Arrogance, really, is in the mind of the beholder. But I think in Ghanaian politics today it is synonymous with ‘Asamoah Boateng’. The guy talks anyhow. When people complained that food was getting too expensive, he said they should go eat mangoes and roasted corn. He thinks he is always right and he never bothers to engage in any meaningful way with his opponents. Even after his humiliating defeat in Mfantseman West, he was on radio speaking down on people and saying some rather unsavoury words about the electorate – especially those in the Volta Region. These are words even I will think twice before saying.
I think all the apologies we have heard so far are all meant to deflect some of the charges of ‘arrogance’ and paint the NPP as an angelic collection of humble, contrite people. But is it working?
I don’t think so.
If these apologetic overtures had been made about the time President Kufuor accused Ghanaians of being lazy after some of us opened our big mouths to complain about the fact that we didn’t have money in our pockets, the narration would have been different. If these apologies had been rendered after the president inexplicably decided that he deserved to reward himself for all the good he has done for the nation, people would have listened and they may even have been inclined to forgive him without thinking twice about it.
In essence, it is rather too late in the day to be apologising. Apart from being patronising and insincere, it’s also not a wise thing to do at this time. It all smacks of a certain desperation on the part of the ruling party to stay in power by any means. And this, unfortunately for the NPP, plays directly into the hands of the NDC.
The opposition party, which has its own motley collection of arrogant thugs and hoodlums, is now pointing to the NPP’s apologies as a desperate act of deception only meant to win votes. On his latest tour of the Central Region, Prof. Mills has been telling his supporters that he will offer a government which will never have a cause to apologise and ask for forgiveness at the end of its tenure. That’s a very high standard he is setting for himself considering that government decisions are not always welcome with open arms. A government will always offend some people with its decisions and policies. But I wonder if Prof. Mills would have had the guts to say those words if the NPP hadn’t suddenly decided that now is the best time to patronise Ghanaians with half-hearted apologies.
Saying “sorry” is a noble thing to do. It can do wonders sometimes. In this case, however, it is doing more harm than good. But if members of the NPP want to continue with their apologetic theatrics, they should go ahead and hope for the best. Whether they are forgiven or not for “whatever” wrongs they might have done, we will know on December 28th. But for the apologies to really have the desired impact, they should be sincere and unconditional. Those rendering the apologies should also state exactly what they are “sorry” for and the apologies should not be nuanced in any way. Otherwise, what’s the point?
 
"Being sorry is the highest act of selfishness, seeing value only after discarding it." – Doug Horton