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Anthony Kweku AnnanArticlesGhanaPoliticsSocial Issues

Arms in Private Hands

Arms in private hands

There are periodic reports of discovery of arms and ammunitions being conveyed from one point to undisclosed destinations in this country. Consignments of guns and cartridges, explosives and other lethal weapons are uncovered at the borders, hidden in travelers’ luggage or specially-contrived compartments on vehicles.

It always takes a lot of intuitive diligence, and sometimes tip-offs, to come upon such hiding-places of deadly weapons being smuggled into the country or being transported inland. Sometimes the smugglers manage to escape detection and payment of duties when then they use unapproved routes, to avoid Customs and Preventive officials at the border posts. All the same, some of them are eventually caught at Police and/or Customs road blocks.

We also have locally-manufactured shotguns of various sizes, usually small and handy. These are normally patronized by hunters and farmers. The trade in arms and ammunitions has been a genuine or legal business in the past. Licensed Arms Dealers could import shotguns (usually long, single- or double-barrel models), into the country. Buyers were/are required to acquire Police Permits to possess and use them for specific purposes such as hunting.

Keeping shotguns for self-defence was hardly a remote objective, because self-defence or ‘Security’ had not been a major concern until the recent thirty or so years, when armed robbery has been on the upsurge. Another burning concern has been the presence of Fulani herdsmen who are armed to the teeth with AK47s originally supposed to be used by the Police and special Security operatives. One really wonders how such people manage to come by those weapons.

The arrest of a Ghanaian in the United States of America who, allegedly, had hidden a number of firearms and stuffed canvas boots with thousands of US dollars, in fridges intended for shipment to Ghana, has hit the headlines and social media this week. Initial reports indicated that the suspect was still being quizzed for the needed information on the prospective consignees in Ghana, or any others behind the transaction.

The incident has a lot of significance at a time the Nation is preparing for Elections in less than six months. Again, we had witnessed a situation whereby one of the major Political Parties had attempted to train a group of people to protect some of its leading personnel before, during and after the Elections.

Also, an exercise carried out by the Electoral Commission of Ghana, to register potential voters who had attained 18 years or had not registered before, turned violent in certain areas. People brandishing dangerous gadgets caused mayhem and inflicted wounds on others.

The need for extra vigilance by the Security Agencies cannot be over-stressed. Already, we have pockets of hotspots in some parts of the country. There are frequent clashes between neighbouring ethnic groups and even clans, over deep-seated issues which seem not to be settled satisfactorily. Attempts at peace efforts have had to be re-visited at short intervals.

Surprisingly, groups and individuals, including very influential opinion leaders, are clamouring for violence in their utterances on air and in public pronouncements, trying to justify self-defence. There is a lot of suspicion, distrust or lack of confidence these days among people and in the operations of some Public institutions. This is very unfortunate for our present Democratic dispensation. The up-coming political campaigns and the Elections should take place without any form of intimidation from any quarters.

We should recall the unpleasant consequences of situations in other countries all over the world. Meanwhile, Ghana has been blessed to have survived some near-explosive periods till now. We should cast our eyes and minds back to experiences elsewhere, such as Liberia and nearby La Cȏte d’Ivoire, The Rwanda massacre as well as the massive migration resulting from the pogrom in the Middle East are also glaring. The lessons of the horrific internal political strife are not far to see and we should not be seen to invite catastrophe upon ourselves.

Our Security Forces should gird their loins and live up to the assurances they are giving us in the face of such challenges, not only for the impending Elections, but all the time. After all, Elections are not the ultimate in life. We should be able to live in total guarantee of peace to go about our daily affairs and routines.   Hoarding guns, missiles and other lethal weapons will not solve any problems; they will rather aggravate the security situation in this country.

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Martin Amidu’s ‘Perception’ and the Game of Politics

The game of politics

Assuming your claim that, “former President Mahama was wrongly accused of corruption” is right which implies that he was actually a victim of ‘Perception’ and a deliberate plot to defame, why didn’t he or any other concerned member of the party sue for substantiation knowing well that the law requires he who alleges/asserts to prove (Affirmati Non Neganti Incumbit Probato).

The big question you should be asking is, who in politics cares if that claim is right? The game of politics is a dirty one that features the smart not a child’s play nor that of the “innocent” and the weak. If you’re allergic to dirt, you don’t wrestle with a pig. If you hate fire, you have no business in the kitchen. Same way if you’re not smart, you should fall out of politics and get yourself a job that best suits your personality.

Political game is about how loud you can project your image to the masses by tarnishing that of your opponent. It is about the magnitude of denigration you can ‘shoot’ to the camp of your opposition with all the arsenals at your disposal. It is about how strong your propaganda machinery is.

I can without fear of any myopic political tag say that, the 2016 propaganda machinery of the New Patriotic Party was one of the best any political party has ever had. It was well organized with youthful exuberance throwing political career damaging jabs from all angles whilst ‘yaanom’ were “power-drunk” and exchanging pleasantries with arrogance.

“Otashi Otwa tea” now you’re here crying over spilt milk that Martin Amidu said his corruption allegations were based on perception.

What was your propaganda machinery doing when others were busily drafting strong worded campaign statements? Where was your damage control when the damage was being caused? Where was your defense when the attacks were mounted to ‘assassinate’ John Mahama’s political character as you’ve claimed?

Y’all harboring sentiments and unfounded emotional bombs lurking to spot a blame game and explode should hold your chill and rather advise your people to correct their flaws. Channeling your energy towards an unproductive social media rant is a complete waste of time. Nobody really cares. We seriously don’t.

 

Richard Kwame Krah

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The Gitmo 2 Saga: A Game of Politics and Slander

GITMO 2 IN GHANA

In 2016, when the then ruling government (NDC) decided to accommodate Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, the two ex- Guantanamo Bay detainees, the minority then (NPP) disputed that decision with all aversions.

They’ve stated reasons ranging from threat to the Ghanaian security as well as speculated allegations of some alleged underground transaction between the Obama administration and that of John Dramani Mahama.

I could remember how it was successfully articulated as one of the New Patriotic Party’s 2016 campaign strategy to incite the common voter against their political rivals.

I equally remembered how the Catholic Bishops Conference consistently pressured the government calling for the repatriation of the two detainees to the United States.

Now the NPP in power, minister for foreign affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, is telling Ghanaians that the supposedly dangerous GITMO 2 have been granted refugee status premised on a clause of “possible integration” hence there isn’t a need for repatriation.

I wish I could equally advance the numerous “threat to security” arguments but it’s not worth the time–what is important is the slanderous image this act of contradictory political unfaithfulness seem to be painting  of the highest court of our land.

The Supreme Court ruled out the legality of the GITMO 2 agreement with a strong argument of a breach of Article 75 of the 1992 Constitution by the then President John Dramani Mahama.

The court went forth as accurate as I could remember to give a three month ultimatum to parliament to either ratify the final majority decision or the court will be compelled to repatriate.

If the Supreme Court concluded that, whoever signed this agreement goofed big time, why are there so many political powers at play that seem to be overshadowing the court’s decision?

The mere fact that the minority now–I mean the very people who accepted this offer when they were in power are seeking clarity on reasons for their stay after the stipulated time has elapsed and the majority who use to avert this decision deciding to defend it now is actually rendering this whole thing very dilemmic and fishier than we ever perceived it.

What actually is the game changing factor? Is there anything juicy surrounding this whole GITMO 2 saga that the lay voter doesn’t have a clue of?

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TIME WITH THE PRESIDENT…

#President Nana Addo

#KWAME

Congratulations first and foremost Mr. President for appointing the former Attorney General who happens to come from the camp of the opposition to occupy such a delicate portfolio. It is a politically correct decision, wise by all standards and a way of frustrating your opposition.

#THE PRESIDENT:

Your complement is well noted Kwame. I am equally well informed of your consistent interest in national issues. Keep the good work up. What motivates you to do this anyways?

#KWAME:

The Rot in the system Mr. President. A mere sight of fat bellied super rich hypocritical politicians with insatiable greed amidst a poverty stricken citizenry, substandard leadership full of managerial incompetence, consistent friends and family governance amidst high rates of unemployment, disheartening acts of injustice perpetuated against the layman as well as the proliferation of abominable Corruption. I am allergic to them.

#THE PRESIDENT:

Great. The issue of corruption is very worrisome and of delicate concern to me particularly that of the NDC. You saw how they presided over a government that bloated a budget just to draw pictures of ex-Presidents on vehicles, and also instigated those inhumane SADA- GEEDA frauds and so many others? Martin Amidu will soon probe everything fishy by those past corrupt government officials and bring them to book.

#KWAME:

Yes I saw all that with all humility Mr. President. But I don’t think corruption is peculiar to one administration. Your infantile government is equally tagged already with corruption allegations ranging from the insignificant Ghc1,800 each fine for a first degree felony of court evasion by the delta force, the BOST and PURC saga, a hooping Ghc800,000 for a website, 100,000 for seat and many more. Will the special prosecutor deal with them too?

Secondly, what is your definition for “past corrupt government officials”? Does it start from the time of the first Democratic government till date or the focus is just on the John Dramani Mahama lead administration?

#THE PRESIDENT:

The definition of past corrupt government officials? I will leave that for the right office to determine. The Ghc800,000 for a website I was told is a “typographical error”, the BOST, PURC, and delta force cases are stories for the gods. As for the 100k for seats, “I am not aware”. A committee is looking into that so let’s leave it aside. If I seek your opinion on who to lay off in my government, who will you suggest?

#KWAME:

I will humbly suggest the person (s) who advised you to make that statement at the sod cutting for the one district one factory at Ekumfi–“it is envisioned that 51 districts will actually start the implementation of their enterprises (factories) by the end of the year (2017)”. I personally think he, she or they should have prompted you to organize a press conference or seize a good opportunity to explain to Ghanaians why you couldn’t even build a retail shop talkless of a factory before the end of 2017. That would have helped you to lay issues to bare and provide answers to all the ‘WHY’ questions to clear the doubts of the numerous hungry unemployed graduates awaiting that initiative. It equally shows a sign of respect for the intelligence of the common voter and I strongly believe the good people of Ghana will appreciate and accept you for telling them the truth than keeping mute on it.

#THE PRESIDENT:

“Wo aka Asem oo”! That was the exact thing that came to mind–to address all those issues in my end of year message but I thought they may misconstrue the idea and take me for a liar. I equally thought of the propaganda the minority will make out of it but it’s not too late anyways. Put that aside and let me ask my last question.

If an election is scheduled for next year and I ask you to persuade Ghanaians, who will you suggest they vote for?

#KWAME:

I will advise them to either vote for “a collation of the minor parties (that is if they’ll ever consider that) or find something better doing with their lives on that faithful day. The NDC and NPP are cousins who deserve to be alienated from anything politics in this country if we’re indeed serious about development.

#THE PRESIDENT:

But the current research by Dr Bossman, a lecturer from the political science department of the University of Ghana predicted a win of approximately 52 percent for the NPP. What do you say about that??

#KWAME:

Mr. President, Dr Bossman is a staunch member of the NPP lecturers’ caucus which simply implies the celebrants of that finding are only dancing to a music composed by a gentleman to adjudge his mother’s soup. A research conducted on a sample size of five thousand people out of a population of about thirty million with not even a clearly defined method is a layman’s research. Generalizing that result will be the lamest mistake to be committed by any scholar. Per my opinion, such researches only end up granting the beneficiary a false hope to put him/her in a “COMFORTABLE LEAD”. If you need further explanation on that statement, ask the NDC. They will school you on how devastating the effect of that statement can be.

#THE PRESIDENT:

“Comfortable lead” sounds familiar though. I understand exactly where you’re coming from and I will do the necessary by reminding my people to work hard and curb the dire effects of that pronouncement. Kwame, let’s call it shot. I have some ministerial reshuffling to do. I will invite you on a later date…

#KWAME:

I doff my hat for your time Mr. President. There’s no need catching feelings if my response sounds a bit “irregular”. Speaking to Presidents is typical of my dreams anytime I eat Daavi’s kenkey before sleeping on my crooked bed. I will still send a narrative of the dream to your inbox anyways. Regards!!!

 

Richard Kwame Krah

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25 Years of the 4th Republic of Ghana

25 years of the 4th Replic of Ghana

Permit me to crack down the entire Ghanaian republican concept in a layman’s language for a common understanding so you can better comprehend my perception of the decision of this government to celebrate the day. The rationale behind the concept is advocacy for a stable democracy–one that gives sovereignty to the common man to decide who should or should not govern him/her. A democracy that promotes peace and security, erases one party system and as well do away with centralization of power as was the case in the history of Ghana.

Our leadership was not different from the usual African brutish way of ascending power through the formation of a conspired military to force governance down the throats of citizens but the ratification of the 1992 constitution as the supreme law of the nation which clearly spelt out the processes of power allocation, the structures of government as well as the regulations and eligibility criterion for political representation which altered that perception and boosted the fortunes of the republican advocacy and successfully dealt with imperialism.

Though very alien to the then Ghanaian political system, we successively incorporated this seemingly liberating concept into our political mode of operation. The democratic agenda was spiced by the admirable peaceful power transfer from the then “dictator”, Jerry John Rawlings and the effect trickled down to the Nana Addo lead administration that is deciding to celebrate the concept.

Initially, I did not in any way dispute the 4th republic celebration idea because a peaceful power transfer is worth it but I’ve receded on that decision after getting a bigger picture of the whole concept. They forgot to see the rots that accompanied the transfer. Aside the peace that we craved for, the transition equally evolved negativities hence choosing to waste resources to celebrate at the expense of highlighting these flaws is a miss. Along with the transfer was a bunch of leadership flaws, an intrinsic corruption, broad day light thievery and political selfishness.

Leadership in our Country has become more of “vote me to steal” than “vote me to serve”. The democratic concept was misconstrued hence getting abused by our politicians.

In my candid opinion, this milestone should have been treated as a national day of dialogue–a day on which we deliberate on the chain of corruption that has engulfed our political terrain. A day on which we run a retrospect of the deficiency in policy implementation since the first republic, correct our mistakes for a better Ghana certainly not a day for merry making which may end up seeing a common budget for the celebration being bloated to double our plights.

The day is far gone, the celebration is almost done, but permit me to remind the leadership of the Ghanaian 4th republic of the achievements of the 4th republic of France:
“The French 4th Republic saw an era of great economic growth and the rebuilding of the nation’s social institutions and industry. It played an important part in the development of the process of European integration which changed the continent permanently. The greatest accomplishments of the 4th Republic were in social reform and economic development. That government established a comprehensive social security system that assured unemployment insurance, disability, old-age pensions, and proper health care to all citizens”.

As you celebrate, deliberate on the fact that the French 4th republic for example, did not party those achievements into being. They adopted prudent economic policies, put up anti-corruption mechanisms and served whole heartedly to produce those results I have highlighted.

Richard Kwame Krah

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Ghana: Political Irresponsibility and Tax Evasion

Tax evasion in ghana

You know, anytime I hear people blame tax evasion fully on law enforcement, I am always tempted to believe they intentionally overlooked the reality or they probably are oblivious of the numerous causative factors to that effect. If the leadership attitude or that of the enforcers or power brokers themselves is questionable, it makes it difficult to take on defaulters or persuade them to buy into any “anti-tax evasion” campaign which eventually makes the law seemingly useless.

Let me establish categorically that Richard Kwame Krah is not in any way against this particular initiative but I must admit, I fear it may end up being a complete waste of first, the media space, the viewer’s time, as well as the tax payers money and in actual sense end up projecting a message more of a deliberate attempt to temper with the goodwill of Ghanaians than what it is intended to achieve if utmost caution is not observed by the political front to deal with its reckless attitudinal dynamics.

You know, it is ridiculous sometimes how politicians engage in all magnitudes of open financial malfeasance and corruption suggestive mannerisms which end up damaging their own political portfolio with a negative public opinion and in turn stage these sort of campaigns. The actual effect they intend to achieve anytime they implement such self-implicating initiatives baffles me a lot. Do they in anyway purport to reap a faithfulness they failed to plant?

Average Ghanaian politicians always make things difficult for themselves. You don’t need a PHD in human relation to understand that a decision made by a people motivated by negative impression through glare acts of unfaithfulness is very difficult to overturn. See, humans are already deviants by nature and are actually having that inner urge of rebellion due to biological predispositions. If you give them room to add a sense of financial insecurity to this already existing nature, it will be very difficult to regulate them.

You can’t take out the fact that there’s a direct relationship between political irresponsibility and tax evasion. It is very discouraging to offer if you are well informed of a wastage through a deliberate loot and share at the receiving end of your hard earned money. If you think a citizenry will cheaply grant you a spontaneous consensus on an issue of this calibre with a fair idea of the rots you are harbouring in mind, then I’m afraid you really need to rethink that perception.

In saner climes, no single individual will ever try or want to invest his resources into a wasteful venture. The best way to persuade a people to entrust their money into your hand is to demonstrate trust beyond all reasonable doubts not creating a system that promotes irresponsibility. You run a reputable government and a political front with an enviable sense of integrity not one that frowns on probity and accountability.

If you run a genuine poll out of a hundred, ninety-nine percent of the Ghanaian citizenry will synonymously perceive the concept politics as corruption and associate politicians to that effect not because they misconstrued the concept but because they have audience and witnessed the “unfaithfulness” of the political class (irrespective of any political divide).

Taxes build nations undoubtedly same way political behaviour equally speak volumes and determines the direction of social contract and citizenry consensus. Do the necessary by working on your public image first and actually change your political attitude before you disturb the populace with the commercials else you will only end up pouring water on stones and equally waste the scanty revenue you were able to accumulate.

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