20 September 2012

Ghana: Gh¢51 Million Woyome Dole-Out Was a Decree From the Fallen Czar

Even for its reputation as a society of make-beliefs, this was a comedy of extraordinary proportion. For three and half years, a diseased-stricken person with both feet virtually in the grave and barely able to move the limbs was presented as the nation's answer to Hercules.

The bald old man with one foot already in the grave might have touched on raw nerves, but as they say on the sandy beach here, where retirement has confined the once able bodied person to wait on God, 'ASEM YI DZI KA.'

By a very strange combination of events, no one dared to criticise the principal actor or his script writers, even though everybody seemed to agree in private that what was being sold was mere fantasy without substance. Long before the name appeared on the ballot paper, news about his health, or lack of it, had done some rounds in the world of social, print and electronic media.

In a society where truth has taken a battering, much of the opprobrium was reserved for those who raised issues with an obviously unfit person trying to lead from the front. In the newspeak crafted by the image makers, it was sacrilegious to suggest that the visibly tired and worn-out person could not be an effective leader, and that it was dangerous to entrust the state in the hands of a person who might spend more time on the treatment table, than for him to think through the myriads of problems afflicting society, and hazard some guesses on how to resolve them.

It came to pass that throughout the three and half years that the comedy lasted, the welfare of society was sacrificed at the altar of foreign trips for treatment for the Czar, and luxurious lifestyles for those who sold a goat to society as a cow, in order to cover-up for the gargantuan failure of state policy.

In an era, when professorial doctrine failed the basic test of statecraft, the man himself, added to the comedy by jogging at the airport and trying to match Sakordie in the latest Azonto steps. Even when the voice had clearly given the game away, image makers sold the Czar as fit as a fiddle.

When the inevitable happened, the sad event was captured in the art of theatrics. First, there was a missing key. Then the ambulance would not start for a while. When it did, the Head of State was taken to the 37 Military Hospital, where a report was made to the accident unit. Even then, the description given was that of a top official of state.

It was an overzealous junior doctor, who discovered that the patient was the Head of State himself. When the official bulletin was issued and signed by the Chief of Staff, it talked only of the President reporting ill in the afternoon, arriving at the hospital around 12:15 p.m., and passing away one hour later.

It was then that the real comedy unfolded. The official funeral brochure talked about the man, who could not intercede on behalf of the poor souls of the land, leaving a message for the people of this hapless nation, promising to intercede on their behalf in the court of the Almighty himself.

Yes, the Czar had entered the celestial world. A television crew even went with him to heaven and captured the Czar being embraced by the Son of God himself. In the ridicule of ridicules, Jesus, the Christ himself, is captured on tape vacating his seat for the new favourite son of the Almighty himself. That is how far we have come.

In moments like this, the bald old man with one foot in the grave takes solace in Mark Twain's famous words. "A lie can travel halfway around the world, while the truth is still lacing his shoes. But the moment truth has finally got his shoes on, it would soon catch up with the lie and leave it trailing."

The scapegoat for this brutalized, and abused society over the past three and a half years, has always been found by 'the goat is a cow theorists' in those pointing out the inadequacies of men and women, many of whom have found it more rewarding shouting non-existent achievements from the roof-tops.

One of the most nauseating arguments assailing the worn-out ears of the bald old man, and many who could not afford basic care under the Czar's rule, is the notion that this society is not ready for free second cycle education. The Constitution binds us to do so, I would like to believe. Secondly, one-third of society enjoys that right. The President of the Republic and a number of his ministers went to secondary school free of charge. Why should children of poverty-stricken families in the rest of society continue to be denied that right?

While we are doling out state resources to the likes of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, Construction Pioneers and Africa Automobile in hundreds of millions of Ghana cedis, we keep shutting the doors to quality education to the large mass of our people. And we say we are a Middle Income Nation!

The Woyome scandal was the creation of the man who is supposed to be in heaven. Take it from the bald old man with one foot already in the grave. It was the fallen Czar himself who ordered the political head of the treasury to open the vaults at the national bank, and hand over that quantum of state money to one man without a dog, while essential services were not attended to.

It was all down to how the priority of state worked in the mind of the Czar, who, incidentally, was presented to the nation as holier than the Pope. If Albert Kan-Dapaah and his Public Accounts Committee want to get to the truth, the route is definitely not through Woyome the beneficiary. The long walk to the naked truth winds its way through the Finance Ministry and its political head.

Why Duffuor, the Minister, has not been summoned to throw light on how that huge state money was doled out to one man is still a mystery.

With one wave of the enormous powers conferred on the PAC, Duffuor, the minister, would oblige, and the truth would be there for all to know. For all his financial engineering, Woyome could not have broken into the vaults at the state bank and made away with that huge state deposit.

The notion that the Czar ordered ministers not to pay the money was one of the mysteries created by the image makers of the fallen leader to present him as holier than thou. The political head of the state treasury, owns a bank. That is a fact well registered in the minds of many Ghanaians.

Work out this conundrum. How would the man directing State Treasury react, if on a fine morning he calls at the office of the manager to be told that a certain Asebu Amenfi called on him and reported that the owner owed him the sum of money paid to Woyome, and that the money had been paid without any documentary proof? We are in a very interesting stage of our development as a nation. The bald old man would vouch on this one. The Woyome money was paid because the Czar insisted on it.

The bunkum of an Economic Organised Crime Office (EOCO) Report, stating that the Czar had issued a fatwa against payment to the man universally acknowledged as the financier of that political grouping, which has perfected the art of presenting the mirage as the substance, is all part of building that saintly image that was completed with the job of the television crew in heaven.

The bald old man has been wondering why the professorial inaugural failed to aid the Czar to see through the façade of Woyome's claim, when it was pointed out from the Ivory Tower that, as far as records go, there had been no inaugural involving the fallen Czar.

Strange is the word. But, in the world of make-beliefs that enveloped the whole presidential concept, everything was possible. Remember this! In the three and a half years of the Czar's reign, the official concept was that a goat is a cow. Evidence abounds that not much has changed, even though officially, there has been a change of baton.

The concept of divine direction on the John-Amissah leadership being peddled about is a mere extension of the concept that took the television crew to heaven. It is one message that has no foundation. If for nothing at all, the fallen cedi holds the key to the mirage now dominating the platform talk.

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