Between Intellectual Discourse And Impudent Snobs

When almost everybody seemed to be insulting each other, the NDC was winning the propaganda war with big lies and impudent snobs. But when Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the technocrat, in his intellectual discourse turned to the economy, the NDC became vulnerable. Poor souls, unable to match the intellect of the fine technocrat, people like Dr. Tony Aidoo, Fiifi Kwetey and the other NDC propagandists and apologists threw courtesy and respect to the dogs and went into the gutters to attack the integrity of this man who always speaks on issues with decorum and tact. And the acting Government Statistician of the Ghana Statistical Service, Mrs Philomena Nyarkoh, who is also supposed to know better, stooped so low to expose her political leaning. I do not blame her because she is doing everything to get her appointment as an acting Government Statistician confirmed. The Mills/Mahama regime has brought governance close to the Stone Age. Unable to connect with the economic anguish of the people of Ghana, the Mills/Mahama government has resorted to propaganda to survive. As to how long they can survive the heat in the kitchen, it is only a matter of time before we find out since December is knocking on our doors. During his maiden encounter with Shaka Sally of the Voice of America (VOA), President Atta Mills told the world that he did not believe in cold statistics, which according to him were churned out by the Ghana Statistical Service, which indicated that inflation had gone down considerably. He said the reality was not what was on the ground and that when you visited the towns and villages, able-bodied young men and women could be seen idling away without jobs. Today, the man who said he did not believe in cold statistics does not hesitate to climb the rooftop, beat his chest to tell the world that his government has been able to bring inflation to a single digit. Anyway, where was the Ghana Statistical Service when Mills made that unfortunate statement on the VOA. Couldn’t they have called a similar press conference to challenge President Mills? You see the hypocrisy in the woman at the GSS and the man at the presidency? The insults that were heaped on Dr. Bawumia when he stripped the government naked during the Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lectures have toughened the guy and he has ultimately forced the NDC to spend their time discussing the weakest point of Mills’ presidency: the economy. You don’t screw with a technocrat like Dr. Bawumia when you are a novice on the job. Dr. Bawumia spoke to the nation in plain and simple language. He did not use any intemperate language in his discourse but the NDC hatchet men seized him by the neck as if he had seduced the chief’s wife. When I translated what Bawumia had said in the local language to my illiterate mother who sells maize at the market, she kept on nodding her head and understood everything as if she also studied economics. At the end of my version of the Ferdinand Ayim Memorial lectures to my mother, she ended up asking, “But is Bawumia lying, look at the price of maize?” The NDC has been shouting from the rooftop that they have been able to bring inflation to a single digit and Dr. Bawumia told us that what the NDC has been saying is not the reality on the grounds. Simplista! Those of us who are not economists do support him because our wives visit the markets on daily basis and they always come back to tell us that times are hard. They say even though the government says inflation has gone down, prices have skyrocketed. Farmers who buy fertilizers always complain that they cannot buy the stuff because the price of a bag of fertilizer is unbearable. The price of a fifty-kilogramme cement has shot from GH˘7.50 to a gargantuan GH˘30 in a matter of three years. And Mills and his people call it Better Ghana. Businessmen and women who import goods complain that a crestfallen cedi is running away from the dollar with the speed of Usain Bolt and NDC propagandists, in their attempt to justify the trend, put the blame on Ghanaians who purchase the dollar in anticipation of selling them for profit. Dr. Bawumia, the economic whizz kid from the north, cited the unbearable high cost of living, coupled with joblessness and the continuous depreciation of the cedi to buttress his argument, but instead of engaging the man in an intellectual discourse to convince Ghanaians, all what the Tony Aidoos in this part of the world can do is to kick like bulls simply because they lack the knowledge to take on Dr. Bawumia in an intellectual discourse. Unlike the run-up to the 2008 general elections when they had a field day, this time around these NDC propagandists are finding it very tough now that Dr. Bawumia has laced his boots and is ready to kick. People like Fiifi Kwetey can continue to let loose their mischievous self but as for Dr. Bawumia, he is not looking back. When he spoke at a youth forum in Kumasi recently, he was at his rhetoric best as the economist in him kept dripping into the minds of the younger generation who had gathered to listen to their idol and role model. History is repeating itself in a twist. Getting to the latter part of NDC 1 regime, it came to pass that for many lunar cycles, there prevailed a frenzied pursuit for the cedi despite the drastic diminution of its purchasing power. NDC apparatchiks were scrambling for money as if the world was about to come to an end. In those same days like these days, mediocrity was raised to the level of political virtue and integrity was seen as a dangerous deviationist attitude. In Mills’ Ghana today, MMDCEs and ministers of state are grabbing money from left to right, fearing that when the government loses power in December (and they will surely lose power), they would no longer get the chance to loot. The founder of the party in power has consistently complained about thievery and corruption in the Mills’ government but sadly, anytime he opens his mouth, people like Okudzeto Ablakwa and a certain contemporary Don Quixote called Nii Lantey Vanderpuye spit fire and brimstone. Just look at the bovinely contemptuous manner in which the two boys showed Rawlings after his speech at the 30th anniversary celebration of the 31st December Women Movement? Nii Lantey Vanderpuye spoke as if he was there when Rawlings and his men and women of the PNDC were forming the NDC. Do these guys know the three daughters and one son of Rawlings? Where I come from our elders say when an oak tree falls down, ants climb it easily. Other than that how can an upstart like this presidential staffer speak to Rawlings the way he did? Asem bi adi bone (Something has gone wrong). I would like to use this column to appeal to Dr. Bawumia to stay focused because we want to learn more from him. He should close his ears and disregard those brash hirelings in the NDC who are out there to insult. We all know this technocrat has enough visibility and standing in relevant quarters and as such he should not allow himself to be distracted from his mission and vision. The sages say the man who weeps in the rain knows where his tears are. We know Bawumia has more under his armpit to bail us out of this economic doldrums and help us uncoil ourselves from the grip of vampires. You see, Doc, if a speech like the one you gave at the Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lectures has a genius behind it, it forces its own reception in society, for there is a sweetness in good speeches which amuses as it hurts others. Dismiss the Tony Aidoos and the Fiifi Kweteys as mere irritations of nuisance values and continue to get on the good foot. When you speak, we listen with rapt attention but when they speak, we simply giggle. That is the difference between an intellectual discourse and impudent snobs. Good morning, Madam Samira Bawumia, my fair lady!!! (No wonder they say behind every successful man is a woman)