When you have a table full of options, you do not settle for less and when the table is dearth of options, you create new ones.
Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, thankfully did not have to wait for somebody to die, before he becomes a Minister, in the Government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The President, John Dramani Mahama, who have had to deal with bad options like the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, threw in his last dice, by nominating Dr. Ekow Spio Garbarh to be the Minister of Trade and Industry.
It was a decision that was hailed by even his opponents; the icing on the cake was when his nominee appeared before the appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, August 13, and I can only described him in one word, as many have done, he ‘dazzled’, if talking is the yardstick to measure performance, I believe we have the right man for the job.
But talk is cheap and so I won’t start counting my chickens before they are hatched, as I was once bitten by Seth Terkper, who as a deputy Minister of Finance, appeared more competent, capable, than his boss, Dr, Kwabena Dufuor, but when given the opportunity, he is on his way to becoming the worst Finance Minister, this country has ever had, since independence.
Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah’s appointment did not go unnoticed, the day his name was mentioned, his article that become a subject of endless debate under the leadership of the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, like a ghost resurfaced. Stories and articles were written questioning his principles. He was asked what had changed and that it was the same team B, that is still running the country.
When he appeared before the appointment Committee on Wednesday, the subject came up once again, he spent time explaining away what he meant by Team B, when time could have been focused at the substantive matter of what he was bringing on board.
How many of us as journalists haven’t written and said things about people, that we have had to eat back our words when we are confronted with the truth?
How many politicians in this country, have not described their opponents in unprintable words only for them to turn back and say it was said at a rally or in the heat of electioneering campaign?
How many politicians have not called their opponents thieves, without any shred of evidence?
Describing a team as A or B, is the least derogatory description anybody can describe a team, so before anybody sets out to insult Dr. Spio Garbrah, let him cast the first stone.
When he wrote the article captioned “Honouring Nkrumah’s Legacy, Any Lesson for the NDC”, a lot of people made a lot of unsavoury comments about him, including some questioning the source and substance of his doctorate degree, we were all made to understand that it was not earned, but rather conferred on him, but seriously, which degree is earned, it is always awarded.
It was his article that got the good old, Ato Ahwoi, to say that over his dead body will the man be a Minister in the Government led by Prof. John Evans Atta Mills.
Our elders have a saying that the cane that will be used to beat Baah, will also be used to beat Takyi, should Ato Ahwoi, also appear before any Committee and is asked that “you said over your dead body will Spio become a Minister”, how will he respond? What goes around comes around.
If we have learnt any lesson, it is that we are all measured in our criticism.
It is this same principle that got me to defend Victoria Hammah, who I thought was not treated fairly by the Government and the party, the National democratic Congress (NDC), that she swore her life to work for, we are all guilty of these offences, we either say or do things on the spare of the moment that we regret later.
I am equally guilty, I have written articles upon articles about people, based on a conversation I had with somebody and the person has told me what the person has done or failed to do, when they call to clarify, I have always looked stupid and I have had to apologize.
It is only a fool who does not change his mind, on hindsight a lot of things are said and written about People, without any basis whatsoever, but when you have the courage to apologize, we move on.
An American telenovela I watched recently titled House of Cards, the main character, said something instructive, and I quote “On the road to power, they are so many causalities; you just have to continue moving”.
The President has taken the decision to include Spio in his Government, President Mills took the decision to keep him out, so he can piss in, the same way the people today pummeling Dr. Spio Garbrah and questioning the President, did not find it necessary to question Mills, for keeping him out.
President Mills, was not an angel, he made his mistakes, among his decision to keep Dr. Spio Garbrah out of Government, all the problems confronting President Mahama today, are all the legacies left behind by Mills.
Mention can be made of the dubious payment made to the beleaguered businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the corruption that almost collapsed the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Programme (GYEEDA), the SUBAH deal that is refusing to go away, the Single Spine salary pay policy that has become like the Achilles Heels draining this country to its knees etc.
Yes, he made so many mistakes and took certain questionable decisions, so before those accusing the President start pointing fingers; they should know that they have more questions to answer.
I am no saint, but I do not think those who are behaving like holier than thou are either, times have changed and when those who used to wield power, have found themselves at a position, where the privileges no longer exist, they should let us be.
The sycophants, who still want to continue dancing, when the music stops are the real threats and enemies of a progressive society.
I wish Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, the best of luck, after all is said and done, Ghana will be the beneficiary.