Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something. – Plato
This statement never made enough sense to me until I watched Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, alias Napo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Manyia in the Ashanti Region, on Good Morning Ghana of Thursday, January 9, 2014. He was the first person yet to put clarity on the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz and the loan owed Merchant Bank by Engineers and Planners (E&P), a company owned by Ibrahim Mahama.
Let me paraphrase what he said, “Let no one kid you that Merchant Bank was sold because of E&P, it was some few people, who sat in their rooms and sold the bank using pensioners money”
Since the advent of the Merchant Bank sale to Fortiz, members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), including its Members of Parliament (MP), have been turned into one huge theater of comical absurdities, where they are trying hard to outdo themselves in the absurdities and baloney.
The sound bites coming out of most of our radio stations are comical at best. But on a closer examination, it is ignorance that has informed most of the discourse that has gone on so far, about the whole transaction and why most commentators think the state bank was sold, because of the indebtedness of E&P.
Finally, somebody from their stock has decided to save the day and Ghanaians the embarrassments that this country is being subjected to by a group of people, who feel they have the right to own properties in this country and they are more intelligent than all of us.
The Chairman of the NPP, Jake Obestebi Lamptey, who served as a Minister of State in the John Agyekum Kufuor era, decided as part of his end-of-service benefit to buy a bungalow that he occupied. In furtherance of his corrupt and immoral acts, he was elected as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of that party. What could be more corrupt and smacks of conflict of interest than this?
Jake is now also mounting a moral high ground and also asking whether the Merchant Bank sale is in the interest of Ghanaians.
Perhaps, some of us are required to meet a certain standard of behavior, whiles others have the right to do whatever they like, because Ghana is for them and they are not accountable to anybody.
I used to admire Napo, so much until his Rambo style behavior in the run-up to the 2012 elections, when he unleashed his thugs on innocent National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters in Kumasi, as well as, his apparent silence as a Director of Elections for NPP in 2012, when he allowed his party to deceive Ghanaians that the 2012 elections was rigged for President John Dramani Mahama.
Napo, was fully aware that the 2012 elections was the freest and fairest elections, since we ushered in the 1992 dispensation, yet when some Hawks in his party decided that they were going to the Supreme Court to challenge the results, he kept quiet and allowed them to waste eight months of Ghanaians time, not forgetting the resources that was expended during the period of the trial.
But as it is said that it is only a fool, who does not change his mind. Napo has so far started the year so well, he could just be my man of 2014. He is the type of man NPP need to salvage its sinking image. A character like the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, alias Sir John, has poison the atmosphere with his ignorance on every topic, including the Merchant Bank sale. He even went ahead to accuse the President of collusion in the sale of Merchant bank to prevent Ibrahim Mahama from paying his debt owed the Bank.
I am equally shocked by the behavior of the Minority in Parliament, we cannot continue to go through a cycle of electing Members to represent our interest, only for them to go to the August House and abdicate that responsibility.
If our MPs on the Minority side, were broke from overspending during the yuletide, they should have told Ghanaians, instead of engaging in backdoor tactics to put money into their pockets. What is the sense in summoning Parliament, when they had nothing serious to discuss. They were fully aware Andrew Awuni was in court, challenging the sale of Merchant bank to Fortiz, so why not wait until the final determination of that case.
I am curious, but is this the first time a bank is being sold or a national asset is being sold? In 2007, Ghana Telecom was sold to Vodafone in a mysterious circumstance. The country did not burn, we did not disintegrate, we moved on, despite the noise and concerns people raised.
I think, if ever this country is going to develop, we need to do away with politicians. How can any developing country, desirous of progress, spend time and energy for months unend, debating the sale of a bank to its own people? Let even assume without admitting that the deal is bad, shouldn’t we take consolation in the fact that the bank was sold to Ghanaians.
Where is our sense of patriotism and decency, why must we have the feeling that the Ghanaians, who bought the bank, don’t have the capacity to run the bank? I doubt if these unnecessary debates would have lasted this long, if the bank was acquired by foreigners.
Our President and his Ministers have a country to run; our MPs have responsibilities to their Constituents and the country, journalist to their readers and listeners, as well as, Ghanaians interest to project, we cannot continue to become the harbinger for politicians.
We cannot engage in this merry go round of blame game, when majority of our citizens don’t have access to good drinking water, quality of education, good health etc. This sale should it be halted, will not solve all the myriad of problems facing this country.
We are becoming a country of jokers. The only thing that engages the minds and attention of politicians is power.
Until, we realize that our destiny lies in our collective effort, God should continue to have mercy on us.