Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Big Ask

""The big ask...
Which country in this wiase outsources its military to private companies for their business?

That must stop too.

The big men are also to blame and they know it that's why it was a shambolic communication in the beginning.

If a private company needs to protect its concessions, it must hire a private security company for the purpose. The Ghana Armed Forces has no business being contracted by private entities for whatever purposes.

These contracts may even bother on a constitutional breach.

His blood is on our hands, yes...

Capt., we are so sorry!!!
Rest in Peace. Ghana failed you!!!
May God forgive us and our non-leaders!!!"

- Breda Osimi

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A WHITE MAN'S TAKE ON OBAMA'S PRESIDENCY


Arrogance of being President while being Black

I don't think anyone was under some real illusion that the election
of Barack Obama actually means the end of racism in America . I'm pretty
sure that the president-elect knew it better than anyone. After all, he
saw it every day, from the moment he announced his candidacy. To some
degree, he saw it within his own party during the primaries. And he saw it in all ugliness during the general election. For half of this country, he
was "That One". No matter how big and clear his victory was. No matter how
smart he is. No matter how decent he is. No matter what a true patriot he is. No matter how optimistic and positive his vision for America was. All
that didn't matter. Because at the end of the day, he was still black.

I'm quite old. I remember, vaguely, where my parents were on
November 22, 1963. I've seen so many presidents. Some were feared, some were hated, some were adored, some popular and some not. But all of them, without exception, were treated with the highest respect deserving the office of the president of the United States.

That is until a black man won the right to occupy this office. It's
been 13 months now, and in the eyes of so many, Barack Obama is still that
one. He is being disrespected and at the same time being held to the highest
standard of any president I've ever seen - and not just by the
Republican side! He has to perform three times better than any president in
history, and even that may not be enough.
For the media, he is many more times just "Obama" than "President
Obama". They create scandals out of nothing issues. It took them at least 6
years to start giving Bush a small part of the shit he deserved. It took them 6 months to begin crap all over Obama because he's yet to fix the
catastrophe that was left for him.

They use condescending tones when they talk about him, and only
mildly less condescending when they talk TO him. With anyone else, CNN wouldn't dare go to commercials every time the president speaks, like they did during that summit on Thursday. They wouldn't dare be counting how many minutes George Bush or Bill Clinton were talking. Chris Mathews wouldn't dare make an issue out of Ronald Reagan calling members of congress by their first name, like he is not actually the president. They fully cooperate with the Right-Wing smear machine when it comes to president Obama's national security performance - even if almost every independent and military expert actually thinks that he's a terrific Commander-in-Chief. You'll never see them on TV, and virtually no one from the Left, in congress and outside, defend the president on this matter.
I don't care about the Far-Right. They're just crazy ignorant
Neanderthals. It's the way the beltway and the mainstream treats this president that is shocking. On Thursday, almost every Republican had no trouble interrupting him in the middle of a sentence. They looked like they're going to vomit every time they had to say "Mr. President". They all had this Eric-Cantor-Smirk whenever he spoke. Then they went out and started to spit their stupid talking points, to the delight of the media. Sarah
Palin, a woman who can hardly read, thinks that he was "arrogant" towards John McCain, and somehow this is important news. Because you see,
"Obama's Arrogance" is the talking point of the day.

Oh, those talking points. He is arrogant (because he knows the facts
better than all of them combined). He is an elitist (because he uses big
words that they don't understand). He is weak on national security (because he actually thinks about the consequences). He divides the country (well, he did that the day he had the audacity to win the election). Worst of all, he
actually thinks that he's the president. He even dared to say so on Thursday. How arrogant of him. You'd think that previous presidents didn't have any ego. Somehow it turned out that the one president who treats even his biggest opponents with the utmost respect - is the arrogant one. I wonder why?
I expected that his winning the Presidency would bring out some
ugliness, but it's been far worse than I imagined. The racism coming from the Right is obviously clear and shameless, but there's also some hidden and maybe subconscious and disturbing underline tone behind some of the things
that I read here and throughout the Left blogosphere, even before the end of Obama's first year - 'He's weak, he's spineless, he's got no balls,
primary him in 2012'. It'll be dishonest to deny that.


The fact is that for millions in America , Barack Obama is this
uppity black man (Not even a "real" black), who received good education only
due to affirmative action, and has no right to litter the sacred Oval Office
with his skin color. They just can't accept the fact that the president is
a black man, who unlike his predecessor, was actually legally elected.
But what's really sad is that it's not just the fringe, its deep deep in
mainstream America.

Barack Obama's ability to remain above all this slob, to keep his
optimism and his strange and mostly unjustified faith in people, while
continuing to gracefully deal with an endless shitstorm - is one of the most
inspiring displays of human quality I have ever seen. And I can only hope that
the Cosmos is on his side because God is and He never makes a mistake.

Sometimes, they make me feel ashamed to be a white man!!

P/S: This article was written by a white man who feels disgusted with the manner in which President Obama has been and is being treated by segments of American society. It was sent to me by a friend and I feel compelled to share it.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A Prayer For The President

A Prayer for the President

O Yeshua Amashua!

Creator of Heaven and the Earth, Maker of Uncle Fiifi and Maame Konadu and the NDC, hallowed be thy name!

Yeshua, we bring up Uncle Fiifi unto your Holy Throne room. Lord, you know that he did not really ask for this but this contest in your divine wisdom has to take place in order to guarantee him the necessary peace to achieve his Better Ghana agenda.

Harden the heart of Maame Konadu, Lord. Please don’t make her change her mind at the last minute. Yeshua, please let her contest the flagbearership of the NDC, Lord. We cover her heart in holy concrete, Lord. Ogyakrom needs its peace to enable real governance to take place. We worship you for your wondrous ways. Lord, what we are seeing can only be the work of your Hands. Let there be peace in Sunyani. Lord, let the contest be peaceful. Yeshua, my Lord and Master, let the result be unambiguous. Protect Uncle Fiifi and Maame Konadu and let the people of Ogyakrom have a definitive mandate from the congress.

Yeshua, we commit anyone who intends to cause mayhem into your Hands. Please cause a change of heart in mischief-makers. But Lord, if they will not desist, Lord, empower the law enforcement agencies to protect all and sundry. Let Sunyani come and go, Lord, such that Maame Konadu will know that indeed, this is the work of your Hands. And Yeshua, immediately after the contest, soften her heart and open her eyes, so that she does not commit hari kiri by forming her own party.


And Lord, forgive me my trespasses. I have not been communicating with you as often as I should. Help me to repair all the links with you so You can direct the next phase. I am grateful for the bundle of joy you have brought me even through the turbulence. Glory Be To Thy Name!!!


This I pray through the precious blood that you shared on Calvary for all, including Ogyakromanians.

Amen!


Breda Osimi

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tinted Paradise

“It is an offence to bribe a police officer” –
sign on a billboard at the Kasoa Police Barrier”.

Many months ago, I heard my dear friend and professional colleague ACP D.J. Avoga, head of the MTTU, declare on radio that the Police were going to wage war on vehicles with tinted windows. Do you remember? Oh my people? I know that we all have a 24-hour memory span but try and do remember a few things for me, wae. Do you remember the Venerable Begyina? What happened to his matter? Classic ‘ehuru a, ebe dwo’! Do you remember Agya Mpiani? When he toned down upon realising that the same manners he had warped in his prime may be applied to his case, have you seen or heard him take on ‘aban nipa’ again, except for the occasional Ghana@50 appearances? But I digress. Back to the wonderful ways of my people. Yes, I know the venerable D. J. well. Believe you me, he is not a disc jockey though I know he likes music. Knowing him, I can bet my bottom dollar that he meant business about this jihad (oh, Baba!!!) on tinted windows of cars. Indeed, he explained on some radio interviews that the Police could not sit idly by when there was an enforceable regulation that a driver should not obstruct his line of vision with any other objects. He was particularly concerned about the role of these tinted glasses in potential accidents arising from reversing vehicles or even trying to see through the rear-view mirror. ACP DJ asserted that though the regulation on tinted windows had been on the books for over thirty years, it had not been enforced and a lot of vehicles were now plying the roads wholly tinted from front to back.

I cringed a little because I was one of the people who had tinted vehicle.
A tinted jalopy!!! My first car, a 1986 Opel Kadett ‘has collected my love and feelings’ and has been sitting in my house ever since my manager decided she did not want it anymore. Somehow, I have grown to love driving that jalopy and I just couldn’t bring myself to offloading it. My abiding pain was that though E.G. knows all about gears and the fact that you should be in second and not fourth when traffic slows etc, he is still just a precocious 11 year old handsome boy. All he can do now is to race around courses with fast cars on a TV screen. My wahala is with game pads and play stations, a fad that started when his aunt brought him a game boy from Babylon. So my jalopy sits in the yard collecting dust day by day. One day, I get a brain wave and decide that I am going to give the old shaker an overhaul so I can use it around town. Guarantees anonymity. Enter Massa Kofi. Massa Kofi is an amazing mechanic based in Odawna who has been a permanent feature of my mechanical life ever since my Cedi House days. He is a guy that I can trust with everything bar my manager. We go back a long way and we have been through loads of vehicular mishaps together, from breakdowns on the way to the holy village to emergency operations through the phone along a highway. Massa Kofi takes a thorough assessment of the state of the jalopy and assures me the Opel is still very strong and just needs a little tweaking here and there to bring it into the 21st Century. So I find some money and release my bird to him. The car sits at Odawna for a while. They do a fine piece of work on it. The engine purrs beautifully. Seats are cleaned and new covers fitted. Body works completed. Believe you me, even the air-condition is rehabilitated. Oh, my Opel is back with a bang!!!

Then one of Massa Kofi’s boys suggests that I should tint the windows which will make the car a little funkier. That’s how my Opel is being threatened by Chief Avoga and his boys. I have only tinted the back windows and left the rear-screen free. I guess I won’t fall foul of the law team. But you consider how much a tinted window brings. To the policeman and to the vehicle user.

First to the policeman. Nice car approaching. Order to halt. Show licence. Shown. Where is your insurance and road worthy certificate. Shown. Where is your fire extinguisher? Shown. Where is your triangle? Shown. Avoga boy looks around and heaven came down in the form of a tinted window. Massa, why is your window tinted? Haven’t you heard about the law that says that no car should have tinted windows? Paradise has come for the policeman. If you are a Ghanaian, born and bred in these hereabouts, fully conscious of your 'Ghanaianness', then you begin evaluating how much your freedom will cost you in Ghana cedis. Tinted paradise for the Avoga boys.

Then to the driver of the tinted vehicle. You are cruising in the city and your windows are all up. I see you , you no see me’. What may be happening in that vehicle. There may be cocaine sniffing, armed robbers preparing for a raid and checking their weaponsa, girlfriends leaning over to plant wet kisses on a stupid driver’s lips whilst the vehicle is in motion. Come on. Use your imagination a bit. Just imagine the possibilities in a fully tinted vehicle. Everyone inside it gets ways literally with murder. Tinted paradise for the user.

So, DJ, what are you going to do about it. Are you going to insist on applying the law? I have seen loads of quality vehicles with tinted glasses from home. If you imagine that some of these palces are areas with limited sunshine and not out 12 hour free sunlight, you wonder whether everyone who brings a car into the country had it customized. Tinted paradise is there for both the policeman and the user. We could ban people like me who have used some dark foil to tint the windows. Get it off or you don’t access the jalopy. That I can understand. But if we insist on banning all tinted vehicles, you will have to contend with that British Embassy vehicle that is so seriously tinted you can only see the driver if you stand right in front of it. Guess even the venerable ACP’s colleagues have tinted vehicles. It’s practically a venture that is not worth fighting. The effort to ban the cars provides financial resource for most police personnel on the road. The typical ‘ehuru a, ebe dwo’ of the Ghanaian has won in the end. Now I see them all over the place. You only get into trouble with the law if business has not been good for the day and the men in black cannot arrest on any offence but the tint.

We trudge along, tinted paradise for both prosecutor and accused!!! It’s a win-win for all concerned. I am sorry if I woke up a sleeping monster. My tints are coming off this evening so I am not made a scapegoat. Respects, ACP D.J. Avoga, for all the effort you put in. I wish you all the best in your endeavours.

Breda Osimi

P/S: As this piece was being concluded, news filtered in that a new paradise was being created. Its motor-cycles after 8pm. This one, is a win-lose situation for prosecutor=rider respectively, So help them God!!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Lorgorligi Dance of Contemporary Ghanaian Politics

“We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.”
- George Orwell

This is the time to be discerning. It’s a rather interesting time to be in Ghana. Every morning when I turn my radio on, its there. You just cant run away from it. People who should know better and who actually know better, just out of their beds, ranting and foaming at the mouth and articulating matters they don’t believe in for a moment. Disturbing public peace for private gain!!!

One day at Adoma, we had to argue about who really has his peace of mind these days in Ogyakrom. I managed to get the star players to agree that the man who sleeps and snores in these crazy times must be the truck pusher at Sodom and Gomorrah. No slight on anyone but if you don’t give a toss about who rules the land, about which party is in power, about whether there is an al-qaeda or "boko haram" which literally translates as “book-ye-haram”, whether there is light or water is flowing, then you have peace and have it abundantly. The man who wakes up and heads for the blue kiosk, whacks some 5 Ghana pesewas worth of aluku (ei, what’s the current world market price of ogoglo? ), heads for some banku spot and buys banku ke groundnut soup ke small fish ke nyadua ke nkruma for 10 or 20p. Let the sweat begin. He hits the road and goes looking for adwuma. In the evening, he attacks aluku again and settles for some fine ‘face the wall’ swimming in some potent soup. He doesn’t give a damn about PC Appiah Ofori and the 5000 dollars. He doesn’t care about Kojo Mpiani and Tarzan. Kojo hwan? He knows next to nothing about hotel waa-waa. Who the hell is Begyina? Is that a name? Where does he come from? That’s the guy whose blood pressure is normal. Not your average guy. Agreed. Not like you because I know my guy will never know about my blog, ghanaweb, myjoyonline, daily guide , informer etc, parliament, tagor etc. Life is what the Lord brings to him each day. What about you and me?

Yesterday the group called Alliance for Accountable Government (AFAG) hit the streets. I heard some of the heat on Nana Bobie’s show. It appeared very colourful. This morning I have seen pictures of canoes etc that went fishing yesterday on the streets of Accra. I have also heard Asabee, Kofi Jumah etc all pour some salt into whatever was being said. The songs as always were very innovative. Uncle Fiifi had his share. After all, he was the reason for the season. Ayariga, 'Munchinga', and many others had their fair share of the cake too. What a pleasant day it was for the kind of activity that they undertook. I hear Dr. Sipa-Yankey was also very happy for what they did. After all, he has been trying to get people to get out and exercise and if Owusu-Agyepong could stretch his bones a bit as an example to the youth, why not. By the way, did the Nearly Man show? Please if he did, then he understands what has to be done in opposition in Ghana. I hope he was exercising yesterday. If he didn’t, then he is missing out again and it may come back to bite him if he doesn’t join the next ones. Alan? Hope to God he was there. You see, Alan and the Nearly Man will be competing for AFAG’S affections. So each must monitor the movements of the other. The moment you hear that the other is heading for one of the numerous demonstrations that will be staged by AFAG during Uncle Fiifi’s tenure, the other must head there immediately and make sure that he is seen and heard.

Ebusuafo, what am I struggling to put across? AFAG is none other than the CJA of yore. AFAG is the new CJA. This is not a prophecy: WHATEVER CJA DID TO YEWURA, AFAG WILL DO TO UNCLE FIIFI!!! It’s that simple! I wrote a while ago that a certain metamorphosis will take place within the parties. Already, the NPP has become the NDC of yore. What with the whining, press conferences over irrelevant issues, walkouts from parliament, wide-wild allegations of no substance, threats of demonstrations and demonstrations properly so-called. The NPP has become the NDC. Will the NDC become the NPP? We live to see. Each passing day sees our politicians do and say exactly the same things the opponents were saying in another life. There’s a certain kind of talk that’s assigned to the opposition and another assigned to the government. If we had ability to store our files such that we could do a comparitive analysis, we will notice that some of the placards of AFAG may even bear the same inscriptions as that wielded by the CJA. So did we go or did we come? Is it because someone perceives us as so dumb that we cannot discern the issues anymore.

Is politics in Ghana just a matter of musical chairs? Where there was a Papa Jay, there was a K4 and there is a Prof. Where there was a Konadu, there was a Theresa, and there is a Naadu. Where there was a 31st , there was a Mother & Child. Where there was a Kume Preko, there was a Wahala and now there is ‘Atta adada yen’. Where there was an Alliance for Change, there was a Committee for Joint Action, and now there is An Alliance for Accountable Governance. Where there was a Vision 2020, there was a 2015 Strategy. Where there was an Asemfofro, there was a Stadium. Where there was a Group Chagnon there is a Zoomlion and now there is an EWS. Where there was a Vitol, there was a Sahara. Where there was an NDC, there was an NPP and now there is an NDC. The NPP was for primaries, then for consensus. The NDC was for consensus then for primaries. The NPP was for change, then was for Continuity and is now for Change. The NDC was for continuity then for Change and is now for Continuity. The NPP is the NDC is the NPP? The NDC is the NPP is the NDC?

So for all the people who were on the ‘Alaka-wo’ dance on the streets of Accra, gird up your loins because AFAG will call you out again. You need not be a soothsayer to know that by now an Oseikrom version is planned. Then they will step out into the other regional capitals with the same message. If that was a strategy that got Uncle Fiifi into the Castle, why re-invent the wheel? The same guys who rubbished house-to-house will be seen in hamlet- to-hamlet two clear years before the Electoral Commission blows the whistle for the start of the race. It’s rather interesting to hear Kofi Jumah and co say practically the same things Kwesi Pratt and Co said not too long ago on the same streets. Oh, Ghana politricks!!! The other day I met a senior lawyer in Court and I asked him whether he was defending the embattled rice importer who is facing charges of willfully causing financial loss to the State. He was shocked that I could suggest that he could be Counsel for the importer. But I argued that he will be a very critical resource to the importer’s legal team. You know why? He had a client who faced same charges in another life. All the arguments he made in defence of his client in the past regime and which the very same people rubbished, is desperately needed by them in their defence. The Lord works in mysterious ways. Is it the hand of God that Asabee will be asking for the support of the same law that he rubbished not too long ago. That if the law worked, he would have been cited for contempt ten times over re Hodari Okae? But hei, Jesus loves everyone. Ask the sisters who spent all their juicy years banging the Sons of Adam with careless abandon. When time comes to settle down and grab their own and no one is coming, what do they do? Yeshua Amashua is the Lover of Last Resort!!! ‘Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden’ and I, Yeshua, will give you maxi rest!!! Jesus never fails!!! So these sisters find solace in all sorts of ministries and evangelical activities. The Lord is good, all the time.

So my people, prepare for more AFAG demonstrations. The arguments may not cut ice with anyone but they will exercise their right to hit the streets for as long as the NPP is in opposition. Oh, I nearly forgot another feature of our politics. The party that won invariably has to compensate its foot soldiers. I wonder where that term came from. Every party that wins begins the dissemination and destruction of the very machinery that won power for them. All their generals are converted from the field into plum offices and positions. They feed fat and lose the zeal for leg work. The foot soldiers are left on their own and they begin to grumble. If you allow that to fester, then an elephant overhaul will happen to the umbrella. But back to AFAG. Most of the things they say may appear sincere but believe you me, they may not be as sincerely patriotic as it seems. The back-story to AFAG is that it is a vehicle for achieving power just like the CJA. If in the event, the government feels shaken enough to pay heed to some of the things that may be said, that’s when you and I as citizens benefit. But better believe that none of those guys will be out on the streets if they didn’t feel sufficiently threatened in their watering holes that they felt it necessary to step out and defend their acquisitions and carve a path right back to the gravy train.

Welcome, AFAG. You cut an impressive pose with your premier demo. See the CJA for a crash programme on how to influence government. Some of their placards could even come handy. As Ablakwa said, your demonstration is a testament to a better Ghana, just as the CJA’s was a testament to positive change. As for me Breda, I know you weren’t out there for my interest or that of my manger and the two musketeers or at all. “Se Atta adada yen a, mo nso mo re dada yen!!! Ne ho asem ara nyin!!!

Breda Osimi

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Price of Conscientious Stupidity... denominated in Vodafone Units

“The majority never has right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over. But, damn it, it can surely never be right that the stupid should rule over the clever!” –Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian playwright 1828-1906.

“I make no apologies for going to town today. After all, I have restrained myself for so long that I had to get someone to show me the way into town as I had completely lost my way. Am I stupid? Am I dumb? Are you?

Well, I can speak for myself and my manager and the two musketeers. We are neither stupid nor dumb. I know my people are also not stupid. But increasingly, I am asking myself whether those of us left on this continent somehow sold our consciences to someone who’s bolted from the market. We may have regretted the sale but we have not been able to trace to whom we sold out. Are we dumb?

Why cant the African stand up for what he believes in? Why? Is it because unlike the white man, we can’t blush? Have you calculated how much your ‘ball-lessness’ is costing your dear nation? Why is the African only strong and brave in front of his wife and his concubines? African women get battered for the most stupid of reasons just for perceptions of standing in the man’s way. Yet this same man may have just come from the office meeting where he knew that the subject of discussion was going to lead nowhere. Indeed, he was fully aware that the decisions taken could only lead to increased costs and will be ultimately unworkable. Yet, what did he say when he was asked his opinion? Yes, sir!!! This is the best idea!!! Sometimes I wonder what we will do if God did not bring you into this ministry, office, church, Castle or rock, he would add for emphasis!”

All the above was written more than two years ago in an article about the foolishness of the campaign to make Obasanjo run for a third term.

Once upon a time in my other life, Breda had a chance to tell some colleagues about an impending event. Nah, though I flow with a lot of prophecy, I am no prophet. It was also not a metaphysical event as any discerning mind could foretell it as a natural consequence of an earlier event. Once that event happens, the consequence, though it may tarry, will definitely come to pass. They, like some in the days of Agya Noah, did not believe me until “the rains came down!!!” OK, I admit that all of us in Ogyakrom have a 24 hour memory span. You don’t? OK, let me ask you a question. Do you remember a certain big man called Right Honourable Begyina Sekyi-Hughes and the hullaboutwhat? Aaha!!! We moved on, haven’t we? But I digress. That was just to buttress the point that out here in Ogyakrom, it’s only when the storm is brewing that it seems the whole world is collapsing on you. If you buckle up, and have a few friends in the right places, ready, willing and able to manipulate the ‘shitstem’, ehuru a, ebe dwo!!! So most Ogyakrom files do not date beyond 24 hours. They are deleted after 24 hours. But as Oscar and his people have done for me before, even lost files can be recovered. For a fee!!! So let’s try and recover some lost files here.

Remember some people who appeared on TV, holding placards and singing praises to Yeshua Amashua for the takeover of GT by Vodafone? At the time GT was being taken over, I wrote an article on the issues. A particular paragraph sticks out like a sore thumb and I just have to remind you. It reads “Accra Breweries Ltd. runs some adverts which show what they call distinctively Ghanaian moments. Let me jig your memory a bit about one such moment. Remember the red-shirted workers of Ghana Telecom who went on a wild jubilation that their company had been sold to Vodafone? The same workers who issued a statement supporting the government in sacking TMP and asserting the ability of the Blackman to manage his own affairs? It was the Ghanaian version of a kamikaze dance. Workers jubilating over what amounts to no less than constructive dismissals? As the Learned Judge once told me, “ma gyimi a, enka wope paaa!!!!

I believe that many other Ghanaians asked themselves the same questions. What’s wrong with those GT workers? Don’t they know that once the event occurs, there is a natural consequence that will happen as surely as night follows day? The event is called downsizing a.k.a. retrenchment a.k.a. compulsory redundancy a.k.a. ‘sack-sack’. Last week Vodafone decided that the workers were not disposing themselves off at the pace it anticipated and announced a compulsory redundancy to affect at least 950 workers across board. Enter the same workers and their union leaders: “We no go sit down”!!! So typically Ghanaian!!!

Fact: The workers at Vodafone Ghana are wasting their time fighting the redundancy.
Fact: The redundancy will take place.
Fact: Many workers will lose their jobs.
Fact: The compulsory redundancy is perfectly legit.
Fact: Neither the government nor the NPP nor the Labour Commission can stop the process, unless for a perfectly sound legal cause which is not on the horizon.
Fact: Redundancies or downsizing is a natural consequence of a takeover or acquisition. Ask my manager.
Fact: Pre-takeover corporate communication is fundamentally different from post-takeover communication. E.g., ‘there will be no loss of jobs’ is pre-takeover. ‘We need to downsize to remain competitive’ is post-takeover talk.
So, Vodafone workers who are within the Vodafone drop zone, if your Union executives ever promised that you will not haemorrhage jobs, start castrating some of them.

Here is some free Breda advice for all the drop zone candidates and others in Vodafone. Its time for your Union to spend its energies on negotiating a very good terminal package for all affected staff. Make sure you are adequately rewarded for the service you have rendered to Ghana Post and Telecommunications to Ghana Telecoms to Vodafone Ghana. Also try and see whether you can get Vodafone to fund some skills training in addition to your terminal benefits. Start letting the Union members be aware that what’s happening is inevitable. Yu must position them to appreciate that some jobs will definitely be lost. What the staff of GT did in openly demonstrating to welcome the takeover and calling on government not to intervene to halt it may have gotten some of them front page coverage in Daily Graphic. But it’s what Breda calls “conscientious stupidity, denominated in Vodafone units”. It comes with a price tag. It’s the kind of behaviour where an individual is fully aware that his actions will come back to haunt him or his community but he goes ahead anyway, regardless. The wholly unique historical act of workers demonstrating in support of the takeover of their own company suggests that all within that entity were ready for whatever adventure the new team was bringing including compulsory redundancies. So I laugh out loud when I hear the same people say that Vodafone never told them there will be compulsory redundancies. If even the mother of all ‘father Christmas employers’, the Government of Ama Ghana, was looking for profits in that entity, what did they think the abrofo’ were there for? A visit to the Cape Coast Castle? If Vodafone have to fire 1500 people to achieve their objective of making profits in Ghana, believe me they will walk the route. Vodafone aint no father Christmas o. They are here for the money and they will do what’s absolutely necessary to achieve their business objectives. This may include downsizing and sadly not even Uncle Fiifi can save you. And if you thought it was only Vodafone, think again. We all have a 30% stake in there and we share their vision. Only you will not get Haruna the Honourable to ever say any such thing.

Let me end with a message to my people: Conscientious stupidity will only come back to haunt you. Remember all the musicians who trooped to the Nearly Man’s house to pay homage during the race to the Castle 08. At the time, it made absolute sense because everyone who has sung a note was heading that way and refusing to go there meant immediate extinction of your voice. Oh, the perils my musicians face. Witness Jewel Ackah’s wahala during the years of the Elephant? Everyone who was anyone in the Ghanaian music industry crammed unto the Nearly Man’s train. It took the ‘suicidal’ actions of a few ‘mad’ men like Lucky Mensah to stick their necks for Uncle Fiifi. “Look, who’s dancing now”?

Breda won’t shed too many tears for Vodafone staff. If only you had bothered to ask the old Major, he would have surely told you that though it may tarry, a redundancy, in all its shapes and forms, would surely happen. As A. B. Crentsil (where is he?) said in one of his masterpieces, “me di wo be ko fie” which in Ohemaa language translates somehow like “I will take you home”. Believe it or yes, “ya ye mo sete waaaaa!!!!”

Breda Osimi
020809

Monday, July 20, 2009

BackStory - A Foray Into The Unknown-unknowns of Contemporary Ghanaian Politics

“Do you pray for the senators, Dr. Hale”?
“No, I look at the senators and I pray for the country”.
- Edward Everett Hale, American clergyman 1822-1909

When was the last time you stood up for something you believed in? Own up! Yes, it is you I am talking to!!! Stop looking around as if it’s the guy next to you that I am referring to. Eye wo ara na me ne wo kasa yi!!! When was the last time you stood up for your principles? And I don’t mean the times when it was very convenient to do so because everyone around shared the same opinion. When you know your position is right but wholly politically incorrect, when you are flowing against the tide, what do you do abrantie? When you know that what you say will cost you brothers, sisters, lovers, friends and increase your stock of enemies, do you still stand by your principles?

I am falling in love with a programme on CNN called BackStory. It’s hosted by Michael Holmes. It’s a programme that takes you behind the news and attempts to give us a glimpse of what the journalists go through to get the sanitized stories they give to us during news time. It’s a kind of reality show where the reporters shows how they manoeuvred into position, the people they access before they go on air, a bit of the matters which would otherwise never be broadcast on TV by the network. It’s innovative, it’s insightful, it’s raw, it’s engaging, and IT’S TRUE. It shows that before Christiane Amanpour appears “live” to broadcast on the news, she may have been in a shouting match literally minutes before a live feed to get her position on that stretch of road to broadcast. It’s the story behind the story. Back Story is a recent addition to the CNN stable of programmes. Until it aired, we (don’t fret wae. “We” in all my pieces mean myself, my manager, the two musketeers and Nii Aryee if he is home) always thought that the news was the crisp, sharp and focused on air live reporting etc that the journalists made look so beautiful. Until Michael Holmes and his crew showed us there was always another side to the story, who imagined that anything happened behind the scenes before we got the news.

To every story, there is a backstory! Me re ndada wo!!!

So what is the backstory to PC’s amazing semi mea-culpa on the five thousand Ghana cedis which he alleges was honourably discharged. PC blew my mind when he said that he was making the claim because they did not give him his share. Don’t ask me what the backstory to his claim is. Is it whistle blowing or trumpet blowing? To every story, there is a backstory!!! This morning before I left home, I saw on TV an American soldier captured by the Taliban eating breakfast or his last supper and crying for his mama. That’s the story. The backstory to that may be that a gun may be pointing at his head out of camera shot. A white board may be in the same room with his statement written thereon for him to read to us. The Taliban do not have a teleprompter because that would have done the job superbly. One word out of line and he may not see his mama again. But unless Yeshua Amashua is kind enough to let us know, we probably will never know the real story behind his 28 minute video.

To every story, there is a backstory wae!!! In plain language, backstory equals ‘there is no smoke without fire’, period!!! Yeshua has been gracious to us and kept most of the back stories of our politics out of sight. We have seen many beautiful pictures of officials over the years signing all sorts of agreements on our behalf with all sorts of investors for our benefit. The smiles are broad. We are working for the common good. Backstory? 10% cash down or no signature, no project, no contract!!! In Ogyakrom, backstories are invariably historical in nature. Unless an Uncle Fiifi decides to go looking for witches, we mortals never get the backstory. What’s the backstory to all the smiles on the faces of some fine citizens on Ghana’s 50th anniversary? What’s the backstory to Esseku’s resignation as NPP Chairman? Whats the backstory to Asaga missing out on a cabinet position? What’s the backstory to Spio missing out on a seat close to heaven? What’s the backstory to Uncle Fiifi’s sitting down with a sleeping Yahya J to secure a deal re Ghanaians dead in the Gambia? What’s the backstory to Sefa-Kayi’s issue with Shaaba and Agyepong the Ken?

So until Yeshua Amashua is gracious to us and we get some sneak review of the back-story, expect PC to be shunned by his pack of elephants. His Honourable Colleagues will refuse to acknowledge his greetings. He may even be sacked from the elephant herd. But we mortals will never know the backstory!

Let me end with a story told by KooRey in our bad old days in Legon: “ Once upon a time, the ‘mboadoma 31st “ convened a meeting. It was chaired by Mrs. Osibo who was the wife of the King of the Jungle. It was a very fruitful meeting where a lot of matters affecting the welfare of the association were discussed. Just before the meeting ended, at the ‘any other business’ stage, up goes the hand of Mrs. Apatakura. Please don’t ask me what her Christian name is. I have asked James, Rachel and Cee and they don’t know. Uncle Ebow is also not here at the moment for me to ask. I will not speculate because I am not sure whether its one of two animal-names that popped into my head. It’s your test for the week. Ask your wife what the Christian name of Apatakura is. You can go to my blog: www.osimidiaries.blogspot.com and let me have your views. Ok, back to the story. ‘Yes, madam, what’s on your mind’, Chairperson Mrs. Osibo asks? Mrs. Apatakura clears her throat and says she has a suggestion for all the fine ladies. ‘I, Mrs. Apatakura, wish to table a motion that we should appoint a ‘konomtea’ to inspect the genitalia of all our men to establish which one is the leader of the pack!!! Pandemonium broke out at the meeting! Mrs. Osono in a fit of rage was stumping and stamping all over the meeting grounds trying to snuff the life out of Mrs. Apatakura. ‘How dare you, Apatakura, to disgrace me like this in public’, she fumed. No names were mentioned by Mrs. Apatakura. What’s the backstory to the suggested inspection of the cadres of the animal kingdom?

To every story, there is a backstory. So next time you wake up in the morning and you hear/see someone who should know better, foaming at the mouth on radio/TV over something to do with JJ, JEA, JAK, Nana, Alan, NPP, NDC or some other project or issue, remember there’s a backstory to it. When a serial caller is ranting on air, there is a backstory. When Asabee goes ballistic at the airport and his wife is charged, there may be a backstory. When a ‘konomtea’ is set up to investigate Ghana@50, there is a backstory. When Muntaka, a.k.a. Notorious, says he has resigned, there is a backstory. When Breda Osimi writes this piece, there is a backstory.

Here is my prayer: “Oh, Yeshua Amashua that you will not let Ogyakrom back stories be historical but that you will reveal them live as they happen. Grant this our prayer through the name of your only begotten Son, whom many of your ambassadors are abusing for value in Ogyakrom each and every day, and all sinners shall say….AMEN!!!”
Breda Osimi