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Cart before Horse: Why “The Year of Roads” Should Have Preceded “The Year of Return”. (Work in Progress)

On January 14, 2020, Ghana recorded one of the most fatal road accidents in its history. Two buses travelling from opposite directions rammed into each other at Dompoase, near Elmina in the Central Region. Thirty-five persons died whilst many others were maimed for life.

Occurring on Monday January 13, barely two weeks into 2020, the year in which the Sustainable Development Goal 3.6 seeks to “halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents”, the accident could be aptly described as both ironic and unfortunate. Apart from the SDG’s target, 2020 is also the year President Akufo-Addo declared in December 2019 as “The Year of Roads”. It is not too clear if the President’s declaration has anything to do with SDG’s but one thing that remains true is the fact that 2020 is another election year in Ghana. In Ghana, roads are a political issue. They play a major part in determining who wins elections in Ghana. This is the reason why many road projects are awarded, completed and commissioned in election years. The year 2020 is certainly not going to be different.

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Pots and Kettles

Pots and kettles
Hot and cold
Half-truths and lies
Day and night
Guinea fowls and tricycles
Airbus and excavators

Yet:
Black and black
Lies and lies
Greed and greed.
Across the divide

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Awful Sacrifice

“Our greatest danger is losing power, not citizens dying for not being transported to health centres in good time. And, don’t forget, we need power first to keep them alive” Tabita, Chairman of the ruling Power First Party (PFP) said through gritted teeth. “Election is warfare, and in every war, there are unavoidable casualties.” He added, adjusting his spectacles.

A grim line of smile flashed across the face of Kennedy, the Party’s General Secretary, as he added: “Of course, we cannot save everyone but we can save ourselves. A few people must die if necessary, to save the rest. That’s an inevitable sacrifice. Power first!”

Almost all politicians across the world promise something for votes. From tax cuts through increasing pensions or social welfare, there is an endless stock of promises to select to entice voters. Quite often, credulous voters fail to critically analyze electoral promises to realize they were mere castles in the air and had very little or no chance of ever being fulfilled. Once those seeking political power get what they want, there is very little the electorate could do except to wait for the next election to punish disappointing politicians. But failing or refusing to renew the mandate of mediocre politicians is not an easy project to undertake unless voters unite overwhelmingly in their resolve to do so. Chinua Achebe in his seminal work, “Things Fall Apart” illustrates this situation fittingly in the quote “Eneke the bird says that since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching”. Fine

Ghanaian politicians have not only mastered the sophisticated art of sophistry and finesse in promising for votes, they have also perfected the act of explaining their inefficiencies and inability to deliver on their promises in such a way that voters are left with no option but to consider giving them another chance to honour such promises. In the 2016 elections, several promises were merchandized and in the end, more voters chose to purchase promises of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over those of the other political parties, prominent among them being the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which was then in power. A key assurance the NPP offered was to provide all 275 constituencies across the country with ambulances.

Ambulances offer some protection against danger, an ever-present phenomenon in nature against which humans and animals alike seek protection. Danger comes from various sources in many shapes and form. From the physical through emotional, danger threatens humans’ quality of life on various fronts. Self-preservation, regarded as the most basic natural instinct enables humans and animals to escape or fight danger whenever it occurs. In human circles, structures and technologies have been developed to enhance security. One of such security measures against danger finds expression in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), otherwise referred to as ambulance services involves the treatment of illnesses and injuries that require immediate medical response, out-of-hospital treatment and transport, among other things. [Edit 1]

Procuring more ambulances would boost the country’s emergency healthcare system in particular as well as Sustainable Development Goals three in general, which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Ghana’s ambulance service was in very dire straits with its fleet of vans depleted leaving only 50 ambulances to serve 30 million citizens across the entire country.
Many citizens heaved a sigh of relief at the promise of three hundred and seven more ambulances for all constituencies across the country. A subsequent announcement of timelines to distribute the ambulances threw citizens into more jubilation with many believing the declaration was borne out of goodwill and a genuine feeling for humanity.

Alas, these timelines elapsed without fulfillment of the promise. Jejune and flimsy reasons were given for shifting the dates, the most unfortunate of them being the President’s statement that he was waiting to get a full complement of the vans before distribution so he doesn’t get criticized for bias. So, the first set of ambulances that arrived in the country were parked, while helpless citizens continued being transported to health centres in tricycles if they are lucky not die. This was when the realization dawned on many that the promise was just one of the numerous vote-grabbing political gimmicks employed by self-serving politicians to achieve parochial ends.

Finally, on January 28, 2020, three hundred and seven (307) ambulances promised were commissioned and distributed to various constituencies across the country after an elaborate ceremony laced with purple speeches and political antics.

Two days after the national distribution, on January 30, the Volta regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa organized his own brand of commissioning of the ambulances at the Volta regional capital, Ho. Criticized for lacking a sense of urgency, a critical factor in emergency care, the minister lashed out at his critics saying: “…anyone who criticises this has a problem and needs deliverance.”

The fundamental question is: “who really needs deliverance? Is it a medical doctor-turned-politician who chooses to sacrifice the urgency factor in emergency healthcare delivery system on the altar of political expediency, or helpless citizens who demand that facilities procured by the proceeds of their sweat be used judiciously for their benefit?”

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Funeral Announcement

We announce with deep joy
The death of St John Banabas
The great
Who, until his death
Was serial killer extra ordinaire
Extortionist, cheat and liar
His burial shall pass with celebration
Pomp and pageantry
There shall be no wailing
His body shall be conveyed
On broken bottles and thorns
To the Pariah Ground.
May he sleep in pain

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Deadly Sophistry

Deceit!

Before someone thinks of telling you a lie, first they weigh you to convince themselves you’re so credulous to believe the lie. If it’s a simple lie, they know you’re not so difficult to deceive. If the lie is sophisticated, they believe, you may get them…

You see the recent report that the Minister of Health and some Ambulance Service people have appealed to the President to delay distribution of ambulances? Nice. That’s an Intermediate Level Lie packaged for people with Intermediate Level Credulity.

Here’s the truth:
Because the President’s earlier suggestion that he was waiting for the full complements of the ambulances before they are distributed received a huge backlash from a large proportion of the citizenry, there’s need to create a story to justify the President’s earlier statement.

Delaying the distribution in spite of the huge cry of Ghanaians for a speedy distribution of the vehicles is an indirect way of saying shut up guys; your lives don’t matter.

How many of the people involved in the procurement and distribution of the ambulances even patronize Ghana’s healthcare services in the first place?

Do you follow?

#LivesMatter
#SDG3
#HealthMatters
#KillerSophistry

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Moderation Matters (Work in Progress)

Finally 2020 is here! It is a year many look forward to with hopes of restoration having survived the adversities of the previous year. Being an election year, it is also a year of political campaigns and their attendant acrimony. For opportunists and political entrepreneurs, it is “cocoa season”.

Whilst many ordinary citizens will be busy breaking their backs to make ends meet, party footsoldiers and pseudointellectuals will be busy acting as if those who choose not to take sides with any political party don’t love Ghana; they’d be creating the impression that political activism is all about jumping from one social media platform to the other selling one’s ignorance and labeling innocent people.

Whatever 2020 means to anyone, it is important for people to remember to act in moderation.

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Of Emergency Healthcare Delivery and Political Sophistry. (Work in progress)

….buying and hoarding ambulances supposedly meant to aid emergency health delivery is definitely an #Unwise decision. No amount of political communication tricks or PR can make it right…

But you see, it takes citizens with civic consciousness to demand and ensure their taxes are put to good use!

When a President encourages citizens during his investiture, to be Citizens and not Spectators, he must have learned through observation that at certain moments in the life of a leader, while his team members are busy fortifying themselves against any possible loss of power, grabbing assets and resources, reason would be in short supply and those in his inner circle can become incapable of providing the right counsel for him to work with… So, he asks for help ahead of time.

It is definitely disingenuous to suggest that procuring ambulances in batches and packing them till a full complement is obtained is to avoid being criticized for bias in the selection of districts to benefit first. What happens to the various ways of distributing scarce resources, including conducting #draws or even balloting? “Waiting for full complements before distribution” is an euphemism for a lie sold to credulous people who have made belief their stock in trade and reasoning an avowed enemy. Politicians don’t wait for everyone to get food before they eat.

The truth however is, distributing the ambulances close to the election is explained by the #RecencyEffect Theory which posits that it is easier to recall most recent information than previous ones.

#TimeMatters
#CitizensPower
#EmergencyHealthDelivery
#Ambulances
#SDG3
#AmbulancesMatter
#RecencyEffect
#ElectionGimmicks
#ReasoningMatters
#CitizensNotSpectators

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Questions and Answers

Endearing Questions:
What do you want?
What would you give for it?
How do you want it?
Are you comfortable?
Do you want more?
How far would you go for it?
Do you like it?
What do you say?

Enduring Answers:
I want the best of everything
I’d give anything for it
I want me served like a king
I am on cloud nine
I wouldn’t want less
As far as can be. As far as possible!
I love it; I’m elated
Discovering desire normalizes life!

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Language Matters

When people have no regard for simple rules of grammar, how can you expect them to obey sophisticated laws? This is where all our problems began. 😏🥴🤕

Someone begins a sentence with a plural noun and before you say Jack, he drops a singular verb #gbam! This is scary.

Can’t we criminalize and prosecute people who flout the “Subject-Verb Agreement” rule for instance, as a way of sanitizing the system?😠😠😠

#LanguageMatters
#AnythingGoesAnywhere
#ThinkingBeforeSpeaking

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Narshional Corminikayshionshh Autolity (NCA) and the Digital Communication Dish-cause!

E bi Ghana we dey!

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The Guilt of Not Loving

It was to be an insurance against pain
The endless search for truth
And the tyranny of love
Locking my heart and throwing key
Just so I wouldn’t love
Was meant to keep me sane
And so I did

Yet now, here I sit
A rose in hand
A glass to lick
Dim lights above
Love out of view
A pale silhouette
Looking through an empty window
Ruing the guilt of not loving

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The Hypocrisy of Social Media Preachers!

Humans are social beings. They relate and associate with one another for many and various purposes. To keep bonds of friendship going, people travel several kilometers to visit their relations and friends. Long before the advent of faster and improved means of transportation, people spent days and even months on their journeys.

Communication has also improved significantly with information technology explosion. The IT revolution introduced communication applications (apps) that enabled individuals and groups to communicate seamlessly with one another. Social media apps stand tall among recent technological innovations.

Social media is unarguably the fastest way of mobilizing people for any purpose across the globe today!

Social media group platforms offer opportunities for identifiable groups to synergize to achieve a common goal. However, some people tend to turn these platforms created for other purposes into different uses especially by pushing their parochial political or religious biases and doctrines. They preach and post sermons with impunity and anyone who dares complain and insist on the platforms being used to serve the purposes for which they are created is seen as an outcast and lambasted.

Everyone deserves the right to believe (or disbelieve) in anything but where such beliefs are foisted on others without invitation, it smacks off disrespect!

The truth however is that some of the people who present themselves as sanctimonious on group platforms by offering unsolicited sermons and admonitions are the most corrupt individuals anyone can find around.

Beneath their pious exterior are layers of soot and dust. They only use the sermons to conceal their evil deeds and true identity. Don’t let them fool you; take them on!

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Penal Paradise (Work In Progress)

Jeffrey switched off the microphone and padded away from the dais towards the audience scratching his earlobe and peering over his shoulders repeatedly.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve assembled here today to have frank discussions on the future of our great party. The future of our party hinges on ability to retain power at the next general elections in six months. I see in your eyes a firm belief in the principles of our great party and I’ve no doubts whatsoever about your commitments to this cause.”

He brushed the left lapel of his pinstripe suit with the back of his left hand, cleared his throat and continued.

“We are aware the previous administration employed several strategies including—buying votes, making empty promises, engaging in rhetoric, casuistry, sophistry and trickery to enable them remain in power. They delayed the completion of construction projects, executed and commissioned these in the penultimate month to the elections; they doled out money and basic necessities to charity, schools and hospitals and invited the media to cover and report these activities all in frantic attempts to patronize the electorate.

“Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, the previous government has failed this nation and we cannot afford to shield their failings if we want to retain power. Of course we cannot retain power playing pious. Dear friends, the future of this party lies in your very hands…”

He drew a conventional clap and cheers from delegates as he strolled proudly back to the dais to shake hands with the party bigwigs who stood in reverence to him as he walked back.

He departed immediately closely shielded by a couple of uncompromising bodyguards in dark shades and black suits.
Speeding down the streets to the official presidential mansion, the scores of durable, luxurious four wheels constituting the president’s convoy was a delight to watch. Fast moving motor cycles preceded the fleet blaring siren, paving the way.
With the agenda now clearly defined, participants comprising constituency organisers, campaign strategists, propagandists and other high-ranking party hacks dispersed into various committees to confront their assigned tasks. They assembled under Jeffrey’s instructions to draw out an action plan for victory in the pending general elections.

What followed two days of vigorous writing and ruthless editing after the three-day retreat was a scintillating piece that Nick submitted to his sub editor for assessment and review before publication.

Nick was a daring investigative journalist who’d surprised many with his shocking revelations on several issues. He had disguised himself as a staunch follower of the ruling party and had attended the retreat with micro chips strapped to his body.

“So tell me, how did it go?” Mike, the sub editor asked.
“Just as I expected. Convinced that all participants were like-minded and party faithful, nothing prevented them from talking freely. The president himself was very explicit—it’s a make or break affair—he must have a second term. Power is indeed sweet! Once they get it they don’t want to let go off it.” Nick said.

“Yes, that’s why we must change them constantly. Constant electoral change tends to be an efficient means of checks and balances rather than the conventional institutions of judiciary and legislature.” Mike said touching his nose. “If they’re changed constantly they’ll have no reason to feel that they’re invincible or that their political traditions are second to none. Well, let’s assess the tapes and the story.” He added.

Having accepted the story with very few comments, Mike released it for processing and publication the next day. Strangely however, Nick found his office in a mess the next morning when he got to work. The tape and the story were gone. Other departments including the lithography department that had copies of the story were also ransacked. Mike rushed to the scene immediately Nick ended the call.
“This is clearly sabotage.” He said as soon as he arrived at the office.
“Well, though the tape and the story are gone I have back up. We could still do the story.” Nick revealed drawing a puzzled look from Mike.
“That’s good to hear but we can’t be in any hurry to do that now. At least we must fish the mole out first.”
“But you know the story is time bound. Let’s rather do the story first; later we’ll fish out the mole.”
“I respect your views but we can’t publish it now.”

A week later, Nick became frustrated. This story must be published immediately.” He told himself.

Consequently he changed the angle of the story and offered it to another press house which paid generously for it on acceptance.
“Tell me what you mean by this!” Mike blurted throwing a copy of the publication on Nick’s table with the headline: “President Teaches Political Trickery” highlighted on the front page. Nick starred at Mike without a word.

“Remember we commissioned you to do the story and you couldn’t offer it to another publisher, especially when you’re still in employment with us.” He sneered.
“That notwithstanding, you’ve demonstrated enough that you were no longer interested in publishing it. And since it’s my intellectual property, I decide what to do with it. Remember the story was running against time.”

Mike limped out of Nick’s office to his office with a rueful look on his face. He sat in his chair and crossed his fingers. He read the first paragraph repetitively shaking his head each time in disagreement.
“The president has urged functionaries and sympathisers of his party to employ trickery, sophistry and casuistry to enable the party retain power in the next general elections. He said this at the start of a three-day retreat of top politicos of the ruling party a fortnight ago.”

What’s this Nick has got me into? He wondered. Meanwhile at the presidential mansion, Jeffrey had ordered the arrest of Mike and Nick after he was shown the publication by his press secretary.

Late evening while Mike was still struggling to swallow just one morsel of the food served him at dinner, he was picked up and dumped in a poorly lit dungeon. Moments later, Nick was also taken.
If there was one thing Nick had reminded himself about always, it was the fact that life as an investigative journalist could bring up unpleasant surprises anytime. So he was prepared for anything. That perhaps was the reason he kept back ups of every fact he had—recorded or printed—at several separate locations. He seemed neither bothered at all about the incarceration nor how long it would take for them to leave the poorly lit and nauseating dungeon. Mike however felt jittery at their fate in the dungeon.

“Well, I don’t know what’s going to happen next and I certainly can’t keep this guilt any longer.” He said apologetically.

“What are you talking about?” Nick asked looking rather puzzled.
“W-well, I was responsible for the supposed raid. In fact there was no raid. I made it up to make the loss of the tape and story palpable.” He added.

“You’re not serious, are you?” Nick said indifferently.
“I am. All I needed was to wait for Octavia to close. When she finally did I broke into the office and took the story and the tape, then went to the other departments to destroy other copies.”

“And what did you do with them?”
“I sold them. I sold them for five thousand dollars to the president’s campaign manager.”

While Nick and Mike were languishing under despicable conditions in incarceration, being fed with crumbs of dry bread and unclean water, Jeffrey was revelling in the comfort of his paradise. His weekend receptions for party officials were delightful as were treats for foot soldiers. The final reception was held a week before the election at the official presidential mansion for both party bigwigs and foot soldiers. There was choice foods and drinks and beautiful women to have and to hold.

“The essence of this grand reception is to show my appreciation to you for your unflinching support. It is also to bring everybody—high ranking officials and foot soldiers together to interact. Have fun ladies and gentlemen and make merry. We’ve already won the election, what’s left is the declaration by the electoral commission.” He said drawing applause from the fairly tipsy audience.

Handouts of brown envelopes packed with hard cash were given to each attender in appreciation when the event ended.
The elections were conducted amidst tensions and results duly declared. It was pretty obvious what the electorate wanted—a leadership that would promote decency in how politicians grab state assets. That, they felt the opposition candidate could provide, at least that was his message.

New Ministers, Chief Executive Officers and Directors were appointed. Boards were constituted and sworn in and the moment of reckoning came swiftly. Jeffrey was investigated and tried for corruption and human rights abuses. All his assets including the seven mansions he’d acquired during his tenure were confiscated to this state. He was then placed under house arrest in one of the mansions located on an island south of the country.
Nick and Mike were subsequently released.

PS:

This is 10 year old amateur draft. Never been revised since.

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Bearded Lady (Work in Progress)

Hobbling to work one sunny Tuesday morning, Kevin encountered an old friend he hadn’t seen in a long time. Guess the greeting she offered as she drove past:

“You’re now almost an old man.” Stunned, Kevin couldn’t offer a response as he hadn’t rehearsed one for such a greeting. As he got to work few minutes afterwards, he sat down and pondered briefly on his earlier encounter. His immediate response was to ignore. So, he did.

The fact of his early greying and becoming bald a bit too early for his age was an open secret. But there was little he could do about it but to live with it the rest of his life. Whether he’d had done anything unconsciously to speed up the two processes was inconsequential under the circumstances.

Though he’d ignored the comment from his friend earlier in the morning, as soon as he got back home after closing from work, something struck him. The lady whom he’d encountered in the morning equally had some genetic defects; she’d been bearded for longer than Kevin had known her for over a decade but he’d never for once called out her obvious physical defects as a form of greeting to her. So, for her to have chosen what in his view that morning was a derogatory way of greeting was something that puzzled him (though, he had earlier chosen to ignore her).

The answer to Kevin’s puzzle wasn’t far-fetched; it is deeply rooted in the Ghanaian hypocrisy! Most Ghanaians are quick to spot specks in other people’s eyes and are quick to offer to remove the specks even when they have huge logs in their own eyes.

Hypocrisy!

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With CODEO!

https://goo.gl/images/QEsP7N

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Uneducated Graduates: Ghana’s Badge of Shame!

Most Ghanaians don’t read. As for writing, the least talked about it the better.

Many have perfected the art of making themselves look important by telling everyone that because they have attended university, they are knowledgeable. And being Ghanaians as we are, we are so gullible; we believe them.

Let any issue break. You’d find most people can’t put up their opinion on it. They’d wait for the pseudointellectuals to put out their views. Once these base arguments are received from these shallow minds, all is set for a sharing party.

They go share teeeeeeeeey!

Oh, Ghana!

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Here We Go!

…Meet Dicks Ön, Head of Corporate Communications for the newly established HR firm. Thick tall, he walked with a heavy thud, head bowed and kept his hoarse voice high any time he spoke. He was always chewing something. He hardly shook hands with anyone; if he did, he left the task for the other person to complete…

But, if you thought Dicks Ön was bad, wait till you meet White Pè whose middle name was incompetence. White Pè had never served any organization beyond a year, he would be fired before he enters his second year. Nothing he touched lived. He’d turned his previous job on its head before he was fired.

The HR organization must have been his seventh or so employment in less than ten years. He was the Director of Human Resource and the CEO’s confidante.

Every man had his own strengths and White Pè must have his too but public speaking was definitely not one of his virtues. He muttered and mumbled and made a fool of himself anytime he spoke.

But the brightest further in his cup was that he didn’t know about his speech handicap so he spoke freely at public gatherings and offered free advice.

He was a man not in lack of anything. He was cunning as he was brute. Where rationality left him, his physical strength took him. Drollery was his stock in trade, and buffoonery, his hallmark…

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Aristotle’s Quote

“It is also in the interests of the tyrant to make his subjects poor… the people are so occupied with their daily tasks that they have no time for plotting.”

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Prof. Stephen Adei’s comments about Teachers unfortunate

Social media over the past week has been awash with reports of some negative comments attributed to Prof Stephen Adei and directed at basic school teachers. Prof Adei is reported in a Class fm interview to have launched a scathing attack on Ghanaian basic school teachers calling them unprintable names. I find the good old Professor’s comments quite unfortunate and condemnable.

Even though the 1992 Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of speech and expression to all citizens in Article 21 (1a) thus: “all persons shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, which shall include freedom of the press and other media”, it is important to remind all citizens that the enjoyment of such rights and freedoms come with responsibilities.

Indeed, the venerable Professor could have communicated his views in a more mature manner without choosing condescension.

Teaching and learning conditions at the universities are entirely different from those at the pre-tertiary level. Whereas it is common to find university teachers lecturing in air-conditioned lecture halls, and receiving respectable remuneration, teaching and learning conditions at the pre-tertiary level are rather deplorable, with poor school infrastructure and the nonavailability of relevant teaching and learning materials. It takes a great deal of sacrifice for most basic school teachers to go about their duties on daily basis amidst these challenges to achieve results.

It is therefore very unfortunate for anyone to think subjecting teachers to invectives will motivate them to deliver to expectation.

Whilst staying with the general rule to interpret statements within the context in which they were made, it is also fair to say Prof Adei could have chosen more acceptable words to communicate his thoughts. Calling all Ghanaian basic school teachers criminals is definitely unacceptable.

Prof Adei may be justified in raising a moral argument about Public basic school teachers having their wards in private schools, but it is absolutely erroneous to suggest that enrolling one’s ward in one school, whilst working in another is an act of criminality.

Considering the general condemnation and backlash the issue has received, Prof Adei may wish to do the honourable thing of apologising to Ghanaian basic school teachers to put the matter to rest.

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How Menzgold Changed my Life

I have often dreamed of a better life; a life of comfort for myself and my family, and for as many other lives that I can touch. Which young man my age doesn’t dream of a good life, anyway? It has not been easy living modestly within means while waiting for the day to strike gold.

What is Gold?
Well, I haven’t seen gold before, neither have I touched one. To know more about gold, I began a search. Generally, gold is a yellow, naturally occurring precious metal used for jewelry, coinage and for several other purposes. “Gold” is also used figuratively to denote wealth and affluence.

There is also “fool’s gold” (also called pyrites) which is a yellow mineral found in rock, that looks like gold but is not valuable. “Fool’s gold” is also used to refer to something that one thinks is valuable or will earn one a lot of money, but which has no chance of succeeding.

A popular idiom attached to gold is “all that glitters is not gold” which means “not everything that seems good, beautiful is actually good.

Ghana and Gold Production!
Ghana was once called the Gold Coast. Though there may be other reasons for this description, the dominant explanation that is widely accepted is that, it was as result of the abundance of gold found in the country by the European merchants. Any wonder that gold mining is seen by many as a lucrative business in Ghana, with illegal miners (referred to as galamseyers) running riot, doing damage to water bodies and vegetative cover.

Ghana ranks currently as the second largest gold producing country in the world, coming only after South Africa. Data from the Minerals Commission reports that Ghana’s gold output rose to 2.8 million ounces in 2017, up by 10.2% from the previous year. AngloGold Ashanti Limited (headquartered in Johannesburg) which is the product of a merger in 2004 of AngloGold (a mining company that was based in South Africa) and Ashanti Goldfields Cooperation (that was based in Ghana), is the third largest gold mining company in the world.

Menzgold; NAM 1 and Others
I have heard about Menzgold a couple of times but never took the trouble to find out what exactly they did. The closest I came to knowing the company was when I went to deliver a book to a friend who taught at a private school at East Legon in the early part of 2018.

Burned from fatigue as I monitored my Google map keenly for the school’s location, I ran into the East Legon office of the company. I didn’t pay much attention to it as I and moved on. I must have gone round it a number of times until I found my destination and left.

Weeks later as the NAM Mission activities took place across the country with a lot of people including celebrities identifying with, and endorsing NAM1 and his businesses portfolios, I became curious. What exactly is Menzgold? Who owns it? When/how did it begin operations? How does it operate? These questions flicked through my mind as I surfed the net, hopping from one story or news to the other and found:

Menzgold is a gold dealing firm owned by Nana Appiah Mensah (popularly referred to as NAM1). NAM 1 is said to be about 34 years old. Menzgold offered a maximum of 10% monthly return on investments. The business caught on with a lot of people with celebrities in the art industry and some footballers investing in it.

A Jolt in the Ride!
In the wake of revelations about how much people invested in the company, self-pity reared its head and many people began to turn the heat on themselves asking what crime they have committed for earning so little while their age (and even school) mates had huge sums of money (GHS400, 000; GHS760, 000 and GHS1.5m, etc) to put away.

As majority of Ghanaians continued to endure the misery of lack and worsening economic conditions, and some taking consolation in the fact of social inequities, regulatory authorities were busy revising their notes and taking plans.

Just when I was becoming more curious reading about the 34 year old financial messiah; of his private jet and fleets of cars; of his country tours and donations; and of his social responsibility, the Bank of Ghana, in May 2018, stepped up its warnings to the company to stop taking deposits from clients as it had not been licensed to conduct banking business. The BoG issued further warnings in 2018, saying Menzgold was only licensed by the Minerals Commission to buy and sell gold. The bank of Ghana further intimated that Menzgold’s operations were in breach of Section 6 (1) of the Banks and Specialized Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930); and thus warning the general public not to deposit monies with the company, as it had not been licensed to take deposits.

Later, in October 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also issued a public notice stating that Menzgold had no license to conduct any business in the capital market. The notice further stated that Menzgold’s operations run contrary to Section 3 of the Securities Industries Act, 2016 (Act 929). NAM1 assuaged customers’ fears, calling the bluff of the BoG and the SEC.

Things Fall Apart!

Perhaps, 100 years after W. B. Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming” was first published, the following lines may likened to the fight between Menzgold on one hand and the BoG and SEC on the other hand:

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre; The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”

In Round One, NAM1 appeared to have won with his snub of the BoG and the SEC. Round Two however appears to have gone the way of the BoG and the SEC climaxing with the SEC instructing Menzgold to shut down and return depositors’ investments to them.

The Regrets and the Lessons!
An article I sighted while reading about Menzgold, written by Peace Ezebuiro and published on Buzz Ghana, issued the following caution: “Even when the credibility of an investment institution such as this is unquestionable, you are always advised to invest with your spare money.”

I would have assumed those who invested in Menzgold invested their spare funds but for their rush to withdraw their investments and the revelations of how much they invested; where they got their investments from; and the tears they shed afraid of losing their investments.

While sympathizing with NAM1 and Menzgold customers for their plight and hoping that they gather the strength to go through this difficult phase of their lives, I must confess the Menzgold story has changed my life. I have learned that if I must go looking for gold, I must go with an eagle’s eye, being twice meticulous, and twice critical, seeking investment advice from certified investment consultants on viable investment opportunities and making frantic efforts to follow such advice through.

Menzgold has definitely changed my life for the better!