Sunday, 31 March 2013

Of Course Ghana Is Not Kenya

"Ghana is not Kenya" is one reaction you would hear whenever you compare the presidential election petitions currently pending before the Supreme Courts in both countries.  "Why not" is an immediate reaction to the “Ghana is not Kenya” reaction and I can empathise with that. Both countries are African countries and seem to have taken the path of democracy. Both countries have made provision in their respective constitutions for presidential election petitions to be filed in their respective Supreme Courts to challenge the election of the president. So why can't Ghana be like Kenya?

I can also empathise with those who vehemently say, "Ghana is not Kenya" and indeed, I do empathise with those who react in that manner but for completely different reasons. I mean how can we even think that Ghana can be like Kenya. We have to face facts and be honest with ourselves when comparing the manner in which the Supreme Court in both countries are dealing with the presidential election petitions before them. In that respect, Ghana is nowhere near Kenya at all. In fact, Ghana is millions of miles behind Kenya and we, Ghanaians, ought to be ashamed.

In writing this short piece of article, I have confined myself to the presidential election petitions before the Supreme Courts in both countries and the manner in which those petitions are being dealt with. I must therefore emphasise that this article does not compare the economic success or democratic success of both countries. 

Having set out my intentions clearly, it is my opinion that Ghana is not Kenya because Ghana is far behind Kenya and also because

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Test In Election Petitions

The jurisprudence on election petitions make it clear that where there has been substantial non compliance with constitutional provisions and the law, which substantial non compliance affected the outcome of the elections, the results would be overturned. The Petitioners therefore have to show that the Electoral Commission did not comply with the law and that the Electoral Commission's non compliance was substantial and further that the Electoral Commission's substantial non compliance with the law affected the outcome of the 2012 elections. 

The law for the 2012 Elections inter alia required biometric verification prior to voting and that presiding officers must sign the pink sheets. The Petitioners allege that the Electoral Commission did not comply with the requirement of biometric verification prior to voting thereby allowing 743,415 votes to be added to the total valid votes, which votes are invalid and ought to have been disregarded in the final tally. The Petitioners also allege that the Electoral Commission did not comply with the requirement that all pink sheets must be signed by the presiding officer and thereby allowed 751,528 votes to be added to the total valid votes, which votes were invalid and ought to have also been disregarded in the final tally. 

The Petitioners must also demonstrate that the addition of these invalid votes, amongst others, substantially affected the outcome of the 2012 presidential elections. According to the Petitioners, the non compliance with the law by the Electoral Commission was substantial and affected the outcome of the 2012 elections in that if the alleged irregularities are removed, the 1st Petitioner ought to have been declared President of Ghana with 59.69% of the valid votes cast. 

That in my opinion satisfies the test in election petitions, subject to evidentiary proof.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Loud Hosannas to our King

We usually stayed up all afternoon on Saturday weaving palm branches for Palm Sunday. We will take our time trying to weave uniquely styled palm branches so that our palm branches will stand out the next morning at church. This was one activity our mother will not scold us for engaging in and indeed on most occasions, she will join and teach us new styles. When God finally blessed us with Sunday morning, we would rise or our mother would wake us quite early and we would run into our garden and sometimes into our neighbours’ gardens and pluck the freshest and most beautiful flowers therein and stick them in our palm branches. How joyful we were to see brightly coloured flower petals sticking out from our green palm branches. We would arrive at church feeling proud about our palm branches only to realize that other children had been engaged in similar and sometimes better creativity and weaving.

Palm Sunday is arguably the best Sunday in the life of children regardless of their religion. At church, we would sing and dance and wave our palm branches and palm fronds joyously without a care in the world. The Sunday school on Palm Sunday was also special. Sunday school ended early and we would take the brass bands and trumpets and together with our Sunday school teachers take to the streets of Accra, singing “Loud Hosannas to Our King.” It was such fun.

I reminisced the foregoing experience in church last year and realized that being a child in Ghana on Palm Sunday was the amazing experience any child could ask for. Such celebration and hosanna singing and palm branch weaving are no longer done.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Ghana as a Father at 56 Years

This year, I made up my mind that I was not going to write any blog, post, article, note or whatever you may call sharing one’s thoughts on an issue, regarding Ghana’s 56th independence anniversary. My reason was that the posts, articles and blogs, etc on Ghana’s independence anniversary have always had the same themes. Even the ones criticizing Ghana have the same themes. And they all have the same quotes (“the Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up to the total liberation of the African continent,” “the black man is capable of handling his own affairs”) and shower praises on Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, most of which he honestly deserves. I even wrote one of such articles titled “The Independence Of Ghana Is Still Meaningless Unless …” in 2010 when Ghana celebrated its 53rd independence anniversary and upon reading a copy, which was posted on GhanaWeb, I find that the content is still relevant today as it was 3 years ago when I wrote it.

Anyway, I changed my mind about writing or perhaps, I should admit that my mind would simply not allow me not to write. It decided to wander and proposed to me: “why don’t you compare Ghana to a living being? Compare Ghana to a human being who is 56 years old. Consider that perspective.” So I will; and I want you to join me in doing so.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The True State Of The Nation Address

Today, the President will deliver what we know as the State of the Nation address. He will try to out-do Barack Obama who delivered a similar address a few weeks ago. Not gonna happen. I anticipate the President's address to be filled with lots of catchy phrases and nice fancy words that you read in famous speeches. Most importantly, the President will paint and a bright picture of the country's economy to attract the rather diminishing foreign investment. But all that will be BULLSHIT (I'm beginning to use this word more frequently) to me and many other Ghanaians simply because that is not the true state of our dear country.

A true state of the nation address should address the Election Petition challenging the President's election. Particularly, should the Petitioners succeed at the Supreme Court, the President will not be available to next year to deliver another State of the Nation address. The leader of the nation could change at anytime from today and that should be addressed.

Friday, 15 February 2013

A Valentine Tragedy

We woke up to sad news on Valentine's Day: "Oscar Pistorius accidentally shot his girlfriend on Valentine's Day". Rumour had it that Oscar thought his girlfriend was an intruder and therefore accidentally shot her. Am I the only one who does not believe this rumour? Here is my version of events and I am not saying any of this because I hate Oscar. I think he is a fine gentleman and an inspiration for many people, both athletes and ordinary folks. I feel deeply for both families affected by this tragedy but we have to face facts and here is how I see the tragedy unfold.

In the early hours of Valentine's Day, Oscar's girlfriend sneaks into Oscar's home and perhaps tries to surprise him on this day of love. Oscar thinks it is an intruder and grabs one of the deadly weapons that are easily available to him and shoots the intruder four times. Bullshit!!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Giving Up Love For Lent

Sometimes, or even most times, we take certain decisions which we would rather not take. These decisions tend to affect us and those around us. Some of these decisions are necessary and to some extent, we have control over them. Others, we simply have no choice. One scenario where we have no choice is when the decision is in respect of matters of the heart.

Last night, I took a decision and confirmed it this morning. The decision was to give up someone I am in love with. As my “twin” always says “you love with your heart and not your head so once you fall in love that is it”. I found myself in that situation again recently and instead of learning from my past, I just gave in to my heart. I refuse to believe I did because my head was in it this time. I was a bit more rational but my heart is way too strong.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Politics and Football⚽

They say we should not mix politics with football. But are the two mutually exclusive? Can they ever be? For politics and football have so much in common that it would wrong on anyone's part to ignore the obvious. Football, in my opinion, is a reflection of politics and perhaps vice versa. In politics, there are always two sides - the winner and the loser. Same with football. In politics, supporters passionately support these two sides; just like in football. In politics, there is a referee; again just like in football. I can go on and on but there is no need for that.

So why am I writing this? Well, all is not

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

❤ Loving Me ❤

Truth hurts but when it comes from someone who genuinely loves you, you know it is tough love. I was having a conversation with one of my closest friends. She is more than a best friend. She is my twin. If I was a girl, I would be her. We have been together for so long and seen it all. She knows me and knows how I love.

So you know this conversation was about love. I'm not going to go into the details because I doubt it is necessary at this point. My twin showed me some tough love today and told me some truth about myself. She said "dude you love too easy. Your heart leads the way. You fall in love with your heart and not your head at all."

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


Dry winds hit my face as I step down from the airplane. Tired as hell I grudgingly descend the stairs and onto the Tarmac. I make my way slowly to the arrivals hall and all I can feel is the dry winds. I breathe the air and it is almost new to me. Very different from the air I came from. I see the haze as I stare across the the Tarmac and runway. The harmattan is strong in Kumasi. "Why is that?" I ask the driver as he reaches for my bag. I don't know if I expected an answer but I got one. A couple of weeks ago when I came to Kumasi, I received a similar welcome but less harmattan. I have to avoid the dry lips and possible cracks but I guess that comes with the season. A lick every second helps.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Drama Over the Tundra

You have to love Ghanaian politics. Really, you must love politics in Ghana.

On Thursday, I was in the car heading to the airportin Kumasi to catch my flight back to Accra and heard an interesting news item on the radio. Apparently, Akua Donkor is refusing to give Papa Kwesi Nduom and the Progressive People's Party their Toyota Tundra. According to Akua Donkor, she had a deal with Nduom that she will tell her supporters to vote for Nduom and in return, Nduom will give her a Toyota Tundra. And that having told her supporters to vote for Nduom, she was not obliged to return the Toyota Tundra she had received. Sounds like vote buying to me from a "so-called I am not a corruptible leader". 

Akua Donkor also dared Nduom and the PPP to take her to the highest court of the land and not waste her time in the High Court. Her classic statement "if I had not told my supporters to vote for Nduom, would he have been third?" 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Day In History

I arrived in Accra at 1pm and headed straight for the Anglican Church at Burma Camp to witness my cousin, a lieutenant commander in the Ghanaian Navy, get married. I had been to the engagement a week ago and so I wasn't expecting a major crowd. Boy was I shocked when I arrived at the chapel. First of all, the parking spots were gone. I had to drive a few blocks to get parking and then I made my way to the church premises. The church was full up and they had set up tents with chairs outside for people to sit. Even those were all taken up and about twice the people who were in the church and seated under the tents, were standing outside. I said to myself "I didn't know my cousin was this popular".

She came out of the church with her husband, both of them smiling genuinely. Not one of those fake wedding smiles. Yes, she was extremely happy and the photo tells it all. The wedding was well attended by prominent people including a judge at the International Criminal Court, Prof. Akua Kuenyhia, who assisted in the cutting of the wedding cake.

My Heart Weeps . . .

I received the photo collage of the two girls and thought it was a rumour. I was on my way back to Kumasi from Ejisu and then during the 1pm news, I heard that a garbage truck had collided with a taxi in the early hours of 18 January 2012 at Okponglo and two girls who were in the taxi had lost their lives. It suddenly hit me as the story unfolded. The two girls were both 19 years old and graduates of Holy Child School. They were on their way to the University of Ghana, Legon where they were students and unfortunately and very sadly met their untimely death. I felt saddened by this news. It hurt me deeply. My eyes were filled with tears and deep down I know I was weeping inside for these girls. I have no sister just female cousins and any of these girls could have been my cousin, sister or even girlfriend. They were at university and were making something of their lives. They did not deserve to die. No way and not in this manner. But in all things, even the bad, God knows best. It's very sad and I pray God consoles the family and friends of these two beautiful young women. Rest in perfect peace.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Canes For What?

Cane-holding supporters of the NDC
As I drove to work this morning, I thought about the topic of today's blog. Of course, the first and most obvious thing that came to mind was "blog about what happens at the Supreme Court today". Great idea but I realised my blog was becoming an update for Nana Akufo-Addo's Petition at the Supreme Court. Ah well. 

So as I drove, I went past a school and I saw children with brooms sweeping the compound before assembly and then class. There wasn't a child in sight without a broom, duster or dustbin. Then I thought to myself ah, I will blog about this especially because every Ghanaian in their formative years undergoes some discipline in sanitation but somewhere along the line we become filthy.

And then I ended up at the airport to catch my flight to Kumasi and just before I went on board the plane, I decided to use the bathroom and pay some water bills. I entered the male bathroom and to my surprise, for the first time in Ghana, a public bathroom was neat. I thought to myself, this is worth blogging about. I will title my blog today "Neat Toilets". 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

All Is Set

It feels like an anticipated boxing match between a legend in Ghanaian politics and a seasoned parliamentarian who may never have been president but strangely enough is president as I write this blog. The much anticipated boxing match is the Election Petition filed by Nana Akufo-Addo and others against John Mahama and the Electoral Commission. The NDC too wants to join the fight simply because John Mahama ran on their party ticket.

The last time we were in court, the Supreme Court was to hear NDC's application but Nana Akufo-Addo and others had other plans. "No way, Jose" they said to the judges "we don't like this panel". Like I said in my last post "I didn't expect that objection". Neither did anyone including the learned justices. No wonder His Lordship Justice William Atuguba got upset and said the things he said. "Like ibi me too ah like I go bore. You say weytin, juicy constitutional and historic case like this make I recuse myself? Ah, NEVER!"

Thursday, 10 January 2013

What Happened At The Supreme Court Today

This morning, I deemed it wise to educate my followers so I wrote a post on exactly what was going to happen at the Supreme Court today. But I forgot to add that in litigation, anything can happen. And indeed, 'anything' did happen today. As my senior and I drove into the court premises on the High Street, we were amazed at the beefed up security. Tons of police officers and armoured cars. Even more interesting was that the police officers were armed to the teeth. No nonsense. But on another note, there were some very cute looking girls in the police force. And you know the saying, a woman dressed in uniform is always ...

So the judges entered the court room and the lawyers announced themselves. After brief consultations with his team, the lead counsel for Nana Akufo-Addo and others, objected to Justice William Atuguba presiding over the panel to hear the joinder application. After some small drama, Nana Akufo-Addo's legal team was directed to formally object to Justice Atuguba presiding over the panel.

What will happen at the Supreme Court today?

Today, the Supreme Court of Ghana will hear an aspect of the NPP's petition which has been filed before it, to wit, the NDC's application to join the Petition as a Respondent. I noticed many media houses are referring to today's hearing as the hearing of the Petition. The substantive Petition will not be heard today but probably within the next five days as the Rules stipulate.

So what exactly will happen today? The task before the Supreme Court today is basically to determine whether or not the NDC is a necessary party to be joined to the Petition. The NDC argues that John Mahama was elected on their Party's ticket and therefore they have a 'direct stake' in his election. In Ghana, however, personalities are elected and not political parties. But there is the valid argument that the political parties sponsor the candidacy of the person to be elected.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A Historic Swearing In

On 7 January 2013, John Mahama took the oath of allegiance and became the fourth President of the fourth Republic of Ghana. Sounds historic, right? I mean if you are the fourth John to be the fourth president of the fourth Republic that must be of some historical importance. The ceremony was historic alright but not for the reasons I have just mentioned.

For starters, Mahama, who was being sworn in, is currently a respondent to a Petition currently before the Supreme Court of Ghana, which Petition is challenging his election as president. So you can imagine what was running through Mahama's mind as he repeated the oath of allegiance.

The uneasiness at the ceremony itself was self evident. And to crown it, the largest opposition party in Ghana, the New Patriotic Party, boycotted the event purely on the basis of principle: we cannot celebrate what we don't agree with. I agree with that.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Mall Girls

In 2013, I am going to make blogging a habit. I spend so much time tweeting and Facebooking that I hardly have time to actually put a few words together on my blog. Not a good look at all. The return of The Chix Files sounds like a nice title for my first post in 2013, don't you think?

Anyway, so on Sunday evening something strange happened to me. You may think of it as strange in a good way or strange in a bad way. Either way, I found it strange. I went to the mall to meet a friend. We stood in the car park chatting for about a good 30 minutes. During the entire period, three very beautiful girls stood right where we were.

They giggled and laughed and I figured "it may be because of my friend given that he is a celeb". We chatted for a while and said our goodbyes. I walked to my car and he walked to his. I sat in my car, turned on the engine, and put the car into reverse. Out if nowhere, I hear "excuse me, excuse me". Lo and perhaps, behold the three girls make their way to my car. I roll down the window and one of the girls says to me "can I talk to you please?"