On the eve of January 7, 2021, our nascent democracy came under threat, when military personnel, invaded the Chamber of Parliament, when legislators, were in the process of electing the Speaker of Parliament.
The invaders claim or those who today are denying knowledge of the invasion, making excuses for them, said they were there to protect our democracy.
By my last count and knowledge no Member of Parliament has ever carried a gun into the Chamber, so it beats my mind, when I heard the justification that, they were there to protect our democracy.
As fate would have it both the National Security Minister and the Minister of Defence, who were in charge of the security architecture, when the shameful act occurred, when nominated again by president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to continue in those same role for the next four years.
To save face, when the National Security minister designate, Kan Dapaah, appeared before the Vetting Committee of parliament and was asked the question, who ordered the military men to march into the Chamber of the August House, his answer was, he is “not aware” of the invasion.
Again, the most ridiculous of all was the Minister of Defence designate, Dominic Nitiwul, who appeared the following day after Kan Dapaah to be vetted and the same question was asked, his answer too was, he is “not aware”, but there is an investigation going on.
Then I ask who gives the orders?
The answer given by the two ministers designate, is risible, because the men in Uniform by themselves, wouldn’t have dared to take such an action, without being ordered.
The fact is, the reckless invasion of such a strategic national installation, which houses law makers, who were at the time undertaking a very important national exercise, could not have been possible without the authorisation of a highly placed government official.
This embarrassing security misfire, reveals once again the content of Dominic Nitiwul and Kan Dapaah’s character and it is that they are not ready for duty.
What happened the next day, is more embarrassing and disgusting to say the least. The government of Ghana, had entered into an agreement with a private company to undertake a PCR test at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Travelers coming into Ghana, are required to pay 150 United States of America dollars for the Antigen Test, before they are allowed entry into the country.
The company engaged by the government is called Frontier Healthcare Services Limited, the company which was registered about a month before it was awarded the contract and had no track record, has come under scrutiny.
Ghanaians, as well as foreigners, who were minded to question the exorbitant prices being charged by Frontier Healthcare Services, were expectant that, the mystery surrounding how the company won the contract and how much have been realized so far, was going to be answered at the vetting, but unfortunately two ministers, who could help unravel the mystery feign ignorance.
The first was the Minister Designate of Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu, his ministry was he supervising ministry, and ought to have full knowledge of the contract but when asked, all he could say was ” I am not aware”, he ludicrously added that, he will interrogate the issue.
Seriously, this issue has been on the burner since the airport was opened, a minister who takes his work serious must be abreast with what happens in his ministry, but not in Ghana, where everyone is responsible for everything, but no one takes responsibility for anything.
The second person to further insult our collective conscience was the minister of Foreign Affairs designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botwey.
She has also been, like her colleague health minister in that capacity in the last four years, and was part and parcel of the system that awarded the contract.
Ghana Airport Company Ltd, that is now being claimed to have signed the agreement with Frontier Healthcare Services Limited on behalf of the government of Ghana, couldn’t have done that without the knowledge and involvement of the ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Shirley Ayorkor Botwey, appeared before the Appointments Committee and also shamelessly said, she was not aware of the contract.
Then I asked, who is in charge of anything?
By the way, the culture of not taking responsibility for actions – when they provoke citizens’ angst – was trended by President Akufo-Addo. He holds the copyright to not only the clause “I am not aware” but also “I was misled”.
He has also perfected another character flaw, which is to suggest that, he is presiding over saints. When you are close to him, you can never be corrupt; you are a saint for as long as you are in his inner circle.
The I am not aware phenomenon is reminiscent with military regime, where soldiers who characteristically work on orders, execute an action and the leadership will feign knowledge. In a democracy every action must be justified with good reasons.
We have laws in this country, every action the government takes must be backed by law, in the award of the contract to Frontier Healthcare Services Limited, the procurement laws were breached and yet no only is someone taking responsibility, but every actor is claiming not to be aware.
Governance is a serious business, but it seems since 2017, when this government assumed the reign of office, the laws that we hold dear are being thrown to the dogs.
The progress that the country has made since 1992, has been eroded because we have a president, who does not care about leaving any legacy that will be a building block to the success of the country.
Unfortunately, the minister designate for finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was expected to appear before the appointments committee to be vetted on these issues is not in the country
Ken Ofori-Atta, unlike Shirley and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, cannot say he is not aware of the contract between government of Ghana and Frontier Healthcare Services Limited.
He has a lot to answer for in his four years stewardship. I will be disappointed in our representatives in the August House should Ken pass the vetting and approved. He should be the test subject, where people given with state responsibilities must be made to know that, they is always a day of accountability. The government must not change before individuals are held accountable.
Ken Ofori-Atta, has broken every law in this country, financial laws, procurement laws, etc, he used his position arbitrarily, without thinking they will be a day to account.
Members of Parliament on both sides of the House, in taking that secret ballot to approve a nominee, must put Ghana and their constituents first, but before then the Appointments Committee, should not accept any answer from Ken Ofori-Atta that will seem to suggest “he doesn’t know”, as his colleagues had done.