In Response to the Honorable Rashid Pelpuo’s “Disgust”

Greetings, oh Venerable Rashid Pelpuo. How good of you to condescend to my blog and leave a comment regarding a topic that is piercing to many a forward thinking Ghanaian citizen’s heart: that being the gradual and steady destruction of our country and who is responsible for it. Let’s get right down to it, shall we?

jarvisHave you ever seen Iron Man? I would like to invite you to participate in an exercise that Tony Stark undertakes in virtually every instance that his A.I. butler, JARVIS, presents him with data. We’re going to throw out the stuff in your comments that have nothing to do with the crux of the conversation or concerns of the citizenry and see what we have left. Let’s begin with your quips about my ‘flare’ for writing (Yes. I do write with fiery passion. Thanks for noticing.), about engaging in armchair research (which is now an archaic idiom, since no one does research from their armchair anymore, but rather on their fingertips in fast moving vehicles), your presumptions about my profession (I’m NOT a journalist, but I’m flattered that you mistook me for one.), an insipid complaint about me not knowing you (And how could I? we’re not neighbors and have never invited one another over for tea.) and a veiled accusation of my possible suffering from xenophobia.

(Actually, I DO want to talk about xenophobia. If I’m interpreting your response correctly, I think it may be an issue that has long been a thorn in your side. We’ll get to that at the end.)

So what do we have left to discuss? A man in a position of power with a job to do; and THAT sir, is all that I and the good people of Ghana, be they within the borders of the country or the Diaspora really care about.

We live in the information age, sir, and as you well know information is a more vital commodity than cash. You had the unique opportunity to inspire confidence in all who are concerned about the direction that this government that you are an integral part of is taking us, simply by providing pertinent information, yet you chose not to. Instead, you gave a canned response by copying and pasting a rejoinder written sometime last month.

Did you read any of the grievances of the folks who left comments on this blog bearing your name and title? I’ll take a quick guess and say “no”. Here are their questions and concerns in short form:

 

  • What education do you actually possess that qualifies you for this position? You did not give mention of that in your response, only saying that I got your credentials wrong. Pray, what ARE your credentials? You are responsible for making sure that all the information on the internet about yourself is cohesive, and I have to tell you, it is the very opposite of the adjective.
  • What is the timeline that citizens engaged in private enterprise can look to for implementation of these “five flagship projects” you alluded to in your rejoinder? Does one even exist? Who can be held accountable when this timeline goes off course? (And we ALL know sir, that it will be stalled at some point.)
  • Exactly what sort of investments is the government – and I assume this falls under your branch – providing to indigenous business? How are these case analyses being carried out? What sort of business are getting a particular type of assistance? Some will need cash infusion, sure, but others will need infrastructure and equipment rather than cash.
  • Will citizens engaging in private enterprise still be made to pay crushing tariffs at our ports of entry on imported goods to help facilitate their businesses in the face of a government that simply WILL NOT provide a sustainable means of generating the hardware needed to facilitate x business?
  • Who is going to answer these questions?

 

Concerning xenophobia: I understand why you mentioned it. In reading the comments of the proletariat in our mainstream media, there were many unkind things said about you. That you were running your department like it was a zongo republic. That you behave as though Ghana was a makaranta school. I’m sure I don’t need to rehash these. It will not edify anyone reading this reply. For the benefit of full disclosure, I am a hybrid-Ghanaian who grew up in a Muslim/Christian household and went to school students from all over Africa and Ghana, of course. For me to succumb to xenophobia would be absurd and beneath my dignity, as I myself don’t fit into one traditional category.That doesn’t bother me, and I would certainly expect that you being  from the North doesn’t bother you.

I don’t know you personally, Mr. Pelpuo; and I don’t need to. I don’t know if you kiss your kids or whip them at night before you send them to bed. Unless your kids are helping you write policy, your personal pursuits have nothing to do with me.

I care about one thing only: How well do you do your job… and how effectively you communicate your progress.

In parting, I have this bit of advice. You are either going to have to do one of three things from here on out. 1) Get greater control of your message. 2) Grow a thicker skin. 3) Ignore all criticism altogether and send our country deeper into the bowels of destruction. The days when ordinary citizens took it on the chin lying down are fast drawing to a close. Where we sense knavery, we will dig it up and expose it. We will no longer allow those who claim to serve Ghana and its interests hide behind the ubiquitous shield of “government”. We will name names and demand accountability according to the titles apportioned to those names.

These are the times, Venerable Pelpuo. I wish you the best of luck as you cruise these uncharted waters.