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A literary critique

Letter to Jomo is a socio-politico-cultural mine of information which I recommend for aficionados of literary writing, and serious journalists who can learn from a style that takes their profession away from the mundane to a higher plane.

Many more will find pleasure in reading the letters for the beauty of language and matter in them as well as the accuracy of information that they provide. Generations to come will find them readable, enjoyable and a repository of information on Ghanaian social history.

Professor A. B. K. Dadzie

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George Sydney Abugri is a prolific, multi-award winning, Ghanaian newspaper journalist. He trained as a science and mathematics teacher, but migrated to journalism after a decade of teaching. 

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There are now as many radio stations in Ghana as there are winking stars in a galaxy. One unsettling problem with some of them, is their obsession with advertisements. Let a radio station cultivate a sizeable audience, and the next thing you know, every programme on the station is intermittently and rudely interrupted by an unending stream of dull, drab and monotonous announcements purporting to be advertisements of all manner of goods and services of dubious origin and quality.

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F-k-g b-tch! Hey, which politician said that? Darned if I know his name, but this much I do know: In Ghana’s politics, ill-tempered politicians with a deep hatred for their political opponents and political activists who are encouraged and rewarded by those same politicians to insult people they perceive to be standing in the way of their ambitions, have become an irritating phenomenon.

Insults are by no means entirely new in our politics but the frequency, scale and revolting nature of the insults which buzz around every election year like enraged bees, take the nagging issue of insults to hell in a dirty handkerchief. 

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Have you travelled in rural Nigeria by any chance? Adedeji swigs palm wine, smacks his lips, surveys the remaining foamy contents of the calabash approvingly and waxes grandly philosophical: "Ibi di wind fit show fowl im nyass", he declares. (He pronounces fowl, "far-well.") 

He is dead right. It is only nature which reveals what nature herself conceals. Amid all the propaganda and acrimony, it is only the final tally of the poll which will reveal the voter appeal and substance of the presidential candidates and that naturally, would include the jokers.

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He is probably the most important person in the republic but no one ever remembers him. He rarely gets into the news until a sudden natural disaster strikes. That is usually when people begin grumbling that he failed to warn all and sundry about the coming mishap. If you think I am referring to the weatherman, you are dead right for all three points on offer for accuracy.

In the wake of the frightening manifestations of climate change emerging by the day, he is going to become even more important than all the news headline-happy politicians and so-called celebrities who keep making all the news. There appear to be significant changes in the features of the harmattan as we have always known it and I wish I could track down the weatherman to explain.

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The nation is waiting with bated breath for the sentencing on Thursday by the Supreme Court, of NDC communicators, Alistair Nelson and Godwin Ako Gunn, who in the course of a radio panel discussion recently, threatened to kill some justices of the Supreme Court if they ruled against the Electoral Commission in the legal dispute overy the voters’ register. The two and the programme host have been found guilty of contempt of the Supreme Court.

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We make quite a gallant pair behind the battle lines of sharply dissenting opinions, me and my PC. Whenever I am consumed with passion over a nagging subject, the keyboard usually becomes a blazing machine gun. Surely, you have watched machine guns at work in the movies: Ratat…ratatat…ratatatatat…

Today is eerily different: I am sitting behind the darned machine, feeling inexplicably very miserable: The keyboard can’t fire a single shot!

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What is your opinion, Jomo: Does the government not have a responsibility to promulgate dietary laws to protect our health? Should there not be an organization responsible for regulating the amounts of oils, fats and salt fed to the public?

In the absence of dietary laws, Ghanaians are condemned to a life-threatening diet incorporating vast seas of cooking oil and mega-tons of salt and fats.

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