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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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A very large and agitated crowd gravitated from all compass points of the Tema Metropolis toward the main harbour area at around 10.00 am the other day, converging at the regional Criminal Investigations Department headquarters and creating the kind of security-threatening scenes that easily make mob psychologists apprehensive.

The crowd was one heaving, shoving, and jostling, arguing, yelling and widely gesticulating mass of humanity. Some in the crowd had apparently come to the CID headquarters to lynch seven armed robbers and two dead men, whatever physical form you might imagine the lynching of a dead man to take.

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Fiction is naturally rendered redundant in the realm of steel-hard facts and the fact is that when I bumped into Kofi Jack early this week heading for his favourite lunch-time haunt at Adabraka, he was wearing a scowl. He told me he was on his way to get two small measures of the potent local brandy with an unpronounceable name to cheer him up a bit.

Why? Jack said he had heard in the news that the IMF chaps were in town and that could only mean all the bad news about the rising cost of living was going to get even worse. They are going to tell President Mills to tax, tax and tax us blind if not very dead, Jack said.

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Here is the final check list of the key components of my perfect plan for a peaceful and stress-free election, Jomo. It is really a short and not too demanding one at that, if you ask me: The Electoral Commission keeps to the very barest minimum, any cases of late delivery, non-delivery or delivery of defective equipment to polling stations.

Election officers, the police and other security personnel and mandated party representatives apart, no one has any business hanging around polling stations on Election Day. The moment the ballot paper sails down to the bottom of the ballot box, the voter quickly vanishes from the polling station in peace and in one piece.

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       …and I come bearing newsy tidings and eureka solutions to all issues problematic

Jomo, you have probably heard it said that a bad workman keeps mumbling and grumbling and quarreling with his working tools all the time and that a bloke stoned to the bone marrow cannot be trusted to think straight but I swear to it, Jomo, I have no quarrel with my PC which is in perfect working order and its keyboard {which is really my sub-machine gun}, has the full complement of the English alphabet. As for the question of a couple of pints in my skull, why, I am as sober as the Pope during Morning Devotion.

So how did all that gibberish come to appear in this pre-historic column last week? Scrambled is the word, old chap. Well and truly scrambled, Jomo. As I worked at my manuscript, the Electricity Company kept behaving like an excited fairy playing pranks with the power supply switch.

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…and the Rawlingses put all the cards on the table

 Whew..! The elements here have gone totally berserk and I am perspiring like a fish straight out of the deep, Jomo. These days the heat makes a sizzling morning barbecue of the national capital long before sunup. When the sun does go up, it roasts the heart of Accra ever so mercilessly...


 As if that were not enough, the heat from the election campaign has stoked up the furnace and sent atmospheric temperatures on an upward vertical hike.
 Right out of the blue too, Jerry Rawlings and former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings have managed to top every thing up with a few more degrees celsius of heat of their own but then, I am coming to that…

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Given the results of the 2008 election and keenness of this year’s electoral contest, the likely result of Election 2012 is down to a pesewa coin toss, and in spite of the only certainty in life being uncertainty itself, one thing is dead certain, Jomo: One of the two leading parties will lose the election.

It is something the ruling National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party each better get used to in a mighty hurry, if we are to minimize the chances of any contrived grievance with the potential to lead to violence. That could sound like preaching to a slab of granite:

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Once upon a rollicking, grand old time, Jomo, when the entertainment media had not yet, with a little help from the colour and spark of technology, cultivated the corrupt habit of packing the public spaces with popcorn celebrities whose art measures not up to average scratch, I was the most famous bloke in town, ask anyone who knows what he is talking about.

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