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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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I kept an appointment with my physician and his stethoscopes a couple of days ago and told the good man to check me out carefully from toe to skull: Body mass index, protesting muscles, creaking joints, blood pressure, cholesterol level,  heartbeat, brain beat, lung beat, the whole physiological works.

 

After binging nonstop on an appalling daily diet of fried potato chips, jumbo sausages, fried eggs and salted bacon during an extended period of study in Abrokyere years ago, I returned to Ghana to find that I had piled heavy layers of bad cholesterol on the inner walls of my blood vessels and sent my blood pressure peaking levels that all but broke the blood pressure measuring machine anytime the doctor tried taking a reading.

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Judging from his comments when he met with some representatives of the Institute of Public Relations at Flagstaff House this week, President John Mahama clearly has some juicy goat bones to pick with frequency modulation radio in the country and so do I, Jomo:

 

There are now a trillion and nine-six thousand radio stations in the republic and some common features appear to run through the broadcasts of many of them:

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These days, you will find some of the most outrageous untruths and bare-faced, blatant lies ever told, hiding in news headlines: “Cop killer Kombian to die by hanging.” That is a big, fat lie, Jomo. Kombian is NOT going to die by hanging today, tomorrow or the day after that, and you can take my word for it. It is just a grand public deception from the media and the strange corridors of the administration of criminal justice in Ghana.

I wonder what the courts are up to with this judicial hoax. Go to Nsawam and ascertain things for yourself: The prison hangman has been jobless for as long as anyone can remember: I have vowed that as long as court judges persist with making the criminal justice system in Ghana something of a joke, I shall continue to join in the fun, yes sir.

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The world will probably never know the Bawku I have known: Oppong was a native of the Brong Ahafo Region who built the first one-storey block in the commercial heart of Bawku town in the late 1950s. The ground floor housed the then famous Oppong Store which sold everything from Horlicks and toiletries to condensed milk and Heinekens beer.

Heinekens came in wooden crates stuffed with factory straw to prevent breakage of the lager bottles. Dr. Nkrumah’s representative, the District Commissioner, was just the slightest bit close to an immortal. Bawku was enjoying its historic immediate post-independence economic boom, thanks to its location on the border.

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You have no doubt heard of "pee­-cee." Not Bill Gates' high technology toy of a data and information processing desktop machine. I am referring to "political correctness." In political correctness a rapist is “a psychologically chal­lenged individual" a dis­abled person is "physical­ly challenged" and a pros­titute, morally so!

 

So what is a street beggar in "pee-cee"? A financially challenged per­son, what else? The other day, as the traffic lamp near the Trade Union Congress close to the Holy Spirit Cathedral went red, I watched a motorist reach out an arm from the stagnant stream of motor vehicles and hand such a one, a Ghana cedi coin.

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The average bloke is no better or worse than the average bloke if you see what I mean. Put another way, we are all good and bad in varying degrees. The consolation is that there is always ample room in between for the exercise of personal integrity.

 

Yet if you wrote the political history of Ghana forward and backwards through time and space a thousand times over, you would find the very same tales of intrigue, dishonesty, and multiple standards thrown up again and again in this unrelenting war between the good guys and the bad guys.

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Taking us through the processes of deductive reasoning in one of our very first lessons in logic, our class teacher asked us to complete the last of the following sentences: One: “Circus clowns wear makeup. Two: Women wear makeup. Three:  Therefore, women are…

Dare to complete the last sentence and see if a pack of wild feminists don’t come chasing you down the street wielding dangerous kitchen accoutrements as weapons of male destruction.

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