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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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One, two, three and we swing with the morning screamers right on time, Jomo: “NDC are smart drunkards-Dr Bawumia”: There goes one headline with a bit of a misleading bent. The man only likened the NDC to a chronic boozer who rather than kick his health-threatening indulgence, engages in the so-called smart drinking. What we might add though, is that if headlines won political power, Dr Mamudu Bawumia might well be on his way to becoming the democratically elected ruler of the universe:

Reporters and editors pegged on his name, varied angles and sound bites from various statements in his lecture on the IMF’s bailout of Ghana’s economy this week. The result was a bit weird: A host of headlines listed vertically one after another on some news websites each had Dr Bawumia’s name in it:

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One of the reasons Justice Ajet-Nassam gave for acquitting businessman Alfred Woyome on a charge of defrauding the state of ¢51 million he received as judgement debt payment, was that some key witnesses in the case including former Attorney-General Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu and former  Deputy Attorney-General Ebo Barton-Oduro did appear before the court to testify for the prosecution.

Enter lawyer Samson Lardy Anyenini with a critical question no one appears interested in answering: Why did the judge not subpoena the former Attorney-General and her deputy to appear before the court if he thought their evidence could have helped the court arrive at the truth? km

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One of the these raving, maniacal schizophrenics behind steering wheels cuts very suddenly, sharply and dangerously into your lane in the fast stream of motor traffic. Your adrenalin shoots up, your heart beat races furiously and your blood pressure along with it. Aboa, kwasea..! In spite of yourself, you let fly a stream of choice Ga and Akan curse-words and the mad man hurls some at you in turn and in good measure. Yours is called a physiological response to provocative stimulus.

 

When tempers are up in partisan political discourse in Ghana, some anti-social creatures hold sway, dispensing insults left and right and their insults usually have nothing whatsoever to do with road rage or physiological responses to provocative external stimuli like.

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“Kwesi Pratt receives death threat-to be buried alive if NPP wins 2016 election.” Kwesi “Massa” Pratt has been at his advocacy and freedom fighting game through successive governments since the 1970s or rather for as long as anyone can remember, and has been a regular beneficiary of vile verbal abuse, threats and acidic comments for all his troubles.

Some conservative politicians in the republic hate him with a singular passion and some have accused him of political corruption, whatever you perceive that to be. Pratt has probably received more death threats and threats of violence than all Ghanaian politicians and political activists put together since independence. He has not been spared physical abuse either, and there is physiological evidence to prove it: Portions of one of his legs are held together by pieces of metal he has carried in the limb all these years.

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If you are all set and rearing to go with the headlines, Jomo, please, let us roll. First screamer: “Nigeria to print currency for Ghana.” Asem be ba dabi. We beg-o, Oga. Make una no do we any nine-one-four..!

 

“I could fix the nation’s energy crisis within three months if I were president- Rev. Professor Emmanuel Martey.” Oh, really? Next headline, please. No wait..! This headline has attracted a variety of responses to the claim by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana:

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We mark the 58th anniversary of our independence from British colonial rule at a time when the republic is not in the best of socio-economic times: As a matter of fact, the anniversary coincides with a one billion dollar bailout of our economy by the International Monetary Fund. Then of course, there is the national energy crisis which is raging on with a renewed vengeance.

Amid the up-mountain challenges facing our great republic, President Mahama calls for national hope, to which NPP Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr Mamudu Bawumia replies that “ it is competence that delivers results and not hope.”

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A bit of history never did anyone any harm and especially not someone who already appears to be walking backward against the forward flow of time, anyway. In our painful reverse march, we are back to 1997.

 

That was the year working people who returned home late at night were heard cursing and screaming in pain as they walked into furniture, walls and objects in pitch-dark sitting rooms.

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