Mr. President, To obey is better than sacrifice
And Saul said “Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings” And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of the offering, behold, Samuel came, and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.
And Samuel said, “What hast thou done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves at Michmast. Therefore said I, “The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal and I have not made supplication unto the Lord> I forces myself therefore and offered a burnt offering”.
And Samuel said to Saul, “Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord, thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now, thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be Captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee”.
Then, the Lord commanded Saul through the Prophet Samuel to go and destroy the Amalekites, human and animals. But Saul disobeyed God again for he smote the Amalekites and spared Ahag, their king and the best of their animals.
When Saul met Samuel, the latter said to him “Blessed be thou of the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the Lord”. But he was exposed by the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen. Saul like our President wanted to justify his action by passing on the buck to others. “But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed to sacrifice unto the LORD, thy God in Gilgal”
Now, you listen to the verdict of God which he delivered through his servant, Prophet Samuel. “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hath rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king”.
The above extract from the Holy Bible speaks against the sin of disobedience. God strongly condemns it and if President Mahama is a committed Christian he should not have gone against the tenets of the constitution. The President himself gave the benchmark of the amount or quantity of gifts a public official could receive. His acceptance of the car worth “opepepeepee” was gargantuan in nature and an affront to the constitution of the land. What the President and his apologists are doing is similar to what Saul tried to do. He blamed the people for keeping the best part of the spoils and attempted to justify it by “suggesting” that they had wanted to sacrifice them to the LORD at Gilgal. The command was explicit. Go and destroy the Amalekites and everything that belongs to them, the king inclusive. Is there any ambiguity here? This is similar to the Supreme Court verdict on the deletion of names of those who used the NHIS card to register as voters.
The Lord told Saul that it is better to obey the Commandment than to sacrifice oxen and other animals. Morally, it is not a good practice to give or accept gifts from people and later suggest that you have done the nation a great deal of favour by “donating” the gift back to the country.
Professor Tam David West and the gift of wrist watch: The Professor was the Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources under the “Evil Genius” General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. IBB, as he was fondly called by his admirers or acolytes was President and Lord of all that he surveyed in Nigeria.
Nigeria wanted to get maximum benefit from its crude oil, but OPEC, to which the country belonged had place a ceiling on the quantity each member state could export. The Supreme Military Country under the “evil genius” sent a delegation led by the Petroleum Minister, to go and negotiate for an upward review of the country’s production quota. At every point in time during the negotiation process, the Professor let everybody know that he had the approval of the Presidency.
In the end, OPEC did not increase Nigeria’s quota. IBB and his henchmen on the SMC were stunned. They couldn’t understand why. In the midst of the buck-passing and other intrigues, it came out that OPEC executives had given a wrist watch to the leader of the delegation and that on the morning of his departure to Nigeria, Professor Tam David West had drunk Tea with the executives.
What happened next is something no reasonable human being would understand. A Tribunal was set up to try the Professor on charges of drinking a cup of tea and accepting a wrist watch from OPEC Executives. The two “crimes” were said to have influenced the Petroleum Minister into towing the line of the Executives. He was found guilty on these two counts and sentenced to five years imprisonment.
Compare Tam David West case with the receipt of a Ford vehicle from a Burkinabe contractor and one cannot but conclude that, indeed, President John Dramani Mahama is guilty as charged.
The President’s attempt to justify his action by suggesting that he prefers Japanese Cars to American Cars is a lame excuse. “I don’t use Ford. I don’t like American cars. I use Japanese cars. Toyota is my car. ………… When you make baseless rumours and accusations, it won’t win you the presidency”. The innuendo in the last sentence is not lost on us. But is His Excellency, Mr. President telling Ghanaians and the entire world that if the vehicle had been Japanese mode he would have accepted it?
Again, I ask: what are the various ‘hangers-on’ at the Presidency doing? Couldn’t they have “polished” the President’s statement to make it more convincing to befit the high office he occupies in the country?
Mr. J.H.Mensah and Odumase Farms: Mr. J.H. Mensah was Minister of Finance and Economic Planning under Kofi Abrefa Busia’s Progress Party Administration. He was a Director of Odumase Farms. The Constitution stipulated that one cannot hold a position in any business venture while he is a Minister. Thus, Mr. J.H. Mensah ought to have resigned his position as Director when he was appointed a Cabinet Minister, but he did not. This was one of the reasons assigned by General Ignatius Kuti Acheampong when he staged his coup against the Progress Party Government on January 12, 1972.
I remember that when the issue first cropped up in Parliament, the PP Government used its Parliamentary majorly to pooh-pooh the concerns of the majority and even poured encomiums on J.H.Mensah for spearheading a revolution to improve farming activities in the country. The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is sacrosanct and nothing should be done to make it otherwise.
Mr. Adamu Dramani Sakande, MP for Bawku Central: He was tried and jailed two years for making false declaration for his name to be included in the voter’s register before 2008 election. He voted but was not entitled. He did not renounce his UK citizenship before standing foe the election. The Law clearly stipulates that one could not stand for and be elected a Member of Parliament. This is the Law, and nothing more. Innocuous, one might say, but the law stipulates otherwise.
So why the President’s is is own different? What does the law say about acceptance of gifts? And what fatwa has the President decreed for all his appointees? Why is he not adhering to his own code of conduct? Is he telling us he should be compared with the preacher whose mantra was “do as I say, but not do as I do”?
Asamoah Boateng breaches the Procurement Act: When the NDC came to power, one of the first things it did was to haul Asamoah Boateng, his wife and other officials of the Ministry of Information to the law courts for breaching the Procurement Act. Asamoah Boateng and his wife’s company had renovated some offices of the Information Ministry and were yet to be paid. But they were brought before the Law Courts on grounds that the contract was contrary to laid down procedure.
Late President Mills and the Envelopes: We were all in this country when late President Mills told the whole nation that he had twice rejected envelopes full of money by people who had come to visit him at the Castle. He felt the envelopes were meant to influence him. Mr. Kwame Pianim, an Economist and hard-core member of the NPP corroborated the President’s statement.
At that time, the NDC shouted unto the highest heavens that late President Mills was incorruptible. What has happened since? The NDC imputed from the scenario that the unnamed persons were out to bribe the late President. The latter also saw it in that light. What has happened since, if I may ask?
From the above extract one can safely conclude that the gulf between late Mills and His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama is. It is like the distance between the North and the South Pole.
Now, to the substantive issue: Was the money meant to influence His Excellency? Yes, I believe it was! The Burkinabe contractor, Djibril Kanazo said that since 2003, he had been bidding for contracts without success. Then, somebody took him to see His Excellency and the contract started flowing “waa waa”. On the first contract which was to erect a fence wall around the Ghana Embassy in Ouagadougou, the man never applied for the job. He was at home when a letter awarding him the contract came. A miracle, indeed!
Readers should not overlook the fact that it was after somebody had taken the Burkinabe Contractor to see President Mahama that the “donation” of the Ford Expedition vehicle was made.
Now, let us look at the circumstances surrounding the commissioning of the Dodo-Pepeso-Nkwanta Road. President Mahama said it was one of the best roads ever to be constructed in the country. Was it a co-incidence that the President made that remark? Well, time will tell. But I learnt the road has developed some pot hole just like the road from Kwabeng to my holy village, Abomoso (with special apologies to Barfour). Another miracle indeed!
Why is it that the registration of the vehicle cannot be traced in any of the DVLA offices in the country? Is the President telling us that Government vehicles have never been registered in the country? Since when did this law come into being? When did the President transfer the vehicle to the presidential pool? Was it done in the open or secret? Is there any record of the transaction that can be made available to the masses?
Where is the vehicle? Another mind bogging question is “where is the vehicle”? When people made unfounded allegations about some things in ex-President Kufuor’s private residence, there was no hesitation in making his residence open to all those who cared to go and verify. Why can’t the Presidency take a cue from that?
Again, in all the presentation made to the two former presidents – the car gift from ex Libyan Leader, Muammar Ghadafi to ex-President Kufuor and the cash award given to ex-President Rawlings, the presentations from both Presidents to the state were done in public. Rawlings cash award was used to set up the University of Development Studies in the North.
But Mahama’s handing over the vehicle was out of coverage area. If Manasseh Azuri had not come out with his expose, we would all have been groping in the dark as to what had happened.
Historical ignoramuses: Let me put it on record that all those who are suggesting that the President would not accept any bribe because he could get anything he wants are historical ignoramuses. Have they forgotten FIFA President Seth Blatter and his Executives? What did Blatter want and he could not get? He was very powerful than more than half of the Presidents in the world put together. He could make and undo, Infact, he was Lord and Master of all that he surveyed. Yet he collected kick backs.
Licence to own a Gun: Now why did President Mahama go for a licence in order to possess a gun, if I may ask? Why did he not do it secretly as he did on the car issue? He did that because the law says so. So, let people provide reasonable arguments when they attempt to defend the indefensible.
Initially, the NDC just wanted to rewrite the laws on corruption. It now wants to change the rules after the offence has been committed. May God save Ghana – the country we all love and cherish very much.
Daniel Danquah Damptey
(Self-Appointed Special Aide to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo)