By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Jan. 29, 2016
We are all well aware that Mr. Ben Ephson is on the payroll of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC). And so the so-called Managing-Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper should stop holding himself off as a seasoned journalist endowed with any modicum of professional integrity. He is simply a filthily paid party hack. It is not clear upon what basis Mr. Ephson arrived at the conclusion that Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s decrying of the 50-percent hike in utility bills was taken at a cabinet meeting at which the Trade and Industry Minister was present as an active participant (See “Spio Must Resign Over ‘Outrageous’ Tariff Hikes Comment – Ephson” Starrfmonline.com / Modernghana.com 1/29/16).
I am here far less concerned about the motive behind Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s critical comments, for it is quite obvious that it was politically motivated. In other words, the Trade and Industry Minister is far less concerned about social justice, the objective that any conscientious politician would be guided by or be in pursuit of, than the mundane and vulgar fact that 2016 is a watershed election year. In the implicit opinion and imagination of the former Communication and Education Minister, therefore, any price hikes in this election year ought to be studiously guided by the ballot box than either by the general economic climate or temperature.
In the foregoing sense, therefore, one can aptly conclude that there is fundamentally no difference between the political ethics of both Messrs. Ephson and Spio-Garbrah. In other words, if Mr. Ephson is convinced that it is insufferably unprincipled for Mr. Spio-Garbrah to criticize some of the incontrovertibly harsh socioeconomic policies of the Mahama government and still maintain his cabinet status, then, of course, it also stands to reason for Mr. Ephson to stop passing himself off as a professionally remarkable pollster, or a serious pollster of integrity, and aptly assume the status of the indisputably cynical and patently unconscionable Mahama tout that he veritably is.
What is fascinating here, as already adumbrated above, is the fact that neither man is any remarkably concerned about the bleak and steadily depressing quality of the life of the proverbial hardworking average Ghanaian citizen. Rather, it clearly appears that Mr. Ephson was hired to “Baba Jamalize” the true state of the country’s economy. For that matter, for the Daily Dispatch publisher, Mr. Spio-Garbrah’s public criticism of the Jantuah Posse at the PURC – that is, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission – makes Trade and Industry Minister seem like an ungrateful Mahama appointee.
In this context, therefore, Mr. Spio-Garbrah could be aptly likened in mindset and attitude to Mr. Ametor Quarmyne, the NDC Communication Team hack who ran Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, the IMANI-Ghana think-tanker, who made the grievous error of thinking that President Mahama seriously meant it when he constituted the Ho Fiscal Streamliners Committee, or whatever it was called, to trim the proverbial fat off the public service payroll, off that otherwise well-intentioned committee. For Mr. Quarmyne, the fiscal disciplinary measures spiritedly advocated by Mr. Cudjoe unwisely aimed to surrender the ballot to the Akufo-Addo-led main opposition New Patriotic Party.
Ironically, and it is quite obvious that his age and media experience notwithstanding, Mr. Ephson knows a diddly little about the various branches of the public service, thus his patently sophomoric confusion of the latter with the NDC-rigged Mahama government. Put in simpler terms, unlike the relatively more seasoned and sophisticated Mr. Spio-Garbrah, Mr. Ephson has practically no informed idea or credible picture of the difference between the public service and the executive arm of the government. And this is a criminally great shame!
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs