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The week past

The week past

Even as I was telling readers that the opposition SLPP had become a thorn in the flesh of the APC, the leadership of the government party confirmed this by the reported outburst of my friend and brother Alpha Kanu. Now quite frankly I do not know Alpha Kanu as one who would raise his voice on any occasion, but apparently the SLPP top Vons were really breathing down my friends up. What right do they have to hold news conferences, regular monthly ones at that when there is already an opposition party in Parliament with a minority leader? The answer is “Elementary” my dear brother. (photo: Dr. Sama Banya)

It is the democratic constitution of the country which is very clear on the right of association, right of assembly and free speech. I shall go a step further and refer my dear brother to our own party constitution which also confers on the national chairman, in this case John Oponjo Benjamin the title of leader. Besides being chairman and leader of the SLPP under our political dispensation anyone can hold a news conference any time anywhere and address issues they consider of public interest.

As pointed out elsewhere we work hand in hand with our Members of Parliament so that what we do outside compliments what they do on the floor of the house; the difference is that outside we operate unfettered by a majority guillotine usually aided and abetted by an intolerant Mr. Speaker.

When it comes to criticizing honourable Alpha Kanu I am always restrained by a filial feeling I have for him; in the circumstance all I will say here is that like the learned Judges of Appeal would say, “He has misdirected himself.” The English would put it nicely by saying that the man “Is batting on a sticky wicket.” In short we shall continue with our monthly news conferences till come “sharp 12, 2012.” As that date draws closer we might even increase the frequency to fortnightly if not weekly. In the meantime the deputy editor of Peep Christopher Koker could continue with his one-man opinion poll for 2012. We in the SLPP are not intimidated by his figures.

All I will say about the Professor of Energy and Water Resources, is that  there goes a hitherto fine intellectual, who was on air during the SLBC’s tea break programme on Friday straining to convince a by now thoroughly unhappy and skeptic people with one explanation followed by another for the persistent blackout during the week. He even doubted whether it was raining up in Bumbuna; but the answer to that is that it has been raining quite heavily in most parts of the country and that includes Bumbuna. In short, shortage of water in the dam is no part of Bumbuna’s “hohala.” Although repairs, or is it maintenance have been going on at the dam since April, Freetown has still not received its promised supply of clean and regular electricity.

If I got Ogunade right and believe me my new hearing aid devices are so efficient I could hear Olu Gordon soliloquizing as to why his friend Puawui refuses to age even at 104, but that’s a matter between Poo an wee and his pal; yes, if I got the minister correctly, Freetown’s minimum requirement is 80 megawatts, but we have never gone beyond 35mw. And let me remind the honourable minister with respect, that people are no longer interested whether they previously lived in the dark ages under the SLPP. What they long for is constant, or as Boss man says, clean and uninterrupted electricity.

Mobile phone owners have responded with much energy to the requirements that everyone with a mobile phone should register with his service provider. There were anxious queues outside the designated offices of the phone companies all through the week; the crowds were still there at the close of business on Saturday. For one thing the number of registration centres was inadequate, compared with the large number of owners. Africel alone has been boasting of at least 700,000 subscribers. There was general relief when NatCom announced a 60 days extension of the period. However there is now confusion with the announcement from the minister of information and communication whose ministry supervises mobile phone operations that his Excellency had turned down any talk of an extension. So that leaves the poor subscribers who still must register their machines in limbo.

Fine week, marred by Ghana losing to Uruguay on penalties. Hard luck Black Stars but you did all Africa  real proud.

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