THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (BNI) & THE GITMO TRANSFER CONTROVERSY
One wonders what the actual role of the BNI (and the National Security Council (NSC)) are in matters of national security and intelligence-gathering capabilities. What we do not know for a fact is that, oftentimes, the BNI allows the metastatic cancer of political partisanism to completely take over its operational jurisdiction and exercise of strategic discretion in matters of national security. We say this because we believe the BNI should be investigating the circumstances surrounding the shady Gitmo deal between the executive branch of government and America.
It therefore makes more sense if there existed a certain degree of devolution of some of the constitutive powers, which the national Constitution disproportionately grants Ghana’s duopolistic executive dominance, to an institution like the BNI. We are hereby making a case for a well-defined constitutional, investigational, and technological retrofitting of the BNI as it is the case of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to mention but two, rather than becoming a plastic political tool in the corrupt hands of the executive presidency.
The fact that the BNI and other security agencies are constantly being subjected to the executive presidency’s tactical whims and caprices is deeply worrying and also, for all intents and purposes, an idea whose manipulative orchestration that does not bode well for national security and democratic governance. What is more, it could have served our dubious budding democracy better if the NBI together with the Attorney General, who also doubles as a Minister of Justice, should investigate the Foreign Minister and the Minister of the Interior where they focus on out how much the two know about the Gitmo deal.
This is why calls for an independent prosecutor in place of Attorney General/Minister of Justice is such an important matter. Unfortunately, there is always the question of conflict of interest because the executive presidency and its parliamentary numerical majority play their parts, sometimes underhanded, in the nomination and confirmation of one of their own for ministerial positions. Therefore, the fact that parliament has called the Foreign Minister in for questioning on the Gitmo deal may not amount to much. Parliamentary investigation is going to be partisan politics as usual.
Finally, concerned Ghanaians should not allow the executive presidency and its Communications Directorate’s agitational propagandists to control the language of political discourse in the Gitmo 2 matter. The language and ideological direction of political discourse is indispensable. For instance, we have been referring to the Gitmo 2 in some of our previous articles as “alleged terrorists” instead of “terrorists.” This is not about political correctness. It is about verified intelligence and material evidence from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The Ghanaian version of the intelligence and material evidence, on the other hand, is conveniently nebulous and imprecise. In this sense our usage of the phraseology “alleged terrorists” failed to convey a sense of security urgency this controversy deserves.
Ghanaians should therefore make good use of their collective voice and as well, make that collective voice heard loud and clear as they publicly dialogue with the executive presidency in the matter of the Gitmo 2. Again, it would have been more politically and morally appropriate if the BNI, Attorney General, Council of State, and parliament could stand with the people in this matter. This is not to say the BNI, Attorney General, Council of State, and parliament should stand with the people even if intelligence and evidence say otherwise. On the other hand we doubt this could actually happen because of party loyalty, political patronage, and the assertive authority of the executive presidency’s constitutive powers.
Of course, we do not have privileged access to all the intelligence and evidence but the nature of the deal and the contradictory posturing coming from the office of the executive presidency stinks to the high heavens. This one is unambiguously clear.
WHY WE NEED TO MAKE THE MORAL FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION A PERENNIAL FIXTURE OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE
It looks as though we always find a way to sneak in the social mantra of corruption whenever we engage our electronic ink and whenever the latter communicates our thoughts to our wide readership. This may therefore give a forced appearance or perception of repetitive topical posturing characteristic of the vulgar morphology of non-formal journalism. But that is not to say the purported topical banality of corruption in the intellectual temperament of journalistic discourse is uncalled for. Plus, we do not think Ghanaians have problematized corruption well enough given its commonplaceness and the culture of impunity and of deceit. Corruption is the new oxygen Ghanaians breath.
Corruption is part of the fabric of humanity and of society, which means it knows no bounds, and therefore we cannot and should not avoid its discussion in the public domain including the attempts to deal with it, as we do so at own risk, the risk of undermining national development and burying the future before it is given birth to. We as are not saying it should be politicized though, as is the celebrated wont of our technocrats, politicians, and ordinary citizens in our deeply polarized political culture, for Ghana, as we may all know, is far bigger than the individuating and even aggregate self-aggrandizing potentialities of political parties and of their representative political personalities and teeming supporters.
What we are rather saying is that corruption should be given the seriousness it deserves without necessarily allowing the divisive brush of partisan politics to turn the moral landscape of collective agitational resistance to corruption into a demoralizing quicksand of collective inaction. We however need to do this in dribs and drabs in the hope that it will, someday, settle down in the vulgar trenches of public psychology. However we may want to look it, we cannot escape the fact that the political economy of corruption detracts from the expected high quality performance of the national economy.
We may just as well recall Ana Aremeyaw Anas’ “Enemies of the State: The Dark Secrets of Tema Harbour.” Anas has been taking advantage of technology, constitutional loopholes, and some unconventional investigational journalistic techniques to expose the sickening depths of bureaucratic corruption in the body politic. It is difficult to speculate on how much the government loses annually to bureaucratic corruption at the ports and harbors in terms of tax revenue, money that eventually ends up in the sagging depths of private pockets perhaps with the partisan connivance of persons in political high places.
BOB MARLEY’S CRAZY BALHEADS & THE COLONIALITY OF POWER
Still, we should add that such a flagrant disregard for the sanctity of public diplomacy is unpardonable given that we have not moved a notch past the coloniality of power. The dynamics of power relations between the colonized and the paternalistic colonizer, then, is as much alive as it is functionally dictating to the newly colonized clone of African leadership the way to the heart of imperial Machiavellianism. Thus we may point to a clear conflation of disagreeable parts in the equational dynamics of cultural psychology, where the model for political leadership in contemporary statecraft particularly in the case of Africa, is an internecine hybrid of post-colonialism.
What we are in fact saying is that the newly colonialized clone of African leadership has morphed into what Bob Marley, perhaps according to or in the tradition of our perspectival inferentializing of our take on insightful musical logicality insofar as our exegetical knowledge of his corpus of socially- and politically-conscious songs, may have aptly called “Crazy Baldheads.” Marley sings in part the following lyrics though the psalmic acoustics of his tightening soulful vocal folds:
“Them crazy, them crazy…We gonna chase those Crazy Baldheads out of town…Chase those Crazy baldheads out of our town…I “n” I build a cabin; I “n” I plant the corn…Didn’t my people before me slave for this country?…Now you look me with that scorn…Then you eat up all my corn…Build your penitentiary…We build your schools…Brainwash education to make us the fools….Hate is your reward for our love…Telling us of your God above….We gonna chase those crazy …Chase those crazy bunkheads …Chase those crazy baldheads out of the town!
Marley gives us all the historical and political ingredients we need for a transpositional criticism of contemporary African leadership by, in part, superimposing the brutish stigma of the colonial enterprise on the postcolonial African nation-state and statecraft. Evidently, the situational bluntness of his postcolonial lyrical gloss on the twisted psychology of colonialist paternalism and of the brutish forgetfulness of the marauding instruments brought about by the coloniality of power speaks to the corresponding twisted psychology of the newly colonized clone of African leadership in all its chameleonic manifestations of perverted sanctimony. The lyrical genius of Marley’s insightful examen of philosophical parallelism is so glaring as not to necessitate critical flashes of discursive elaboration on our part.
His socially- and politically-conscious lyrical indictment of perverted leadership is sweeping in its majestic ebullience of moral and militant philosophicality. Likewise, the militant lyricism of Part 1 of Mutabaruka’s “The People’s Court” could not agree more! Even more so, the emotional absence of Marley’s lyrical bluntness becomes the presential loudness of perverted leadership conceit incapable of sustained accountability and transparency in the reciprocative atmosphere of public diplomacy, especially in instances where the moral voice of public opinion and civil courage ceases from or is disengaged from active engagement with the sanctimonious superiority of executive dominance, a view supported by the national Constitution (Indemnity Clause).
In the end, Marley’s “Crazy Baldheads” which we have put a convenient exegetical gloss on forces the virtual-image of paternalistic colonialist psychology and the real-image of a distorted postcolonial psychology of African leadership on a collision course with confident, progressive, and pragmatic leadership. This enduring problem has cast a damning pall over post-Nkrumah political leadership especially in Ghana’s Fourth Republic. Nearly all entrenched Fourth Republic politicians including aspiring ones are affected to a certain by the distortive psychology of internecine leadership.
Thankfully the philosophical and political jeremiads of Frantz Fanon, Fela Kuti, and Wole Soyinka’s play “A Dance of the Forests” from the vanishing wilderness of moral post-colonialism beckon us to force asunder the brutish stigma of hegemonizing colonial paternalism and what should have been otherwise progressive African leadership!
Why are our ears hard of hearing, people?
All the same port and harbor corruption is merely one means through which the national economy is denied the high quality of motive performance. There are others. Politicians’ wanton rape of the national coffers every election season for purposes of electioneering campaigns and of buying the lackadaisical conscience of the electorate also contributes to the destabilization of the economy, increased government spending, mounting national debt, and the declining health of the Cedi. Tax collection in Ghana, we believe, is not as effective as we may think. Too many loopholes exist in the system to underwrite tax evasion.
And who says corruption is a healthy metastatic social-political cancer? What an interrogatory Orwellian oxymoron!
We shall return…