Dear Mr. Prah,
This trip is very much unlike the classic "joyrides" that were associated with the state-property snatching demonic rats of the Busia-Danquah neo-colonialist tradition! I can understand your emotional need to find something wrong each day to write about a government you detested before it was born. Your yellow journalism has the colour of your bile. You still don(t get the reason why the elephant is in the bush!
What you don't have to forget is that Ghanaians place a very high premium in forming informed opinion on a matter of serious public interest such as the much anticipated oil production in commercial quantities offshore. We need transparency in all matters concerning our black gold. The best way to ensure this is to constantly inform and help expose our media practitioners to the goings-on.
I am particularly pleased to note that journalists of the calibre and integrity of Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. are on the trip! What Mr. Prah fails to realise is that most of these expenses are the first most important investment to keep the public properly informed to empower us to play our civic role as watch dogs against abuses. We cannot perform this duty in the dark!
I have often worried about whether or not we are up to date with the kind of environment, the nuances, and basis facts concerning off-shore production, where the general public may never set foot there and yet place a significant deal of public hope on what goes on there. This is a floating village whose correct functioning can make us richer than we are today. Who says we don't need to be as fully informed as we possibly can?
Intelligent Ghanaians who stand to benefit from this eye-opening experience through the media would gravitate to my position that rather than condemning the government for investing in transparency, it should rather be commended. I am pleasantly surprised by this news and pleased to notice that the government has really given a thought to this and has taken such an effective action!
I wonder why Mr. Prah calls this a "dubious mission" when he himself admits that "the media delegation is to learn about the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) which is currently under construction in Singapore." Is he trying to suggest that this is not needed? Or is the complaint really because his blog was not invited?
This is exactly the kind of measures we need to bring our media practitioners up-to-date:
"The delegation would be taken through the history of Ghana’s oil, activities of offshore operation, jubilee development plan, project status and updates as well as commercialization of rich gas deposit accompanying oil all in Singapore."
How dare you call such an exercise a "a joyride to far away Singapore"? How would you call the NPP ministers who either travelled with their girl friends at the expense of the state or in the classic case of Dr. Richard Anane who resigned from his position as Transportation Minister under president Kufour. ... The real "joyride" is "about defying his operational portfolio as Health Minister. ... benefited when he went 'Bonking for Ghana' at an HIV/AIDS conference!"
By the way, whether you like it or not, the days of the NPP are over! NDC is going to retain power, come 2012! The CPP is going to take over from the NPP as the largest opposition in parliament in the 2012 elections! And if you like, we shall make our first real dash at it in 2016.
I can assure you however that from the level of growing political awareness in the country, it is very safe to assume that we shall be back in power by 2020! God willing! In the meanwhile, considering the balance of forces, and how evil the NPP has proved to be, we shall make sure that we do not rock the boat too much to let it slip again into their thieving hands!
Forward Ever! Backwards Never!!!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
E-mail: nanaakyeamensah at gmail dot co