Former Deputy Chief of Staff in the past administration, Dr Valerie Sawyerr has taken a dead aim at Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia over the recently launched $2.5 million digital application.
In an article Wednesday, Valerie said she was not surprised when she discovered the GhanaPost GPS was simply an “app that uses Google’s free geographical coordinates.”
The discovery, Dr Sawyerr noted contradicts the glamorous promises made by the Vice President days before the launch of the app in Accra.
Dr Bawumia had said the app will be better than the ones being used by global giants, the United States and United Kingdom.
But after consulting some “young knowledgeable professionals,” Dr Sawyerr said the app is below expectation.
“In ten months, they have devised and implemented a digital addressing system that is more advanced than that of the U.S., the U.K., Sweden and Germany? Wow! Not surprisingly, I soon found out it was simply an app that uses Google’s free geographical coordinates. …So, Mr. President, what is the Vice-President’s excuse please?” she wrote.
Below is Valerie Sawyerr’s full article:
Dr. Valerie Sawyerr writes:
Mr. President!
Mr. President!!
Mr. President!!!
How many times did I call you? Why will you not let me enjoy a peaceful Opposition? Stretching my legs in an easy chair on my patio, I heard your Vice-President say: “We are introducing… Ghana’s digital address system with unique post-codes within every location within Ghana… The digital addressing system is going to provide… us the most advanced addressing system in the world. Period! This is what we are about to roll out. And it is more advanced, of course, than the United States or the United Kingdom or Sweden or Germany because they are stuck with old technology. We are leap-frogging and we are going to new technology. We are going to GPS-based technology, so even if you are standing in the middle of the River Oti and you want your address when we roll it out you will know your address in the middle of the River Oti.” I said to myself – “Who is deceiving these people? In ten months, they have devised and implemented a digital addressing system that is more advanced than that of the U.S., the U.K., Sweden and Germany? Wow!”
Not surprisingly, I soon found out it was simply an app that uses Google’s free geographical coordinates. Don’t ask me what that means. I cannot claim to be an expert of any sort in the world of digitalization but I have access to young knowledgeable professionals who I call when I do not understand such matters. So, Mr. President, what is the Vice-President’s excuse please?
But Sir, why should I begrudge your Vice-President his exaggerated manipulative style. Barely a month ago, I was stretching my legs in that same easy chair when I heard you say: “This project was began in the time of the great Ghanaian leader John Agyekum Kufour. It was in his time that the financing for this project was secured as far back as 2008. Unfortunately, after he left, it took five years under the NDC successor government before the construction of the project. God has his own way of doing these things – a project that was begun by Kufour is going to be commissioned by Akufo-Addo. That is the way the Almighty works.”
I asked myself – what project is he talking about and is this not a gross display of mathematical deficiency? We all know that the NDC was in power for eight years – so even if it is true that for five years construction of the project was not begun, what happened to the extra three years?
After sleeping for five years, did the NDC government use three years to get out of bed in stretching mode? Did the NPP government then use nine months to execute the project? I wondered whether you were cutting sod for the project or commissioning the completed project.
So, I cross-checked! Lo and behold, it was the Wa Water Project. Eeeeishh! I am sure there is a word or phrase that describes a consistent and deeply ingrained tendency for manipulating the truth before audiences that the manipulator persistently deems ignorant and/or gullible, when indeed this is not the case. Especially when they attach phrases like ‘God has his own way of doing these things’ and ‘that is the way the Almighty works’. Blasphemy of the highest order!
With all due respect Mr. President, do you see how you were fumbling when you got to that part and feverishly wiping your mouth? Ahaaa! As we say in our local parlance ‘if you will not allow your mother to sleep you will also not sleep!’ Your Excellency, let me go back to your Vice-President. Let’s try this quiz Sir:
• Is Google Maps Navigation a mobile application developed by Google, which normally uses a GPS satellite connection to determine its location?
• Did the Ghanaian Government pay US$2.5m to Vokacom, aka Afrifa, to develop a digital addressing system for the country? • Did Vokacom develop a digital addressing system based on the GPS technology?
• Is the GPS technology new or was it invented in the 1960s in the U.S.?
• Does the new app developed by Vokacom use Google’s free geographical coordinates to function?
• Will Ghana pay a US$400,000.00 annual fee to Google for embedding their online map into Ghana’s new digital addressing system?
• Does the Ghanaian government have physical access to the server?
• Does another country have access to our personal information fed into the server?
• Did a similar Facebook App integration with Google maps cost US$500,000? • Why are there so many complaints that the Ghana Post GPS App is not working efficiently?
• Did the Government really spend GH¢3.5million on publicizing the system as declared by the MD of Ghana Post, James Kwofie?
#Jack Where Are You – that is the slogan for the digital addressing system! Mr. President, in case you are wondering, we are talking about ‘value for money’.
This ‘Jack Where Are You’ goof will not varnish into thin air. An urgent question has been filed in Parliament for the Minister of State in charge of Public Procurement to provide details of the procurement process for the system. We are waiting patiently please. Your Excellency, do you need more than ten months in Government to realize that you cannot get away with what you used to get away with in Opposition? You cannot hoodwink the people with half-truths and untruths all the time.
You cannot get them to accept hook, line and sinker unrealistic dreams and expectations. You cannot twist and turn untruths into truths. You cannot dig a big hole at a spot and get your information gurus to say you actually built a mountain at that spot when the spot is accessible to all for verification. Your Minister for Information is somersaulting all over the place, struggling to present coverups for your mess-ups.
With all due respect Sir, you are over-pressurising the young man. Your Excellency, if you think we have forgotten the Bond saga, the MacDan saga, the BOST saga, the AMERI saga, the missing cocaine saga, the GH¢ 5million Ghana@60 saga, the illegal deportation saga, then you have another thought coming.
• Your incompetent Minister for Agriculture now says the army worms have come to stay, after he said he had eradicated them;
• Your implementation of the First Year Free SHS programme has been woefully inadequate;
• You moved a whole community of Ghanaians to the United States for the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly when public officers had not been paid;
• Your MASLOC CEO, Stephen Amoah purchases 1,800 second-hand cars with no MASLOC board in place and no PPA (Public Procurement Authority) approval;
• Your Invisible Forces, Delta Forces, Kandahar boys, Bolgatanga Bulldogs … just heard about the Elmina Sharks and Paga Crocodiles … and other rebel groups are still terrorizing the nation … Sissala West DCE flees irate youth … NPP Youth lockup School Feeding Office in Tamale … NPP youth storm police station in Karaga … NPP youth group beats Assembly members at Adeiso. Mr. President, what happened to your democratic credentials, please?
Your operatives ‘imprison’ Appiah Stadium in a room and force him to produce an audio recording for public consumption. They handcuff him from Kumasi to the Police Headquarters in Accra where it takes almost four hours to get the police to agree to grant him bail around 9.30pm, and thereafter you issue a statement saying you are no longer interested in pursuing the case. Of course, I cannot defend the words he used on you although, Sir, I cannot remember you defending yourself when the WikiLeaks reports were released.
I also remember the horrible words you and your team used on Ex-President Mahama while he was in office. It is not too late to apologise to him, Sir. • You impose penalties amounting to over GH¢1billion on radio stations and shut some down in the name of administrative streamlining.
Mr. President, it is important that our institutions obey and adhere to laid down rules and procedures, but I am sure you realize that by imposing unrealistic sanctions on them the message that rings clear is that you have a sinister agenda. To cut down some of the fines to 50% is still unconscionable, especially when the Schedule used for the calculation of fines had not yet been approved by Parliament. May I humbly suggest that the first review of the draconian decision should have seen a reduction of fines to the level of the applicable law, while insisting that the Radio Stations present the requisite paperwork.
As things are, it may be advisable to simply declare an amnesty, give them a time frame to present the relevant paperwork and pay the fees of the years unpaid at the current rate. This would spare the nation a further loss of democratic credentials as well as imminent court cases. As for my sister Ursula, I have confidence in her that she will do the right thing and I hope my confidence is not misplaced. As I pondered over your actions this morning, I found myself singing a popular tune – ‘kro kro kro kro, hi hi hi hi krohi krohi kro kro kro, hi hi kro kro kro …’ Your Excellency, do you remember that tune?
The rhythm of the reverberating shuttle of the loom as our kente weavers produce our resplendent kente cloths. Sir, I can see you slowly weaving your way into the hole that you yourself are digging. It is so deep that if you fall in it, Mr. President you know we will not be able to find you even if all fire service and military operatives and equipment are dispatched to the scene
Mr. President, what stops you from graciously acknowledging what the NDC has accomplished? Is it a narcissistic tendency that prevents you from acknowledging the good in others? Or is it your speech-writers who have decided as a policy that nothing good of the NDC should be acknowledged? Please listen to the humble advise of an Opposition Chiller – you are the one who will be held responsible for the fumbling of your Government. Your writers can write for you but you are the one who must determine in the end what you actually say.
Apart from the Wa Water Project, that you attempted to take credit for (naughty naughty), may I remind you of some other water projects executed under President Mahama – Essakyir Water Supply Project; Kpong Water Expansion Project; Nsawam Water Expansion Projects; Teshie Water Desalination Plant; Kumasi (Barekese) Water Supply Project; Five Towns Water Supply Project (Kyebi, Osenase, Anyinam, Apedwa & Kwabeng); Kpong Intake Rehabilitation Project; Accra-Tema Metropolitan Area Supply Project; Asante Mampong Water Project; Akim-Oda-Akwatia-Winneba Water Project; Konongo-Kumawu-Kwahu Water Project; Navrongo Water Project & Small Town Water Systems across all regions.
I understand the Akim Oda-Akwatia-Winneba Water Supply Project is being prepared for commissioning. Please put the devil to shame and give JM the credit when you commission it. Don’t believe your Minister for Water Resources & Sanitation if he tells you that the funding was sourced in H.E. Busia’s time, and H.E. Kufour planted a tree at the spot to signify sod-cutting, and you built the whole system in ten months. If in doubt, just conduct a search on Google. Your Excellency, I don’t mean the ‘Jack Where Are You’ system please … ha ha ha! While we are at it, may I take the opportunity to point out that the following projects commissioned or inaugurated in the ten months you have been in office were all commenced and/or executed under President Mahama:
• On April 27, 2017, you cut the sod for the world’s largest LPG-fired Power Plant;
• On April 26, 2017, you commissioned an ICT Centre at Soabe in Denkyembour District of the Eastern Region; • On May 10, 2017, you commissioned the Kumasi City Mall;
• On May 17, 2017, your Minister for Health commissioned the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (former Ridge Hospital
• On May 24, 2017, your Minister for Fisheries commissioned the Elmina Fish Processing Plant; • On July 6, 2017, you commissioned the FPSO John Agyekum Kufour;
• On September 15, 2017, you launched the New National ID Card. Kro kro kro kro, hi hi hi hi Krohi krohi kro kro kro, hi hi, kro kro kro … … and Mr. President what is this new thing that anytime you goof and attention is drawn to it, you throw a fake Kwesi Botchwey report at the NDC, as though that will solve the problems of the nation? Please concentrate on easing the burden of the average Ghanaian Sir, and leave the Kwesi Botchway report alone, especially the fake ones. Who are those NPP birds twittering about the Kwesi Botchwey report?
The good professor says the version being bandied around is fake and is not the final version of his Committee’s report. Our General Secretary Asiedu Nketia and our National Organiser Kofi Adams have said on air that it is a fake report. When the denkyems (crocodiles) have come out of the river to declare that the report on the water-bed is fake, the bird perched on a tree in the hinterland says the report is true. Aaba! Did the bird use the Vice-President’s leap-frogging Ghana Post GPS to locate the address of the Kwesi Botchwey Report in the Oti River? … and who are those NDC birds chirping all over the place about the NPP KB Report – chirp, chirp, chirp?
Kindly varnish from my sight as I daydream in peace, recalling the story of Taka, Tika and Gangali on that beautiful day in July 2011 in Sunyani. Yes, the story JM shared with us at the Sunyani Congress. I guess a number of you have forgotten. Let me jog your memory … the Congress that gave Nana Konadu (NDP) 3.1% of the votes.
Ahaaa … I knew you would remember that. We are indeed the great NDC and we fear no foe!!! Stop chirping and get with the programme … organize don’t agonise!!! Kro kro kro kro, hi hi hi hi … Mr. President, you are weaving your way towards the big black hole.
Your Vice President will not be able to help you Sir because he is already going over the brink. You positioned him during the campaign to sell empty stories, you positioned him to insult the sitting President and to label government corrupt and incompetent, you positioned him as an economic guru when you knew he had no ‘guruism’ in him … now he does not know what to do in Government
He is lost, sidelined by the monsters you have created … and when he has a chance, he squeals out of context still using your opposition campaign tactics that you taught him and coming across as incongruous and totally out of his depth.
Mr. President, Mr. President, Mr. President!!!
I called you three times please!!!
I am for peace … Shalom!!!