As confessed yesterday (in Ghana), I’ve not read the budget and there’s no appetite for me to do so. The deceptiveness of the budget was confirmed to me when I received a list of 18 taxes (new and/or increased) in the budget this morning.
The ultimate trick is quite clear. I almost fell for it. It’s a game of a decoy and the real McCoy. The decoy is the Momo tax that has saturated every media space. The remaining taxes form the real McCoy.
Now, it appears the government has only one job to do: cancel the obnoxious Momo tax and quickly claim it’s a listening government, meanwhile, the real McCoy remains. Don’t fall for it.
I call on Parliament to kill both the decoy and the real McCoy. These tax terrorists must be stopped. Parliament has transferred sovereignty from the people to act on their behalf, if it fails in its duty, the people reserve the right to evoke their original sovereignty to kill the decoy and the real McCoy.
History is a good teacher. I hope the tax terrorists may learn. Evil taxes ruin governments.
1Kings 12: 1-24
I’m not quoting the whole scripture. It’s basically the political scene in post-Solomon Israel. His son Rehoboam became King.
Jeroboam, a former superintendent of Solomon, now opposition leader in exile in Egypt gathered the masses with him and presented a petition to Rehoboam to lower the heavy taxes his father Solomon imposed on them. If he did that, they would be his servants forever.
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As you probably know, Solomon was a pathological womanizer, and that obviously went with abusing state money.
His cure was to tax the people for his overindulgence. In today’s world, the wise king would have been a ‘’tax and waste’’ President. This tax terrorism started many millennia ago. Rehoboam asked Jeroboam and the masses to come back in 3 days for an answer. That was a good move.
He then consulted his father’s elderly advisers, who advised him to lighten the tax burden. He then consulted his own friends he grew up with (the usual sycophants) and they advised him to tighten the tax burden of his dad. He took the advice of his young friends.
Jeroboam and the people came on the 3rd day as planned. Rehoboam rejected their petition and warned that his little finger would be thicker than his father’s waist. They haven’t seen anything yet. Verse 15:
‘’So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the Lord, that He might fulfil His word, which the Lord had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”
When Israel heard of the bad news, they rebelled and deposed Rehoboam as their king. The interesting bit was that Rehoboam sent his finance minister, Adoram, obviously to go and collect money. He was stoned to death by the people.
Rehoboam gathered 180,000 men to go to war with the rest of Israel but a prophecy from God stopped him. The kingdom was thus divided; the House of David (Rehoboam’s grandpa) kept only 2 tribes – Judah and Benjamin and the remaining 10 went to Jeroboam, the opposition leader.
Nana, hwɛ ni yie paa. The people always reserve the right to rebel if tax terrorists take over.
Gold Coast 1954 – Nkrumah, Gbedemah & NLM
In the 1st general elections ever in the Gold Coast in 1951, Gbedemah led CPP (Nkrumah was in jail) to win 34 of the contested 38 seats, Danquah led UGCC won 2, and the other 2 went to independents.
Gbedemah destroyed UGCC and the party was dissolved. The next incarnation was called Ghana Congress Party and was led by Busia, not Danquah. Then came the next elections of 1954 occasioned by major constitutional changes that saw the chamber expanded from 84 to 104, and all elected through universal adult suffrage.
At this point in time, the cocoa price was fixed, averaging 30% of world price. That’s cocoa farmers were paying 70% tax on their income. Nkrumah and Gbedemah campaigned that if they won the elections, they would unfix and float the price.
The response was massive; CPP won 18 out of 21 seats in Ashanti, 2 went to independents and GCP won only 1 – Busia in Wenchi and by only 18 votes.
Just after this massive victory, Gbedemah stood in Parliament and didn’t only renege on the promise of floating the price of cocoa, but he announced the introduction of 10% export duty on cocoa.
I mean the cocoa farmer would have to pay to export cocoa that gave 68% of our forex then. This terrorism started long ago. The response from Ashanti was swift and strong.
Baffour Akoto, the Chief Linguist of Otumfuo Agyeman Prempeh II formed the National Liberation Movement to resist this insanity and ask for federation. It was tax that brought ‘’Ma te me ho’’ and the fall of Nkrumah in Ashanti.
You must read my seminal article: ’’The rise and fall of Nkrumah in Asante.’’
NLM pushed for new elections which were held in 1956. NLM fielded only 39 candidates out of 104 and only in Ashanti and Eastern regions (21 in Ashanti and 18 in Eastern). NLM was a small ethnic party dominated by Ashanti.
In the elections, NLM won 12 seats in Ashanti and none in Eastern, not Danquah, Ofori-Atta or Akufo-Addo was elected. CPP won 9 seats in Ashanti and every seat in Eastern.
Nkrumah and Gbedemah through the ballot box killed the opposition. In fact, the elections delivered a de facto one-party state to CPP but through arrogance of power and deception, the duo resurrected the opposition.
That same one-party state that Nkrumah gave away, he tried to create it by force, and that led to his overthrow and eventual victory for the opposition. This NPP (the latest incarnation of NLM), full of arrogance and deception is in power because of the error of Nkrumah and Gbedemah.
The CPP is no more. The lesson is that tax terrorism ruins governments and parties. NPP must withdraw this budget else what befell Rehoboam and Nkrumah may befall it. Like Rehoboam, it may be reduced to its original 2 tribe status, and like the CPP, it may never come back to power again in Ghana.
I’m tempted to ask, is this ‘’gbeshi,’’ like Rehoboam’s providentially inspired? A word to the wise is enough
Tswa omanye aba.
Writren by Nii Amu Darko | President, ARM | 19/11/2021