Politics of Saturday, 14 March 2015
Source: Daily Guide
Parliament was on Tuesday thrown into a state of chaos with the singing of ‘Cascala’ when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Wenchi, Prof George Gyan-Baffour, likened President Mahama to an old Russian vehicle known as ‘Cascala.’ It was said to be very ineffective on the road and needed a ‘strong’ manpower to start the engine.
According to the Wenchi MP, the minority in parliament decided to keep quiet and not heckle the president when he was delivering his State of the Nation address recently because “whether you heckle the president or not, he would still not be able to find solutions to the country’s nagging economic problems, particularly the ‘dumsor’ crisis.”
“Mr speaker, the president is just like Cascala; ‘wo wind no, wind no a,’ it is still Cascala; ‘wo pia no pia no, Cascala.’ Whatever you do to him he cannot move this nation forward. Whether you heckle him or not, he cannot solve the problems Ghanaians are facing,” he stressed.
The MP was making a contribution to the debate on the president’s address on the floor of parliament.
The first deputy speaker, Ebo Barton-Odro, asked the Wenchi MP to explain what ‘Cascala’ and the expression ‘wo wind no, wind no a; wo pia no, pia no, Cascala’ meant.
Prof George Gyan-Baffour said that soon after Ghana’s independence, because of the country’s affinity with the USSR, large quantities of Soviet cars called Cascala were imported into the country. But the vehicles, he explained, were road worthy for only a few months and thereafter, became the most ineffective vehicles on the road.
He said before one could start the engine, either the mate or the driver would have to stand in front of the vehicle and insert a crowbar into a console and wind it with a lot of energy. However, after a few months of using the vehicle, any attempt to start the engine would prove futile.
“So the description we gave to the car in our parlance was “Cascala, wo wind no, wind no a Cascala,” meaning “Cascala, when you crank it and crank it, it is Cascala, if you push and push, it is still Cascala. The car will not start, the car will not move,” he said stressing that the car is the exact replica of the president’s attitude to solving the country’s myriad problems.
He would then repeat, “President Mahama, wo wind no, wind no, wo pia no pia no a…,” then the minority members responded in unison, ‘Cascala.’
The description and the repetition of the chorus by the minority members threw some of the majority members into laughter.
The deputy majority leader, Alfred Agbesi, stood on a point of order and drew the attention of the speaker to the chorus and the description that was going for the president and said the rules of the House do not allow singing.
Prof Gyan-Baffour said because of the president’s ‘Cascala’ attitude to solving the dumsor problem, many precious lives had been lost and that those lives could not be compensated for.
“Mr speaker, a young man and his fiancée died tragically from inhalation of carbon monoxide at Dansoman, when they put a generator in their room, while many people have also died at the hospitals, especially children because of ‘dumsor,’ ‘dumsor;’ and as a group we are mourning with the families of these people,” he said, adding that an NPP government would not let Ghanaians go through these untold hardships and tragedies.