To some, he is rude and arrogant; to others he is clever and self-confident. This week, Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby, completed three (3) days grilling at the Ghana @50 Secretariat Investigations, where his witticism, sarcasm and acidic tongue were in bloom to the applause of his friends and the eternal irritation of his foes.
He signed off this week with a clear indication that he will not yield to any new proceedings short of the one in a courtroom.
Controversy appears to trail this Energy Policy Expert wherever he’s been, like dust follows a comet. His tenure at Volta River Authority (VRA), was cut short following agitations by workers 6 years ago.
In 2000, he broke ranks with the NPP and ran for President, but finished last even behind an Octogenarian funny man and yet, he found his way back to the lounges and balconies of power.
Married four (4X) times, is Dr. Wereko Brobbey, a failure in the borrowed apparel of a genius? Or a genius in a nation that hasn’t much use for people with high IQ? Here are some highlights of the interview on Kwaku-One-on-One.
KSA: So you are still in your Ghana @50 T-Shirt.
CWB: Yes, we must continue to show of success; celebration of success. But I have little problem with the introduction you made. It is typical of the problem in this country. First of all, the emphasis is on the negative even though you tried to balance the whole thing. The issue about my capabilities, I would have thought, it’s a genius with some flaws; a great Manager of Volta River Authority (VRA), because as we are having this programme, the whole country is engulfed in darkness, something that hardly happens during my tenure. I think it’s not a question of IQ but of consistent achievements. But I am saying that it is part of the problem, if we look at the negatives then I am saying we are just talking and not doers.
KSA: Maybe we need to shine the light on where things are wrong so that we fix them?
CWB: As long as it is done in the context of accentuating that which is positive. Let me tell you what is wrong with that; if you continue just to shine the light on that which is wrong, Number 1, you make people who want to do or who do things feel that, their efforts are not recognized and more importantly, others who may wish to put themselves forward for public service will ran away. I think a classical example is what has happened to the debacle of the recognition that we should have given properly to our founding father because, I felt that the spectacle or the lack of good effort resulted from the fact that people were afraid to go out there to do things.
KSA: You are talking about the celebration of Nkrumah’s 100th Birthday?
KSA: Are you a genius?
CWB: I wouldn’t say that I am a genius…
KSA: Somebody who has a reputation of being arrogant?
CWB: I think what I am, if it is not too late to think of your children’s career, let them become Engineers. The thing about engineering is that, you are taught only one thing, to solve problems, not to discuss it ad infinitum. You deduce everything to a problem and you solve them…I am a doer, I solve problems…
KSA: Do you think Ghana @50 took on too much?
CWB: I didn’t take on too much. The budget that was approved by Government, the expenditure was way below the budget that was approved.
KSA: So maybe we took on too much?
CWB: I don’t think we took on two much. Don’t forget that these were times that Government had ran into at the beginnings of International financial problems, the requirements on crude oil were much much higher, in terms of national expenditure and other constraints were coming in. In terms of comparison, Ghana @50 in terms of expenditure was far less than what was spent on the stadia for Can 2008?
KSA: But the stadia, these are tangible; we can see them?
CWB: I think if full funding was put in place for those toilets, we would have seen the toilets. It’s staged over 80% completion. But I think the most important thing Kwaku is that, just because it wasn’t completed for Ghana @50 doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be completed. Just two weeks ago, the Ministry of Education was talking about 16,000 basic schools that did not have toilets. Two days ago, a report came out and said 68% of Ghanaians utilize or don’t have toilets in their homes and are forced to go off to the main…So the need and justification of those toilets is not only related to Ghana @50.
KSA: And again, you promised a Green Ghana?
CWB: 6,000,000 seedlings were grown?
KSA: But planting is different from growing?
CWB: Is it now my job to go and look at whether it is growing? But 4,000 volunteered groups in Ghana, without any payment or without being supported by NGO’s or any Government, all what they were given T-Shirts and drinks …If we don’t conquer nature, then we are lost!
KSA: Did you ask to be given this job or were u asked?
CWB: I was asked to do this job because I was doing another job which involves monitoring the budget and I realised that close to the time, so I said could I help? And initially I was told help towards the AU. I didn’t go and ask to do it. But the point of the matter is that, for me, you don’t just talk about things, if you think something needs to be done, you go out there and do it! I think it is very important that we promote and celebrate those who want to get things done in the country.
KSA: What do you hate?
CWB: Gossip! What I want to do is to become the Commissioner for Sanitation and build toilets around the country make sure that we move our country form a primordial state of life to a human state of life. Because for me, unless stop our people from defecating all over the place, then we haven’t moved forward.
KSA: So you want to be the “Toilet Commissioner”?
CWB: Yes! For the next 5-10 years.
KSA: And hopefully, we will not end up with a “Toilet Commission”?
CWB: That will stink!