How not to believe in Ghana

Posted by By at 24 April, at 19 : 00 PM Print

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How not to believe in Ghana


For the seriousness of the topic discussed in this piece, I am going to use languages I have refused to employ in my entire writing life. I never knew the occasion will arrive that I will have a cause to insult anyone. To my readers, I say sorry!)

“Any person or group of person who attempts to suspend or overthrow the constitution shall suffer death.” – Chapter 1, Article 1-3, the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Although I am unconditionally opposed to the death penalty, I can understand the emotions that necessitated that clause in our constitution. It is simply beyond belief that a group of politicians can attempt to thwart the mandate of the people like the so-called haws of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did during the runoff of the 2008 Presidential elections.

I have never held the NPP Presidential candidate for the 2008 elections, Nana Akuffo-Addo, in high esteem and his conduct in this election did nothing to endear him to me. His conduct confirmed all negative attributes he supposedly possesses: arrogance to the point of boorishness, overbearing, egotistic and egoistic. His conceited swagger makes him look like an insensitive egomaniac. He looks and conducts himself like a spoilt brat.

Nana Akuffo-Addo’s election campaign slogan was ‘Believe in Ghana.’ We have his expensive posters plastered all over the nation, and there he was smiling and exhorting Ghanaians to believe in Ghana. But when the times come for this man to practice what he preached, he failed miserably. He therefore revealed himself as a total fraud for whom words are mere rhetoric with no currency at all. I do not know whether to laugh or cry as I watched Akuffo-Addo and his cabal of shameless, power-hungry hyenas engaging themselves in feverish and very obscene political and legal gymnastics in order to win elections at all cost. And in these attempts, Nana Akufo Addo was revealed as a desperado with the integrity of a hyena, the morality of a vampire and the ethics of a prostitute. His team desperation reveals a cabal with very serious secrets they are afraid will be revealed once they are out of power. While would they otherwise be so crudely tenacious at serving the people? Pardon my sarcasm!

Whatever spin we try to put on it, the antics of Akuffo-Addo and his co-sufferers bodes ill for the future of this nation. You only need to browse the internet to see how Ghana became the butt of jokes of Afro-pessimists (those that believe that the African is still not ready for self-government). That a man could be desperate enough for power to taint the image of this beloved land is a criminal folly of the highest degree. That a politician could be so blinded by inordinate ambition as to want to throw this country into mayhem just to assume power is enough to make one want to throw up. And that this same man was from a party that touts among its credentials the rule of law is enough to make the head reel!

Akuffo Addo revealed that his slogan of: “Believe in Ghana,’ is a mere electioneering slogan which we should not take seriously. And why should we? We all witness the ferociousness of the NPP campaign machine and we saw their antics when the writing came on the wall that they have been rejected at the polls. The NDC cleverly took up the moral high ground and allow the NPP to tear itself apart. It was not only the image of his nation that Akuffo Addo battered, the NPP as a party will find it extremely difficult to regain its standing as a serious party of patriots. What the elders of the party could do, and do immediately, is to jettison Akuffo Addo and his cabal of petty-minded stalwarts as fast as possible. Nothing but the integrity of the NPP is at stake!

Let us look at it this way: The New Patriotic Party, NPP, has been most vociferous in condemning the National Democratic Party, NDC, as a party of thugs headed by an unrepentant and unreformed dictator. They have used their newspapers (including state owned ones) and their radio stations to castigate the NDC while painting themselves as democratic angels. But the records today fail to support their jejune and inebriated claims.

Ex-President JJ Rawlings was a military man who transfigured himself into a democrat. With his military background, President Rawlings never claimed to be a democrat, but no one can accuse him of not being a man of the highest integrity. When the winds of change blew across the world and military regimes became unfashionable, Rawlings gracefully bowed to the will of the people. He had the power and the influence to dabaru (a Nigerian parlance for spoil) everything and I am sure that there must have been people in the NDC for whom the loss of power must have been traumatic, but the NDC did not take the country to the brink. Atta Mills lost elections on two occasions and the heavens did not fall. Even when he contested the results of the 2004 elections, he very graciously conceded defeat. But the bald-headed dwarf representing the NPP was willing, until the last minute, to let the temple fall.

While is it that it is the diminutive desperado who brandishes all manners of degrees and accolades who allow his stubbornness to bring the country to the edge of civil war?

The result has finally been declared and the dust is settling but while we welcome our new President, it is imperative that our leaders realize that there is something basically flawed and fundamentally defective with our choice of system of electing our leaders. Our four-yearly ritual of elections is not only expensive in terms of finance but in terms of cost to our psychology, our economy, our psyches and also to the image of our nation. We have made a choice to be governed by a system that we borrowed from the British and the America, our job now is to refine it to suit the imperatives of our social, psychological and political environment. A situation whereby the whole nation will tether on the brink during election periods is unhealthy and we MUST put an end to it.

Barack Obama has shown in the US how a patriotic politician should conduct his politics. He has assembled the best brains he could find to fill his administration irrespective of their political or ideological leanings. President Atta Mills promised to hit the road running. It is a promise that I hope he kept and it is promise yours sincerely, among others, will keep reminding him to keep.
It is not only our economy that needs urgent attention, our politics calls for emergency consideration. This election has revealed the illusion we have been maintaining about being a united people. It has also reveals the serious ethnic and tribal divisions that could EASILY tear us apart at any time. It has shown that when the chips are down, it’s to thy tribal tents, O’ Ghanaians!

One way we could address this is by ensuring that we elect NATIONAL and not ethnic leader. We should stop having situations whereby one ethnic group can, on its own, elect our president. Administratively we could create more regions out of the bigger ones. We could also change our electoral laws to require a President to win a certain percentage of votes in a number of regions.

I know that President Atta Mills have more than enough on his plate right now, but reforming our electoral system and cleaning up our politics is an urgent task that requires urgent presidential attention. He should charge the Political Science and legal departments of our universities to come out with a new system as a matter of national emergency.

PS: Radio Gold 90.5FM Station won my heart for its stout defense of our democracy. Without the gallant folks at that station who staunchly fought the fascist elements in the NPP, the story would have been entirely different. Kudos also to decent folks in the NPP, like Da Rocha, who came out to be counted when it mattered the most. To him and those that refused to lose their heads and their integrity, I say well done. Big thanks to the security services for their steadfast refusal to allow our nation to be plunged into unnecessary violence at the instigation of over-ambitious, power drunk fascists masquerading as doyens of law and order. President Kuffuor also deserves a mention for his last minute intervention which all but sealed the fate of that supercilious pocket-sized apology of a leader.

About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and Correspondent for the New African magazine. Femi lives in both Europe and Africa, and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the CEO of Alaye Dot Biz Limited Dot Biz, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are now available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
  2. The Daily Dispatch Office, Labone – Accra
  3. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
  4. Ghana Writers Association office, PAWA House, Roman Ridge, Accra.
  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

Where to buy them online:

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Femi Akomolafe




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