Opinions Fri, 30 Nov 2007

Ignorance is Our Curse as We Trudge Downhill on the Slopes of Death

The destiny of any civilized nation lies in the hands of its citizens, and not a political leadership that calculates its services to the nation in pennies and cents. Can our nation endure the luxury of having another president without the public ever having the opportunity to evaluate the leader’s performance in a public debate? Or, are we going to allow ourselves to be shortchanged by a democratically-elected president with diminutive ideas, and be burdened with another leadership disaster for four excruciating years? The politics of hope and the noxious acceptance of idealisms must give way to action and realism. The 2008 presidential election should be a time for the Ghanaian public to field reflective questions to test our leader’s wit, and astuteness on domestic and foreign policies. Let’s see Dr. Attah Mills, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, and other presidential hopefuls contest their ideas in the open marketplace. This time, the public will be the judge, and not paid spinners who mistake their clumsy dishonesty for quick mettle.

While some partisan falcons would not hesitate to descend on me, and make political capital out of my article, even when none exits, it is worth stating that my reference to a leader has nothing to do with our current president, Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor, his administration, and/or the presidential aspirants of the National Patriotic Party. Ghana is larger than one individual, or party, and our nation’s interests must supplant individual selfishness, and the slicking greed we see in twenty-first century Ghanaian democratic politics. Leaving our nation’s fate in the hands of political looters is morally wrong, and we must exercise our right to free speech to outline our founded views on the nation’s current state of affairs. We must to do more to contain the growing corruption in our nation’s institutions, and call for accountability at the upper-tiers of power.

Personally, I don’t think we should take our leaders seriously on their side-splitting promises, which range from borderline insanity to tales from Alice Wonderland. Among pressing national issues, are malaria-eradication and leveling the nation’s increasing unemployment rate to zero the only campaign promises our politicians can conjure from their leaky magic baskets? While the preceding assurances have worked in the past for the nation’s untrustworthy leadership, we should not allow ourselves, this time, to become the political mannequins for the heretical cardio-pulmonary experiments of our nation’s leaders. Isn’t it irresponsible to allow ourselves to be talked into to buying a weight loss diet from a pudgy pig that is struggling with obesity, and hasn’t yet lost a pound?

Any nation that becomes obsessed with insignias, instead of the character and abilities of its leaders, will lose the little achievements it has made over the years to a greedy leadership that lacks the vision, and the wherewithal, to manage the nation to achieve its aspiring goals. As the 2008 presidential election approaches, we will continue to hear modest promises that speak to the hopes and dreams of ordinary Ghanaians. Even so, we cannot wager the destiny of a nation on the appeals of scripted speeches, and impractical promises, which will be shelved just after an election is done, and the winner takes office, leaving the ecstatic public in the Arctic cold.

Unlike the nation’s Parliamentary Vetting Committee where easy questions are fielded to confer political appointments on some of our nation’s most inexpert politicians, a presidential debate is an opportunity for the public to ask tough questions. In a political era where leaders’ capabilities are measured by their intellect, enduring spirit, and charisma among other variables, we cannot afford to elect a president whose perception of leadership is substandard, if not obsolete. The nation cannot afford to have another leader who makes traveling his pastime, and (who) brashly draws out his Oliver Twist basket for foreign donations. We cannot meet the expense of electing a leader who sees development in terms of physical structures, and not long-term investments in the nation’s receding cultural capital. Next year is an opportunity for Ghanaians to elect a leader who is prepared to give back the ownership of the nation’s resources to Ghanaians, and not Western corporations. We want a leader who understands the benefits of frugal fiscal policies, and the necessity to invest in social programs, and not his retirement. We want a leader who has the courage to hold our divided nation together by steering clear from divisive politics.


Ghana needs a new leader who sees education, healthcare and agriculture as fundamental to national development. We need a leader who is educated by the true definition of the word, and not one who describes himself as educated by advertising the schools he attended, and ignores the public’s demand for provable competence, and service to the nation. We need a leader who understands the injustices of regional alienation, and is prepared to reverse the widespread misery in the Northern regions of Ghana, which are mutedly labeled as nonessential to national development, yet exploited for votes.

We need a leader who is willing to give justice to every Ghanaian because it is morally right to do so, and it ought to be done, and not one who persecutes his political adversaries with a witch-hunting judiciary. We need a leader who has the courage to discard the vindictive suggestions of his policy advisors, and reaches out to past leaders to build a united Ghana, and not one who finds excuses to malign the characters of his predecessors. We need a leader who sees politics as a game of wit, and not as an opportunity to reject alternative viewpoints on the prevailing state of affairs. We need a leader who is willing to be probed after leaving office, and not one who happy to impose his political godson to shelter his skeletons.

While society’s destitute fly on the imaginary wings of hope, the realist assesses the “what ifs.” Electing a leader with many dreams, and limited means is not what Ghana needs at the present time. Let’s encourage an open debate, and elect a capable leader who sees value in every Ghanaian, irrespective of his/her politician persuasion. While I have always wished my nation well, Ghana will achieve little by electing a leader who sees a substandard performance as part of the democratic process. Lastly, am I going to see this article pasted all over again by a cyber-arsonist who believes in his depressed mind that cyber-bullying is strength despite evidence to the contrary? When a hyena grates its teeth unnecessarily, it loses the incisors its needs to perforate the thick muddied skin of the elephant. Ngoli kpo adzidza, eye wo konu xexexe. Good day and cheers.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Obenewaa, Nana Amma