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Opinions Wed, 9 Nov 2011

A Piece Of Advice To The Rawlingses And Fonkar

In the 2000 general elections, I did not vote. Not because I did not have franchise or because I was outside Ghana. In the run up to the elections, I had issues with the government then concerning some national policies such as those on education and healthcare. As a university student then, it was my belief that the introduction of ‘cost-sharing’ at the country’s public universities was inimical to the country’s quest for economic development. And that by this policy, the gap between the poor and the rich was going to widen and it was also going to limit access to higher education. In particular, I held the stance that the ‘cost-sharing’ policy was going to deprive a good number of low income earners and rural folks like myself the opportunity of university education. This and other issues were my beef.

In a conversation with my father who is an ardent cadre, I explained to him the issues I had with the government and cogently narrated to him why I thought the government was failing some of us. In response, he wanted to know from me which political party I was going to vote for in spite of those issues I had with the government. Though I did not name any political party, it could be evinced that I was not going to vote for his party, the NDC which was in government. My father had a piece of advice for me. It is this same piece of advice that I wish to share with you reader and for that matter with those mentioned in the caption of this article. My father said “my son it’s true that this government has failed you and other low income earning prospective university students, it’s true that the road from Hohoe to Damanko which is our major road and which is also meant to be an international road has not been tarred, it’s true that…., it’s true that….., but I have a question for you my son. What is the guarantee, what is the assurance, what is the proof beyond doubt that the opposition would do all these things you have complained about if it comes to power?” My father continued “what is the guarantee that if your mother deprives you of her evening meal, your step-mother will offer you hers? My son let me advice you, vote for the NDC ok?” He ended. I pondered over and over his advice though it could not completely change my stance, I decided eventually to neither vote for his party nor the opposition so I abstained.

I believe this piece of advice is apt for the Rawlingses and FONKAR members at moment. If today the NDC which Mr. Rawlings founded himself is led by Prof. Mills who Rawlings brought from political obscurity into limelight is believed not to be treating Rawlings well, will the NPP in opposition treat him better if it happened to come to power? Mr. Rawlings and FONKAR members should ponder over and over this question just as I did when a similar one was posed to me by my father. May be Mr. Rawlings has not received the best of treatment under the NDC government but he might have been enjoying his freedom. Would it have been same if it was the opposition NPP which was in government? Mr. & Mrs. Rawlings and FONKAR members please muse on this.

By Mawutorli Nyarku

Columnist: Nyarku, Mawutorli