Opinions Thu, 14 Oct 2010

AMA Could Galvanize Her Energies In The Right Place

What is this nonsense about the reversal of the Ohene Djan Stadium to its former name the Accra Sports Stadium by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)? I agree with the Aburihene, Otubour Gyan Kwasi II who recently spoke to Asempa News on behalf of the Aburi Traditional Council that the action of the AMA is very embarrassing.

Sometimes one wonders if these public/elected officials have nothing to do with their time apart from majoring on minors. We have the death toll rising in exponential proportions out of negligence on the roads, standards of education are falling, and the city of Accra is not as clean as it ought to be etc. but our elected officials seem to have little to do or at all. Has AMA finished dealing with the major issues? I believe Accra could be better served if AMA COULD GALVANIZE HER ENERGIES IN THE RIGHT PLACE. AMA should and could be dreaming on giving Accra a facelift.

AMA could be thinking of how to ease the congestion on the Accra roads instead of spending their time and energies on how to change the name of Ohene Djan Stadium to its former name, the Accra Sports Stadium. Was naming the stadium after Ohene Gyan not decided by a recognized body in the first place for his massive contribution to sports, notably football, in Ghana? What is this nonsense going on in Ghana/ public circles in changing of names? What is this politics of undoing previous governments and reversing decisions of previous administrations? Not long ago the decision of the previous government to add a year to enhance educational standard in Ghana was reversed after using the taxpayer’s money to arrive at that decision by a stroke of a pen (without debate).

Last time I heard a bunch of politicians/ party officials were diligently working on changing the name of Jubilee House to Flagstaff House. What has changing names got to do with development and better lives for Ghanaians? Was it not the government of the day that deemed it fit to honour Ohene Gyan, an important personality in GFA in the first place? What is wrong in honouring citizens who have contributed to the development of our nation? Where is nationalism and patriotism? Don’t tribalized or politicize acts of merit. These matters must transcend politics. Little minds focus on trivia; and this is what is going on in Ghana politics today... If I may ask: Is it the same AMA who is also agitating for changing the name of the Jubilee House to Flagstaff House?

It is time for the people of Ghana to demand performance from their elected representatives than to allow them to waste their time and resources on empty discussions and debates. There is more work to be done. Our elected representatives,-- be they MPs or Assembly men and women,-- must focus on ideas to move the nation forward not backward. What will changing the Ohene Djan Stadium to its former name the Accra Sports Stadium contribute to the welfare of the nation or improving sports in Ghana? What will changing the name of Jubilee House to Flagstaff House add to development and well-being of Ghanaians? And if I may ask: Where is Parliament in all this? How do Ghanaians arrive in naming our national monuments/facilities in the first place? Is parliament sleeping?

If we don’t stop these lazy minds very soon they will be considering renaming Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital in Akwapim, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, the Kotoka International Airport in Accra and what have you. I suggest parliament gets involve in giving names to national monuments and establish it as law that can only be change by majority votes not the whims of a sitting government. Current and ensuing governments also have the right to build and assign their own names. Therefore, I suggest the government to leave the given names alone and think of building or creating new monuments to bear the names of their choice. AMA, Please stop wasting our time and ears if you have nothing constructive to offer Ghanaians! Enough of the naming ceremonies! Now get to work AMA!

Okyere Bonna

Okyere Bonna is the author of A NEW AGENDA FOR GHANA, and STOPPING THE CARNAGE ON AFRICAN ROADS and the co-author of Traditional Institutions and Public Administration in Democratic Africa. For more information on this author visit his official website: www.okyerebonna.com
Columnist: Bonna, Okyere