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Are you with the new government or against them?
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Are you with the new government or against them?

Sat, 15 Jun 2002 Source: Danso, Kwaku A.

There is a school of thought that says that once you are “within”, everybody else is “outside”. This mentality seems to exist in African governance.

Why? Do we have to be for or against a government? This kind of mentality is not progressive. A government is supposed to represent all of us, and we must be willing to dialogue with any government, so far as it’s legit, and fight any that is not legit until it’s overthrown. That should be the cardinal principle.

Recently there was a topic that excited a friend to send me a quote from another friend that Rawlings was trying to incite army commanders to take over Ghana. Maybe the article did not specify exactly that, and I should have read the news report before sending a response. But you know how busy we all have to be here in the West to survive and send money home so our parents and the government too can run the nation from the amount they can squeeze from us. My response went through some good friend who thought I was “against them or for them”. A few days ago when my article about whether President Kufuor should exercise his right to “lash back” at his critics was posted on GhanaWeb.com, there were many responses, but a couple of guys thought I was rooting for the NPP. One guy even said this was “sycophancy”. Hmmm! I said, if this is sycophancy, then what if I had lauded praises. Some just don’t get it, do they? Is it because we are new to this concept of democracy or what?

Do we have to be for or against a government to criticize it?

I am not known for short responses, but this time it was quick. My thoughts on why Ghanaians should support an existing government, be it NPP or what-have you, and still criticize them, is in this short response to my friend, and I share it with you.


My brother,
I don’t know what “WITH YOU OR AGAINST YOU” means. I don’t even know what the topic means since I have not read the story yet on Paul Gyamfi inciting army commanders. If this Rawlings wants to come to power again, his dreams cannot be allowed to exist for one second, I don’t care who is in power and by what means we use to get that man out of our hair!! Period!! If Kufuor allows this idea of being a gentle giant to affect the national security of Ghana as Dr. Limann did, he will not have a day in Ghana when he will not regret. He would be better dead in the struggle to salvage Ghana than face the fury of people if he fails us.

Can you please tell me where YOU STAND or what party you have formed so I can align if I agree with your principles? The CPP group, so far as I know, is dead! A bunch of self- centered egotistical people who cannot unite to salvage the principles of the Great Nkrumah. They took money from Tsikata to splinter themselves, and allow P/NDC to win!! I am not that much of a follower to allow such things to happen to me.

I didn’t even know this was sent, but my views in private are same as in public. We were all condemning the previous NDC government as a “MUST GO”!! I for the mere facts of basic philosophy, that

    1. Their roots were from an illegal group, the PNDC, who after illegally kicking out Limann in 1981, staying for 11 years, took advantage and assumed pseudo-legitimacy through an election without JJ stepping down first.

    2. Their promises for stamping out corruption and mismanagement, for which they killed people and confiscated people’s assets, were not achieved and they instead left us with a debt of $6Billion, some enriching themselves.

These are to me enough for any one of us to see through their fake pretenses. NDC is to me not a legitimate party of Ghana. Period.

So all of a sudden we have a new government of Kufuor. I never said I am a member of the NPP, even though many friends are members, just as some friends were/are in the NDC. I for one, until I am ready to compete, will support any government that will work to elevate the peoples’ lives to the modern age and create employment. I co-formed our own party in 1991/92, and until I see the kinds of programs and aspirations we had being pursued, I don’t jump on any bandwagon. I do not give up hoping that one Party in Ghana will implement the right programs and management discipline we need, and perform in the way that I know will let us catch up as equal human beings as these Americans and other Westerners. I don’t’ subscribe to this “Calabash-in-hand” begging politics. We need to plan first, then make a budget, then ask for loans if need be, and know exactly how we are going to pay the loan back and when, and put discipline in our workers not to squander and steal the money. Period! Life is a Business! (Sorry, that is the title of my Column in the Toronto Ghanaian News)

The NPP just started some 18 months ago. Yes some of us were disappointed about their prior-planning before assuming office, such as Ministers without offices and desks, something which any of us can do within one month with ease after working for the Western corporations for so long. Kufuor is also traveling too much with little to show, and not giving heed to the micro-management that a nation in HIPC needs, and not putting the Ministers to normal Western style reporting to achieve his Goals. But we can’t give up so quickly and start wishing that the illegal group would do better!! Come ooooon!!! After this man (Rawlings) did to Ghana?

Think about it.

On Principles: I hope this clears the air for anybody on the net who thinks of him /herself and government as for this or for that. Why should any of us who have not voted in Ghana for over 10, 20, or more years, be so infused with the idea that they should be in bed with one political party? Do you want a post? For us overseas, our ability to criticize a government should have nothing to do with whether we know who the leaders are or not. I believe we should criticize or praise on principles. Period. Leadership is not an easy task, and to be President of an HIPC nation like ours, one has to be under great stress daily. After all Kufuor is a legitimately elected government, whose influence did not come by any intimidation. So why should we be so negative within 18 months unless he has done some really serious mistakes. (Well, we’ll talk about his endorsement or silence on the Parliamentary theft of $20,000 for each MP later in another article).

Do they care? From the way the Rawlings government dilly-dallied about dual citizenship for years, and from the way they even disenfranchised Ghanaians overseas from the very beginning in 1992, it was obvious they did not give a hoot about us, and there were some “skin-pain” politics. (True Ghanaians will know what I mean by “skin-pain”). From the way Kufuor’s NPP government also put clauses in the revised dual-citizenship law, it is obvious they don’t want us to come home and assume responsible positions as citizens, even though in one mouth they are saying they want us to come home and help. Bull!! As American will put it. Why the heck would I want to come home if I cannot contribute to the fullest in the society I was born into and have contributed so much of my time, ideas and money into? Why?

What they can gain: The human greed principle, what a person can gain today, seems to permeate many. So far as we see, once most of these people, including our friends, get into government, all they seem to think about is themselves and what they can gain. This is what I call ”the curse of Africa”. These people just want to collect our money when we come home. The Engineer in Colorado who lost half of his $210,000 savings when he went home last year and returned this year, is a typical example where the talk of “Homecoming” does not go with any substantial plans the government has put forth. All due respect to Mr. Asamoah Boateng at the office of the President, who seems to be trying, but may be working against a system of entrenched corrupt people he may not understand. Can you imagine in today’s world somebody calling himself a Telephone Broker and asking $10,000 before giving a phone line to a person returning home and wanting a phone line in Kumasi to set up a business? Why does the phone company even allow people who do not have a physical location to own phone lines? It’s all part of the corrupt system!

What we can do: So far as we are alive, what we can do to show our love for Ghana, whether we are overseas or in Ghana, is to work together with a goal in mind towards the development of our nation. We should work toward helping to bring discipline in our system, as we see done outside. We must expose the corrupt elements in our society and any tendencies of leaders to mismanage or mis-spend our common HIPC funds. We must agree to work to bring Justice and the Rule of Law, and put these bad elements in jail. We should criticize, but better still give constructive suggestions, giving a little benefit of the doubt that we have 4 years within which to send in the grade reports.

From California with Love,


Views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Ghanaweb.
Kwaku A. Danso

There is a school of thought that says that once you are “within”, everybody else is “outside”. This mentality seems to exist in African governance.

Why? Do we have to be for or against a government? This kind of mentality is not progressive. A government is supposed to represent all of us, and we must be willing to dialogue with any government, so far as it’s legit, and fight any that is not legit until it’s overthrown. That should be the cardinal principle.

Recently there was a topic that excited a friend to send me a quote from another friend that Rawlings was trying to incite army commanders to take over Ghana. Maybe the article did not specify exactly that, and I should have read the news report before sending a response. But you know how busy we all have to be here in the West to survive and send money home so our parents and the government too can run the nation from the amount they can squeeze from us. My response went through some good friend who thought I was “against them or for them”. A few days ago when my article about whether President Kufuor should exercise his right to “lash back” at his critics was posted on GhanaWeb.com, there were many responses, but a couple of guys thought I was rooting for the NPP. One guy even said this was “sycophancy”. Hmmm! I said, if this is sycophancy, then what if I had lauded praises. Some just don’t get it, do they? Is it because we are new to this concept of democracy or what?

Do we have to be for or against a government to criticize it?

I am not known for short responses, but this time it was quick. My thoughts on why Ghanaians should support an existing government, be it NPP or what-have you, and still criticize them, is in this short response to my friend, and I share it with you.


My brother,
I don’t know what “WITH YOU OR AGAINST YOU” means. I don’t even know what the topic means since I have not read the story yet on Paul Gyamfi inciting army commanders. If this Rawlings wants to come to power again, his dreams cannot be allowed to exist for one second, I don’t care who is in power and by what means we use to get that man out of our hair!! Period!! If Kufuor allows this idea of being a gentle giant to affect the national security of Ghana as Dr. Limann did, he will not have a day in Ghana when he will not regret. He would be better dead in the struggle to salvage Ghana than face the fury of people if he fails us.

Can you please tell me where YOU STAND or what party you have formed so I can align if I agree with your principles? The CPP group, so far as I know, is dead! A bunch of self- centered egotistical people who cannot unite to salvage the principles of the Great Nkrumah. They took money from Tsikata to splinter themselves, and allow P/NDC to win!! I am not that much of a follower to allow such things to happen to me.

I didn’t even know this was sent, but my views in private are same as in public. We were all condemning the previous NDC government as a “MUST GO”!! I for the mere facts of basic philosophy, that

    1. Their roots were from an illegal group, the PNDC, who after illegally kicking out Limann in 1981, staying for 11 years, took advantage and assumed pseudo-legitimacy through an election without JJ stepping down first.

    2. Their promises for stamping out corruption and mismanagement, for which they killed people and confiscated people’s assets, were not achieved and they instead left us with a debt of $6Billion, some enriching themselves.

These are to me enough for any one of us to see through their fake pretenses. NDC is to me not a legitimate party of Ghana. Period.

So all of a sudden we have a new government of Kufuor. I never said I am a member of the NPP, even though many friends are members, just as some friends were/are in the NDC. I for one, until I am ready to compete, will support any government that will work to elevate the peoples’ lives to the modern age and create employment. I co-formed our own party in 1991/92, and until I see the kinds of programs and aspirations we had being pursued, I don’t jump on any bandwagon. I do not give up hoping that one Party in Ghana will implement the right programs and management discipline we need, and perform in the way that I know will let us catch up as equal human beings as these Americans and other Westerners. I don’t’ subscribe to this “Calabash-in-hand” begging politics. We need to plan first, then make a budget, then ask for loans if need be, and know exactly how we are going to pay the loan back and when, and put discipline in our workers not to squander and steal the money. Period! Life is a Business! (Sorry, that is the title of my Column in the Toronto Ghanaian News)

The NPP just started some 18 months ago. Yes some of us were disappointed about their prior-planning before assuming office, such as Ministers without offices and desks, something which any of us can do within one month with ease after working for the Western corporations for so long. Kufuor is also traveling too much with little to show, and not giving heed to the micro-management that a nation in HIPC needs, and not putting the Ministers to normal Western style reporting to achieve his Goals. But we can’t give up so quickly and start wishing that the illegal group would do better!! Come ooooon!!! After this man (Rawlings) did to Ghana?

Think about it.

On Principles: I hope this clears the air for anybody on the net who thinks of him /herself and government as for this or for that. Why should any of us who have not voted in Ghana for over 10, 20, or more years, be so infused with the idea that they should be in bed with one political party? Do you want a post? For us overseas, our ability to criticize a government should have nothing to do with whether we know who the leaders are or not. I believe we should criticize or praise on principles. Period. Leadership is not an easy task, and to be President of an HIPC nation like ours, one has to be under great stress daily. After all Kufuor is a legitimately elected government, whose influence did not come by any intimidation. So why should we be so negative within 18 months unless he has done some really serious mistakes. (Well, we’ll talk about his endorsement or silence on the Parliamentary theft of $20,000 for each MP later in another article).

Do they care? From the way the Rawlings government dilly-dallied about dual citizenship for years, and from the way they even disenfranchised Ghanaians overseas from the very beginning in 1992, it was obvious they did not give a hoot about us, and there were some “skin-pain” politics. (True Ghanaians will know what I mean by “skin-pain”). From the way Kufuor’s NPP government also put clauses in the revised dual-citizenship law, it is obvious they don’t want us to come home and assume responsible positions as citizens, even though in one mouth they are saying they want us to come home and help. Bull!! As American will put it. Why the heck would I want to come home if I cannot contribute to the fullest in the society I was born into and have contributed so much of my time, ideas and money into? Why?

What they can gain: The human greed principle, what a person can gain today, seems to permeate many. So far as we see, once most of these people, including our friends, get into government, all they seem to think about is themselves and what they can gain. This is what I call ”the curse of Africa”. These people just want to collect our money when we come home. The Engineer in Colorado who lost half of his $210,000 savings when he went home last year and returned this year, is a typical example where the talk of “Homecoming” does not go with any substantial plans the government has put forth. All due respect to Mr. Asamoah Boateng at the office of the President, who seems to be trying, but may be working against a system of entrenched corrupt people he may not understand. Can you imagine in today’s world somebody calling himself a Telephone Broker and asking $10,000 before giving a phone line to a person returning home and wanting a phone line in Kumasi to set up a business? Why does the phone company even allow people who do not have a physical location to own phone lines? It’s all part of the corrupt system!

What we can do: So far as we are alive, what we can do to show our love for Ghana, whether we are overseas or in Ghana, is to work together with a goal in mind towards the development of our nation. We should work toward helping to bring discipline in our system, as we see done outside. We must expose the corrupt elements in our society and any tendencies of leaders to mismanage or mis-spend our common HIPC funds. We must agree to work to bring Justice and the Rule of Law, and put these bad elements in jail. We should criticize, but better still give constructive suggestions, giving a little benefit of the doubt that we have 4 years within which to send in the grade reports.

From California with Love,


Views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Ghanaweb.
Kwaku A. Danso

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.