Beyond the "Won Gbo" Demonstration

Tue, 24 Feb 2015 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

As pertains in all democratic countries, demonstrations can be used to show a viewpoint (either positive or negative) regarding a public issue, especially relating to a perceived grievance or social injustice. It is usually considered more successful if more people participate. Therefore, judging by the crowd on that fateful Wednesday on the principal streets of Accra, coupled with the non-violent nature of the march, there is no doubt that the "Won Gbo" demonstration lived up to its expectation.

In fact, to some of us, the demonstration was long overdue as far as the "dumsorism" (energy crisis) was concerned. However, I was particularly glad to see the Opposition Leader, Nana Akufo-Addo step out to lead that crucial demonstration. It is thus my hope that the action taken by Nana Addo would not be a nine day wonder, but rather better things to come. But, did Nana Addo utilize the opportunity that befell him last Wednesday?

Personally, I don't think Nana Addo did anything extra-ordinary to convince majority of Ghanaians of being on top of the energy crisis at hand. This stems from his inability to offer policy alternatives to the public. Though, many an NPP have argued that demonstrations are not platforms to bring out policy alternatives, especially by an opposition party. They have justified their stance by saying that, nobody goes to war by giving ammunitions to its opponents. Thus, to them, it would be politically unwise for Nana Addo and his NPP to tow that line. But, could the NPP be right? If the same party had consistently presented manifestoes for public consumption over the years, I see no political sense in keeping solutions to problems to itself, if indeed the party has any. Was the NPP giving ammunitions to the NDC in 2012 during the IEA debate, if I may ask?

Indeed, if the NPP sees itself as an opposition party, then it's high time the party became dynamic in its political activities. The NPP must prove to Ghanaians that it is completely different from the NDC in terms of everything about governance. Incorporating certain 'bad' habits by the NDC into our political activities could be dangerous. The benefits of NPP providing practical solutions to the current energy crisis far outweigh the demerits. At least, people would not misinterpret the party as being wicked and unpatriotic. And this could go a long way in fetching the party more floating votes in 2016.

Going forward, I expect Nana Addo to organise a press conference as quickly as possible on the energy crisis and tell us what he can do to solve the problem when given the mandate as the president in 2016.

Again, Nana's itinerary - Accra - London - Kumasi is becoming too obvious for majority of Ghanaians. It seems too much political activities are being concentrated on the above-mentioned areas and this is not the best. It's high time Nana moved beyond his comfort zone in order to be visible in the regions he has struggled to win.

Another area Nana has failed to take advantage of is the media. For the past three (3) years, I have not seen Nana Addo grant one-on-one interview with any of the most-listened to radio and TV stations in the country. All his brilliant speeches are usually made abroad. Therefore, whilst advising Prez Mahama to change his style of governance, Nana too must change his style as an opposition leader. It's my fervent hope that Nana Addo would REST NOT as the Katangees would say, by kickstarting the 2016 campaign to sustain the political momentum.

In winding down, I doff my hat for the organisers and all the participants of the "Won Gbo" demonstration, especially my man, Alan Cash. It was a good job well executed. If for nothing at all, the demonstration has awaken President Mahama from his political slumber, hence his quick response to tackle the problem head-on. Let's all contribute our quota to Ghana's socio-economic development now and not to wait till we are in government.

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri


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Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku