Can Ordinary Ghanaians Snatch Their Country Back

Sat, 21 Jul 2012 Source: Thompson, Kofi

- From The Grasping Hands of The Powerful Rogues Who Dominate Its Politics?

By Kofi Thompson

If like me you often wonder what sort of nation the older generation will bequeath to the younger generation, you tend to feel outraged by the actions and inactions of the few bad nuts in the midst of our political class - which impact Ghanaian society negatively and hold back our nation's progress, so.

To a large extent our educated urban elites are basically decent and hard-working individuals. Unfortunately, somehow, it is invariably the most unprincipled ones amongst them, who end up becoming the most powerful members of our political class.

Perhaps they succeed - as a young university student suggested to me - in dominating their parties and our nation, as a result of the unfortunate Ghanaian habit of not speaking out openly and boldly, about the misdeeds of individuals in important positions in society.

Could that unfortunate collective failing be a hangover from the societal hypocrisy that was said to underpin the ethos of governance systems in virtually all our pre-colonial traditional tribal entities, one wonders?

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) lost power in the December 2008 elections, mainly because of the widespread perception amongst ordinary Ghanaians, that it had become a very corrupt regime.

The impression most discerning, apolitical and independent-minded Ghanaians had gained, towards the end of its second term in office, was that a golden age of business was being enjoyed by a powerful and ruthless few in the NPP regime, who were exploiting the national economy for their personal enrichment; that of their favourite blood relations as well as their dearest "bottom-power" lady friends; and their regime's cronies in the Ghanaian business world.

It therefore did not come as a surprise to many political analysts, when the NPP's presidential candidate, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, was beaten by the narrowest of margins by the candidate of the then main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor Mills.

Sworn into office on the 7th January, 2009, President Mills came into office with a lot of goodwill for him, amongst a majority of ordinary Ghanaians - mainly because of his well-earned reputation as an honest and humble gentleman.

Yet, true to form, the most dishonest individuals in his NDC party, have somehow succeeded in becoming the most powerful members of his administration.

And with just a few months to go for the end of President Mills' tenure, the deadly-troika-combination of dishonesty, greed and unpunished misdemeanours - associated with the powerful rogues in his regime - have succeeded in alienating a majority of ordinary people in Ghana from his NDC regime.

Today, the general consensus amongst most voters, is that nothing short of a miracle will save the Mills regime from certain defeat, in the upcoming December presidential and parliamentary elections.

Personally, I don't for a moment doubt President Mills' personal integrity - and neither do I that of the NPP's Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.

However, if, as its harshest critics insist, it is true that like the NDC, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo's NPP is also still dominated by the same selfish and dishonest politicians (now apparently operating from the shadows - deftly pulling strings because of the quantum of resources they control) whose greed gave the party such a negative image, then our nation has a huge potential governance problem.

Without a shadow of doubt, dear reader, the powerful and ruthless rogues in their midst, will definitely end up dominating the next NPP regime, too.

It is obvious that the biggest two political parties in Ghana are evenly matched, in terms of the numbers of voters they can depend on.

Alas, there are millions of "My-party-my-tribe-wrong-or-right" myrmidon-types, who will cast their votes for each of them, as sure as day follows night, regardless.

And it is that blinkered support-base of both parties that is slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy.

It is led by their small army of paid "serial-callers", with their fanaticism and dim-witted blindness - who spend all their days calling into radio and television current affairs phone-in programmes, to spread each party's negative propaganda, on our nation's airwaves.

However, hope, they say, springs eternal. So perhaps the question the rest of us must ask is: Will the discerning individuals whose crucial swing-votes now decide who wins presidential elections in Ghana (the so-called floating-voters) take a chance and convince enough ordinary people to try a new set of politicians from a party other than the two dominant parties, the NDC and the NPP - and somehow miraculously enable the good people of Ghana to snatch their country back, from the grasping hands of the powerful rogues, who dominate the two largest parties in their homeland Ghana? Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebaba debi, ankasa.

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi