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Complacency and dangerous partisanship 53 years after independence: a new call!

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 Source: Owusu-Nkwantabisa, Nana

Open letter to Parliament, the presidency, and the Ghanaian people: Nananom, Adehyie, Nii mei ke naa mei, nysalao (Ewe) etc, I come to you with a passionate plea for us to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are headed. We are so blessed as a nation and yet the leadership that we need to propel us to the heights that we should ascend has been arriving on the slowest train.

Today, the ugly side of our new found democracy is pitting ethnic groups against each other and friends and relatives are trapped on opposite sides. This is the very thing that we need excellent leadership to address. It is not fitting for a nation that has produced Kwame Nkrumah, Kofi Annan, and unsung Ghanaian leaders around the globe, to lack an “Abusuapanin”(elderly statesman), who can rise above partisanship and freeze the silly ethnocentrism in its tracks now and I mean NOW! Enough with Akan this, Ewe this, my party this, your party that. What is at stake is much bigger than our usual silliness and the “yo mama” statements we made on playgrounds in elementary schools. This is getting ugly and the blame lies full square at the feet of the politicians. They must take responsibility and try to solve this NOW!

What is at stake is national development; a new independence cry for Economic independence, and the future of the African continent. Ghana, the Black Star must always set the best example that Africa has to offer and we are blessed enough to be able to do so. This should be a moment of reflection when we must ask ourselves as we become an oil producing nation, the basic questions of: how did we transform our nation with the gold that we have produced to date? Have we managed our cocoa, timber and other natural resources the best we can? How come we still import a lot of our food?

Food is a national security issue and before China, Japan, or any of these countries took off just a few decades ago, every one of them had to address food security. How and when are we going to be able to feed ourselves? That is the basic question people should be discussing not NDC this, NPP that. Let’s think as the Black Stars and not as our individual teams. Healthy competition is good but we need to come together to deliver for the nation and we need a clear pathway from any leader worth his or her salt. There are many issues to address and I will return to this forum at a latter date to contribute to the discussion on local economic development. While we are looking up to Accra for development in our villages, how much can we do for ourselves? How about some real investment instead of token gifts and bribes during election seasons? Some progress has been made with the building of schools and clinics but how can we revive our rural economies? Electricity, roads, proper sanitation and water are critical to our rural economies. Let’s find a balance between the fast growth in our cities and the critical villages. Let’s spread the development.

Ghanaians, we can’t wait. We need Nkrumah’s sense of urgency, Danquah/Busia’s commitment to rural economic development, J.J’s passion for the poor and Kufuor’s gentle diplomacy to get things done. What we must abhor are the tribal tendencies, the favouritisms and the pettiness of our politicians. What is at stake is Africa’s growth and the promotion of human dignity. Our people are tired of being the wretched of the earth.

Nana Owusu-Nkwantabisa knowusu@yahoo.com

Columnist: Owusu-Nkwantabisa, Nana