That is the Question!
One of the most common questions in the minds of many Ghanaians [especially those sitting well], is the political dilemma Ghana is in now. Current political parties have been turned into havens of selfish greed and thievery. We keep deceiving ourselves, but the results are not acceptable. Is it impossible to form a new party? Won’t it be easier to try and work within the existing platforms? These questions came up when members of the Ghana National Party [wrongly called Diaspora Party] were on our grassroots exploratory tour of Ghana this July 2006 to meet Ghanaians about their state and the future, and about forming a new political party. I want to share with you my quick response to a writer on our Ghana Leadership Forum (Only his first name will be used to protect his privacy):
A writer, Emmanuel, wrote from Japan: “Why the need for "United National Party", while there is NPP and even NDC? This is a question from Japan”(Emmanuel xxx xxx, Thursday, August 24, 2006 2:01 AM)
Emmanuel my brother, this was a popular question from the elites, many of them my good friends of the NPP. Ofori Ampofo, Prof. Nti Asare and I also faced NPP and NDC officials and spokespersons on many Radio station debates in Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Takoradi areas. There would be no need for a third party, or even for us professionals to ever get involved in politics, if the existing political parties and leaders showed some concern for the interest of the people who elected them, made some plans and budget, collected and accounted for the moneys, and executed to move Ghana forward!!!? What is the use of our education if 49 years after independence we spend 25% more than we can collect and expect the 25% from donors (shame!), and still cannot name our streets and identify property and our people for effective tax system? It is a shame to our education and we must face it! Our accumulated debt stands at $6.2 Billion and the interest alone is about the output of all our cocoa and gold! Is that how you would personally manage your household or personal business or corporation?
Please also ask about and know the taxes in Ghana are far higher than in Japan or the USA, with taxes and duties on cars being on average about 100% of whatever you purchase the car for, a 12.5% sales tax called VAT, a 2.5% for health insurance you don’t get a card for, and many other taxes. However even water is not running in major suburbs of Accra [talking about millions of people!], and since 1965 there has been no expansion of the existing water system in Accra and our cities, as confided in me by the former Chief Engineer at GWCL. This is the state of Ghana, despite a $103 million grant in January 2005 and another $500 million in loans in 2005 for water works and expansion. Research also shows people are very dissatisfied with the delivery of electricity, telephone and public cleanliness and sewage services. My brother, try living without water for 3 days in Japan, and you will appreciate the plight of the people!! The Ministers and MPs use State money to renovate their homes after election, including the installation of huge water reservoirs with motors. State-owned enterprises, shipping lines, airlines, buildings and monuments, were all completely neglected by the P/NDC [as their predecessors also before them] and some sold to insiders and their proceed moneys stolen like vultures on a carcass. This was continued by the NPP, with even simple businesses like State Hotels left by Nkrumah’s government abandoned. Ghana Airways was sold, with the taxpayer of Ghana paying another $150 million or more. All the employee stealing was not detected. Why should our managing executives in Ghana be paid if they cannot manage? Nobody gets punished either! Are we not humans also?
Let me ask you this: Are your people in Ghana who know the situation well happy with the performance of the NDC and the NPP? Are you? Do you think, considering how much we love education and how hard Ghanaians can work when they are overseas and under different management and leadership, that Ghana should be that poor? Are Ghanaians lazy? I don’t think so. Are Ghanaians born thieves? I don’t think so. I think it’s all poor leadership and selfish and greedy leadership that does not care one inch for the society and people. In my PhD research I interviewed many people about leadership, and about performance and expectations, and the results did not support any myth that may suggest that we as Ghanaians have less aspirations and lower expectations of our leaders. No! We have high expectations like anyone else, but the leadership delivery is very poor. It is time for change, and the people are expecting leadership and change! Please answer these honestly for yourself.
Ghanaians have been very disappointed in past leadership. There comes a time in any man’s life, I mean any man who cares and shows full responsibility, to examine society that brought him up, make comparative analysis, and decide what he has contributed to make the society better. If the man really is a man as I define it, he has to move society at least one inch more than he found it when he was born. That is exactly what the members of the NATIONAL PARTY are trying to do. See www.natlparty.com
We know we have to make sacrifices of money, time and risk to personal health. Yes the work will be hard to compete against the men who make millions of dollars mysteriously whiles in public office and make government moneys vanish. Else, how can a retired Sociology or Political Science professor in Ghana made Minister of a technology company like TOR, who claims his wealth comes from book royalties, have enough money to order hundreds of cars for his political campaign? Is anybody manning the cookie jar for Ghana? Look, there is a God, and we hope that God will touch the conscience of the people overseas who can afford at least $50 to $100 without too much sweat. On the personal side, I am an engineer by profession and a businessman by practice, and I have absolutely no interest in politics. I will be 60 years shortly and I am doing what I have to do as a responsible member of the society to help the country where I was born, even though I have lived comfortably and fruitfully [hard work as part of the game] in America most of my life. Ofori Ampofo is about the same age. We want to move Ghana forward. Period!
We need all of you to join hands with us to move Ghana forward, and of course you will participate in creating the Vision if you care and join, and we will set mechanisms in place to recall any leaders on our platform if he turns a chameleon on us like the current President is reported to have turned once he attained the high office. Does this remind you of a quotation in Shakespeare about Julius Caesar? We are studying the personality and personal ethics of anybody who would like to stand on the National Party platform. We will have enough signatures in Ghana to register the party in a short while.