E pulribus unum; out of many, one.

Sun, 14 Jan 2007 Source: Delademtor, Kodjo

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down,
Ye-eah we wept, when we remembered Zion.
When the wicked carried us away in captivity required from us a song
Now how shall we sing the lords song in a strange land…

Time, like an old blunt saw, has cut across the political fibres of our dear nation leaving some rough edges which must be straightened for the sake of sanity, that is to say with the passage of time, some of our actions, ideas and beliefs have become outmoded, our actions are bringing suffering hence our activities must be adjusted to reflect modern issues and to bring sanity into Ghanaian politics and restore the integrity of Ghanaians everywhere. I am therefore grateful to God that despite all the predictions of prophets of doom, the NDC congress went on smoothly and out of the many, a flag bearer has been elected. The wind of change which has blown through the NDC must be sustained. The NDC must change and repackage itself for a bigger battle in 2008. The NDC must change in order to win the next election, we need to rediscover the values and ideas that made the NDC a winning party, we need to change the way we look. We need to change the scandalous activities of the NPP government. We need to change the way we feel. No more grumbling about our leaders, lets confront issues that tend to divide our party, we live in a world as it is not how it was. Our best days lie ahead. We need to change the way we think.

For those with short-term memory or those who believe in history, the conduct of the participants in the leadership election was more civilised, decent and reasonable than the one conducted by the NPP in 1999. It has been good for our party. It has shown that talent, ideas and above all optimism in the future of the Party and our country and I congratulate all NDC members. I will urge the losing candidates to stick by their promises and try to remain a vital part of the team in the future. But it has been good for us.

The real battle to capture government from the NPP is yet to begin and I call on all Ghanaians no matter their tribe and political affiliation to let that dream become a reality. When NPP took office in 2001, we were told “to bite the bullet”, six years on, we are told to sing a new song; but how can we sing a new song when our people are suffering?

For NDC members, 2008 is the time we are called to re-affirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality of suffering of our people, to hold them against an incumbent shambolic, morally corrupt government and see how we are measuring up to the legacy of our tradition which we hold on to, a tradition deep rooted in dislike for corruption, power to the people, enabling the poor to gain access to basic human services such as rural electrification, eradication of guinea worm, provision of clean water and …..

For these and those who want to re-shape the future of Ghana, I say the NDC has more work to do, more work for the decent Ghanaians who want their integrity (tarnished by the numerous unsolved cocaine mysteries) restored internationally, more work to enable the junior doctors, teachers and nurses to have decent salaries and for those who have graduated from our universities, have the qualifications, have the drive but don’t have the jobs; only queuing up at the various embassies (Trinidad and Tobago is the latest) for visas to enable them travel and do various manial jobs not befitting their statuses.

Now don’t get me wrong! The NDC cannot solve all of the nation’s problems, our people don’t expect the government to solve all their problems, the NPP promised to create jobs, they promised us better education and healthcare but what do we see? There is hope in the Ghanaian that Atta Mills led NDC will better the standard of living of the Ghanaian. I’m not talking about blind optimism here the almost wilful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if the NDC wins power. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs? the hope of my grandmother who believes that the government has a place for her too and she needn’t be a party member; Hope in the new NDC, Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. Hope that we can all make a new start since we cannot create a new past!

The NDC created the spirit of self-help among Ghanaians and our people sense it in their marrow that with a slight change in priorities, sufficiency of food and storage facilities, education geared towards national development, eradication of nepotism, infusion of a maintenance culture, we all can make sure that everyone in Ghana has a fair and a decent chance at making it in life and aware that the doors of opportunity remain open to all Ghanaians irrespective of their tribal or political background. The wind of change and goodwill is blowing towards the NDC and now is the time for us to seize that opportunity.

Now even as I write, there are those who are preparing to divide the NDC, those preparing to make the Prof. look weak and old, - the spin masters- singing the praise of the NPP under the guise of private media, hoping to be awarded with ministerial or ambassadorial positions, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of "anything goes," people who rose to fame at the GBC just by attacking NDC and portraying everything about them to be bad. Well, I say to them, there is not an NPP Ghana and an NDC Ghana, there is only one Ghana where our people are suffering, our people are not enjoying the benefits of headline catching policies. The radio pundits; they like to slice and dice our country into tribal entities, Akans for NPP, the Ewes and the Northerners for the NDC. But there is a message for them too, Rwanda and Burundi had their fair share of the power (or the evil) of journalism and these should be stark reminders for us. For Ghanaians, irrespective of NDC or not, 2008 would be our “Annus Spectacularis”

About the writer: The writer (Kodjo Delademtor) is an Engineer working with the Environment Agency, UK. He is a fellow of the Geological Society, UK and the founder of PROACTIVE (Ghana).

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Delademtor, Kodjo