Opinions Tue, 13 Mar 2012

Kofi Annan Has Let Ghanaians Down

By Kwadwo Poku

It is with great pain for me to take on one of the most revered men of this generation, and it is none other than the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Like you know, the bible says onto whom much is given, much is required but so far eyes of our dear nation haven't seen that which is required of this African child nor ears heard of the plans he has installed for our nation. To be euphemistic in terminology, Kofi Annan has been a missing in action whilst three consecutive presidents of our fourth Republic have made us regret being Ghanaians.

First it was Rawlings who is nothing but a criminal legitimized by a sham constitution, charting the course of our democracy after taking the nation hostage for eleven years. Then Kufuor came and most of us perceived him to be a breath of fresh air but he wasn't, he was a selfish leader, more concerned about the international community's perception of him than the welfare of the impoverished Ghanaian. As for what we have now, a sophomoric imbecile would have been better. What we have today as president is an embarrassment to academia and a disgrace to intellectualism to put it bluntly.

So after working for the United Nations since 1962 and terming out as the Secretary General in 2007, one would've thought with his wealth of experiences and expertise in leadership, governance and democratic settings, Kofi Annan will take the pains to adopt the political leaders of his motherland and groom them for a better Ghana. Sometimes I even wonder whether he is a Ghanaian by definition or a Ghanaian by label. This is a man who stood on the broad shoulders of the nation to get to where is, and in return, we get a display of insipidity towards the well being of our sick democracy. When he submitted his name for the Secretary Generalship, Rawlings who was then the president of Ghana had the right under UN charter to remove him from the nomination process but to his credit he didn't and the symbolism was that, the entire nation was rooting for him..

So given what transpired behind the scenes in the prep up to winning the Secretary General position in the UN Assembly of Member States, the least he could have done was to reciprocate the gesture by helping solidify our fragile democracy which as currently constituted, is an inevitable time bomb, just waiting to explode. Since the last general elections in 2008, tensions between the main political parties portends a replica of Kenyan riots come 2012 elections, so allow me take a detour through memory lane to remind you that it was this same man who was the interlocutor for the Kenyan ruling party and the opposition after the massacre of hundreds of innocent Kenyans during the aftermath of the elections about 4 years ago! And may I also point out by way of lucidity that it was this same Kofi Annan who brilliantly acknowledged the flaws in the Kenyan constitution and suggested they draft a new one, which they did and subsequently passed through a referendum last year.

It then beggars asking whether Kofi Annan is waiting to be dispatched to Ghana by the world body to serve as a mediator after NDC and NPP devotees slaughter themselves come 2012 elections? Should that happen, he will not be welcomed. One thing that continues to boggle my mind is the fact that as a political intellectual he sat in the comfort of the UN unconcerned about the affairs of Ghana, even as Rawlings' handpicked men drafted a bogus document that continues to serve as the constitution of our Republic. If he recognized and acknowledged that Kenya's vague constitution contributed to their demise at the last elections, why has he shown indifference towards helping the nation that gave him so much? Before I penned this piece, I sought the courtesy of reading the biography of the co winner of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, and I was amazed about the smorgasbord of accomplishments he's undergirded, especially in the area of democratic structuring for developing countries, and I asked myself why does he reference us with flippancies couched in hazy generalities? Why?

Today, if you are to delve into news about Ghana, at least two constants will be confirmed, the display of incompetence in all branches of our government and the prevalence of political illiteracy across the fruited plains of the nation. And it is so sad that the potentate of diplomats and the pride of Ghana who speaks and world leaders stops to listen, lives in his wife's country unconcerned about the plight of his native country. What a let down! If our democracy is headed to blazes and Mr. Kofi Annan cares less about it, he can at least do us a favor by explaining why the UN never referred Rawlings to the International courts for crimes against humanity.

As a passionate proponent of democratic tenets, the purpose of this piece is not to dent the reputation of Mr. Annan nor belabor his accomplishments, and I'm not in any way insinuating that I know more than he does. In fact I'm no where near his pedigree when it comes to politics. But a fact will always be a fact, and the fact is that, our democracy is imploding before our very eyes and the man respected and adored across party lines, whose influence can bring a cessation to this implosion, has let us down thus far.

Kwadwo Poku NY
Columnist: Poku, Kwadwo