It is 4 am Saturday Jan. 3, 2009 in California and I just had to wake up and listen or read the news about Ghana’s elections. Prof. Mills has won and Ghana is not on fire! In my article last Saturday 27 December predicting a win for Prof. Mills I wrote the piece below:
A Change is needed – Kofi, note that Kufuor and the NPP have failed Ghana and a change is needed! I never thought there will be a day I would support the other side, but for now. People who consider themselves academicians are not supposed to use God as a reason, but I have to say that for the people of Ghana, God has spoken and it seems the NPP must lose so we all as a people learn the lesson of public service and working together as one nation! You watch for Dec.28.
If the NPP cheats, there will be war in Ghana! And Kumasi and other places may burn! The burden will be on the conscience of those of you who knew your party was doing the wrong things, stealing, and never raised a finger to stop them! At least I have leveled enough criticism, of my friends and even students in power, and God knows I have done my best! (Ghanaweb, Dec.27, 2008).
I am sorry to say that in the conclusions I made the mistake of mentioning “war” in my warning. I later apologized to readers in the comments columns. I forgot that Ghana is a society where war, and death, would rather not be mentioned. Hmm!
Yesterday on our GLU forum I posted a note of a text message I sent to Dr. Afari- Djan. The message read:
Dear Dr. Afari-Djan, Happy New Year and congrats for maintaining your personal integrity. Please have the Tain elections completed as planned, and declare winner on date planned. The whole world is watching Ghana. No Judge dare make prejudicial ruling.
Stay strong and Blessed.
Kwaku A. Danso, President, Ghana Leadership Union, California. (K. Danso, Txt Msge to Dr. Afari-Djan, GLU Forum Friday, January 2, 2009, 12:58 AM Again yesterday there was a posting on our GLU forum headed: RAWLINGS ASSASINATION ATTEMPT UNCOVERED. The Press Release, authored by Kofi Adams, read in part: “Former President Rawlings wishes to bring to the attention of the general public, a plan to assassinate him and his entire family” (Friday, January 02, 2009 12:43 PM)
In my response I wrote:
Folks, I won’t worry about this at all. Nobody is going to shoot any gun in Ghana. Trust me on that. If anybody will assassinate Rawlings, this is not the time. They should wait and confront him one on one, not at this election time. He has nothing to do with Akufo Addo’s loss. Let’s wait for Nana’s concession speech or the EC announcement tomorrow or tonight.
Cheers, K. Danso (GLU Forum, Fri 1/2/2009 5:36 PM
Folks, I have to go back to sleep now that I know there will be no war in Ghana. However, let me assure you all that educated Ghanaians have a lot to learn about nation building. I have spent the last 4 years of my life studying our culture especially from a business perspective and made some investment and tested the market in business also. My research pushed me to not only write a Dissertation but the book titled “Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana”, 2007. If there are any lessons to be learnt, it must include the conclusions that:
1. Most educated Ghanaians are not honest and true to themselves when in public office. It is part of Ghanaian culture that our men do not show tears, and when facing economic hardships do not even discuss this with their wives. Lately the wives have been more involved and even recommend their men steal from public funds.
2. Over the last few decades of down turn in the Ghanaian economy, the lack of good and honest Economists and global business skills has led to serious art of public stealing. Government jobs and elected offices have become the avenues for acquiring personal and family wealth. This culture of pretending to be “big man” has had serious socio-economic implications in men being attracted to unethical ways of doing self-serving businesses whiles in office, acting as illegal consultants in government services and taking percentage of contracts, inflating figures, over-invoicing. This practice has been reported to be traced all the way to the NPP President Kufuor’s office. This is not an indictment on only the NPP government, since there are still many unanswered questions from the NDC and PNDC eras under Jerry Rawlings nineteen years of rule.
3. This forced or adapted survival mechanism has created a culture of corruption in public service unprecedented since the colonial times. It has been perfected to an art during the NPP regime, where for projects which would cost only $25-50 million to deliver water to the people who need it, the government of Mr. Kufuor has taken $103 million grant and $500 million loan and cannot account for the money!
My conclusion is that the election defeat of Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP this time will teach a major lesson to the NPP and the Danquah-Busia tradition that seems to have been sidelines for five decades in the post-Independence era. The current NPP crop of leaders has been a disgrace to the good names and efforts of Dr. Danquah and Dr. Busia. In order not to allow this practice to continue the GLU is making recommendations for the next Government to be submitted to Prof. Atta Mills in the next few days. It is our duty as educated men who have had the global experience to offer suggestion for improving our dear Ghana and bringing our nation at par with the rest of the world. Many of my critics have asked and questioned why I don’t get involved, but my answer is clear - one does not have to enter politics to help our nation, since politics by itself has the currently known corrosive effect of corruption.
If real changes are expected and Ghana is to move forward for real (not slogan) as expected, and the Mills government wants to succeed, they will learn fast to examine where Ghana’s volume of human and material assets and competencies are, remove all elements of the you-versus-me envy and jealousy, elements of tribal preferences in hiring and opportunities, and investigate all malfeasance and reports such as the Auditors Generals Reports. Atta Mills will succeed if his government uses the rule of law to prosecute corrupt government officials as Lee Kuan Yew did in Singapore, whiles pursuing management of Ghana like a business, not a Kingdom, as was seen under President Kufuor. Discipline, under the rule of law, with no partisan or ethnic flavor is the only way to start the ball rolling and nobody should step in the way of the development our nation again for personal gain! Nobody will succeed if they want to steal from public funds and neglect the interest of the people of the nation whose hard work and taxes and duties pay those in government office.
Congratulation to Prof. Mills and all those who worked behind the scenes for him. Good luck and Happy New Year to all. Peace and Prosperity and May God bless our Ghana as we learn to manage our nation under honest democratic leadership.
Kwaku A. Danso President, Ghana Leadership Union.