Practical Democracy? The NPP wins Handsdown!!

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 Source: Opare-Asamoa, Yaw

Yaw Opare-Asamoa

Life in Ghana can be frustrating but at the same time very interesting. There are those who find the time and the presence of mind to make fun of every adverse situation. They make fun of themselves and of others just to get going. Life is too short, they say. Then there are others who believe that they can only show their ‘importance’ and ‘relevance’ if they forment controversies and preach divisiveness. They even indulge and engage in outright lies sometimes all in the name of pushing an agenda forward.

A recent article posted on ghanaweb with the title “Does the So called NPP deepen Ghana’s Democracy” was intriguing reading at best. It was written by one Tamakloe Kojo, a self-styled pan-africanist. With such characters calling themselves ‘pan-africans’ I would humbly submit to be called simply an African-plain and simple!

In the said article was the following quote “Jumah is the descendant of people who used to sweep our streets” This was the first sentence of the article. Now for the life of me I cannot relate the quotation above to neither title nor body of the article but anyway, let’s move on.

The writer in defining the political philosophy underlining Democracy said, among others that “these principles are reflected by all citizens being equal before the law, and having equal access to power.” Well he needs to explain what ‘power’ he’s talking about because there is no country on this earth, under any political persuasion, that all the people have equal access to power. Not one. Zilch!!!

He further stated that Ghana’s brand of democracy gives power to elected representatives to exercise the power and that naturally the wider the choice the better the calibre of people in government. If he truly believes that then the question is why is the Atta Mills’ NDC so ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘restrictive’ in appointing people to government? Why is the NDC so interested in playing the ‘us’ and ‘them’ game? Why can’t they, at least, appear to be granting equal access and opportunities to all people? And what has the writer done or said about what the NDC has been up to since it came into office? I remember one of the charges against the NPP was that the then President was filling all positions with Akans. Even though ‘Akan’ was not a single tribe the opposition could not be bothered. They cried foul and shouted from the rooftops at any opportunity they got. Interestingly the same group of people does not find anything wrong with President Atta Mills’ appointments. By the writer’s argument Ghana is loosing out from the services of its best and brightest! Tamakloe Kojo actually made a number of assertions; I have no idea where he got his information from but I will comment on a few. He claimed the NPP is ‘neither new nor patriotic and has not deviated from its violent and untruthful past’ Well I guess Tamakloe Kojo is telling us that the NDC is new, patriotic and has no violent past or even if it did, it must have deviated from it. Ghanaians know better!! He continues “This party had its forbears in the very conservative philosophy of replacing colonial rule with the rule of the local Kings and their surrogates. Yaw Baffour Akoto, linguist of the Asantehene (an illiterate), S G Antor and Ayegbe were backed by the Gbi Hohoe King (Togbe Gabusu), S D Dombo (Northern Kings) and the more conservative elements of the Ga traditional area and Apaloo of the Anlo traditional area. The Prof Busias of the party and the Akyem elements though educated all had Royal stock and worked to maintain this”. He concluded the preceding quote with this question “Now how can these people then claim to be democratic? They wanted governorship by inheritance e and fought to keep the status quo.” First, why did the writer, Tamakloe Kojo, find it necessary to inform his readers that the linguist of the Asantehene was an illiterate but failed to tell us the literacy status of the other people he cited? I see mischief all over that!! Second, can Tamakloe Kojo tell us exactly by what standards he measures literacy? And what makes one ‘literate’? Is it the ability to read and write English as a natural consequence of formal education? Can’t I be ‘literate’ if I can only communicate in my own language? This is coming from somebody who calls himself a ‘pan-African’. Pathetic!! For his information, very few people in the history of this country of ours can match the intellectual power and sheer political acumen of Yaw Baffour Akoto. That is the plain truth and any objective student of history would attest to that. Again, the writer exposed himself as someone who has an aversion for ‘royalty’ or maybe ‘royalty’ that does not involve or include him. Can’t one be educated and also be of royal stock? Is royalty and education mutually exclusive? Apparently Tamakloe Kojo thinks so. Otherwise he doesn’t understand why the ‘Prof Busias and the Akyem elements though educated’ would be of royal stock. In spite of this I believe the writer would argue differently were he to have had any ‘royal blood’ running through him. And where exactly did Nana Akufo Addo say he had a ‘right to the presidency’ because of his ‘royalty’ and being a ‘descendant of a past president’? Tamakloe Kojo knows that is not true but he couldn’t be bothered. He is on a mission to see an agenda through and by all means-fair or foul-it must be carried out. To me the most serious of all the allegations is the one purported to have been said by Busia. Tamakloe Kojo would have to come out and provide proof to support that and recant it immediately without any reservation. He claimed that Busia said “the children of the professors should not mix with those of kenkey sellers”. The record of Busia is there for all to see and study. Serious rural development begun with Busia. This was a man so much interested in the welfare of the rural folk and the less fortunate in our society. Tamakloe Kojo, please defend this allegation!! According to Tamakloe Kojo, he is amazed at how a ‘party of illerates can all of a sudden be a party of elites’. Ordinarily, the whole write-up by Tamakloe Kojo would not deserve any comments at all and I believe that is why the ‘prinicipals’ mentioned in the article have not bothered to respond. I decided to comment because I believe that in Ghana, if you refuse to challenge any allegation, the public accepts it as truth with time. Still talking about the NPP, Tamakloe Kojo says “their learned Professors write about tribalism and JJ ad infinitum. One writes about a plot to kill Akans in Hohoe and another one says a Presbyterian Church is founded by Ewes for Ewes only. Then we have the story of trokosi while they claim Christianity.” Has Tamakloe Kojo bothered to find out why they continue to write about tribalism and JJ? It is because both tribalism and JJ remain sources of major problems for the country. I believe they would stop writing about them when these problems are no more. By the way I was the one who wrote about the Presbyterian Church for Ewes. The points I raised have still not been refuted by logical arguments and concrete evidence. Towards the end of the article, I believe the writer lost his train of thought; and that must explain the almost incoherent paragraphs. How can a ‘motorway’ be socialist or communist? Is Job 600 a white elephant or not? What meaningful use has Job 600 been put to since its initial purpose-hosting the OAU conference? Nkrumah certainly did not need help from anybody to affirm or confirm his communist credentials. He could handle that very well by himself.

For the life of me, I am unable to reconcile these paragraphs with the theme of the article. Is the writer talking about political parties or Christian charities? Instead of wasting his time on such articles, can the writer spend his time on more important things; one being the meeting between Rawlings and the Ewe cabal in government? Rawlings had a meeting with Ewes in government and MPs. Can the writer share with us the behind-closed door discussions? I believe those discussions could be of national importance.

So to answer the question that the writer posed as a title to his article, yes! The NPP has done even more than that. How can anybody even compare the two and talk about democracy in the same breath? Let’s leave the verdict to the good people of Ghana, shall we?

Written and submitted on November 28, 2009

Columnist: Opare-Asamoa, Yaw