Opinions Mon, 9 Apr 2007

Rejoinder: I will defend Akufo Addo

I would like to express my indignation over the article I read on the Ghanaweb of 31 March, 2007 entitled, "I will defend Akufo Addo", by one moralist at large; Nana Kofi Amankwah(New York).

My concern is the nature and timing of the allegations as well as Nana's enthusiasm to take on the Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama as he prepares to put his candidature for the Presidency.

If Nana really loves Ghana he should not have taken it upon himself to bring down the Vice President. It's unwarranted at this point in time in Ghana's political history for any self-appointed moral or ethical judge to explicitly ignore the intricacies of the ethno-national dynamics in Ghana's political set up. As a moralist Nana, you need to ask yourself what you really hope to achieve by vowing to bring to an end the Vice President's aspirations. As you rightly stated that the allegations concerning the shoddy deal involving the Nigerian and the US Congressman had been widely debated and to the best of my knowledge the Vice President categorically denied any involvement; just like President Kufour's denial of the Hotel Kufour. The presupposition that because the Vice President did not answer you meant his guilty of the act is against the very dictates of human conscience. In fact why should he answer you?

I have no doubt in your discernment of our political history but you have allowed your emotions to override your intellect. That is a precept of the devil and will lead only to ruin and regret. Regret may mean nothing to you because you are numbed with the effects of distance.

Nana the point I am driving at is you are inconsiderate of the implications of the ethno-religious political demography of NPP and the general political dynamics of this country. I want to avoid insinuating that your actions are xenophobic dictum from an ethical judge which does not augur well for the unity and progress of our nation Ghana. As a Ghanaian as well as a Dagomba my sense of belonging to one political party or the other is dented by your vivid hatred for the Vice President.

My reaction is a culmination of different articles I have read on the Ghana web either attacking the Vice President or purported to be advising him to opt out of the race; possibly either he is of a particular ethnic group or a different religious inclination. Otherwise if someone rules as a Vice President for two consecutive terms can any sane person doubt his suitability to be the President? Can a sane person doubt his nationality? Nana let the issue in Ivory Coast be a lesson to us Ghanaians. It is not a joking matter. How did the NPP executives forget to establish his background before making him the running mate of President Kufour? By inference your actions seem to support the view doing around held by very many that NPP is an exclusive party for Ashantis whose philosophy is based on elitism. I dearly pray to God that this assertion is not or does not become true.

Nana, questions I would like you to answer are; what are your views about the Vice President as a person? Nana, what is your definition of a Ghanaian? Or who is a Ghanaina? Nana, who do you think is qualified to be the President of Ghana? Nana, do you think none of the aspirants has a defective or questionable character? Nana, our duty as Ghanaians now is to build not to destroy, to counsel not castigate, to unite not divide. We Ghanaians should not undermine our shared common values and heritage; philosophy that made Ghana great NATION.All actions should gear towards solidifying the unity and tranquility that exist among Ghanaians despite discriminative policies and tendencies we endure throughout our history.

The civil wars we have witnessed in our neighborhoods for the last four decades should be a big lesson to all Ghanaians at home or abroad.Xanophobic, discrimination, greed and egoism are all characteristics of self-destruction which course Ghanaians should never take.

Nana, my humble request to you is that at this point in time our politics have reached a critical point. Your role here is to advise the supporters of both candidates and all Ghanaians for that matter to be tolerant of one another's views but not to indulge in vulgary.But do not single out one candidate as a target for destruction; you may be unknowingly destroying the NPP party. I have lived in Uganda for the last 17 years until February this when I decided to return home. My experience in Uganda has shown me that we as Ghanaians should never venture into anything that will undermine the peaceful co-existence among Ghanaians. This article should only serve as an exhortation but not a prelude to prolong political debate and confrontation.

Nana, the way forward is therefore to do everything possible to build trust among the supporters of various candidates and reduce the level of confrontation. Because each ethnic group depend more and more on one another. And here we see our co-existence, the integrity of Ghana, the imperative need for pooling the efforts of all Ghanaians for the sake of its self-preservation, for our benefit today, tomorrow and for all time.

Hussein Ishaq
Former Lecturer in ReligionPeace and Conflict Resolution
Islamic University In Uganda
Currently in Ghana

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

Columnist: Ishaq, Hussein