Street demonstrations won’t solve Ghana’s problems

Thu, 12 Jun 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

So, the NPP’s street demonstration of anger against the government has come to pass in Kumasi. Called “Ya Ye Den?” (“What have we done?”), it turned out to be a political rally (mislabelled as a public demonstration). This demonstration brought together elements known for their “rogue” and “book” politics, which has consigned them to the political wilderness since Kufuor left office after dollarizing the Ghanaian economy.

The street demonstration didn’t produce anything different from what we have been hearing from the NPP’s camp all these years. The only difference is that no petition was presented to anybody in the end to tell us what specifically these street demonstrators were demanding or that they even knew how to call attention to issues in a democratic and orderly manner. No civility!! As usual, “Mate me ho”!!

Organizers of the demonstration have vowed to hold similar ones in other regions across the country with Tamale expected to be the next venue in two weeks. Street demonstrations here, there, and everywhere!! Choooooooooooooboi!! The moment of buffoonery has dawned. Who says Ghana’s problems can be solved through street demonstrations and open tribal politics?

Folks, we won’t forget the NPP’s hidden agenda of making Ghana ungovernable for the NDC administration. Right from the moment they lost the 2012 elections, they closed their minds to the truth and resorted to many acts of vandalism, disobedience, plain treachery and mischief, indecent tribal politics, and many others. They achieved little to enhance their political status.

The next phase of the NPP’s anti-Mahama politicking is in full gear; but it won’t solve the problems that have made it difficult for the party to win the hearts of the electorate.

Street demonstrations, vandalism on street corners, physical attacks on political opponents, threats of introducing the “Arab Spring” in Ghana, boycott of official events, and open utterances calumniating President Mahama and high-ranking members of the NDC constitute the NPP’s agenda; but it will all be in vain.

Their boycott of official functions fetched them no political currency. And the Supreme Court’s humiliation of Akufo-Addo and his co-petitioners (not to mention the open condemnation of their “political galamsey”) sealed their sorry fate. Ever since they were brought so low, they haven’t abandoned their “rogue” politics nor have they realized that their agenda will always backfire.

Put open bad-mouthing of President Mahama aside and turn to their dry propaganda to undermine the government with loud-mouthed allegations of incompetence. Nothing they’ve done or said so far has fetched them anything to suggest that they can do better if placed in power.

They registered their anti-Mahama stance by first hiding behind some lackeys in politically motivated organizations fronting for them (e.g., the Alliance for Accountable Governance, AFAG, “Let My Vote Count Alliance”,), some politically zealous Men-of-God (such as Rev. Owusu Bempah), and some shameless NPP-oriented workers’ leaders and so-called civil society organizations but achieved very little to change the situation in their favour.

Now, they’ve decided to confirm their notoriety by openly parading the streets of Kumasi in a demonstration of frustration labelled as “Ya Ye Den?” (“What have we done?”) against the government. And true to their nature, they displayed their political roguery to the highest level, astounding the Ashanti Regional Police Commander (DCOP Kofi Boakye) into describing their demonstration in Kumasi as the most disorganised protest in history.

DCOP Boakye said in his police career for many years now, he has never witnessed any disorganised protest as this very one by the NPP.

He made it clear how the NPP demonstrators violated the arrangements made with the police to avert confrontations and why the police chose to operate from behind the group of demonstrators instead of leading them along chosen routes had the demonstrators followed laid-down steps.

Then, after the event, the Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (also MP for Suame in Kumasi) was on air, making comments, the gist of which I reproduce below:

"The [rationale] for this demonstration was to indicate to government the extent of the affliction that has been inflicted on Ghanaians. I am talking about the cost of living and the extent of anguish that Ghanaians are going. The depreciation of the currency which is on the downward spiral on daily basis, high interest rate, government imposing taxes on almost all goods and services, unemployment the energy crisis. Let government know that indeed the economy of Ghana is collapsing".

(See: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=312245)

Loud complaints from the NPP camp; no solutions offered. How can we solve Ghana’s problems with such loud complaints and useless street demonstrations? What is new, NPP? The problems enumerated during the demonstration and on radio by the organizers of the demonstration existed even under Kufuor!!

I would have respected what the NPP people did today had I not been smart enough to read deeper meanings into it to confirm to me that it is all part of their agenda to make the country ungovernable. Inciting the public against the government won’t solve any problem.

They would have made my heart tick had they come up with anything new to prove that they had solutions to problems or that the government hasn’t been honest in its handling of affairs. The government has already made it clear to Ghanaians what the problems militating against the economy (and, therefore, impeding smooth governance) are; and it has taken steps to solve those problems. It hasn’t kept Ghanaians in the dark to warrant its being accused of betrayal of trust.

The problems facing the country are enormous but didn’t spring up only when President Mahama entered office. At least, we know how systemic these problems are and why it is difficult tackling them within a short span. So, for anybody to mobilize hooligans to take to the street as if solving such systemic problems can happen overnight is the height of political immaturity and roguery.

I am glad that the government has continued to make clear what the issues are and how it is approaching them. Every well-intentioned politician who knows how to contribute toward nation-building will offer ideas and not insults or empty threats to assist those directly charged with managing the affairs of state instead of resorting to street demonstrations.

In civilized communities where democracy is designed to solve problems, street demonstrations of the sort held by the NPP are rare. They portray short-sightedness and the penchant to cause mischief for political purposes only.

Of course, the government needs to redouble efforts but it needn’t be stampeded as these NPP people are doing. I have said it several times already that this kind of “rogue” politics will not fetch the NPP the political power that it is hankering after. Ghanaians may be complaining about living conditions but they will think twice at the polls and not do as these desperate NPP leaders are pushing their unwitting followers to suggest. Winning elections goes beyond street demonstrations.

Let them extend their demonstrations to every nook and cranny of the country while their own house burns. Some politicians!!

I shall return…

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

• Join me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjkbokor to continue the conversation.

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.