Opinions Sun, 10 Nov 2013

The Involvement of Ghana’s youth in Politics is ....

....the Cause of our Downfall!!!

The involvement of Ghanaian Youth in our body politic from mid-1940s up to date has

being COUNTERPRODUCTIVE AND WASTEFUL. Our young men and women enter and use

political power as a fast track to material rewards against the interest of nation

building. Our loud sounding agitated and aggressive youth demonise every elderly

politician as senile and unfit to rule the country, and therefore from 1951 when

Ghana assumed Self-Government from the British Colonialists, our young ambitious

young people have taken power from the more sensible, educated and experienced

elderly patriots to wreck our fine country with their corrupt misrule.

In fact the elderly rulers of Ghana were the following:

• Lieutenant General Joseph Arthur Ankrah (18 August 1915 – 25 November 1992) served

at the age of 51 years from 1966 and 1969 as the second head of state.

• President Atta Mills (21 July 1944 – 24 July 2012) at the age of 64 years,

• President Kufuor (born 8 December 1938) at the age of 62 years, and

• Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia (11 July 1913 – 28 August 1978), who at 56 years old was

guided by his Ceremonial President,

• Edward Akuffo Addo (26 June 1906 – 17 July 1979) at the age of 63 years.

Undoubtedly, most of these leaders were more sober, reflective and purposeful than

the reckless corrupt youthful leaders, whose maladministration have wrecked us.

Strangely enough, despite all the boasts and pretensions of NDC Campaign that

Ghanaians must elect an ‘Independent Child’, the so-called youthful John Mahama,

(born 29 November 1958) became President of Ghana in July 2012 at the age of 54

years. He is incidentally the fourth oldest Head of State of Ghana after Busia,

Mills and Kufuor.

In fact, Ghana has always being ruled by youthful leaders and their compatriots thus:

1. Kwame Nkrumah (21 September 1909 – 27 April 1972) was only 42 years old, when he

led a youthful band of power-seeking ‘veranda boys’ to form his CPP government, and

we all know how their massive corruption and utopian schemes caused our economic

bankruptcy. Most of these reckless loud mouthed youth did not have their own houses

when they joined the struggle to take over from the British but by the end of their

15 year regime, they had built and bought 20 to 30 mansions in Ghana and overseas

through bribery and corruption. They were not only confrontational and high handed

against our elderly politicians, whom they described as ‘old’, ‘educated’ and

‘imperialist lackeys’, but their careless dissipation of our resources laid the

foundation for Ghana’s poverty and wretchedness. The flamboyant projects they built

in the First Republic have all been divested or auctioned off by their equally

youthful progenies in PNDC.

2. Col E. K. Kotoka (26 October 1926 – 17 April 1967) was 40 years old when he

staged his coup with 30 year old Lt. Col. A. A. Afrifa (24 April 1936 – 26 June

1979) to overthrow the CPP Government in 1966. Kotoka was killed by very young

group of soldiers who could have ruled us, and probably decimated the already ruined

economy. Afrifa was a very young man at 33 years when he took over from Gen Ankrah

and became the head of state of Ghana and leader of the military government in 1969,

and then Chairman of the Presidential Commission between 1969 and 1970.

3. Another youthful head of state of Ghana was Col. Kutu Acheampong (23 September

1931 – 16 June 1979), who was 41 years old in 1972 when he led a youthful military

brigade to overthrow an elected progressive civilian government. The young man had

been entrusted with High Command of the Army but he confessed in his biography that

five months into the regime of Busia’s Progress Party Government, he plotted to

overthrow this high seasoned government of experienced men and women, who could have

pushed Ghana’s development very far; but the youthful NRC Government threw caution

to the wind, adopted the ‘Yenntua’ Policy that repudiated our debts and introduced

‘kalabule’ into our economy.

4. Perhaps, the most singular regret was the reason they gave to Flt Lt J. J.

Rawlings (born 22 June 1947), who at the young age of 32 years overthrew the SMC

government in 1979 with a youthful band of military boys to form the AFRC

government. They were supported by the youthful red-eyed loquacious socialist

league and the garrulous left-wing NUGS leaders already hankering for political

power to acquire personal material gains. They shouted derisively amidst their

revolutionary songs …let the blood flow…let the blood, and it flowed unabated until

their reluctant hand over to civilians in the 3rd Republic.

5. President Dr Hilla Limann (21 July 1944 – 24 July 2012) was only 45 years old

when he won political power with his more experienced Nkrumaist PNP, after a fairly

contested Civilian Elections. However, having tasted the joys of political power

during their 4-month AFRC hooligan revolution, the youthful Jeremiah John Rawlings

wanted more and got support from the youthful socialist intelligentsia encamped in

the three old Universities wearing their fashionable Leninist beard, tyre sandals,

Che Guevara berets and as loud as cockroach. At mere 35 years old, he was supported

by a youthful, ‘abongo’ soldiers to overthrow our Constitutional Government, and

ruled as Dictatorship for 19 good years (almost 2 decades or 5 terms of government).

It took a mighty effort to force the Rawlings PNDC regime to become a quasi-civilian

government, and their subsequent replacement by a much more experienced group of

Politicians. For eight years, the more experienced and better educated NPP

politicians clearly performed far better than the wasteful 19 years of Rawlings

regime of youthful politicians. BUT THEY HAD NOT GONE: The Youth of Ghana would not

rest and once again converged at the back of the Old Professor to wage a relentless

war to return to power. Atta Mills was dressed up as ‘Asomdwehene’ to serve as a

cover for the restless army of ambitious young men and women, who eventually used

their energies to unseat a credible experienced government of NPP. The young men and

women were rewarded with lofty positions in the government but as the President’s

ill health condition sapped his energy the YOUTH took the opportunity to ransack our

resources and bankrupt us.

It is like a groundhog day now, with a set of similar youthful politicians with no

landmark properties brought into government by the ‘Independence-Child' President

Mahama at 54 Years old to inherit the old CPP-NDC mantle: The consequences is a

foregone conclusion – the robbery of our Oil resources to build for themselves

personal fortune/private properties here and abroad as witnessed by countless

revelations of scandalous corruptive practices across the board..

I have always said that the worst government Ghana would ever have is this P/NDC,

full of untried and untested ideologues and wicked young men and women who sold all

our state properties, destroyed the country’s fine education system and went on a

rampage, killing people; confiscating properties, destroying big markets,

imprisoning many Ghanaians; forcing thousands of eminent personalities into exile;

vetting and investigating and confiscated private properties of many successful and

hardworking people; hunted for whoever they claimed to be the ‘enemy of the

revolution’ and pursued recklessness to the point of no return in the darkness of

their curfew and many atrocities now documented in history! In fact one would have

thought the Rawlings period of rule would solve all the problems of state but it is

now discovered that it was a poor government! All the poor young men who supported

and served the so-called revolution like Totobi Quakyi, Yieleh

Chiereh, Sowu, EKT Addo, PV Obeng, Cecilia Johnson, Ahwois, Fui and Tsatsu Tsikatas

etc became rich Billionaires

But Politics is not for the reckless youth: Normally, young men and women have to be

successful in their own personal lives before they offer themselves to rule a

country, as exemplified in China, USA, Japan, Europe, Australia and Middle East.

Wherever you see success you see grey hairs. In Ghana, Nkrumah's example has been

copied by left wing radical youth, whose sole purpose in politics is to amass

wealth; otherwise why is Ghana, that has been ruled for most of the time by all

these youthful leaders, be so broken and poor today. The Youth of Ghana has wrecked

every institution of State: They liquidated our inheritance of £634 Million at

Independence. They destroyed our social welfare system; our agriculture was totally

neglected to great disadvantage; our industry and export economy plummeted. Our

Ghanaian Youth are just so greedy and reckless with no political morality:

Whereas in the past, sensible elderly people who want to help their country will

never use political office to amass wealth, the present youth see politics as a

means to get sensitive rich positions; get scholarships for their relations;

diplomatic posts for their uncles and contracts for their friends and relatives.

Some people say Obama is Youthful; but he was a Professor before he became a Senator

and then became a Leader of a Big Political Party to win Elections. He then

appointed elderly, experienced, seasoned minded people to rule the big country, even

though a lot of his core pollsters were youthful. The youth went home to carry on

with their own lives before they return to help their country if they are successful


Ghana Youth are the most corrupt, greedy, aggressive, hollow minded politicians in

history. They only know how to abuse political office; create division and rancour;

amass untold wealth; drive big 4X4 Vehicles with free petrol, womanising; build big

mansions...The morality of Ghana's youthful politicians cannot match those of the

old self-made politicians: for example, compare Asiedu Nketia to B J Da Rocha - both

Secretaries of National Parties. Will Da Rocha ever seek to win government contracts

to sell blocks to build the Bui Dam project? Impossible.... We are where we are

because of Ghana Youth: And the kind of youth who should be taking decisions for us

are not this lot, bereft of much intelligence and strategy to plan and build nation

state. We are not a serious nation, otherwise how can we entrust a whole country

into the hands of people who are so unsuccessful in their personal lives except

their ability to talk and talk forever. May God Redeem

Ghana from our eternal youth encamped forever at the corridors of political power

for their selfish economic gains!

Let’s pray to redress this cancer that is bedevilling our country and restore the

country’s rich and traditional heritage of respect for the Elderly! Our Ghanaian

Youth who wants to do politics must go to school to the very top, do their own work

to build their personal houses and finish looking after their own children and

family before they offer themselves to political office. Ghana’s Youth have indeed

wrecked a fine country. (Sankofa!)

Columnist: Amponsa-Dadzie, Paa Kofi Freeman