- And not between Rawlings and Akufo Addo
- Or even between the NDC and NPP.
By Kwaku A. Danso
Some of us predicted the NPP would not win at the first round ballot Dec.7, 2008. Most people on our GLU (Ghana Leadership Union) forum will know that not only did I predict the Presidential race but that many NPP members would lose their seats. The irony is that this writer has many friends in the NPP – so why would I not wish the NPP to win a re-election? After all when friends win, one wins also, right?
No! That is wrong! That is the Ghana mindset that seem to ignore the failures and deficiencies in our systems that have failed to provide basic services for our people whiles Ministers, MPs and politicians live a different lifestyle and travel overseas for medical care whiles millions in Accra, including our Police Hospital, do not have water. A trip to one police barrack in one of the better places in Accra where the writer’s niece is a Police Inspector left a very depressing memory in 2006. Our nation’s leaders simply lack concern for the ordinary people! Do these leaders ever think ordinary workers, such as the police, are humans? I asked myself!
Polarized along Haves and Have-nots –
Politics in Ghana and Africa has become polarized along tribal and regional lines, and Ghana has made a major progress this year due to the nature of the leadership selection process. Even then it was polarized between the North and Volta versus the Southern Akan regions. This is not good. However, a close examination shows that the regions depict socio-economic boundaries. The Northern and Volta regions may be described as the most socio-economically deprived in Ghana. It was interesting to note that even in areas in the capital city of Accra where there are major problems in water delivery, the incumbent NPP lost seats as well as votes for the Presidency. In places like East Legon in Accra where many of the MPs, Ministers and their families live and have huge water reservoirs, they voted for the incumbent NPP. Socio-economic satisfaction therefore seems to be an indicator in the boundaries of the leadership selection process.
A research conducted by this writer in 2006 for a PhD dissertation shows that the percentage of respondents who expressed above average level of dissatisfaction in the delivery of services such as water, electricity, garbage collection and telephone services was about 70%, and most of these blamed government for the poor delivery of services (Danso, K.A., 2007, Leadership Concepts and the Role of Government in Africa: The Case of Ghana). Would it not have been easier and smarter for the government of the NPP, then, if they wanted to win a re-election, to have taken the needs of the people into consideration and used the $103 million grant (Jan.2005) and $500 Million loan (Jan.2006) by the World Bank to repair broken pipes, motors and build new treatment facilities? The money was more than adequate, but project management and accountability seems to be the one greatest challenge in Ghana. Promises of water deliver never materialized. Ghana was rated 48 dirtiest nations out of 50 surveyed in Africa in 2007. This report, to most Ghanaians is a major disgrace for the pioneer and leader of Africa’s independence struggle in the last half century! Ghana, despite high rating in the USA and Britain in higher educational status of our people, still builds open gutters and sewage, another disgraceful condition that depicts a backwards mindset!
Why did the NPP not listen to advice? Why wait till now to lose so many parliamentary seats to learn and now go about the nation appealing to the people to forgive you and give you another chance? Do our people really learn or not?
The Political Selection Process – As a student of leadership I took this election process in America and in Ghana very serious for comparative studies towards a larger academic study in leadership. After listening to the two Presidential debates, there was no doubt in the minds of the general public in Ghana that the winners of the debate would have been Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the CPP. A carefully designed evaluation form also came to the same conclusion that were the election to be held based on the debate answers to questions, then Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom (CPP) would have won, followed by Dr. Mahama of the PNC, and then Nana Akufo Addo (NPP) and Prof. Atta Mills (NDC) very close in third. The results of the Dec.7, 2008 election showed a very close race between the candidate for the incumbent NPP, Nana Akufo Addo, at 49.3% and Prof. Atta Mills of the NDC two percentage points behind, none of the winning the majority of 50% +1. The winners of the debate did not even score 3% points in the electoral votes. This puts a clear definition that Ghana is a two party State like America, even though the other parties do exist as protest parties. .
The Maturity of Ghana’s Politics – Academicians may suggest that Ghana has come of age in our democratic political selection process. However, we should perhaps wait to praise Ghana till after the run-off on Dec. 28, 2008. Many people have asked my opinion sand I have expressed them that I think the NDC candidate should win, in order for the NPP incumbent to learn their lessons in democracy as not just a matter of winning, but in delivering services and catering to the needs of the electorate. The total neglect of the interest of the electorate, the greed and selfishness as well as the arrogance and corruption should stop when these politicians are made to know who they work for!
On December 23, a friend (we shall give him a name of Kofi to protect his true identity) who knows I was a co-founder of one of the small political parties wrote me this: “Agya K. Danso! I was overjoyed today when I heard on the air that GNP has endorsed the candidature of Nana Akufo Addo. This was courtesy CITI.FM.” He did not stop there but went on to say this: “I tell you what the political landscape of Ghana is taking a different dimension now. Even the ex-military gurus are joining in the campaign sort of. I hope you heard about one of JJs revolutionary men speaking out that it's he who has made JJ who he is in that he kept him in custody when the going was tough for them during their action. I suppose you could get a copy of his book to read for yourself. Another guru, Nunoo-Mensah is also raining fire and brimstone to get Mills in power. This is why I was telling you that there are attempts for JJ to sit on this country again which should never be permitted at all. I was thus very excited to hear that GNP is not going the way of NDC”. (Kofi, December 23, 2008 10:41 AM)
In my response I shared the following, part of which will be left confidential but for the record I want to make this part public: Dear Kofi, It does not matter what GNP does - there are some reasons why Ofori Ampofo was forced to make the choice he did - and endorsed them - he called me yesterday and there were some conditions we discussed if the NPP would agree, and as of yesterday they had not met yet to agree. Maybe they did today.
Lets' face it. There is no way Rawlings can be controlling Ghana using Atta Mills. Not unless there is another coup he leads! No way! I have analyzed it very well. The fear of the NDC due to Rawlings must be overcome now for the sake of Ghana!
The man speaks his mind as he has been doing in the last 8 years. And nobody can stop him! It is no different than the way I have spoken my mind in public in the last three or more decades during the rule of JJ all the way through Kufuor’s administration. Why then are you afraid that he will go and sit in the office of Atta Mills and dictate to him?
Do you see Atta Mills as a thief and drug dealer and supporter of drug dealers? Whiles some charges have not been responded to, in politics, in public life, they stick. It is not fair at all for you to condemn a man who is in the same situation as you, a lecturer at the University, who rose to become full Professor, with no blemish before the position, and appointed to become Vice President. The man must have been a good well accomplished man in the eyes of the public before. So why do you think he is a fool?
Who are Ghanaians voting for on Dec.28? – The RACE IS BETWEEN ATTA MILLS AND AKUFO ADDO and not between Rawlings and Akufo Addo, or even between the NDC and NPP. PLEASE LOOK AT IT THAT WAY! Between the two men who would you vote for? Be honest with yourself! Ghana needs a genuine good person as a leader, and you and I should be smart enough to forget about these party labels. Of course we all worry about Jerry’s past but for God’s sake, do you think the army boys are that dumb still to simply follow a man to Hell who is living in luxury now? Well, some friends who have met him personally claim that Rawlings is a very personable man, and some blame his wife for his demise or lowered reputation and public image as corrupt
I hear in Ghana it’s all tribalism now – the South vs. the North and Volta.
Look, I am an Akan, but I know the thievery and plundering that has taken place under our own people’s noses, and my prediction is that there is no way that will happen under an administration led by Atta Mills, a Fante, well educated man, well brought-up man. No way!
Some of you Ghanaians are emotional and making a big mistake, in my mind! Trust me, for over 39 years now I have been active studying Ghana politics for student days! I have never had a chance to vote in Ghana, but that is my destiny God gave me to provide my mind to help my country. You will be surprised how many of my predictions have come 100% accurate in Ghana, from the 1969 Busia win (that was easy, given to him on a silver platter by Afrifa and the coup makers), to his overthrow in 1972, and then 1979 coup, and the 1981 coup. Anytime there is high level of dissatisfaction in Ghana, I sense it. K, you are a Christian, so let me write it this way: there is too much evil in Ghana right now!
Do you know that the grant of $103 million and loan of $500 million for water cannot be accounted for? Half of that money would have been more than adequate to provide water to 100% of homes in Ghana. According to the former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill who visited Ghana in early 200s with Bono, $25 million would be enough to provide 50% of Ghanaians without water at the time. Why did the NPP under Kufuor not provide water? Simple water!! Too much evil in our politics! Trust me on this.
Do you know that the $990 million deposited in the Bank of Ghana accounts a week or two ago by the Ghana Telecom purchases, an insider confidential report indicates the money has been disbursed into 6 separate accounts by order from the Castle. How do we detect use of such funds then? The Auditor General’s report some few weeks ago released just before the Dec.7 elections indicated $295 million was not reported of the foreign grants received! How then do we support a government that is stealing so much from our people and their candidate says nothing about these!
You are a Christian! Be very careful not to think tribalism only. Reason very well for Ghana not for hatred against Rawlings. My dislike for the man ended some time ago as I realized he cannot conduct a coup anymore but no one can prevent him for speaking his mind! That is fine! I do know we should never support thieves in public office, no matter what the tribe! Kofi, for my part I strategized for years between 1982 and 1989 when I finally came home to see things for myself, to find the best way to have Rawlings call for elections. Finally, after meeting Kwesi Pratt Jr., in Dallas in summer 1991, I was on the plane coming back to California when an idea occurred to me to form a new Political Party in exile and announce it to the world. That was the history of GDRP. One of our founders, Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, ran this time as Independent. After our publicity on BBC and VOA in early 1992, the bait worked and led Rawlings to lift the Ban on May 11, 1992. Of course they were able to register their party in two weeks that took everybody two months! (smile).
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!
Dr. Kwaku A. Danso (email@example.com ) Livermore, California, USA.