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Opinions Sun, 10 May 2009

Whither Bound, Ghana?-2

Yaw Opare-Asamoa

oasamoa@gmail.com

Boniface Abubakr Saddique tells us the sale of government lands to individuals did not start with the NPP; Ok! So the NDC did it; does that make it right?? Others have also argued for the legality of the exercise but the bigger question is does it meet both the spirit and letter of the law?? Why are these bidding processes open to the general public? Are politicians and other public officials the only ones deserving of buying cars at ‘reduced’ or ‘discounted’ prices? Don’t political parties campaign to do things differently and better when they are voted into power?? So why do we always end with this ….about ‘O, they did it first’ or ‘We just continued with the established practice’? Can we ever have a new beginning; a clean break from the old and bad ways of doing things?

Kufuor sent security agents to Atta Mills’ residence when he (Atta Mills) was not at home. They met his wife and there are different accounts of what took place depending on who narrates events of that incident. Mind you, the NDC and Atta Mills complained and rightly so. Well-minded and right-thinking people in Ghana condemned that incident. But what does Atta Mills do when he finds himself in a similar situation? Rather pathetically, nothing different. He does the exact same thing. He sends security agents, under the guise of NADMO, to Kufuor’s house. This team was led by the NADMO boss himself. O, and yes Kufuor was also absent and they met the wife. Are you not amused by the pettiness of our politicians sometimes? This time they used the excuse of a broken wall to ‘force’ their way in. I heard the NADMO boss defending his actions by saying when they heard about the broken wall they wanted to help. How saintly!!! So you go to somebody’s house to ‘help’ and you are asked not to bring your entire team but you insist on bringing everybody in. Because all of those guys were engineers and technical people who needed to assess the broken wall, Right? When would these politicians and their appointees stop taking us all for a ride?

Remember the uproar over Kufuor’s renovation of his house?? So tell me, dear reader, what are the odds of the same group of people (NDC) deciding to go to the very same house to put up a broken down wall?? And lest I forget, these are the same people still engaged in ‘car seizing’ exercises including cars used by Kufuor. In spite of all these, Kofi Portuphy wants us to believe that he went to the house with the team to ‘HELP’

Maybe Atta Mills has had some of us fooled. With all that have happened so far, I am beginning to rethink my position on Atta Mills. I am now beginning to think that he is a man on a mission and that mission has nothing to do with ‘asomdwee’. He is probably more vindictive than any of us could imagine. Masterminding such an exercise to Kufuor’s house as payback is seriously Machiavellian. And to those who would argue his innocence in this matter, my question is has anybody heard the president ‘chastising’ the NADMO boss for that incident? So far their silence tells me they (NDC) all approve of Kofi Portuphy’s actions. How much longer do we have to live with this ‘you-do-me-i-do-you’ mentality?

What was the ‘Democrat’ thinking about?? On commenting on the President’s appointments and how ‘strategic’ it’s been, the newspaper talked about somebody being given a ‘juicy’ appointment. Can the newspaper come back to tell us what exactly what it meant by juicy appointment?? This is a newspaper, part of the 4th estate. What are the functions of a newspaper, anyway? If we still think of political appointments as being ‘juicy’ or not juicy, what is the end result? What do we do with things that are juicy? Do we squeeze out the juice? In effect this individual is to take office and enjoy the juice. Is there still anybody out there who does not believe that we need a mental re-orientation as a people?? Any step towards progress and development should start with our way of thinking.

Regional balance? Isn’t that what all the apologists of different shades and hues preach?? Don’t we have a clause or chapter in the constitution that talks about regional balance?

A look at Atta Mills’ appointments tells a different story. It is most definitely skewed in one particular direction in favour of one particular region. But of course all those who had a problem with Kufuor for the exact same reasons are characteristically quiet-mute!!

Are we, as a country, going to sit down for a son of the land discharging his constitutional mandate to be persecuted the way Col. Damoah has so far been?? If they do it to your fellow they would do it to you. This should be of concern to us all and we should demand a parliamentary investigation into the whole affair. If it is really true that Col. Damoah is being discharged from the military because he wanted a recruitment exercise that truly reflected the ‘face’ of the country then there is cause for worry. Do our officials read comments on Ghanaweb? Are they aware of the inter-tribal tensions simmering in the country? We would all want to believe it is all talk and there is nothing much to it. But events in other parts of the world tell us to take these seriously and tackle the problem now. Anytime I raise this issue, every insult in the book is thrown at me. That does not bother me at all; I will continue to draw attention to it till the harmonious and peaceful co-existence that we all seek is realized. There are always immediate causes and remote causes for everything that happens. Case in point is the Kokomba-Nanumba conflict years ago. These 2 groups were ridiculed for supposedly starting a ‘war’ over a guinea-fowl. But those who have extensive knowledge of the socio-politico and cultural history of those areas will tell you that the guinea-fowl thing was just an excuse for something bigger and deeper than we could even imagine. So yes the immediate cause may have been a guinea fowl but the remote causes go many years back. Unfortunately such is the situation all over the country. Some people have deep-seated anger and resentment festered over decades. Others have scores to settle and so would use the ‘silliest’ excuse to do just that. People react to incidents, stories and issues based on what they have accumulated and assimilated over the years. If we are serious about sustaining our young democracy, we need to start a national discussion on these issues. Let’s give each side or group the opportunity to state its grievances; and then let’s all, together, find ways of addressing the concerns and grievances of each group. It is human nature to want to be listened to. Even if nothing happens afterward, just being listened to, or having the opportunity to express one’s grievances is a ‘balm’ that calms many fears and anxieties. Let our leaders heed the warning signs now and let’s begin the healing process.

Written and submitted on May 8, 2009
Columnist: Opare-Asamoa, Yaw