Feature Article of Thursday, 19 April 2012
Columnist: Achacha, Charles
...From The Grip Of The Incumbent MP?
“What I thought was a dream, is now real”.
As I sit in the right hand corner of the Commonwealth Hall library, in the University of Ghana, working on my dream book entitled The Interminable Struggles of Volta Land, a thought crossed my mind. This thought has to do with the political terrain of the Anlo constituency in particular and the politics of the region as a whole. And I asked myself, ‘Can Anlo constituency be liberated from the grips of the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP)?’
In exploring these two questions, I came to the conclusion that it is possible to liberate the Anlo Constituency from the non-performing incumbent MP for the area. In fact, snippet of information I picked from speaking with some of the youth from the area plus the current dismal political posturing of the incumbent MP makes me come to this conclusion.
There are indications that the youth of the area are disappointed about the incumbent MP and are ready to partner anyone who would be bold enough to face Hon. Clement Kofi Humado, even as an independent candidate. If this doesn’t happen, it is likely most of the youth might be tempted to consider the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Candidate, Hon. Makafui Woanyah, the assemblyman for Lashibi. The latter option might not look very realistic to those who understand the political culture of the area, but it will happen once and a precedent is set.
While most of the youth, especially those who have completed their tertiary institutions, some with first class, are unemployed and looking for job, the MP has found a nice strategy to maintain his hold on the constituency by selecting his favorites and offering them jobs or giving them scholarships. It is sad that instead of creating a platform that gives opportunities to the best among us, the MP has decided to perpetuate the very things we are trying to fight – nepotism, cronyism and other forms of manipulations that encourage indolence. Now those beneficiaries from his largess from our taxes are going around speaking for him as if we are ignorant of their status as beneficiaries.
In fact, the Anlo constituency has not been fortunate with regard to leadership. Considering that the road linking the place, electricity, and water are all facilities that were extended to the area before the advent of the 4th republic, or just into the 4th republic in the case of water, I wish to pose the question: what has its members of parliament over the course of the past 20 years been busy with? I won’t spare any of them. From the late Squadron Leader Clend Sowu, Ambassador Victor Gbeho, to the incumbent, Hon. Clement Kofi Humado, these individuals only used their positions to enrich themselves, their families, and their bootlickers.
Currently, we have a man that most people hate for his divide and rule tactics as an MP. Does he think that we don’t see what is happening in the constituency, where he is proffering opportunities to his bootlickers and family? He should be reminded that those of us who are not beneficiaries are far more than his selected few, who sing his praise. For the purpose of this article, I prefer to identify him as Hon. ‘K’ from now. He has been the MP for Anlo constituency for two terms now. And I met K personally only once, in his ‘rectangle office’ in one of the ministries. This meeting took place in the presence of his personal secretary. We had a very good discussion in the Queen’s language, and he made a promise that he never fulfilled. My second chance to see ‘K,’ happened in a flash, when his ‘V8’ 4WD passed by me around Woe. That day, if I was having a speed gun, I would have taken his speed and reported him to the police. In fact, in a phrase, I can describe uncle K, as a person who only minds just his own business. For such a person to be our MP again, the decision lies in the hands of the constituents of Anlo.
I find it very difficult reconciling myself with the fact that ‘K,’ who people believe has performed poorly for the Anlo constituency, can be re-elected on the ticket of the NDC as the parliamentary candidate. The question I ask is, ‘is it that ‘K’ is doing tremendously well, but people refuse to see and appreciate his good work?’ Maybe some people are benefiting and sharing in the goodies and are in decision making positions on behalf of the whole Anlo constituency. But if this is true, then how come, K’s former special assistant, contested him during the primaries of the NDC? I felt that, there is something that is hidden from us the constituents of Anlo.
As an observer, I realized that the battle to liberate the Anlo constituency from the grip of the incumbent Uncle K began when the filing for the primaries of the NDC was opened. Many people had the thought to contest against K, some for their own parochial interest and others for the love to liberate the Anlo constituency. At the end, Alex Doe, Ghandy Mawuenyegah and Makafui Agbleze, (who was a special assistant), were successful. However, Alex Doe was later booted out through a circumstance that I describe as “elimination by rough tactics”. The contest got heated and verbal abuses reigned supreme. On the day of the voting, hopes were high and many were of the view that his end was in sight. But at the end, the not surprising outcome was our lot again. Makafui and Ghandy were literally sacrificed on the altar of politics, with the knives of ‘He is too young and He is not known respectively.’ I am not surprised, because that is the norm within the new NDC. If age were a barrier, why did the carvers of the constitution placed the minimum age limit at 21? Therefore, if Gandhi who is well over 40 and Makafui who must be in his late 20s are too young, then the youth of Anlo must be ashamed of themselves for standing by and watching the electoral college take advantage of us.
Now, the battle line is drawn. Hon. K is facing a very stiff resistance from Hon. Makafui Kofi Woanyah. There are indications that there are others who are lacing their boots for a contest that might be very exciting. At a public speaking event at the Commonwealth Conference Room at the University of Ghana recently, where I met Mr. Prosper Tsikata and Mr. Mayor Agbleze, I put the question to the two, by they were only evasive. But both gentlemen expressed their dissatisfaction about the state of affairs in their homeland, Anlo. For Mr. Prosper Tsikata, it is public information that he has expressed interest in contesting the Ablekuma South seat in the past. The question is why would he not expend his energy on his home turf, where he is most needed?
Listening to both Mr. Tsikata and Mr. Agbleze on various platforms, I have no doubts that they both have solid credentials and can make better legislators than the money-sharing and vote-buying MPs we have now. I will encourage the two gentlemen to consider this issue carefully and agree on who should lead this clarion call for change. I am for any of them and will rally my forces on Legon campus to lead the battle.
I am not by this saying it is going to be an easy battle. The fact remains that we are going to battle with a man with enormous state resources to spend. But David has proved in the Bible that, it is not the resources available to you but the strategies and the message.
I can assure both Mr. Prosper Tsikata and Mr. Mayor Agbleze that the youth are ready to prove a point that they are tired of the old ways of doing politics in our constituency. They will like to demonstrate to those who think they have money and only money can buy them political power that things are changing. All we need now is for one of them to come forward immediately and the work will be done by the youth. They should not disappoint us as the incumbent will be another four years waiting to be wasted on frivolities that don’t get us anywhere.
My people, the to act is now.
CHARLES ACHACHA (Aworl-worl) Member, “Well meaning Ghanaian” University of Ghana, Legon firstname.lastname@example.org