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Opinions of Monday, 5 December 2016

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis

Vote out the NPP and NDC! [2]

By Francis Kwarteng

“Election is about choosing candidates we believe can lead us, election is not about war, it’s about expression of views. Don’t accept bribe or fight among yourselves. Why fight or kill for somebody who wants to be in power.

Allow others to also exercise their franchise. Only one candidate will be elected as president or Member of Parliament (MP). There is no point teasing losers, those who will lose should accept the results by supporting the winners to move Ghana forward. The one who will win the elections should be a president for all and not only his party” (Archbishop Akwasi Sarpong).

The question is simply this:

Are Ghanaians that naïve to fall so easily for politicians’ diabolical machinations and manufacturing consent at the expense of their physical lives, future, and development of their country?

The other question is:

Why do Ghanaians also fall so easily for the diabolical shenanigans and machinations of their religious leaders?

“Preacherman, don’t tell me: Heaven is under the earth

“I know you don’t know what life is really worth

“It’s not all that glitters is gold

“Half the story has never been told

“But if you know what life is worth

“You will look for yours on earth

“Get up, stand up!

“You can fool some people sometime, but you can’t fool all the people all the time…

(Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up”)

Interestingly, on “Babylon System” Bob Marley captures what our churches (religious leaders) and universities (public servants and politicians) are doing to the state. He sings:

“Building church and university…deceiving the people continually…Me say them graduating thieves and murderers…Look out now! They sucking the blood of the sufferers…”

On “Talking Blues” he says:

“‘Cause I feel like bombing a church now…Now that you know that the preacher is lying…”

Thank God Bob Marley did not say the Flagstaff House or the Parliament. Anyway, where is that Rev. Owusu Bempah’s church?

Watch out, Rev. Owusu Bempah! Bob Marley is coming!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

“The oppressive boot and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it” (Wole Soyinka).

No individual politician or group of politicians owns the country and its vast wealth.

That ownership entitlement actually goes to the masses—a shared entitlement, so to speak, as the kind of elitist schadenfreude duopoly we have had in place since the Fourth Republic has consistently failed to make remarkable improvements in the standard of living and quality of life of the masses.

All the unmusical talk about Ghana being a middle-income country is nothing more than an emotional investment in a diversionary rhetorical feint aimed at a convenient sense of national self-gratification, a feel-good sense of national self-worth, that is, although the label itself appropriately fits a select few the sources of whose wealth are sometimes questionable.

The middle-income status is therefore a convenient label for the wealthy elite, not a true scientific reflection of the living conditions of the masses.

On the basis of these facts therefore, Ghanaians should throw away their lackadaisical attitudes toward this elitist schadenfreude duopoly and their distanced rhetoric of elitist convenience and rather embrace a more venturous political outlook by categorically rejecting the two entrenched parties.

Ghanaians should have a soul-searching conversation amongst themselves, to chart a new way forward for the progressive governance of the country far beyond the foul stale planks represented by the duopolistic “house-slave” political parties.

This is why the upcoming general elections must be seen or set within the context of an important moral-political conversation, which should aim to carve a new progressive pathway for the country’s destiny, very much like redirecting a lost trajectory or compass back to its rightful, focused locus of relative originality and autochthnonicity.

The only downside to our proposition, perhaps, is the pronounced absence of a viable alternative to the two entrenched “house-slave” political parties.

Perhaps also the minority political parties could suspiciously be disguised clones of their mainstream counterparts.

If so, which we have no doubt of to be the actual case given the hard facts on the ground, then Ghana’s future could have been hijacked forever.

In this context breaking the duopolistic monopoly will be an uphill battle.

Thus, it will require concerted efforts from these minority parties to exert that ideological mechanics of breaking force—to break the prehensile hold of the country’s “imported” duopoly on this beautiful and peaceful nation.

Why are the masses and the country in the state they are now?

What have partisan politics and political ethnocentrism done for Ghana apart from massive plundering and emptying of the national coffers, schadenfreude insults, open defecation, galamsey-related polluting of our lands and vegetation and waters, political lies, signing away our vast mineral and oil-gas wealth, bribery, and nativist xenophobia?

Just look at the recent confrontation between the followers of both major political parties at the funeral of the late Asantehema, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem (the Second)?

Why has this country become so politically and socially restless?

Even in the midst of widespread terrorism and other forms of subversive violence spearheaded by the opposition National Liberation Movement (NLM), Nkrumah and his progressive government managed to build a country in a way that has since not been rivaled by succeeding generations of political leaderships!

What has since gone wrong, if we may ask?

Have the Americans not weighed in on with intelligence on post-election conflicts or disturbances in certain designated hotspots in parts of the country?

Mo Ibrahim and United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have also weighed in, imploring the leaderships of the two major political parties to work hard toward de-tensioning the country in the lead-up to the general elections.

This country deserves better than the kind of schadenfreude political criminals both leading political parties who are vying for political power from.

In the first place, the edacious “house negroes” who make up the leadership of these two major neo-colonial parties do not deserve to be in the seat of government.

The masses should therefore resurrect their sense of distributive justice and exercise it in order to reclaim what is rightfully theirs—the country, its humanity, and its resources.

The masses are to blame for their plight in part, which is that they must be put on a public trial for the many crimes they have committed against the state and their own collective interests—by proxy.

The undeniable fact is that the masses have continually been voting for the same corrupt political parties—the NDC and the NPP—cyclically into power, as to bring themselves to accept the charge of “guilt by association.”

Let us charge the masses with accomplice liability then!

When all is said and done, we need to be reminded of Kofi Annan’s profound advice to Ghanaian leaders and his prophetic vision for Ghana’s development and continued stability:

“As Ghanaians, we all know that our country’s much-vaunted democratic reputation has been at risk before, but we have always pulled back from the brink in time to preserve peace, stability and prosperity…”

Perhaps the most poignant aspect of this profound pre-election vision is when he alluded to the fact that “‘Ghanaians would put the nation first, above personality, party and tribe…’ That is the hallmark of a true democracy.”

We should, however, have to point out that the first part of the afore-referenced quotation encapsulates the fundamental thrust of our series, titled “Mahama’s ‘Northern Brothers,’ Akufo-Addo’s ‘Yen Akanfuo.’”

Finally, Annan’s advice to the Electoral Commission (EC) is equally poignantly succinct and worth quoting:

“The best way of ensuring this is to be transparent and to address all criticisms thoroughly and respectfully.”

Need we say more?

We shall return with Part 3, the last in the three-part installment.

References

Ghanaweb. “Don’t Tease, Intimidate When You Win Elections—Archbishop To Politicians.” November 27, 2016.

Ghanaweb. ”Uphold Ghana’s Democracy On Dec. 7—Kofi Annan, JJ Urge Voters.” December 2, 2016.