General News of Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Source: XYZ

Bombande: Ghana is very far from an Arab Spring

The condition for a citizens-led uprising comparable to the Arab Spring are not at all rife in Ghana, Security Analyst Emmanuel Bombande has told XYZ News.

“Those of us in active peacebuilding practice know very well that Ghana is very very far away from the possibility of an Arab Spring,” Bombande said in an interview on Monday.

His assertion follows fears expressed by the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regional Vice chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), that Ghana may be nearing a peoples’ uprising cast in the mould of the Arab Spring if government continues to take the feelings of Ghanaians for granted.

William Awuku Aheadomeh, who was commenting on government’s taxation spree and the cancellation of adverts under the ICT model of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), told Kumasi-based Ultimate Radio that government’s decisions are constantly failing to resonate with the complaints of Ghanaians.

He warned that if the government continues to expend taxes without proper accountability, there could be massive unrest in the country.

Mr. Bombande, however, holds a totally different view. Speaking on Radio XYZ’s Strict Proof programme on Monday just hours after joining civil society groups to demand certain reforms in Ghana’s political and democratic system at a forum organised by the Civic Forum Initiative, the Executive Director of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) argued that: “In the countries in the North of Africa where the Arab Spring begun, we in civil society could not have done what we did today. We could not have organised a national forum with our national television; with you the media covering this live and carrying it to the people.

“So because we have the type of liberties and openings that we have, we must make full use of them and engage in the type of procedures and processes that bring about reform because these did not exist whatsoever in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa,” Bombande observed.

According to him, “When people feel that they have no alternatives, they resort to violence. So when the people [of North Africa] understood that, at the end of the day, there was no way they could bring about any form of reform…They only then resorted to violence. Now we have the openings just as I’m talking to you now on radio, to ensure that we continue the conversation for reforms. So let’s take full advantage of that and that is the very reason why the optimism prevails that we will not go through the Arab Spring.”