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General News of Saturday, 17 May 2008

Source: GNA

Ghana has retarded in development - Ward-Brew

Accra, May 17, GNA - Mr Thomas N. Ward-Brew, flag bearer of Democratic Peoples' Party (DPP) on Saturday said Ghana had retarded in her development agenda due to structural defects and behavioural shortcomings of the Government.

"In Ghana, instead of going forward in development, we appear to be going backwards, the nation lacked in development on several fronts due to the absence of much needed reforms in economic, political, cultural, sociological and psychological spheres," Mr Ward-Brew stated in Accra. Mr Ward-Brew who was addressing delegates at the Party's Special National Delegates Congress, which elected him to lead the party for Election 2008 called for drastic reforms and special surgical operation to save the country.

He said at the time of Ghana's independence in 1957, the nation was almost at par with Singapore and Malaysia, but according to Mr Ward-Brew, now these nations were far ahead of Ghana. The DPP flag bearer and Chairman called for a re-examination of the nation's development strategies both from the stand point of structures and behaviours of national leaders and the citizenry.

Mr Ward-Brew also condemned politicians who through deliberate crafted propaganda were fashioning ethnic based politics in Ghana."they have knowingly or unknowingly enslaved our people to virtually link some political parties with some particular ethnic groups."

He said the linkage of political parties to ethnicity was dangerous because some ethnic groups often considered the criticism as personal attack and immediately jumped to defend such political parties anytime their policies or programmes were attacked.

The DPP Leader reminded chiefs of provisions in the 1992 Constitution which debarred them from active partisan politics nothing that in recent times some chiefs were trying to drag the Chieftaincy institution into partisan politics.

"There are some politicians who also visit chiefs and use photographs of such visits for their advertisement. Given the fact that chiefs are not supposed to get involved in partisan political activities such photographs could give wrong signals to the public about the chief's involvement.

"There is nothing wrong for courtesy calls on chiefs, however turning round to use photographs of the visit for advertisement or project the politician's image is dangerous for the nation's political development," he said.

The DPP Chairman also called for decorum in the utterances of politicians especially when the campaign heated up, stressing that extreme care must be taken to ensure that the political temperature was controlled in few months to Election 2008. Mr Ward-Brew called for a reduction on political party financing because it had been a bane on the nation's lopsided development since more money was being utilised for politics than into production. He noted that the primaries of some political parties had turned into carnival for the affluent in society to display their wealth in influencing delegates to elect them.

Mr Ward-Brew explained that in such a situation it would be difficult for Parliamentarians of such a political party to fight corruption at the national level. "It is the political parties that should brace themselves to fight corruption and when structures of the party machinery are dangerously infested with corruption then only compromise could occur," he said. 17 May 08

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