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Opinions of Friday, 3 November 2006

Columnist: Amankwa, Kwame

2008 Elections will be won hands down - Really?

There is an academically implausible argument sweeping some parts of the land. That the NPP after going through the current socio-economic turmoil including the one to come (leadership contest that is) will be so severely weakened and deranged come the 2008 general elections that the NDC will just with a bit Asomdwehene luck sail through to the castle this time round, legitimately, though through the ballot box.

That the NDC through a stroke of luck would have sorted out their leadership and financial questions to provide Ghanaians with a viable and purposeful alternative. But such a proposition will only be plausible if the NDC was to be pressing all the right buttons.

The NPP may have chalked some successes, especially in the areas of road building, economic stability, health and state security, but equally they have failed in others aspects, in particular stemming the tide of disreputable foreign characters storming our villages, towns and cities to commit armed robbery, rape, exploitation of Ghanaian workers etc. Our cultural systems have never been so diluted and corrupted on an unimaginable scale. It portrays a government presiding over a functionally useless socio-cultural system of national building.

Having said all that, let me give credit where one is due. The sense and content of the freedom of everything that has prevailed throughout the land since the elephant party went to the castle is more than that of the dark days when judges were selectively selected, shot and their bodies burnt. But let me say that, that on its own is never enough. Indeed the heap of rubbish which blights our cities causing enormous health problems for the population, the thousands of innocent and deprived children who line up our streets every day from dawn to dusk when our very own ministers of state drive by in their air conditioned chauffeur driven cars without their consciences being shocked beggars belief. There is indiscipline written everywhere – in schools, churches, government departments etc. with no solution in sight.

This state of affairs has in a way afforded the NDC the oxygen of publicity which it badly needs, except that they have disappointed as they have always been since its inception. It has struggled to shake off the tag of murder, torture, illegal confistication of genuinely acquired properties, political beatings, intolerance, lack of democracy, sycophantism and tribalism practiced during its 20 years plus in charge. This is not a generation that is about to forgive them so quickly or embrace them with open arms. Many a party would have undergone a politically convenient gender realignment or even undertaken a massive reform of its ideas and structures. No not this one. Many of its prominent members like Obed Asamoah and Gusie Tandoh have separated with the hope of forming something distinct, something different, and something more humane and acceptable. However, they may now have realised that once a P (NDC) operative, ALWAYS a P (NDC) operative. The reluctance of the party to yield to the call to modernise appears to be tightening the noose around its own neck. They seem to prefer the luxury of opposition, else they will not continue to package themselves as the proverbial old furniture, full of empty self assurance and certainty but short on strategies and foresight.

Amanfuo, the NDC which is just about the only “credible” political opposition and alternative to the NPP for now can be likened to the gentleman who sold his property after living in it for over 20 years. He bought a new one next door with his genuinely gained low income and large stolen dosh. The new owners of the old property refurbished it splendidly. One night after a drunken session, this man tried to get back to his old house by mistake. The new owners not recognising him, took him for a burglar and shot him.

The NDC may be sleep-walking unconsciously and in my view wrongly in their bid to recapture the castle and unless they quickly rethink their steps, they are likely to languish in opposition for many years to come. Ultimate power is still vested in the hands of one man who once wasted no time annihilating his real and perceived enemies and is still today angry with everyone except his immediate family and himself. He apparently believes that any leader of the party must be one who will not only sing his empty praises, but scream foul when there is no one in sight or preach violence when everyone is talking peace. Their collective behaviour to date appears to be one of learning nothing, remembering nothing and forgetting nothing. That they desperately want to remarry the political landscape and its benefits is not in doubt, except that their hearts are still filled with hatred, animosity and authoritarianism.

All the indications are that they will try and reintroduce the koliko professor, who like Oliver Twist keeps coming back for more political humiliation, instead of unselfishlessly and honourably allowing some of the more visionary, energetic and youthfully gifted ones to lead the party this time round. He would rather choke on political meatballs than hang up his position. His steadfast commitment to the NDC cause has not paid any significant dividends. In fact he has become a surrogate leader of his lordship’s party. A man famous for achieving nothing politically. With many now beginning to question his achievements, it will not be long before he is issued with a pension certificate.

I do sometimes sympathise with the learned professor. Even though he is alleged not to have lifted a finger for work or set up any meaningful business according to brother Spio (did he really say that?- what an insult!), as he has been waiting patiently since 2000 like many of our youngsters these days for manna to fall from the sky, he is rather able and willing to do his master’s bidding. They in turn are leaving no stone unturned in their bid to get him to the castle even if only for a day to allow them enjoy the booties which has been hidden away since they lost the last election in peace.

The NPP may be a wounded elephant and the DFP may still be looking for socks to buy, but we all know that it takes for than 2 gunshots and sycophancy to get a stubborn elephant to the ground.

The outcome of the 2008 elections is predictably unpredictable. I have only one prayer – that a new dynamic, outward looking, democratic, hardworking political party and leadership emerges to save the nation from the clutches of the 2 most selfish, visionless and globe trotting parties. I was beginning to admire Kofi Wayo’s no nonsense talking party, but when I heard that he had “duped” a poor woman of her child’s insurance money, I started to wonder if there was any credible politician left in the land.

I will want to see a party that promises genuinely and makes efforts to deliver, especially one that will deliver on the following manifesto;

Cleaning the streets of the many innocent children and putting then into education

One that will take Ghana out of the useless grouping called Ecowas (like the UK and the EU) TO STOP THE INFLOW OF HARDENED FOREIGN CRIMINALS FROM NIGERIA ETC messing up our institutions and society.

Resolve the energy crisis through the adoption of sensible and credible solutions.

Cleaning up the police force, politics and the judiciary of corruption

Banning child prostitution including all the vices afflicting the nation

Getting all religious leaders (especially pastors) licensed, renewable annually

Preserving the health of the nation

Improving and expanding on all levels of education.

Properly remunerating health workers, teachers etc

Ensuring that all Ghanaian children are immunised against the hepatitis B virus at birth / improving maternal services.

Encouraging the complete indigenisation of the Ghanaian economy without resorting to the opening of our borders to questionable characters from China, Venezuela, Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria etc.

Actively stemming the cocaine flow into the land.

Changing the Ghana Police service uniform to make then professionally presentable and recognisable.

Building on our sporting achievements and facilities.

Maintaining the security of the state and its citizens.

Now my prayers again- Dear Lord do not let any of the main parties or their candidates come near the 2008 elections without a contrite heart and desire to truthfully serve the good people of Ghana. Those jostling for positions because they want to rape the economy or sell the motherland for a pot of porridge be banished to neighbouring Togo or even Darfur. To the NPP I say your record not your size or money is what will determine if you win again. To the NDC I say reform yourself and get a leader who is energetic, visionary and independently minded, else forget about 2008. That chance should rather go to Obed or even Kofi Wayo. Amen.

God bless Ghana. The most peaceful place on earth.



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