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Opinions of Friday, 17 November 2006

Columnist: Aborampah, Emmanuel

A Cry For Help!!! – Part III

Opening Statement

I am an African, and I owe my being to the ever-changing climate and seasons of this great continent. A continent rich in all manner of resources, culture and history. But most important of all, I love this continent because it nurtured me on its great and rich values. Of all the traits of men, being humane is a hallmark of a true African.

I entered my world full of confidence and hope. My sense of belonging was complete, for my joy were a joy for many and my pain the pain of many more. That was it; the true African is his brother’s keeper.

Today, I am mature and should have been ready to take my place in my community. Yet today, I am not so sure of myself – for my confidence has waned and my hope is wavering. What happened to me, and really what happened to my generation? Today, I don’t feel so good to be an African.

Politics of Insanity

Not long ago I read a definition for madness to mean doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different outcome. This was attributed to Albert Einstein, if my memory serves me well. When I first read that I thought wow! what an apt definition! Little did I realize how it perfectly describes the situation here in Ghana my motherland and also generally on the African continent!

One should not be far from the truth to assert that a major contributing factor to the mess the African finds himself/herself in is the politics of HATRED and JEALOUSY. Common sense tells us, and the Good Book confirms it, that a kingdom divided against itself will not stand. This is why it beats my mind to understand why African Leaders expect to progress amidst personal vendettas, “criminalisation” of past regimes and alienation of sometimes up to 50% of their populations. We have seen this in many countries such as Ghana, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Zimbabwe and others.

As I write, Ghana is preparing to celebrate its 50th Independence Anniversary in March 2007. I read only a couple of days ago that the Catholic Bishop’s Conference wants the nation to use the occasion to reflect on its development, its political history and on the way forward. This must be a call in the right direction because the past five decades of our history has been characterized by what I call Politics of Insanity. The vicious cycle vindictiveness, recrimination and personal hatred of opponents have persisted till today. We have perpetuated this Insanity on ourselves for 50 years and the question is – Where has it taken us? We are divided today more than ever!

All spheres of our national life have been affected. Our historians, academicians and even religious men are divided along sectarian lines. For some strange reason, we have lost loyalty to virtues and principles, and choose to be loyal rather to parties, tribe and to personalities! We seem to be saying there are two sets of principles, one for us and the other for them.

I had a Dream

When in year 2000 Ghana made history by conducting a free and fair general elections leading to a peaceful handover of power to an opposition political party, I said – wow, what a fine opportunity to break this cycle of hatred, disunity and divide and rule. With the setting-up of the National Reconciliation Commission I heaved a sigh of relief, thinking finally a dream come true. But my dream was to be short-lived. My heart sank as I read a statement attributed to a Minister of State and leading member of the ruling party to the effect that – by the time our term is over, the largest opposition group will be decimated. I expected the influential in the society to chastise this Minister, but alas, it was not to be. Oh! what an opportunity gone waste! My hope wavered but I have not lost hope, because I believe in the good sense of judgment of the Ghanaian.

Ghana’s Mandela?

Judging by recent developments in the nation and also by the quality of comments on ghanaweb on topical issues confronting the nation, one can infer that the state of affairs regarding national unity is not good. Tribal and party sentiments are high, too high for our common good.

This is why our next president must of necessity be a “Mandela” type. Our next leader must be both a unifying force and a strong-willed personality. A very SELFLESS leader with a strong sense of direction and also with BIG dreams is top on my wish-list.

But then if wishes were horses, they say! Am I asking too much? Is somebody listening?

I pray my countrymen, and especially the political party delegates who will present choices for the general populace, to lookout for such qualities. For once, lets break this cycle of “ they and us”, winner takes all, minority have your say whilst majority have their way – and put all these behind us from 2008 onwards.

We should be bold enough to recognize desirable qualities in individual candidates no matter where or which group they belong to and rally behind such true leaders. Career politicians should not be encouraged to ride on the back of parties to perpetuate misrule on our motherland.

We need a new breed of selfless humble African Leaders to harness the roles each and every one of us can play into a MASSIVE AFRICAN RENAISSANCE. May God Help Us In Our Noble Quest!


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.