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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Columnist: Reindolf Amankwa

Beyond coronavirus: Give us a common platform to debate as a political party


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The Electoral Commission, the constitutionally mandated electoral body of Ghana makes provisions for the election of members of parliament and president into respective offices to administer the state for a tenure of four years, usually, one that could be renewed if the citizens choose to extend one's tenure through the ballot and not the bullet.

The State, according to Article 55 Clause 11 shall provide a fair opportunity to all political parties to present their programmes to the public by ensuring equal access to the state-owned media. Beyond this, there is also a responsibility on respective political parties to directly engage the masses in various forms, sometimes, even a door-to-door or open space campaign.

One of the ways of engaging the masses is by creating other intellectual platforms for party faithfuls to debate on party policies and programs, achievements in the past (if any) whilst not ignoring the weaknesses of the opponent front.

On such a platform, it is a jaw-jaw not war-war engagement of intellectual honesty against intellectual dishonesty, truth against untruth, factuality against non factuality, and positive propaganda against negative propaganda. On such platforms, one common question seeks just one answer; Who Is Who Against Who?

It will be recalled that few months ago, a certain member of parliament whose knowledge in Economics and whose intellectual pedigree is no where near comparison to that of H.E Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia called for a common platform to debate the second gentleman of the Republic of Ghana on matters related to Economics, Economic Policy Formulation and the Economic Management of the State. Though his challenge was interestingly weird and below belt, it was enough to set a good standard and place the challenge of an open political party debate in motion.

A careful study of some social media activism done by some political party youth, especially that of the elephant's New Patriotic Party (NPP) vis-à-vis the umbrella National Democratic Congress (NDC) gives a clear picture of how campaign towards election 2020 will be engineered. Undoubtedly, social media activism shall play an expressly leading role. This social media activism shall be championed by the youth of these two major political party opponents.

Considering the increasing rate of COVID-19 recoveries, one can only be optimistic of life returning to normalcy in the few days ahead of us. Whilst the recoveries increase and life returns to normal, right there comes the thorough season of politics and politicking. At such a time, there should be a common platform created for these political party youth activists to debate on the policies and programmes of their respective political parties.

The noise on social media should be translated to a face-to-face encounter of intellectualism. Such an encounter also brings to well meaning Ghanaians an opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff and also to put to finality the seemingly unending debate of which party (between NPP and NDC) has most intellectual persons as its youth.

In such an encounter, the NPP could present its National Youth Organizer Nana B as Team's Captain whereas other party youth activists such as Nana Kwadwo Akwaa, P.K Sarpong, Matin Abdallah, Jennifer Queen, Justice Aboagye Sarpong, Perpetual Lomokie, George Sarpong, Vivian Konadu Nsiah, Gabby Atta Kyere, Kwesi Kwarteng, Prince Aboagye Sakyi, Obeng Daniel, Gifty Oware, Benjamin Akowuah, Evans Amihere etc play the supporting roles.

On the other hand, the NDC could also present their National Youth Organizer Pablo as Team's Captain whilst having party youth activists such as Edem Agbana, Abubakar Nurideen Kutia Bitis, Asafo Agyei, Seidu Sita, Kofi Dagaati, De Accra Mayor, Yayra Koku, Boutrus Andy, Efo Worlonyo, Malik Basintale, Anim Piesie, Kada Faisel, Zuba, Ascorbic, Mohammed Gombilla and others as supportive debaters.

I personally look up to such a day. A day when two youthful rams shall lock horns on a common platform to profess their intellectual capabilities in relation to their knowledge and understanding in the policies and programmes of their political parties.

A day when these youth as I've mentioned would be given an opportunity to tell the whole world what their political parties can do given the opportunity to govern, and probably to also share with us, beyond the physiological pattern of voting, why they chose to join the party they are in today. This day, if it comes, shall be interesting to keep in eternal memory.

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