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Opinions of Saturday, 11 January 2014

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

Democracy a competition of ideas , not insults

Kojo Tamakloe

Democracy we define here in three different ways

1. free and equal representation of people: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people
2. a country with a government that has been elected freely and equally by all its citizens
3. a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making


I am not about to go into the struggle for independence. What I want to discuss is the after math of the British accepting that Gold Coast and then Ghana to be a democratic country . Above we have the definitions of what is expected . The first attempts were in 1951 with the CPP as one of the participants and the UGCC which later fragmented and had as a component NLM , also known as ma te me ho also involved. Most times I hate to rake up the gory past but when others point fingers and create the impression they are the sole citadels of democracy but unfortunately do not live up to it then they need to be exposed. Here again I am talking about the NPP whose hands are dripping with blood but who would make up believe they are democratic .I think Clement Sangaporee is a great source and witness of the type of people the NPP were and still are . How they have consistently sought to pervert our democracy . What amazes me about them is how they accuse people of being “ holier than thou” when no one can compete with them on that score.

Let us recount their history of what they will call democracy . In the run up to the elections even in the 50s there was violence caused by the ma te me ho . Free and equal representation was perverted on many occasions. How can a party claiming to be democrats and promoting democracy spread may hem before and after elections especially when they have lost . Was there not intimidation and coercion leading to spread of fear among opponents of NLM and its allies between 1951 to 1957? Violence was reported in only areas where the NLM and their allies were predominant. Where the CPP was in majority they lived peacefully and accommodated the opposition. Then post 1957, started murders and assassinations. Achimota Forest was one of the killing fields of the NLM , now NPP . Taxi drivers and pregnant women were their prime targets . The private parts were removed and in one case the d…k stuck in the mouth of the driver . Nothing was touched including the daily takings . Then in 1958 the first assassination attempt on the then Prime Minister, Kwame Nkrumah . Note, the Queen was still Head of State and there was no PDA . It was this type of undemocratic action that led ultimately to the passage of PDA . Nkrumah was travelling to India for a Non Aligned Conference when he was targeted to be killed at the Airport by the security guard.

After that came others that were nipped in the bud until the horrendous one at Kulungugu . Six innocent children lost their lives . This was followed by many more bombs being exploded at rallies and school marches. If they were not doing that then they are busy creating conditions for the country to be ungovernable and under mining the economy. Hoarding of goods to create artificial shortages , spreading rumors to create insecurity and panic situations and playing on the ignorance of the populace. Even in power we saw the assassination of the Ya Na and the 40 elders and Mobilla. Were the perpetrators brought to book? No. It was swept under the carpet. Supposing that was the Asantehene or the Okyenhene, would the result be the same. ? We would be told of hatred and jealousy .Articles would be written about how others hate the Akans and the conspiracy against them . So could one be surprised at the lawlessness that was in the country.? We had criminals in power . Armed robbery was rife and human life was not worth a pesewa . Under Mills how many times did they not involve themselves in criminal activities like hi jacking buses?

The CPP needs to declare their own martyrs day to honor those innocent children who lost their lives and the brave soldiers like Brig Bawah who lost his life in the coup. The CPP also needs to commemorate fallen heroes , like Sgt Adjetey, Cpl Attipoe, and Pte Awhaitey . They paid the ultimate sacrifice to liberate the country, not people who were jailed for a day and released.

Let us not forget the 1992 boycott of parliament and the so called “ Stolen Verdict”. For four years the NPP boycotted parliament and drew their pay . They did what they could to hold the country hostage . An attempt to pervert the will of the majority Come 2008 , the attempt to get a hearing on a holiday so the verdict to be changed ,again to subvert the will of the majority . Is it any surprise 2012 went the way it did ? NPP wants a feudal type governance . A super tribe that must rule at all cost . Else why kick against Nkrumah, Linmann, Rawlings, Mills and now Mahama? They believe they are the original owners of the country and they rewrite history to prove it. The joke is on whose land do we have Castles like, Christiansburg, Usher Fort, James Fort , Fort Prizeinstein, Cape Coast castle . When were they built ?


The NPP convinces us that they are super business people. I beg to differ. In business you provide a service or a product to the people at a price they can afford at a profit to yourself. The party went on a listening tour and came back with the same message. Write ups by people that seem to critique NPP is met with a barrage of insults and self denial. JDM assesses his ministerial appointments and they condemn it. How else do you measure performance?

So what do we the people want? We are not interested in all these insults. We want to know what NPP can do and how workable their policies are .The country has been running on deficits for years even after HIPC . We relied on donor countries to close the gap. Now the donors do not have the money and as “ charity begins at home” they must look after themselves first . Why do we not have reserves? I hope that does not solicit insults

Ghanaians I believe are missing the boat . Let me explain with examples . There is a club in S Africa called Kaiser chiefs. The owner Mr Kaizer Moutaung played for some time in the USA , took the money back to his home country and through good management has created the Kaiser Chiefs Franchise. I think, apart from Orlando Pirates it has the second highest following . Mr Jomo Sono also owns ,Jomo Cosmos another club and he also went the same route . We had Ghanaians who played in the USA at the same time , Sam & oliver Acquah, Willie Evans, Sam Lutterodt, V C 10 frank Odoi, W K Mfum . But have these people come home to make a difference on our soccer scene by way of finance or management?. You know Jomo Sono and Kaiser Moutaung both never went to University and do not have PHDs .In fact they had what was called “ Bantu Education” . Dan Jordaan , spear headed the S African World cup show piece . So where are our equivalents? Matsepe is a billionaire having invested in Platnium mines in his country. Our own Sir Sam Jonah is down south with them . So can we compare with clubs like T P Mazempe, Club Africain, Roja Cassablanca who were in the FIFA club final with Bayern Munich . We have sold our best players to these Clubs as we do not have the managerial ability nor the financial backing . So why the boasting?

Any Ghanaian who had a grant while overseas should ask where the money came from? These came from well meaning individuals who left bequests for the under privileged. How many of our PHDs who benefitted from these are doing the same?. I know of a Ghanaian, called, JJ (often referred to as a school drop out)who used his grant to start UDS, a University to educate Ghanaians and also set up the Cardiac unit at Korle Bu Hospital. That was to give the less well off a fighting chance for survival locally . But according to the NPP, he is a “thief.”He did it with Prof Frimpong . The same “ thief ‘ up graded the Takwa school of mines into a higher institution and re structured the Gold Mining sector so Ghana and the communities could get more from the mining operations. He then did the same with Cocoa that had been devastated by Busia , you know that “genius”, who sent away the labor from the farms . Under JJ, Ghana became No 2 cocoa producer in the world and started creating wealthy farmers again .It was the same Busia, who closed down the Cattle development Board and killed the poultry industry and instead imported turkey tails .I hear a Nigerian Governor is revitalizing the farming sector in Nigeria with rice and wheat ,vowing to produce millionaire farmers. But JJ is said to “ hate Asantefo” and jealous of their wealth and success. What an irony? Entrepreneurs see opportunities and rice and chicken production alone can create millionaires . Close to half a billion dollars a year. Boyd a European company is the main importer . 90% of our meat is imported and 230 million people in Sub Saharan Africa go to bed hungry . So where is our innovation? We are waiting for cure to be discovered for malaria and HIV and importing every thing

So our request to the NPP is, we know you have the big degrees . The degrees represent knowledge. Use the knowledge in such a way we see positive results. We are tired of the degrees being thrown in our faces but when it comes to application , then the effect is negative. “ Actions they say speaks louder than words” . let us see your workable solutions to our problems. If you say you are capitalists make it work and in the African setting. The areas are numerous, shipping, airways, real estate, transportation , tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, and ICT, energy , conservation


It is Ok for the NPP hounds to continue to insult . But this is what we want and we will vote for parties we believe can deliver . CPP , it is your time to replace the NPP and challenge NDC for power . We want to move forward not backwards

The writer Kojo Tamakloe is an Nkrumaist who believes the solution to Africa’s underdevelopment lies in African Unity