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Opinions of Thursday, 6 September 2012

Columnist: Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Can the next four years be better under Pres. Mahama?

As Ghanaians anxiously prepare to go to the polls, the question that begs for answer is. Can the next four years be better than the last four years under the leadership of President Mahama?
Indeed, a search for an answer shouldn't be difficult. A cursory reflection of the performance of the now Mahama-led administration over the last four years clearly shows the average Ghanaian is feeling the pain of their poor economic management. A recent Afrobarometer survey confirms Ghanaians are worse of since 2008.
The sages have it that, a merrier function can be determined right after its inception. The president is quoted as saying he had had a great opportunity to serve as the late president made him chairman of economic management team. Given the fact that he had unhindered or unfettered chance to work as the vice president in relation to the abysmal economic management and difficulties facing the Ghanaian. It's obvious; President Mahama has a difficult challenge to tell us what he can do differently to better our lot in the next four years.
It's interesting the president is touting his age presumably as an advantage. He isn’t young though at 54. If there's any advantage of young age in politics in Ghana, it has even been unfortunately dissipated by the PNDC/NDC political legacy over the years.
A memory down lane, Jerry Rawlings in 1979/81 ceased power in his early thirties. He surrounded himself with equally young chaps like PV, Huudu Yaya, Cecelia Johnson, Joyce Aryee, the Ahowi's, Totobi Quarkye and many other young women and men with few oldies, the likes of Nana Akuako Sarpong, Nana Oduro Nimapuo, Kojo Tsikata, the late A. A Munufie, Mary Grant, and others.
This group of young men and women with their old counterparts under their P/NDC legacy had had total control over Ghana's political and socioeconomic development for nearly three decades. The result, so poor; high unemployment rate, high school drop outs, high cost of living , siphoning of state resources, high cost but low quality of education, unprecedented abuse of people's rights and political persecution.
In fact, it's disingenuous for the president to allude being young at age 54. He and his bunch of ministers and advisors have been in the system for so long for their ingenuity to have impacted on the Ghanaian positively if they had any. Indeed, all young people should be concerned about the political leadership of the NDC's youth. Systematically they're leaving a gloomy picture about the ability of the Ghanaian youth as far as political leadership is concerned. No wonder by hindsight President Rawlings has characterized the current crop of government ministers and functionaries as “team B and greedy bastards”. Indeed, it’s part of his over three-decade political legacy. If you critically assess the performance of the P/NDC youth in political leadership, you increasingly become skeptical about the Ghanaian youth ability in politics. I recognize it will be unfair to lump all young men and women in other political parties for condemnation since they have not had the chance.
The challenge then is on the emerging young men and women being propped up in the NPP for political leadership to prove otherwise if given the opportunity. Indeed, president Kufour was right when he recently declared that he still had something to offer in reaction to president Mahama, touting his pseudo-youthfulness at 54. It showed the level of frustration and skepticism of youthful political leadership in Ghana which is largely defined by the P/NDC political legacy.
I urge all young men and women not to be deceived to follow the President for his claim of being young. He isn’t young and even young political leadership example bequeathed the Ghanaian by their legacy is not an enviable one.
This election is not about age, false claims, slogans and propaganda. It's about policies that can solve the challenges we face; the economic difficulties you face as young men and women who have no future because your parents could not afford to send you to school or even if you did attend you cannot read and write, it's about the young University graduate who's unemployed with no skill and capital to set up on his/her own and so frustrated he joins the Graduate Unemployment Association, it's about the young apprentice who cannot set up on his own because there's no government support or policy, it's about fathers and mothers who will have to bear with all their children until God knows when because they cannot be independent, it's about the market woman, government worker, dressmaker, farmer and fisher men and women who are so frustrated because they've lived a better Ghana than their succeeding generation.
It beholds on all of us come December elections to vote for the NPP with proven track record to transforming Ghana. The flagship educational policy of the NPP that seeks to implement free compulsory education to the senior high school level should be supported. Education is the only means that can transform the numerous Ghanaian youth with limited chance of success to unlimited opportunities that will have rippling effect on Ghana’s development. Remember this election is about YOU!

Yaw Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo, Tepa-Ashanti (aayeboafo@hotmail.com)