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Opinions of Tuesday, 17 February 2004

Columnist: Aidoo, Ato

Consolidating Our Democracy.

The celebration of democracy brings out the joy of living in a country that is governable, a government making giant strides to ensure that people do not live in fear, but enjoying new services and going about normal activities in a civilized manner.

In Ghana, the executive , legislature , judiciary and the media should all be seen conducting themselves in a way unmatched in the historical realm of governance.

Outrage , rumors of scandals, nasty exchanges and exhibition of arrogance at parliament, uncivilized and profane jeers and boos ? for example,?Scent No?, at the ?State-of ?the ?Nation address, media descriptions tailored along semantics, claims of economic gains and counter-claims, and jingoistic feelings sponsored by so-called academicians, are gradually moving our country to the left.

From the right, we see a President who does not address the people at the top of his voice, guided his "trademark" - ?the gentle giant?. Are we taking this for granted?

Ghanaians are gradually losing what makes them great ? their respect for the elderly, the values we cherish being replaced , unguided statements and insults sometimes directed at the Presidency. Let us give these developments a deep thought. We are tuning to the wrong ?Station?. We need to fix the problem.

Election year friction has been characterized by stiff and ?sweet-mouthed? opposition , as nothing good is seen about what the government is doing, though periodically the ?good ones? ignore party sanctions to give their personal opinions.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the energy minister, is a good example.

Kwesi Pratt Jnr, a controversial and pedantic journalist, represents one of the bad examples, so is Albin Babgin, who is still cleaning some of the ?skeletons in his closet?.

The good people of Ghana are the losers, caught in the ?crossfire?, as the politicians and economists engage each other in the game of ?figures and achievements?.

In all these, I have not come across any concrete alternative arrangement from the opposition parties pointing to solutions, as our dear brothers and sisters are immersed in social and economic problems.

The media must reposition itself to play a leading role , explaining to the people how our homeland is being torn apart by ?politricks? , blatant lies, and political jokers in the likes of Kofi Wayo.

Recently, a childhood friend ? Samuel ?Marley? Dadzie , explained to me, that ?Wayo? means a liar, a swindler.

?If someone who promises to guide you to heaven is not even qualified to be in hell?, his/her message should be subjected to further inquiry, guided by the fact that an election year makes room for such a false pledge.

Reality and the truth would triumph in the present democratic dispensation, not forgetting that the country?s deceptive military /political past laid a foundation for the opposite to flourish.

Though it has been given a wrong tag by it?s opponents, the national reconciliation process still remains the way forward to heal the nation and consolidate democracy.

The ?media-dressing? of Rawlings? appearance at the National Reconciliation Commission, for instance, shifted the focus from the ?message? to the ?messenger?. What is going on in Ghana?

Common sense and history taught me, that never again should countries revisit/relive their horrendous political past, military adventurism - of abductions, senseless killings, human rights violation, and jumbled intelligence gathering.

The celebration of knowledge, and helping to maintain the rule of law, should not be the source of envy in any country, and May the Souls of the Three High Court Judges and a retired army officer who were abducted and brutally murdered in 1982 under the cover of darkness, and of hate, rest in perfect peace.

As we gather momentum for presidential and parliamentary elections, peace and respect for the values we all uphold should be our hallmark.

Even though Ghanaians walk through the valley of the shadow of past mismanagement and ?perceived poverty?, I know they relish their freedoms and liberties, they ?fear? no past President.

Surely, many Ghanaians have found ?goodness and love? from the present government, ready to help sustain good governance and ?dwell? in a country where democracy is not just a catchphrase, but its beauty now admired.

The author, an alumni of Rutgers University was a former assistant at the features desk, Daily Graphic , Accra, Ghana. He now lives in Massachussetts.

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