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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

Do We Have Opposition In Ghana At All?

Do we have opposition in Ghana at all or the Organized Labor has taken up the role of the opposition? As soon as the above question comes up, I know you will be thinking of the NPP, CPP, PPP, PNC, and the rest, if any. But are they in opposition to help move Ghana to the next level or they are in opposition to make ugly noises for power. Sadly, they don’t even know what and which power they are looking for.
The role of the opposition can be stated as:
• The voice of the voiceless
• The alternative to the ruling government
• The critical partner in nation building
• If the above cannot be achieved by the opposition, then the fourth kicks in: The Official Opposition
In Ghana, there seems to be a common misconception that the role of the opposition parties, as the name suggests, is limited to opposing everything or anything the incumbent government proposes or suggests. In other words, the role of the opposition in Ghana is limited to the fourth bullet above. This is what has gotten Ghana to where it is now. That is, people in opposition are so embittered with the government that they don’t see anything good coming from a country they are so desperate to rule. The opposition in Ghana are making some Ghanaians think that their true role is the fourth bullet above and that when they come to power, they will take up the role of the first three bullets.
Let’s take for example when the government extended an invitation to the opposition to go to Senchi in May 2014 for an Economic Forum to find lasting solutions to the challenges the economy is facing now. The only good reason the opposition had, according to them, was that the invitation letters was received four days to the event and so, they could not have time to prepare. They therefore did not go to Senchi for this all important event. Meanwhile, these are the same people who wanted to win power in December 2012 after suggesting to Ghanaians that they have all the solutions to the problems Ghana is going through now and then. In what role does this reason fall under? Is it the first three or the last bullet above?
Then came the $256 million loan to build over 20 schools, upgrade over 100 schools, provide scholarships to over 10,000 children and care for over a million needy children in society. The only good reason the opposition had, according to them, was that the entire loan would be used to buy “Mahama Pads” for school children. They have therefore asked the World Bank to review the loan agreement again even though the loan has been approved by the full house of Parliament with the opposition in attendance. In what role does this reason fall under? Is it the first three or the last bullet above?
Then again came the government distribution of pick-up trucks to the National House of Chiefs for the smooth running of their operations. What role did the opposition play in this one too? They did oppose it for no good reason. The only good reason they had according to them was that, there are too many hardships in Ghana so the government should have used the money for some other purposes like financing the opposition parties to be strong. They went ahead to even suggest that the government was bribing the chiefs ahead of the 2016 elections. Does this reason fall under any of the first three bullets above? Do the opposition not know that chieftaincy is an institution that comes under a ministry? Do they want the government to solve all the problems in Ghana before attending to our chiefs as an institution? What do they take our chiefs for? In 2015/2016, will they go to them for votes after all those nonsense has been said about them? Maybe, they will, since they have no shame. If the NDC keeps its promises, the opposition calls it bribe. If they don’t keep their promises, the opposition asks some people or group of people to demonstrate. Do we have opposition in Ghana at all? What happened to the first three bullets of the role of the opposition?
If the opposition in Ghana want to win power in 2060 or beyond, they should begin to look at the first three roles above and immediately abandon the fourth one. They tried the fourth role in 2012 and it did not work, yet they are holding on to it. The fact that the opposition is making ugly noises on radio and television that Ghana is the worst country in the world does not make it so. This is what they should know and learn. Ghanaians don’t vote based on what the opposition tell them. They vote based on what they see, feel and believe. Instead of the opposition hoping that a “bad economy”, according to them, will win them power, they should rather find ways to solving the chronic internal fighting in their parties and respect the leaders and elders. If they cannot manage just 3 million on their supporters, what assurance do Ghanaians have that they can manage 25 million people if they are given the power?
The NDC and HE President John D. Mahama are focused on making Ghana a better country and I wished all those wasting their time and making ugly noises today, will live to see the better Ghana NPP will take over in 2060 or beyond. Insha Allah

Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
NDC Washington Metro Branch