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Opinions of Thursday, 22 January 2015

Columnist: The National Forum

Editorial - Ghana, What opposition?

Ghana, despite its successful story of some twenty two years of democratic practice under the Fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, remains challenged in the basic means to life; water, food, shelter, controlled disease, and pursuit of happiness; lacks best practices and institutional strengthening.

We have had four different presidents but on the tickets of only two political parties. We have had different two types of governance styles; brutal/repressive under JJ Rawlings and civil/friendly under JA Kufour, JEA Mills and JD Mahama; but all pursuing the same economic paradigm – neoliberal pathway hinging on the private sector as its claimed engine of growth.

Water availability to our homes and offices or work places is still a challenge. Electricity supply for productivity remain unreliable while there is no direct emergent resolve on the part of the political leadership of the country to turn things around except vain talk of promises never fulfilling. Our youth continue to wallow in joblessness even after the attainment of some degree(s) in education and skill training amidst harsh and ever worsening socio-economic conditions. Crime is on the increase partly as a consequence of the difficulties we encounter in our daily lives.

President John Dramani Mahama, undoubtedly the luckiest president under our Fourth Republic appears either not to appreciate the enormousness of the task of his office or if he indeed appreciates, unfortunately lacks the ability the to confront the call of his high office and do justice to its dictates. One would have expected that his aides and assistants or comrades in the same party would help him. Sadly, they are the ones deepening the woes of the suffering president. They cannot help him and won't spare him further agony either.

Naturally, one would have expected that the opposition especially the leader of the opposition would take advantage of the situation and constructively sway sympathies and mass support towards his course. But that is even worse. As mentioned in an earlier editorial, "the sins of the incumbent alone cannot constitute grounds for a regime change." The challenge must come from an alternative that proves itself to be better than the creator of the present predicament.

Cheap gossip, criticism without any superior alternative that only portrays jealousy and a disunited or disorganized front appear to be the lot of the parties in opposition today. Unlike the situations in both 2000 and 2008, where there were a visible yearn and outcry for change from the masses either occasioned by clear and distinctly constructive opposition based on the happenings of the day or the natural excitement of the masses against any attempt to take them for granted making them appear stupid. Nothing is happening to suggest that some advantage is being taken of the naked mistakes of the NDC under President Mahama.

Ghanaians are tired. But where would leadership come from? The CPP that should rise to the occasion and rally all the other parties professing Nkrumaism to constitute the challenge Ghanaians would fall for, is in distress. But that is where some hope can arise.

Let all who love Ghana rally together, forge alliances based simply on the love for Ghana regardless their backgrounds and offer Ghanaians the best alternative to neo-liberal economic solutions which have, on the contrary, led us astray for nearly five decades.

We must make Ghana work again. Yes, we can! Only let us take the first step – unite in purpose and the aim would be too clear.