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Opinions of Friday, 4 December 2020

Columnist: Yaa Asabea Hammond

Four more for who?

John Mahama with his running mate Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang John Mahama with his running mate Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang

Democratic governance means that we all participate in the process of government, not look up to some overlords who keep the best resources for themselves and expect us to be satisfied with the crumbs that fall from their table! The people are the owners of the resources and their voices must be heard all the time as regards the management and deployment of these resources.

This is why I am glad that the NDC went around the country to ask the citizens what they want and with the technical expertise available within the party, drew up a manifesto that responds to the needs and aspirations of the people of Ghana. No wonder the manifesto is called The People’s Manifesto. I was quite disappointed when this approach was put down by the NPP with the claim that the NDC lacks ideas. For me, consulting the people you want to lead so as to understand their needs and aspirations is a mark of good democratic governance.

I am heartened when I hear from both former President, John Mahama, and his Vice- Presidential candidate, Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang, a constant message on their campaign trail that “we all matter”- “Obiara ka ho”. Inclusiveness- this is crucial for Ghana’s development.

By contrast, throughout the four years of the term of the Nana Akufo Addo government, there has been such a huge and consistent national outcry against the focus he has maintained on putting members of his family and close friends of his in key positions. This obviously makes others feel excluded. It appears that the President and his family and friends feel entitled to control the nation’s resources, institutions, and facilities -whether it is gold, oil, banks, insurance companies, public lands, public universities, radio and tv stations, telecommunication, or whatever.

In fact, this is also why the President wants the history of this country to be told more in terms of the roles of his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, and his uncle, J.B. Danquah, as well as his other uncle, William Ofori-Atta, and their associates than President Nkrumah!

And now the message from President Nana Akufo Addo for the December 7th election is “4 More 4 Nana to do more for you”. So, after taking control of our resources, the President and his family and friends and their foreign collaborators determine what they can make available to the rest of us, including our chiefs and mining communities!

As a young person less than half the age of President Akufo-Addo and looking to earn my due by dint of hard work and merit, I am clear in my mind that I do not want a President that wants me to surrender my destiny to him to “do” something for me. I do not want a President who always ensures benefits for his family and friends first before the leftovers are for the rest of us to scramble over. I want a President that appreciates that leadership is not about him but about us, a President that says “we will take this journey together”, as John Mahama and his running-mate have been saying throughout the country as they seek to learn from us what our needs are and work with us to meet them. We all matter indeed!

Thank you, JM & Jane, for respecting me and us, your fellow citizens. Thank you for letting me see and feel that I matter too. You rightly summarize the NDC manifesto as: “it is all about you”. Thank you for not taking it all and just leaving me some crumbs.

We should all take up the challenge of owning our own future and not giving our vote to someone who claims he will do more for us when as we see every day more and more evidence that he is really mainly interested in himself, his family, and close friends.

The future is for us and we will vote to ensure this.
Vote No. 2 - John Mahama - to secure our future!
The time is now! Let’s make it happen!