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Opinions of Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

Excuse me, Mr. President

Please don’t underestimate the Ghanaians’ intelligence.

What’s the meaning and the purpose of the National Awards, anyway?

THE FORTHCOMING OF THE National Awards event won’t happen until July.!st ,but judging by the buzz, controversies and ‘insults’ surrounding it, the Public will not pay much attention to its significance, importance and ramifications.

The center of gravity of the National Awards has been shifted and it’s creating very uncomfortable feelings among Ghanaians of every political leaning.

How desperate are our politicians to pat themselves on the back? Well, so desperate that they don’t have to retire to be recognized or nominated for a national award.

It’s all over the in the news that President Kufour is doing the unthinkable: He has nominated himself for the National Awards. Aw!

And, as if that wasn’t enough to make me cringe and give me a pause, his Press secretary, Mr. Andrew Awuni, was also nominated, according to the news reports. A Coincidence? I don’t think so. But, it’s what it is.

No one is drying off all the praises the president and the NPP have been showered with by the public. But, I have the conviction that something is fundamentally wrong with the NPP and its members who are rushing to achieve superstardom.

Supposedly, the National Awards were designed to honor and recognize the ‘ordinary’ Ghanaian heroes and ‘sheroes’---who have gone above and beyond their civic duties to do something positive for Ghana; without any monetary incentive or personal reward. So why has the event been turned into a political football?

Now, this great event’s potential and currency have been cheapened by the actions of our politicians and policy makers---who can’t seem to get power and self-interest out of their DNA.

If I were the consultant for the National Awards’ nomination judges ,I’d start the nominees with the voters who have to stand in -line every four years to vote for politicians who don’t care about them. My list would also include folks in the village who not only walked so many miles to look for water during the dry season, but they didn’t even know where their next meal was coming from. They surely deserve something.

For this year’s Republic Day nomination I’d like to nominate those individuals like farmers, who are keeping the country’s nutrients going yet they never made the national headlines.

When I think of the all those people who slept in darkness in the major part of last year but still had to listen to the debates about the Presidential Jet plane, then I think they too should be recognized.

They list is long and they’re ordinary people in our villages and small towns, whose actions and inputs keep the nation going. If they don’t’ deserve an award or recombination no one does.

I hope the tax payers’ cedis are not going to pay for the Awards’ festivities. They shouldn’t pay for a party which they’re not invited to participate...

Listen, have a happy Republic Day!

*Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi NJ, USA

Email: Asuomgag@hotmail.com