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Opinions of Thursday, 14 February 2013

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Ghana Needs A More Positive Political Culture

By Kofi Thompson

There is no question that all those who stood as candidates in the December 2012 presidential election, are good and decent human beings, whose love of country cannot be questioned.

That they all care about the plight of the ordinary people of Ghana and want every corner of Ghana to prosper is also not in doubt.

There is no question too that they all want every part of Ghana to be developed sufficiently enough to enable those who live in them to enjoy basic amenities such as access to healthcare facilities; schools; have potable water and electricity; good roads etc.

The problem they each face, is the utter selfishness of some of those around them - ruthless and clever self-seekers who only think of themselves: not Mother Ghana and the plight of ordinary people.

That is why party leaders like President Mahama, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Paa Kwesi Nduom, Dr Lartey, Dr Sankara and Mahama Ayariga, all have a responsibility to ensure that leading lights in their parties, particularly members of their communication teams, do not disparage our country ever - but rather offer creative alternatives to move Ghana forward, each time they criticise the government of the day.

Yes, let us criticise those at the helm of affairs, however we must offer constructive criticism when doing so - not criticism of the destructive kind that puts potential investors off from investing here and creates apprehension amongst ordinary people.

Instead of the endless negativity one hears in the electronic media and reads in the print media, let all privileged Ghanaians - especially its talkative educated urban elites - seek to inspire confidence in ordinary people here, and people of goodwill worldwide, in this fantastic and aspirational African nation-state called the Republic of Ghana.

Ghanaian Politicians must talk up the virtues of our nation - not constantly put it down at every opportunity they get to do so: because they seek political power at any cost and by all means necessary.

They must ensure that the physically and verbally violent extremist-types in the midst of all the political parties are ostracised. The "My-party-my-tribe-right-or-wrong" type of politics will not help develop Ghana.

For example, how can anyone seeking political power in Ghana contemplate blowing up transformers belonging to the Electricity Company of Ghana - because it will create fear and panic amongst ordinary people, I ask?

How can any sane-minded individual seeking political power in our country want to make Ghana ungovernable - because he or she feels entitled to power?

How does a descent into violence and chaos by their country possibly benefit ordinary Ghanaians, I ask?

The time has come for the moderate and decent-minded members of our political class, to shun extremist party colleagues guided by that Machiavellian mindset, in seeking political power in Ghana.

It neither helps ordinary people nor our homeland Ghana in the long run.

To become an African equivalent of the peaceful and egalitarian societies of Scandinavia, we need a more positive political culture in Ghana. A word to the wise...

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