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Opinions of Sunday, 22 December 2013

Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

I will contest as MP for Tema east constituency!

I have written several articles about the need for Gas to resuscitate their dying language, culture and festival. I have severally champion the need for the enlightenment of all Gas and why we need to wake up from our slumber. In later articles of mine, I enumerated practical solutions to how we can achieve Ga emancipation in Ghana.

I am gratified to see the high level of interest shown by prominent Gas who called to congratulate me and wish me success in my quest. Some also volunteered to support me in the crusade I am waging and with this I am extremely grateful to them. I want to assure all interested Gas that I have not been inactive in the pursuit of my long cherish goal of seeing the Ga Language, culture and festival revived and cherished. I have been working around the clock, albeit quietly. I have to state, quite unfortunately that it has been difficult, as a matter of fact more difficult than I ever thought. The Ga-Adangbe tribe has more enemies than we can imagine. What saddens me the most is the more prominent Ga intellectuals who showed more hostility to any plans of championing the revival of the Ga people. Whilst their attitude was unsettling, I remain undaunted. I can say with much elation that opposition to my goal was expected!

I have examined various options and how I can push the Ga agenda forward. The setting up of Radio Stations, the recruitment of Ga teachers to teach Ga language to our children, the shooting of audio and video adverts to promote the Ga language and other practical endeavors to push the agenda forward all has to do with funds. I have done my bits but I am overwhelmed. The agenda is way beyond my financial means and I needed to acknowledge that. While I am passionate about doing something practical to save our language, culture and festival, financial consideration must be taken to account.

After much consideration and discussion with my partners, I have resolved to enter Parliament and wage the battle over there. It is evident that all the Gas in Parliament has only their interest at heart. They sit in Parliament and watch laws being enacted that deprive the Ga person of his rights. It is only in Accra that you can walk into somebody’s land, start building speedily and hope to reach lentil level then presto! The land is yours! This archaic and wicked law is what has led to so much bloodshed regarding land issues in Accra.
Accra is the only city where a redevelopment plan was development with the intention of sharing off all the prime lands to political friends. Have we so soon forgotten how former President Kuffour shared all the prime lands in Accra to his Ashanti friends and sought to ‘Ashantinized’ the choicest areas in Accra? We cannot also in a hurry forget Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings who also waged a battle with the people of La and Osu over a parcel of land in Cantonments. So ruthless was she that policemen were detailed to brutalize and assault innocent Gas squatting on the property. Can somebody tell me how many Gas are living in East Legon, Cantonments, Airport Residential, Labone, Roman Ridge, Abelenkpe and other prime areas of Accra? We are lost and need a savior to push our issues forcefully in government.

It is this reason and inaction of our elected legislators that I am formally announcing my intention to contest the Tema East seat and hope to enter Parliament. I am not a politician and didn’t wish to be one. I watch helplessly as other tribes walk all over us in our own land. Laws must be changed to enable the Gas regain their pride. I intend to enter Parliament to fight for the interest of the Gas. I intend to be in Parliament for only one term as I believe I don’t need more than 4 years to bring to the fore issues concerning the Ga people. I will enter parliament for just one thing and one thing alone: To fight for the interest of Gas and get laws to be changed!

I was born in Tema, grew up in Tema and schooled in Tema. This is the reason why I am contesting in the Tema East constituency. Many have asked me on which political party platform am i standing on. While it is true I have a soft spot for the N.D.C because of its socialist leanings, I sincerely think the N.D.C have lost its way in the manner it is handling the affairs of the nation. It is now difficult to point the difference between the N.D.C and the N.P.P. They both preach ideologies but practice different. I cannot stand on the ticket of the N.P.P because I cannot stand the seemingly undemocratic way they conduct their primaries. There is too much acrimony during their primaries. The other option is to stand on the ticket of the CPP but the party is not too popular in Tema which is quite unfortunate. As for the PPP, maybe I better join the N.P.P!

This leaves me with one option: contest as an independent candidate! While this may be ideal, unfortunately Tema East had proved to be a slippery terrain for independent candidates. Many prominent people have contested as independent candidates in the constituency and have done extremely well but in the end they all fail to clinch the seat. The constituency is a partisan one favoring the two big parties but maybe a change is on the way. It is not so much important to me which party I climb on to parliament since I am not going to champion the interest of any political party in parliament; I think it is important I get to parliament. So what are my choices?

It is either I stand on the ticket of the N.D.C who have not won the seat before, take a gamble with the CPP or take a shot as an independent candidate.

When the decision is finally made on which route to take, I believe all Gas everywhere will support my campaign with funds and logistics to see this dream become a reality. Remember, I cannot do this alone. I need your support.

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kpakpogh@yahoo.com