You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2008 10 17Article 151597

Opinions of Friday, 17 October 2008

Columnist: Arko-Tharkor, Kobina

Paradigm Shift in Ghana’s Politics

Sometimes I sit and wonder why people ‘follow’. Disciples of x y z. A person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another or that he embraces or assists in the teachings of another. Think about it for a second, actually disciple in this context could be misleading or misinterpreted though – not sounding too academic.

Followers of ‘Christianity’, ‘Islamic’, ‘Buddhism’, etc. do profess their faith one way or the other to justify and convince their own self of what ‘Right’means before they do so on others. The I’m right and you are wrong factor in the inner self of mankind. We all have the tendency to be right first time and it is incredibly difficult to accept defeat although its highly acclaimed that it’s a man’s man who accept the humbleness of defeat and being on the wrong side for once.

I condemn the act of terrorists, the terrorists themselves and the principles that lead to killing oneself to justify a cause. But looking at the bigger picture, elevating yourself above the mediocrity and myopic picture of what the other side see about them, create a clearer understanding of why terrorist do what they do. It’s understandable but not acceptable in my opinion. Some of my worthy readers will jump up on me and start cursing me right now for understanding why terrorist do what they do, I do appreciate that also, because that is the nature, diversity and propensity of democracy.

We should come to accept the fact that, the people we follow religiously somewhat makes mistakes; the fact that we follow them by what they’ve done, what they’ve promised to do and who they are does not cloud them from wrong judgement. The core of religious conflicts stem from the fact that someone said or did something negative about my ‘lord’ (be it Allah, Buddha, Christ or whoever) and without understanding why people say and do what they do, we tend to defend the supposed defendless. Picking up clubs and guns, stones and machetes, anger and words to vent our displeasure. The teachings on ones religious belief against the other has an inbuilt / seed-sowing inplant that goes a long way to shape our concepts and ideas and the way we look and perceive or appreciate things. I have the firm believe that everything under the sun has the potency to be ambiguous and for that matter an ambiguous image has multiple interpretations on the perceptual level.

Depending on where you are standing and what forms your imaginary concepts you might interpret things different. Thomas Kuhn puts it rightly, to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. It goes on to represent the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern. The most difficult thing to do is to forget about your understanding of a concept and try to see things from the way others of different opinions see them.

In my own perception I believe most of us are charting a course that could be disastrous in our ‘politically moving forward’ agenda. Debate, argue and try to convince people to champion your course be it NDC or NPP, the hopeful CPP or the not so enthusiastic PNC, but disrespecting people in argument is none to say feeble.

Some folks are so myopic that, say something negative about Rawlings and his regime and you are quickly branded as NPP - thunder storms of insults pick you up like bush fire in harmattan (just remembered my Okonko stories). Condemn Kuffour’s recent unguarded utterrances and you become a special agent for the NDC. I recently wrote an article on Ghana web “Open letter to Prof Atta Mills” dated 09th Sept 2008, where I delve into what I believe was and is the thinking line of Mr. Rawlings, I’m glad most people received it well, but some of the comments on my article and other articles that were published are not worthy to write home about.

We need to be wide awake and condemn that which is wrong and give praise to where praise is due. If we cling to our political parties as religions and embrace them to the extend that we think they do no wrong, we allow ourselves to be brain-washed of the bad deeds and are more willing to die for that ‘just’ cause. Don’t get me wrong, there are some people who are paid to defend unscrupulous utterances by their leaders. The likes of the then Victor Smith, Kofi Adams, Tony Aidoo,Peter Mac-Manu, Kofi Agyekum and Mustapha Hamid are all paid employees to defend and or correct silly utterances coming out of their bosses.

We, us, the electorates are supposed to read in-between the lines and demand an apology from our leaders and not just jump on the wagon like osama recruits ready to die for any cause.

I still say and hammer home again, that for our young democracy and aspiration for a liberal democracy to take roots vis a vis our proud African culture, we need to move away from autocratic and ‘semi illiterate’ (I use this in the very nicest tense) former heads of state and concentrate on ‘all hands on deck’, ‘how do we move the country forward’.

Utterances and accusations that are not justifiable, remarks that are unwholesome and personal grudges and public pomposity should be condemned to the nth degree. Atta Mills’ campaign team did well to condemn and reject recent ‘boom’ speeches by the Rawlingses and the attack on Akuffo Addo’s credibility by one disgruntled former obaahema Agyemang Rawlings.

Anyhoo, that’s by and gone. Can Rawlings stay put and be treated as an ex-president? Kuffour’s behaviour after his premiership will enlighten the masses on who is a matured ex-president. For now, it seems we only have one, so nothing to compare.

God bless Africa, God bless Ghana.

Kobina Arko-Tharkor Obronikrom, UK