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Opinions of Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Columnist: Amaning, Kwarteng

Political All-Inclusiveness: A National Service or Political Prostitution?

The Ghanaian political landscape has been so much polarized along partisan lines to the extent that fairness, objectivity and truthfulness are no longer the hallmark of many a politician. This situation has a very deleterious potential of attenuating if not exterminating the very social fabric, which binds us together as Ghanaians. Undoubtedly, all politicians want the best for Ghana but sometimes their approach to issues of national importance leaves much to be desired. Many of them politicize every issue of national importance to the extent that one wonders if the interest of Ghana precedes their political loyalty/interest. Most of them engage in unwarranted politicization in a bid to take credit for themselves or discredit one person, a group of persons or a political party for political expediency. Constructive criticism aimed at correcting flaws in our national policies should be the pre-occupation of all. I believe Ghanaians have evolved and matured to the level where credit should be given where it is due regardless of the person or group’s political affiliations.

It is imperative that the best brains and experienced Ghanaians who have performed creditably and have distinguished themselves in their professional life are brought on board in the policy-making arena for the benefit of Ghana. The expertise of those Ghanaians should be tapped without recourse to their political, religious or ethnic background. After all, if it is credit that the incumbent government wants, credit accruing from their successful/exemplary service goes to them. Having said that, I believe our political leaders need to live above parochial partisan interest for the common good of Ghana.

It is against this backdrop that the all-inclusive policy of the Kufuor administration during its first term of office has to be commended. Though not up to expectation, in terms of the level and number of qualified and distinguished people called to serve, I believe it is a good start. Despite the fact that previous democratic regimes in Ghana had or at least attempted an all-inclusive government of some sort, the degree of involvement, and genuineness was encapsulated in great doubts. Some of these regimes later on succeeded in having the persons involved abandon their political leanings through all manner of means for the ruling party. Such situations do not bring the best out of the person as expected for the benefit of the nation, but rather make the appointees sing the song of the incumbent party without any real objectivity and constructive criticism of policies that would otherwise be criticized and debated.

The question that needs to be answered and clarified is, is political all-inclusiveness a national service or political prostitution? To answer this question, one has to consider the rationale behind the idea of all-inclusiveness. The principle of political all-inclusiveness is premised on the need to reduce the potential negative consequences of political and ideological barriers when it comes to governance or national policy deliberations, formulation and implementation. This presupposes that the best brains and people with demonstrated ability and capability to make a contribution to the national development are invited on board to serve. This also means that people with political leanings to the CPP, NDC, and NPP among others should be encouraged and ought to be able to cross party lines to SERVE GHANA regardless of which party is in government. As a nation, we need to aggressively institutionalize the principle of all-inclusiveness and to make it at least attractive and rewarding so that accomplished Ghanaians can serve the nation without regret.

The toxic precedence where honest people serving the nation in the name of all-inclusiveness are branded as political prostitutes, is a recipe for a disastrous failure of many national policies, a deterrent to future Ghanaians who want to serve and does not serve the interest of Ghana. It is dangerous, unfair, unacceptable, unpatriotic and destabilizing to national cohesion. Unless and until we all realize that it is an honorable service to Ghana and not political prostitution or betrayal of one’s political party, the country will continue to suffer.

Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom and Prof. George Hagan (CPP), and Moses Dani Baah and Mallam Issah (PNC), are the few Ghanaians who served under the NPP government.

Dr. Nduom was frustrated and had impediments put on his way by members of the NPP as well as by some elements within his own party-CPP. In spite of all this impedance, his performance and achievements in all the ministerial positions he occupied were without blemish and parallel. No wonder he has come to be known as “Mr. Fix It” in Ghana. It is the conviction of many that if this man is elected president, his presidency will be the nucleus that will pull Ghanaian expertise from abroad and at home to rebuild Ghana. He is attracted to Ghanaians abroad who are helping to keep the economies of those countries booming. Dr. Nduom will bring these “Messrs Fix It” on board to help fix our economy as he himself has promised and has demonstrated.

Fortunately, many Ghanaians are becoming much more enlightened and are able to read in betweens the lines to discern any deceptive and counter-productive politics employed by some politicians and are willing to make them pay the price. As Ghanaians we need to realize that no one person or political party’s interest reigns supreme to that of the nation. Ghanaians should be encouraged to serve in any capacity they can in whatever government in power without recourse to political/ideological leaning or sympathy. We should be inspired by patriotism and the desire to make Ghana a better place for posterity and ourselves. That is the spirit that makes a country like America great. We can make it and we have to make sure we do not rest until the work is done. GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA AND MAKE OUR NATION GREAT AND STRONG BOLD TO DEFEND FOREVER THE CAUSE FREEDOM AND OF RIGHT.

Kwarteng Amaning
Virginia,USA


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