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Opinions of Sunday, 24 July 2011

Columnist: Akpalu, Ben

RE: Anlo Youth Council Readies Itself For The 2012 General Elections

I wish to respond to the above-captioned article which appeared on your website on July 12, 2011. After reading the whole article, I felt highly elated that at long last some responsible individuals have decided to safeguard and project the interest of Anlo. I have been following the exploits of Anlo Youth Council (AYC) since the November 1, 2007 attacks on the people of Anlo and would wish to commend the young men and women who stood firm to defend their homeland in the face of myriads of provocations from the state for doing a yeoman’s job. They deserve my commendation and the commendation of all, especially when the so-called influential names and faces from the area who could have spoken to stop the aggression against their land of birth all went underground only to emerge after an NDC victory in 2008.

To the current and most pressing issue, it is obvious that the “wall of fear” that has characterized African politics, whereby only a few individuals could take whole communities and a country to a ransom came down in Tariah/Tahrir Square in Egypt, and political discourse across the world is realigning itself in the wake of these events. Why did I have to make reference to these events? In AYC’s statement, it is ostensible that a few individuals have hijacked the political process in Anloland for their own parochial interest. It looks very much to me like the democratic process has been cheaply reduced to what bear resemblances to chieftaincy in all its forms and shades – where a few individuals, so-called kingmakers, sit in the inner chambers to foist a crony or a kin on the people. A situation which has been a recipe for mayhem not only in Anlo but across the country. It is therefore not a surprise to me at all that in the matter of the Awoamefia, politicians have taken very deep interests, for reasons best known to them alone.

Let me point out that the democratic process is a process which is meant to produce the best for our communities in terms of quality leadership and that can only happen when the process is allowed to evolve in an open and transparent manner. If this is what AYC is calling for, then I am 110% in support of their intended actions and encourage them to be steadfast in this new thinking. I will throw my weight behind them in ensuring that we get the best for our communities. That others can criticize to enable the effort to improve efficiency and gather speed is acceptable to me whole heartedly. But those who criticize because they failed to see wisdom and merit in the AYC’s effort, only speak volumes of their state of judgment, vision and their definition and interpretation of what is the public good.

It is interesting to note that not long after the NDC won power in January 2008, the old hawks who have rode on the back of Anlo for many years (indeed, over 40 decades) without anything to show for with regard to their contributions to the development of the area quickly found their voices and seats once again and had the impudence to try creating rival institutions where one was not needed. I support a letter sent across the Anlo communities and the diaspora by one Dumega Raymond Okudzeto to discredit the members of these so-called committees.

To the leadership of Ano Youth Council, they should be as wise as a serpent, as there would be infiltrators who would want to scuttle their front per the postings and comments I have read on Ghanaweb. They should watch out for these detractors and quickly purge them from their ranks or risk being derailed by these elements and their powerful and ‘wealthy’ sponsors. The leadership should also take on the constituencies one at a time, so as to focus their attention and resources most effectively. This way, they can make the maximum impact and the bandwagon effect will follow to the other Anlo constituencies as people see wisdom demonstrated leading to tangible results, a genuine support for this noble effort would follow. After all, Rome was not built in day.

Kudos to AYC leadership and lets, in the interest of the common good, see more of these actions meant to hold leadership accountable to the people. I am personally preparing a long list of questions to either send to AYC to put across to those who have been leading or to post on the same forum to demand answers from them. No matter how offensive these questions are going to be, they demand answers!

Ben Akpalu