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Opinions of Friday, 11 January 2013

Columnist: Sabban, Ganyobi

RE: Mahama Please Don’t Take Ga`s For Granted

A Rejoinder President John Mahama Please Don’t Take Ga`s For Granted

Nii Nortey, do not worry your head too much over Gas. Our lack of drive stinks to high heaven!

I am a bonafide Ga on both sides; however, I will be the first to admit that my group's lack of political tact is very worrying, and almost borders on stupidity! Where are our leaders? Isn't it amazing that we are all too willing to de-stool the current Ga-Mantse, Dr. Blankson, a man with stellar academic credentials, and to replace him with somebody who could not go beyond the O'level? Isn't it ironic that we are complaining that our children are not going to school, yet we are ready to remove from the helm a man who is a good model for education, and replace him with someone whose intellectual acumen could not be vouched for?

For how long do we Gas want to continue undermining our own interests? For starters, in 1951, Nkrumah stood as a candidate in present-day Odododiodioo (stupid name) and won, beating a bonafide Ga candidate. Gas were disproportionately incarcerated during Nkrumah's preventive detention act. Did we learn any lesson from that? NO. In 1979, Gas massively voted for PNP, led by Hilla Limann. Were Gas given a proportionate share of ministerial appointments? NO.

I hate to admit that NPP did a better job of giving our sons and daughters more recognition, yet we blindly helped the NDC to kick them out in 2008, and did same during the recent elections. Have we learnt any lessons? NO. It irks me to hear people like K.B. Asante, Bright Akwetey, Okaija Adamafio, etc, strutting all over the place, blindly and foolishly playing politics with Ga issues, all in the name of identifying with a certain ideological leaning.

When Mills came to power in 2008, the two most senior army officers, Sampa-Nunoo, and Odotei, were Gas. What happened to them? Both of them were retired on the same day so as to pave way for the current CDS, Augustine Blay. Did any Ga raise hell? NO. We were rather happy to incessantly badger Kuffour to vacate a bungalow! How stupid and small-thinking could we be? When Mills had his first cabinet reshuffle, the only substantive cabinet ministers to lose their portfolios were Gas--Tettey-Enyo and Zita Okaikoi. Did any Ga leader ask why? NO. Please don't tell me Zita was unfit for office. I may grudgingly agree, but I will bet my last dime, that she was of the same team B caliber, or even better, than some of the ministers who were not touched. For how long are we Gas going to fall for slogans and not substance?

I don't want to play the tribal card, but can anybody honestly envisage a Ga standing as a candidate against an Ewe in Eweland or a Gonja in Gonjaland, and beating the Ewe or Gonja candidate? Yet we Gas were all too happy to vote for non-Gas in core Ga constituencies to beat bonafide Ga candidates. How can Okity-Duah, a non-Ga beat Nortey-Dua, a true Ga, in the NDC primaries, and then go on to beat Dr. Norley Ashitey, a well-educated, true Ga, in the general elections? Again, please spare me your diatribe for sounding tribalistic; I can't help it. In "Things Fall Apart," Eneke, the bird, said: "Since men have learnt to shoot without missing their mark, it has also learnt to fly without perching on a twig." If others will play the tribal card to get their groups in strategic places, it will be unpardonably tragic for Gas to continue to be blind to reality. Maybe it is time to resuscitate the "Ga shifimo Kpee." Maybe it is time to fend for our own.

Where are the Attoh Kwashis? Where are the Kwartelai Quarteys? Where are the Asaaba Quarcoos? Where are the Tokyo Joe Boys?

It is time for Gas to pursue our own ends! Patriotism is a hollow word. Nationalism is a mirage. It is time for Gas to seek and protect our own! Attah-Mills had nothing to offer Gas. Mahama certainly will treat us like the political expedients we are, unless we bitch and raise hell and threaten to make Accra uncomfortable for him.

Ganyobi Sabban/Nii Nortey Ga