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Opinions of Friday, 19 October 2012

Columnist: Seidu, Abdulai

The Gerontocratic Mindset And The Ethnocentric Position Of NPP

The desperate disposition to demoralise young people in the country especially those in government by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) outside issues but on the grounds that they are young is quite difficult to grasp by any upright and respectable mind.

The problem however is that, it is not clear whether these old folks are oblivious of the positive role of the youth in society. The NPP has turned their party into a monolithically immotile institution where diversity and dynamism has eluded them and thereby refuse to accept that the era where age rules supreme is over. Meritocracy today, puts us all on the same pedestal.

Despite the efforts by the Commonwealth Nations to empower young people which indeed culminated in signing up the Commonwealth Plan of Africa for Youth Empowerment of which Ghana is a member, the NPP seem not to recognise the role of the youth in this country. It has been recognised the world over, that the youth constitute the most important human resource potential that can contribute significantly to the overall development of a nation.

Youth empowerment is an attitudinal, structural and cultural process whereby young people gain the ability, authority and agency to make decisions and implement change in their lives and the lives of other people. Indeed empowering young people means creating the enabling conditions under which young people can act on their own behalf, and on their own terms, rather than at the direction of others.

Instead of the NPP with their experience over the years, establishing the identity and status of young people within the framework of good governance and to provide a direction for youth activities and involvement in nation building, they seem to, at the least opportunity condemn young people in government and seek to create the impression that because they are young and have not worked before they do not qualify to be ministers of state, leaving out the fact that they merit their post. Meanwhile they have included political neophytes who have not worked before in their campaign. Does that give you a clue of the mentality of the NPP?

What is more worrying is the way young people including Sammy Awuku, Sammuel Abu Jinapor, Stephen Amoah and their ilk impulsively objurgate the inclusion of young people in governance forgetting that they themselves are untested and that the success or otherwise of these young ministers in government could shape their political future positively or negatively, especially when they belong to an organisation governed by old men with deeply entrenched gerontocratic inclinations.

But for the prevision of the late president John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills and his appreciation of the role of the youth, Sammy Awuku and his garrulous colleagues would not be recognised in their “No Plan Party – NPP”. The vehemence in condemning young persons in government by NPP activist at the least opportunity further establishes their craze for parochialism.

Indeed it’s a demonstration of the fact that, in their (thus the NPP) political motivation, they would rush about hastily in an undignified manner and imprecate young political opponents irrespective of the consequence.

In 2008, when all the parties were busily engaging the youth in their policies and programmes and actively engaged in their party activities, Sammy Awuku and his likes could not find their feet in the NPP until the late president exposed the NPP for their dislike to allow youth in authority resulting in the ceremonial appointment of some young people as deputy Communication Directors. Having consumed themselves in the gerontocratic posturing, the youth activists in the NPP are not worried at all but rather busily condemning their colleague young ministers in government spifflicating their own chances.

The NPP with the tiniest opportunity cannot debate without referring to the age of members in the ruling government showing little or no interest in the substantive issues.

As if that is not enough, their selfish and delight for ethnocentrism has gone haywire due to the desperation and incessant love for power for their narrow interest. Their attempt to play the religious politics and create the impression that their love for Muslims/Northerners translated into the selection of Mahmoud Bawumia as their running mate is most regrettable especially when their deeds consistently prove otherwise. The continuous vilification and careful attempt to kill Ibrahim Mahama’s business further exposes their ethnocentric position as a political party.

The NPP had the fine opportunity to select a Muslim/Northerner, Aliu Mahama as their leader if what they claim is sincere, especially so when he was the second in command in their so called éclat achievements in 8yrs. Afterall, the woman whose child has been eaten by a witch best knows the evil of witchcraft. But thanks to Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, we were told “he has not distinguished himself well to merit the position as the leader of the New Patriotic Party”.

Not too long ago, when the late President John Evans Ataa Mills invited ex-president John Agyekum Kuffour to the Castle, the NPP vehemently demanded that he invited Nana Akuffo Addo too to the castle. His Excellency John Dramani Mahama in his policy statement has recognised that demand and has indicated to meet all political parties, but typical of the ego trip ethnocentric people’s party, they don’t deem it fit to meet a northerner as a president to discuss issues of national interest. The courtesy call on ex-president Rawlings is fake and was meant to score cheap mutual political points. Or is it because the H.E. Jerry John Rawlings is not a Muslim/Northerner?

It is not surprising at all for Gabby Asare Darko to describe the Number One Citizen of the land who is a northerner as oafish. He (Gabby Asare Darko) wilfully stultified himself in absolute ferocity when Hon. Dr Omane Boamah quoted from a book which describes Dr. J.B. Danquah as a CIA agent on Joy Fm. They have demonstrated by their deeds, their tribal and incessant dislike for Muslims/Northerners. Again in their spurious and obsequious attempt to practice “politics of inclusiveness”, a Muslim and a Northerner, Mallam Issah was sacrificed. An act which till date has been one of the most celebrated “success stories” of Nana Addo, the Attorney General at the time.

Recently on Boiling Point (a political programme on Oman fm) Sammy Awuku as usual on his pathetic politicking created an undesirable and negative impression that Muslims even though poor will still marry more than one. Meanwhile Abu Rahmadan and K.T. Hammond who are Muslims “somewhat oafishly” sat in the studios and regrettably listened to Awuku’s dogma.

Interestingly the NPP, having shown enormous support to their members in times of trouble including Kennedy Agyapong have neglected Adamu Dramani Sakande who at this time needs the party’s solidarity more. Did it ring a bell when at the manifesto lunch of the NPP Adjoa Sarfo read the youth programme as against the elected National Youth Organiser, Anthony Abayefa Karbo?

The attempt to forcefully establish a convention to allow Muslims/Northerner to play second fiddle in the nation’s affairs must be dismissed by well meaning Muslims/Northerners. The NPP has demonstrated beyond doubt that they have no respect for Muslims/Northerners and they only use them to satisfy their partisan interest. It is important for every Muslim/Northerner to reject any group who will pretentiously engage or recognise them just to achieve their narrow parochial and ethnocentric agenda.

In conclusion I hope I would not be chastised by some mushroom group to say that Nana Addo’s “Y?n Akanfo?” and “ALL DIE BE DIE” statements were somewhat oafishly made because what is good for the southerner must surely be good for the northerner.

Abdulai Seidu