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Opinions of Thursday, 30 June 2011

Columnist: Poku-Gyimah, A.

The Ghanaian Peace Plan

May 12th, 2011

A. Poku-Gyimah Peace Plan (APGPP)

Prepared in the first week of January 2011; submitted to His Excellency President John Evans Atta-Mills on May 12th.

Ezekiel Chapter 18 vs. 20 and 21

20: The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21: But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
• The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life.

Your Excellency,
Children have always misunderstood the opportunity. I am back with you with sound mind and body, and full of hope and respect for our branches of government, chieftaincy system, Ghanaians and our nation as a whole. To this end, I believe you will consider this submission to be crucial and important, as you have always accorded my contributions to the development of our nation-state. We Ghanaians must respect the laws of our own land.

The purpose of the A. Poku-Gyimah Peace Plan (APGPP) is to lay groundwork for our national unity as a gateway to our cultural, socio-economic, and political emancipation. It will help to liberate our children and youth from oppressive politicians who have only put these youngsters in bondage. These politicians use our children and youth to lawlessly and violently promote the politicians’ selfish economic and political interests. Ghanaian unity has been disrupted over the last generation by a single factor and it is about time we redefine ourselves and stand and make unity not only our priority but also a lasting cultural impact. Ghana is ours and no one else’s. Our forefathers were the true founders of Ghana and therefore we are the owners of Ghana. No other person can claim to be the founder of Ghana. Europeans or Asians can litigate with us over ownership of the land, but we will prevail in the international court or democratic tribunal of justice. Therefore, we Ghanaians need to unite forever and ever more to develop and make Ghana a model society for the African continent to emulate.
We have to be smart enough to unite our people. APGPP is to help prepare us for our “decade of hope” and its aftermath. APGPP provides grounding in the principles and practices of democratic dispensation as it strives to produce an informed reflective for every Ghanaian and resident of Ghana. Troubleshooting Ghana has taken too long and it is now time to solve the problem. Simply expressed, APGPP will guide the way in which we Ghanaians interact with each other to create peace, a chance, to facilitate development of our nation-state.

I seriously thought about a peace plan because as we all know, for a generation till now, our nation has been characterized by a culture of political violence and general lawlessness. This means some people in the country have no respect for our laws. This problem dates as far back as the 1940s. I do not want to discuss the causes of culture of political violence and its impact on Ghana. What is important is for us to find a solution – a peace plan. Therefore, I am moving on with the details of APGPP.

Details of the A. Poku- Gyimah Peace Plan: Stage 1

Our statesmen can start it with a communal labor/community service. It can be followed by the statesmen having lunch or dinner together. Our statesmen are important in this endeavor because they are the tool for reorganizing and training our youth to grow up as responsible adults. We do not need state troublesome men and women but statesmen and women. We need statesmen and women to help our children, youth, young men and women to have good backgrounds and establish positive accomplishments. A statesman is a respected person in a society who is listened to by the masses when he or she expresses his or her opinions or views over issues that could lead to avoid confusion and disturbances. In other words, statesmen are state’s elders. They are humble, respected, and respect the laws of the land they are very fortunate to be part of; have no criminal records, and are not arrogant, selfish, murderers, nor do they treason, intimidate, humiliate, frustrate the chief executive of the country, murder state leaders, and generally abuse the nation by stealing and defacing human rights records. Necessarily being a natural citizen is not a requirement for statesmanship, but the above listed factors must be met.

In the U.S. examples of such statesmen are President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush, Sr., George Bush, Jr., Jimmy Carter; former House Speakers Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi; former Secretaries of State James Baker, Colin Powell, and Warren Christopher; former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole; former presidential candidate John McCain, as well as all living former vice presidents. In Hong Kong, Mr. Martin Lee, a legislator (as at the time I was there), is a well known statesman. I want to see statesmen in my own country. Statesmen are patriotic citizens who are very important because of the peaceful role they play to leverage their nation.

During lunch or dinner, Mr. President as the lead person of the statesmen can raise the issues I have enumerated below for discussion in a friendly and cordial manner. I recommend the initial opening of the communal labor to take place at Paga in the Navorongo District of the Upper East Region. The communal labor may be anything from cleaning the streets and market places to weeding Navorongo Secondary School lawns or filling in potholes. It can be any work that is important to do. Once our statesmen have done the assignment for the first time, that is, after the introductory period, regional ministers and executives as well as leaders of all political parties in every region should follow suit. This can be followed by district chief executives and leaders of political parties in the districts. All these exercises must be done in good faith, showing proper courtesy and lunching or dining together.

The labor must not be just an hour-long endeavor but a day-long exercise. That will help Ghanaians to understand that you mean business - unity. This must be done once a month or twice, if possible, but not longer than once each quarter of a year. Locations should change every time it is conducted. For example, the nation’s statesmen, led by the president, will move from one region to another. The regional statesmen will move from district to district. The district statesmen will move from town to town and village to village. At the end of the day, participants should go together to greet the chief of the town where the service was performed. If the chief asks of your mission, you can simply tell His Majesty that you were in the city to serve the people. No political talk. The First and Second Ladies must work, sit down, and eat together with our former first and Second ladies, and discuss issues of importance affecting our nation - children’s issues, for example. This exercise will educate the youth and the masses that there is one Ghana that defines us as people with a common destiny and interest and therefore alienating themselves with one political entity/or an individual is meaningless and unhelpful for the development of our nation. It will serve to educate the children and youth to stay away from politicians who only use them to seek their family’s economic interest. The children and youth should team up to spend their time on community development activities and issues affecting them and peacefully go to polling stations on election days to cast votes based solely on issues presented by politicians or candidates.

The former Citizen’s Defense Committee (CDR), People’s Defense Committee (PDC), Worker’s Defense Committee (WDC), Militia, etc. set up by the life-long dictator of Ghana FLT. LT. Nana Jerry John Rawlings did not help in terms of growth and development of our nation. They were destructive indeed. Therefore, the new institutions formed by politicians under the banner of the political parties - namely - Foot Soldiers, NDC Youth, NPP Youth, CPP Youth, PNC Youth, etc. are non-conforming. These institutions will not help our youth and the growth and development of our nation, in any way. In fact, these organizations are retarding the progress of the youngsters at the expense of politician families’ well-being.

Second, a nation without a formidable security system is like a nation without a backbone. I do not want to discuss the cause(s) of breakdown of professional security in our nation-state – if we have ever had one, anyway. The important thing is for us to fix the loopholes. Mr. President, may I ask you to find a position for Mr. P. K. Acheampong, our former Inspector General of Police (IGP) – 2005-2009? Dismissing an IGP in the first or second week of a new administration only accelerates the already declining or non-existent professional security situation in the country. I will be glad to hear that His Excellency has done the same and offered positions to the military and prison service commanders he retired when he took office. The rationale is to create competency in the security system. That is to say, we are driving competent soldiers away from politics and placing them in professional security arena for the safety of our homeland Ghana.

Any officer of merit could be appointed to a service commander post without regard to their political party and/or tribal affiliation. The appointees only have to be competent and respect the badge and nation and understand the difference between authority and power. That will help develop a new security system comparable to the Western countries, with the goal that their personnel, too, will become well trained and equipped. The failure of the police to arrest the terrorist(s), our nation’s most notorious criminal, who masterminded the bomb the military claim they mistakenly left behind at the training camp that eventually ignited and killed a Burkinabe, demonstrates our security incompetence or breakdown. This plan must bind every new administration unless the IGP and military service commanders of the previous administration were completely non-performing. Even then, the president must not retire them in less than six months into the new administration.

Third, Parliament must pass a law forbidding the formation of Foot Soldiers, political youth groups and activities, and close all existing youth groups in the nation, leaving only Ghanaian, city, and town and village youth in practice. For example, Ghanaian Youth, Sokagope Youth, Obuasi Youth, Tamale Youth, Bolgatanga Youth, Takoradi Youth, Tema Youth. No political party youth. Religious youth grouping should be encouraged to serve to educate the youth on moral grounds. The law must categorically and specifically state that any politician who organizes youth and young men in the country for political purposes is guilty of a felony. This should be punishable by a fine of a minimum amount of 10,000 Cedis not to exceed 20,000 Cedis and/or serve a prison sentence of two to five years. In addition, the violator must be prevented from participating in politics and be placed in court ordered probation for a period of five years, starting the day of release from prison or payment of fine. The justice system and traditional leaders must critically help to enforce laws when they are passed.

Fourth, tertiary institutions and all learning centers across the nation must be forbidden by law to open political party offices on campuses. The NDC office in the University of Development Studies (UDS) campus at WA that was opened by our Vice President must be closed down immediately and for good. I challenge our Vice President Mr. John Dramani Mahama to come out and tell Ghanaians the university in the democratic world where a political party is setup on the university’s campus. I personally visited several university campuses in California, the Hong Kong peninsula, Taiwan. I have researched higher institution administrations and have never located any university where a political party or parties has an office on the campus for students. This quickly calls for the total elimination of NPP office in the University of Education campus at Kumasi. Deans of Students Affairs of tertiary institutions should enforce the legislation as soon as it is passed.

Fifth, the Police must be trained to understand that there is no one above the law in the country. The only person they do not have the prerogative to arrest is the sitting president. If the president is suspected of committing a crime, his arrest is the work of the parliament, using the impeachment process. The Police should also be trained on fear and its elimination. They must feel bold to arrest anyone, when the police have probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a crime or they believe they have probable suspicion to warrant a detention of the individual for interrogation.

Sixth, candidates for political post must do their own campaigning but a candidate may make a request to a previous candidate for help in campaigning. Immediate family members may participate in the campaigning process. Campaigning must not be required of every political party member. Political party members participating in campaigns for a candidate can lead to confusion and disorganization of youth. Some campaigning causes general lawlessness and disturbances. Demonstrations must have a similar connotation. If the youth have their own grievances and want to express their concerns through demonstrations, they are more than welcome to do so, but politicians must not manipulate them or become involved. Every demonstration or gathering must be approved by the police; otherwise it becomes an illegal or unlawful gathering.

Again, we have to pass a law to stop soldiers from leaving their barracks for town with firearm(s). They must inform and seek permission from the police before transporting firearms through town, whether from the port to the barracks or from the barracks to the jungle for training and when returning. Military weapons passing through cities, towns and villages must be covered with tent. Also, a law must be passed to stop soldiers, individually or in groups, from walking or driving their private vehicles in town with firearms. Additionally, we need a law that is specifically enacted to prevent the military from refusing to take police orders, or evade an officer or resist arrest by peace officer(s) while outside of the barracks. The consequence must include the soldier’s immediate dismissal from the military and further prosecution.

Government must endeavor to provide more jobs to the youth and young men and women. Vocational and technical training centers, as well as fee free first and second cycle education must be made available to the youth and the young. This will help them spend their time working towards building their capabilities and skills for their future good, instead of spending their time practicing lawlessness and following politicians’ blindly. It will also help to boost our human resource development and national productivity.

At the lunch or dinner, the team of statesmen should put our nation’s development plan on the table for discussion. We need a long-term development plan that should last for a twenty year period. The terms of the plan must allow for a sitting administration to continue from where the previous administration left off. We need consistent methods or processes to build our nation. By the end of the 20-year period, the country should be developed. Mr. Kwame Nkrumah’s (the first president of our land) development plan would be uncharacteristic at this time since it was developed along the lines of state and foreign-owned property. If we consider individuals and individual family members’ property acquisition behaviors in Ghana, it is apparent that everyone in our fatherland Ghana is capitalist, not socialist; therefore, our development plan must meet the wishes of the populace (analytically, Jerry John Rawlings& co. murdered our late leaders for doing no wrongs, but only because of jealousy and selfishness. God is king. Time will tell. ). We want Ghanaians to own a substantial portion of businesses in the country. We must not live in our own country and look for jobs from foreign residents. We must completely own our country.

Once you agree on a development plan initiative, the issue of those who will design the development plan takes the next stage. I suggest the designers and planners should equally represent all political parties. Each political party must present members; each independent candidate must present a member and Ghanaians in the Diaspora must present the rest. Members of the APGPP (statesmen) must not be part of the development designers and planners, although I would have loved to see Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom as a panel member. The plan makers must come from experts in the fields of all endeavors - planning, economics, health care, agriculture, industry, roads and highways - transportation, natural resources, education, security, etc... When the plan is designed, it will need parliamentary approval before its implementation is started.

The President should apologize to the king of Accra because a member of the president’s cabinet insulted the king, last year. It occurred when some Ga youth demanded the king’s resignation. The abuser spoke on the telephone when he was interviewed by Adom FM radio newscasters regarding the conduct of the youth and the royalty. The offender spoke from the Castle. He spoke in English and Twi languages. He is Ga. It is not important to state the name of the abuser. I believe an apology from our president will be enough for our king.

Similarly, the president should apologize to the Aflao king because the self-proclaimed founder of everything in Ghana, including, the National Democratic Congress party the president leads, and the oil discovery grounds, stood in front of the king of Aflao and warned the nation’s parliamentarians, last year, at Aflao. It is a misdemeanor to disrespect a king in my country. Giving a warning to parliamentarians in the presence of a king is highly disrespectful. He could have gone to the Parliament house to warn them since he still claims ownership of Ghana. (I, also, want to advice all those in Ghana that whoever disrespects the king of Aflao has disrespected the Otumfuo. Foreign residents who have no clue of Ghanaian culture history must learn from me now).

I suggest a sitting president should not allow the National Union of Ghanaian Students (NUGS) executives to meet with him or her. We should not allow student unions to be another political institution in the country anymore. We already have too many national political groups. Student Unions are political institutions only in their respective campuses. Students are learners not practitioners. Such Unions were very helpful before January 2001 because they helped in our fight for independence. They can channel their grievances through their vice chancellors’ offices and/or to the Minister of Education.

When a president leaves office he or she should go and stay in his hometown or village. If every former president and vice president were to stay on in Accra, Accra would be full of former presidents and vice presidents. Further, if we allow former presidents and their deputies to stay in Accra, a sitting president may not take the development of our towns and villages at heart. In the U.S., as soon as a president is sworn in, on midday of January 20th, the immediate outgoing president leaves for his hometown. Former presidents and ex-vice presidents must go and set up their libraries and NGOs in their hometown and stay there. Our President must do the same immediately on leaving office.

If Mr. President can appoint 1 or 2 opposition liberals to join his administration that will obviously add a new idea to our political atmosphere. The U.S. uses this tool as a means of establishing unity in the country. A successful candidate at any election will be expected to build on the strengths of the previous administration and continue to advance it as a nation of excellence in democratic dispensation in Africa and beyond. We need to do all this so that our children can become better with hopes and dreams that they deserve because Ghana is their country, Ghana is their fatherland. We have to work hard and well to increase productivity and advance our safety measures in order to be able to reverse fatherland to our motherland. Our mothers are still not safe. One has been shot in a police station in Accra. Our nation is still inflames.

1. President of the Republic of Ghana should be accompanied by the First lady of Ghana.
2. Vice President of the Republic of Ghana should be accompanied by the Second lady of Ghana.
3. Mr. John Agyekum-Kuffour, former President of the Republic of Ghana should be accompanied by the former First lady of Ghana if they are still married, otherwise by his current wife.
4. Mr. Aliu Mahama, former Vice President of the Republic of Ghana should be accompanied by the former Second Lady of Ghana if they are still married, otherwise by his current wife.
5. Mr. Alhaji Mumuni, the Minister for Foreign Affairs
6. Speaker of Parliament
7. Majority Leader of Parliament
8. Minority Leader of Parliament
9. Dr. Yao Obed Asamoah, former Foreign Minister and former PFP presidential candidate.
10. Dr. Ibin Chambers, former Foreign Minister (I understand he is out of the country)
11. Nana Akufo-Addo, former Foreign Minister and current presidential candidate for NPP.
12. Dr. Edward Mahama, former Presidential Candidate for PNC party
13. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, former presidential candidate for CPP
14. Mr. Kofi Wayo, former presidential candidate for Renaissance Party
15. Mr. Kwabena Adjei, former presidential candidate for Reformed Patriotic Party
16. Mr. Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi, former presidential candidate for Democratic Freedom Party
17. Mr. Thomas Ward-Brew, former presidential candidate for Democratic People’s Party
18. Mr. and Mrs. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations
19. Mr. and Mrs. Victor Gbeho, former Ghanaian Ambassador to the UN
20. Ambassador Lt. General Benedictus Kodzo Akafia
21. Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey
22. Dr. Kobina Arthur-Kennedy

Special Invitees
I highly recommend Madams Samia Nkrumah and Abena Busia to be invited and serve as members of APGPP. I would like for Mr. President, former president Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom and the other members of APGPP to call the two ladies to order and ask them to warmly shake hands during the introductory period, at lunch or dinner. They must join in with our high ranking ladies in everything our high ranking ladies participate in. This measure is to promote peace and unity amongst the NPP and CPP functionaries. Since Mr. Kwame Nkrumah and the Busia-Danquah tradition were not in good terms, the coming together of their children will be embraced by Ghanaians. During President’s Day and Independence anniversary celebrations, the ‘big six’ must be given equal recognition. They all did a good job helping to liberate Ghanaians from colonial rule, although they had different views as to how to get to our goal. Their efforts are, however, meaningless unless we link them to our unification process to build our nation.

I am, hereby, appealing to Mr. and Mrs. John Agyekum Kuffour to be extra mindful of their conducts in father Ghana because as a former first family of the Republic of Ghana, Ghana must come first before their political party. That is to say that, if Ghana needs them and their political party needs them, they have to attend to Ghana first. They should not cause trouble in the country. They should continue to respect the laws of the land. They should respect our kings. After all, they will leave Ghana behind one day, but their conducts will always remain in the minds of Ghanaians and Ghanaian archives. May they live long.

Also, it is important that the media stop advertising the permanent dictator of Ghana, FLT. LT. Nana Jerry John Rawlings, who, additionally, imposes himself as inspector and supervisor of the Ghanaian Presidency. The media should as well stop advertising Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour. This is because Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour is no longer president of Ghana. Always publicizing them creates unhealthy political atmosphere in the country, particularly because Ghana is a Third World country. Even in developed countries, former presidents are hardly heard of in the media. My further piece of advice to Mr. and Mrs. Kuffour is that, effective this year, they should celebrate their birth day with students – primary or secondary on campus, instead of making it a political party celebration at home.

I, A. Poku-Gyimah, am playing the role of recording those who will be terrorizing Ghana and Ghanaians at home in U.S FBI database. (A friend of mine has shown how to do that). The Ghanaian terrorists fail to realize that when they train people to terrorize Ghanaians, they are training people to terrorize the U.S. and the world at large. U.S. police are worried because they are the first respondents to terrorism in the U.S.. I shall also be drawing the attention of the U.S. leadership to this crucial matter, if necessary. Already, the U.S. Embassy in Accra knows the terrorist(s), anyway. I will also work with the president and the police to identify specific criminals in the country who must be arrested for prosecution, irrespective of their political, tribal or institutional affiliations because we have probable cause for their arrest.

We Ghanaians hope for the betterment of our dear and great nation. We seek peace and tranquility and development, not war or litigation or stupidity. We need to let our criticisms be constructive at all time, not destructive or violence. Good Luck to citizens and residents of Ghana. God bless our homeland Ghana, our fatherland. I love everyone but do not accept everyone’s behaviors. We are in a period of change. Change for the best. Change quickly because a change may save you. The world is far more civilized than it used to be thirty years ago. Children of thirty years ago are now grown up men and women leading and managing their nations

Ghanaians must learn that there is always Ghanaian government or government of Ghana. There is no such thing as NPP or NDC government. There is no such thing as Kuffour’s government. Kuffour never had a government. Kuffour had an administration. Similarly said, Attah-Mill has no government. Attah-Mills has an administration. So, we Ghanaians will have a government at all time that we must support and work with, for national progress. This means that those of you at home must not follow Ghanaians in the Diaspora blindly. What you read online and hear on Ghanaian radio stations across the world, are too over copied. The white man does not conduct his politics in these like manners, otherwise Ghanaian Diasporas would not be able to stay in their host countries; they would have returned home for their safety. I need a change in my country because I cannot live without Justice for all my life. Nana Rawlings did not give me Justice. Justice could have changed my mind.