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Opinions of Thursday, 20 December 2012

Columnist: Afoun, John

The Need for a More Perfect Ghana

The year is quickly coming to an end. Although President Mahama garnered a landslide victory, we have elected a split and very partisan parliament and the outcome of the election is still been contested. The country is for all practical purposes a politically divided nation and if care is not taken the election dispute could lead to a tribal/civil war. However, we should not let the outcome of the election blindside us from the real issues facing Ghana. Though the Ghana, job market sputters along with modest growth, overall we continue to struggle economically in a global economy that is at best anemic. We have an aging infrastructure and few opportunities for our young men and women to gain some much needed work experience. The ranks of our under privilege and unemployed are swelling to historic levels. The country is being pushed to the brink of civil/tribal war as a result of the alleged vote rigging with most of those elected into power still willing to stick to common refrains and business as usual.

These are not ordinary times and we did not elect our leaders to behave in an ordinary way. Political party dogma, incivility and intransigent positions will be our undoing. Why have we turned our nation’s discourse into get-in-your –face and yell-at-the-top-of-your lungs confrontation? When did we decide that “my way or the highway” was the answer to everything? What if we confront the problems that plague our nation as one? The only confrontation we need is to confront our problems together as a nation. We all need to check party egos at the door and find solutions for Ghana, period.

Our nation is changing politically, the days when one particular tribe dominated politics are long gone, and change is always difficult. But demonstrations like the one the NPP has been staging are not the answer to our troubles. They are a distraction from the heavy lifting that is in front of us. Do we honestly believe that, if the outcome of the 2012 election were different, all our problems will magically be fixed? Granted there is something to be said about demonstrators in the face of injustice and corruption, but those demonstrations involve rolling up our sleeves, finding common ground, crafting solutions (imperfect as they may be) and getting to work rebuilding our beloved Ghana. The only demonstrations we should be seeing these days are a demonstration of Ghana resolve, Ghanaian unity, and our willingness to put country before tribal and political affiliation in service to our nation. We need to accept the change in our nation and harness the energy this change generates to strengthen, not divide us. Our national policy, and by de-fault our country cannot be driven by extremes. Our greatest successes are derived from moderation and compromise. Normally, when election cycles are finished they carry an aura of hope and promise – a reboot of sort. That sort of fresh start – hopefully with less partisan and tribalistic gridlock and more united effort – is just what we need. Our leaders must not keep building and hiding behind party-line bunkers, but must start working together to “establish justice, insure Tranquility, provide for the common people, promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Freedom and Justice to ourselves and our Posterity” as ordained in our constitution. Our founding fathers came from different tribes and managed to form a “more Perfect Ghana” This time of challenge and strife in the aftermath of the 2012 election gives our beloved nation and leaders the opportunity to test our mettle and forge an even “more Perfect Ghana”. Will we choose to be ordinary, or rise up and be extraordinary, exceptional, and exemplary Ghanaians; true patriots? As we emerge from the election dispute and rush towards the end of the year and the next parliament, we hope that it will be the latter.

Long live Ghana and God bless Ghana.

Komla – The self- proclaimed Peace Broker.