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Opinions of Saturday, 14 March 2009

Columnist: Arko-Tharkor, Kobina

Them And Us – The Political Polarisation Of Ghana

By Kobina Arko-Tharkor

It’s been quite uneasy in the country these days and those who are abroad ironically feels it quite well. Writing from afar, the polarisation of our dear nation is becoming very evident as the days roll by and if something is not done about it, we as a nation could easily plunge to our depths.

It has become very difficult to pinpoint objective individuals these days be it radio contributors, website commentators and even journalists. Though, I must admit I can count on my fingertips the number of ‘true objective’ journalists / writers in the country at the moment, which I believe is pretty demeaning, to say the least. We read newspapers, articles and reports online almost always, only to come to the conclusion that the term bias has completely lost it’s meaning to the Ghanaian populace.

It’s always a matter of them and us.

If you don’t belong to them, then it seem to be that everything they do is wrong irrespective of putting your objective head on to think matters through. Likewise, if you belong to them, then everything they do is right and can be justified in ‘your’ own eyes.

Politicians and so-called spokespersons day in day out run helter-skelter, from radio station to TV studios, chest out, voice cleared, full of arrogance and pomposity to defend utter nonsense. I will deliberately leave out names for fear of political brandishing. In as much as I would love everyone from every political divide to read and be satisfied, I’m being extremely cautious lest readers do read this piece with a prejudiced political affiliation. Talking about prejudism (if at all there is a word like that), its interesting how people read articles these days, accurately forming their opinion even before the script is finished.

The recent general elections was a good stepping stone for Ghana to once again launch itself further away political ‘idiocracy’ and embrace democratic governance where the country come together once again to rebuild the nation. Ghana has enjoyed 52 good years of ruling ourselves without foreign presence and hand over our shoulders. To take the bull by its horn, we haven’t lived up to expectation. There are more we could have done as a nation to have even gone beyond our current state. To build up the nation and go beyond where we are, it behoves on everyone to play a major role in nation building.

The more we encourage people to misbehave, lie, spend public money and do same as our predecessors, the more we remain where we are. Because, its just simple arithmetic, ‘Mr A did something we never liked’ we booted him off power, Mr B comes and does same’. The country is stagnant, its not a matter of its our time to ‘chop’ as you people ‘chopped’ when you were in power, so leave us alone. The fact is, if we appreciated the ‘chop’ of the former, we wouldn’t have booted them off.

There is no gain saying or doubt about the fact that when people misappropriate themselves when in power, they’d be voted off, but what good is it for the country when all we do is to come chop, go and somebody comes to chop. At this defining moment in our country’s life, we need honest and trust worthy leaders to champion the course, to lead the nation to where we ought to belong and not necessarily talk the talk and not walk the walk.

It’s sad to say that most of our MP’s do not exhibit the requirement of an honourable MP, unless the meaning of honourable has recently been skewed a bit, I stand for correction. In parliamentary proceedings, the minority has decided (as far as I know) to reject any proposition put forward. I believe most readers will bear me out that MPs minority / majority’s role is not to rebuff almost always or agree almost always. Yes, that’s what we are used to but is it the right thing to do. There has been deep-rooted tribal division in the country of late that it beggars belief where as a country we are heading to. Even some people who were supporters of the NPP are now defecting to NDC not just because NDC is in power but just because, they receive constant abuse from their friends in the same tribe. This scenario is not limited to NDC alone, its same with others who were NDC supporters and now defecting to NPP because of the level at which the country is being polarised along tribal lines, it simply isn’t safe anymore to be of a different political affiliation and live in certain parts of the country. I wouldn’t go into any more specifics than this but, I believe putting down our loyal allegiance to a political party after elections are over and putting on an objective cap will help our assessment of those who vie to lead our country.

They do read our comments, they hear what we say and they see their supporter base, so if they get carried away with everything they do, we, Ghana and future generations to come will loose.

When we celebrate our 100years of independence I’m afraid we’ll have nothing to show the new generations. And how do we explain that being independent is good or bad. Therefore its neither them or us, its Ghana.