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Opinions of Saturday, 23 May 2015

Columnist: Owusu-Gyamfi, Clifford

We need a locally styled government

Can we still trust our government system?

In fact, no one needs about 500 pages of an encyclopedia of Ghana’s government system to understand that this Western styled government has been a robbery of our intelligence and prosperity. Our leaders have been fumbling with this government since Nkrumah’s time. The politicians have become mafias persecuting each other, the many coup d’états, dictatorship, corruption, incompetent bureaucrats, etc., are all indications of our leaders’ inability to handle the nation. In the name of political parties, brainy men and women are seated out of government without any national bureaucratic performance. This government is a Trojan horse that has set us against each other, leaked criminals into politics and paved the way to Western imperialism against our socio-economic policies. It has never helped this country since the inception of Ghana’s nationalism, and it will never help this country either tomorrow. The following simple reasons show why we don’t need this government:

Too much power in the executive:

The executive arm has too much power. The power invested in the executive is always abused to manipulate the public institutions. Our institutions that are meant to question and uphold the integrity of the constitution in favor of citizens’ needs and rights, only tend to become puppets in the hands of the executive. The police force, army, judiciary, ministries, etc. are all mugged of their autonomous conscience. These are the sins of the executive. I don’t fail to recognize this as a global phenomenon, however, it must be unacceptable in our country. The traditional worldview of kingship was an accountable leadership, and the king was subject to overthrow. We need a styled government with such an intrinsic navigation where the voice of the people is stronger than the executive.

Our traditions and values are downtrodden:

Why do we keep whipping our children for their inability to write and pronounce a “goat”? Is there any Ghanaian child who doesn’t know the name of a goat in the local languages? We can’t trash out English language thoroughly understanding its importance in today’s international relation. However, English must not be the language of instruction in schools. The end results we are experiencing is the mass illiteracy in the country. Children are sent to school to learn English and to sing meaningless Baa Baa Black Sheep. The educational content is our first point of colonization. But we’ve forgotten that all the philosophical rudiments and science are hidden in the indigenous language of the people. If you change a man’s language, you have colonized him for life. His dreams and traditional spirituality are lost forever. This is the debt colonialism has caused our nation. It is through the language that a person gets the right passage of integration into a society. If you cannot hear a person, you cannot do anything with him. Unfortunately, we’ve exchanged our traditional proverbs, myths, and history that are very deep and exceptionally heavier than the West for the rationality of Platonism and Aristotelianism. We have completely lost our spiritual connection to our ontology. Being an Ewe, Ga, Ashanti, or a “Dagomba”, etc. speak out the depths of a person’s self more than words can express. When shall we wake up? It is the fault of this fake government system.

Imported culture is a waste of time:

Can we dream and do our things? This is the question blacks everywhere must ask. When I first head of imported chairs from China, I remembered Du Bois’ quote: “After the Egyptian and the Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil and gifted with second-sight in this American world, — a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.” We are dumb without consciousness. Our minds are colonized to look for rescue from outside. And what have we achieved by such an attitude? Nothing! The West sees us as desperate human beings locked up in the abyss of poverty, and who need fragments of bread and donations to survive. It is time we take control and master our own affairs. The locus of our independence was towards freedom to build. Nkrumah made this vision clear to all Ghanaians: “…from now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people. But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work.” Sadly, it has been the reversed. This government is a good-for-nothing system and the earlier we recognize it, the earlier we will unseat colonialism from our minds. God never created any man to be held captive by a secondary revelation of his neighbor. He gave all humanity conscience and consciousness to realize their humanness. Ghana must sit up to create her own government system that the people can relate to and that which will foster development. Is either we break loose from this pompous Western styled government or we remain in our slavery.

Fake parliament:

Parliament is supposed to enact and review government policies, laws, and order. Our house is divided into party colors. This parliament by their Tom and Jerry policies have weakened the government and the power of the constitution. It is seated on an unconstitutional philosophy of “winner takes all” where the majority party determines the fate of Ghanaians. And the minority is paralyzed by “offensive” paranoids. The order for the minority is a vote against or boycott. The atmosphere of our parliament has been a game of political parties. Members of Parliament can boycott parliament, and no one questions their integrity. This is a fake government system. Our traditional political system never had a divided assembly. Our elders might have had divided ideas and lobbying leagues. Yet, each person was entitled to his own conscience. Never a North and South wings. Such is a strange political philosophy to our settings.

We need a kind of federalism which is far from the US kind or Nigeria’s fake federalism. We need something like the Swiss Confederation where each region as an autonomous state having their laws and state management. Ours must be a kind of ethno-federalism but not seemingly one. In my best opinion, I think we need autonomous regional governors, with their general assembly managing their natural resources, taxes, police force, educational system, etc. The parliament must have representatives and governors from the ten regions of Ghana. The president will be appointed by the parliament for two years. The president shall be without any power. It can be rotated from region to region nobody cares. He or she is just a voice for Ghana. I don’t know the right name for this. Since our regions are shaped by ethnicity, something like ethno-confederation will best describe this style of government. In this atmosphere, at least if five governors are incompetent, five will be wise enough to develop their part of Ghana. Constituencies choose their independent members for the General Assembly, the members in turn choose the governor based on a constituted qualifications. This government system is all inclusive. There are more to this, but I know that the advantages this will bring, will overweight’s its disadvantages. Without something like this, our current government system will keep on taking us into darkness. This government system, I don’t believe in it any longer!

Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi
University of Lausanne, Switzerland