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Opinions of Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Columnist: Aka-eri, Francis Aka-ebila

Why NPP Paid The Price

For some people the New Patriotic Party never saw this coming. However, for those who took the pain to pay particular attention to my poorly written, but controversial article of February 7, 2007, which was entitled "The fall of the New Patriotic Party." The crushing defeat of the New Patriotic Party was well predicted

However, what I have to write today is not about damage control, but rather about how to shake-off the dust of defeat and put it behind us. It is about picking-up the pieces, tearing down the walls and building bridges to chart a new course of progress as a nation. For if Ghana must grow and duly maintain her role as a beacon of hope for the rest of Africa, then Ghanaians must soul-searchingly rise beyond the fray of a mud-slinging politics that brings nothing to the table, but shame.

Moreover, the NPP may have lost parliamentary seats and the most enviable presidential seat in Africa. Nevertheless, it remains a viable political party, which contributed greatly to the fledging democracy in Ghana and would continue to contribute to the growth and development of our country. Consequently, we as a people should collectively understand that contrary to the notion that politics is a dirty game, it is also the most pragmatic way to expression our democracy.

Now is not payback time, as some would have it. Rather, it is time to bury the hatchet and work together for the common good of our country. We have commendably come a long way as a nation and the future looks even brighter, if we would just learn to be tolerant in our approach to finding the best common ground of sustainable growth and development as a people.

Ghana's time is now – when we need all hands on deck. Besides, we can no longer beg or even rely on grants and tied-loans from Western and Arab countries for our development. Neither can we look up to them as a sure source of technology to improve our lives and keep our economy afloat. We would have to sink or swim. To swim, we must look within and make use of Ghanaian talents to create and add value to Ghanaian products.

But making and adding value to our made in Ghana products alone is simply not enough to make us strongly competitive, because doing business without aggressive advertising, as it is said; is like winking at a girl in the dark. So, with the wanders of the internet and global television networks, we can compete globally to maximize our returns and create jobs in Ghana. But only when we make what we have made, well known to the world and well presented with an established trust to spark interest in our products.

While it is certain that government alone cannot create jobs for everyone or even solve our individual problems, we expect our next president to inspire and invoke the creativity in us. For it is only when we get more creative by inventing and designing innovative products - which make our own lives and the lives of many people across the world much easier, safer and better than before, can we truly lift ourselves and our beloved country out of the wicked jaws of poverty.

Our schools should be reformed to teach job creation skills, instead of the usual teaching to the test approach. In fact, this colonial approach makes students learn what they simply do not need, but only to develop trust in the creativeness of others like Westerners, Arabs, and Asians and not in themselves, nor the creativity of their African ancestors. Ghanaian schools should instill self-reliance, which expects and enables students to apply their own talents to improve their own lives and lift their country up. Ghanaian students should be encouraged to believe strongly in themselves and what they can do for their country. This in my opinion is the greatest seed of patriotism.

Besides, the myopic act of throwing money at economic problems instead of applying the ingenuity of the people to their problems has never worked well with any country under the sun and would not work for Ghana. We must innovate or die. So the next time Ghana needs something big like a golden jubilee house - please, Mr. President, seize the golden opportunity to test the ingenuity of the Ghanaians mind. We can do it.

Written by: Francis Aka-ebila Aka-eri

The Fall Of The New Patriotic Party