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Opinions of Saturday, 6 December 2008

Columnist: Agyeman, Akwasi

Yes we can

YES WE CAN! I BELIEVE – by AKWASI AGYEMAN

The outcome of the US presidential elections has become more than a passing interest for the rest of the world. Barack Obama by his victory has brought "new hope" into politics. His mantra "Yes we can" (and we will too) represents a call for a new kind of politics, the kind of politics that urges us to dig deep within ourselves to realize our potentials.

Being a shameless Clinton fan, it took me quite a while to warm up to the new "black-white" kid on the block. Now as President -elect, Obama has grown to represent what we need to do to “heal our nation.".

YES WE CAN synonymous to BELIEVE IN GHANA, is a call for us to break away the cynicism, doubts and fears that holds us back.

With a few days to election 2008, the time has come for us to confront the forces that hold us back. These forces are not necessarily the daily bread and butter issues we deal with. It has come to a point where we need a leader to rally us, not only to deal with the basics but rather to confront our own doubts, fears and cynicism.

The kind of doubt that forces a fresh University graduate to clean plates in London instead of staying the course in the Motherland; the cynicism that makes our youth flee to crime, drugs and prostitution and the fears that holds us from taking those bold untiring steps.

The kind of leader we need now is that one who believes in our collective abilities to turn our challenges into a call to action.

Today, we are a far cry from what our founding fathers envisaged, partly because instead of the "dig-deep" approach of transformation, we chose the "shallow" treatment of a KVIP here, a bore-hole there and a classroom somewhere. Like Nkrumah, President Kufuor has shown us that if we dream it, we can live it. Bui dam, the dualisation of our many highways and the Golden Jubilee house to name a few, are all examples of legacy projects that come with a BIG dream.

As we enter the polling booth on Sunday, let's not forget that the transformation we need is one built on Hope; not cynicism. The hope that says that one day in our lifetime, our children can also go to school up to Senior High school free - and not the doubts that says impossible. The belief, in our ability as a nation to add 25,000 more policemen on our streets, not the cynicism that shouts back, NEVER. The conviction that our country can move to a first world in our time ; if we believe in it.

The real leadership battle ahead of us is about candor, commitment, confidence and the ability of that leader to rally all Ghanaians irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation, a common but great purpose, a purpose of belief. That Leader is Nana Akufo-Addo.

Yes, as a country we may have made false starts and have had some depressing set-backs but in Nana Addo we have another opportunity to rally around a vision of hope and belief in our country.

The kind of belief that will enable us have BIG dreams, the one that says we are moving forward to the "promised land". Those who continue to tell us that we cannot do this; that we need to set small targets; that we cannot have what we are looking for, do not deserve our votes. They belong to the past. The future belongs to those who are willing to join forces to overcome our challenges (daunting as they may be)

That for me is what Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo represents - a leader of conviction, of vision, a competent man who has managed even before being President to convince us that YES WE CAN DO IT - IF WE BELIEVE IN GHANA!!!