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Opinions of Friday, 7 January 2005

Columnist: Appiah-Danquah, Kufuor

You Make Us Proud ? Ghana

It is refreshing to be back and to plan to go back and be part of the ?new Ghana?. On 30th November in this column I pleaded with our politicians and all good folks of Ghana? to make us proud on 7th December and ?boy oh boy? didn?t they make us proud! This is the first of my 3 articles on why I am bloody proud of my country, the people, the system, the culture, the food, and beer and most important of all our new emerging democratic system.
On 3rd December 2004 I decided ?come rain or shine? I will actively participate in my countries experience of electing politicians by popular franchise. I packed my bags and arrived 3 hours before departure at Gatwick Airport to be informed by the Britannia staff that the desk was closed. I pleaded, begged, cajoled and even promised to leave without my baggage but all my cries was to no avail. I suspected that the ?white lady ? was an active supporter of the NDC or CPP as her expression of no way; no way sounded like one of the supporters of NDC.
I was in no mood to start my fight with ?spies of CPP/NDC or the opposition party in Gatwick as my case was now ?thumb power ? not Mike Tyson. I subsequently left Gatwick around 9am and arrived back in London to search for an alternative flight as no one not even the ?gods? were going to stop me from attending the last 2 NPP rallies at Cape Coast and Accra.
I had promised the Accra faithful that rain or shine the lad will be around with a few ?queen?s money?. After many attempts I managed to get an expensive flight to send me soaring to the motherland.
I arrived at sunny Accra and WAS whisked away by the Greater Accra Regional Secretary of the NPP to a warm reception by some of the party faithful. After the customary Ghanaian welcome and pleasantries and a few beers we got ready to storm Cape Coast. I bumped into some die hard NPP echelons from UK ? the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chair and other NPP London folks ? all excited and ready to go to Cape Coast.
By the way it wasn?t all NPP the NDC bunch were visible around town, making their voices heard and were having a great time at Tema with all their flag bearers. . I arrived at Cape Coast and it was buzzing there was a carnival atmosphere. We danced, drinked, shouted and sang all in good spirit. Hey ? history was in the making.
From Cape Coast we all trooped back following the Presidential convoy. We arrived at campaign headquarters at Asylum Down and were greeted by the indomitable and gentle campaigns manger JAK (the only and only Obetsebie Lamptey -Accra broni). We had some drinks. Kebabs and left for our various homes to gather the following day at the Park near Korle ? Bu.
I Woke up around 10.0am on the last official campaigning day met with the Greater Accra Women?s organizer and some other members to secure myself a shirt with the emblem ?Greater Accra Executive?. To get on to the platform with all the big Whigs and the President you needed to do your homework.
It was the last party gathering and the platform had been reserved for Ministers, Party Executives, and the President. Folks, the security men were also around in their droves and the sitting was limited ? invited guests only limited to around 40-50
I arrived around 2pm and had to park my car a mile away. With a bit of arm-twisting I was allowed on to the platform. We were expecting the President to arrive around 4 pm.
Between 2-4pm the Ministers, general secretary, national Organizer national Campaigns Manger and all the NPP big Whigs did their best to make the occasion a festive one. The crowds were ecstatic and jubilant maybe ?over-confident?. When the Minister of Trade ? Alan Kyerematen arrived there was no seat for him so I had to do the decent thing "Ghanaian culture? I vacated my seat for him as I was the youngest among the lot.
I was given a new job as I was standing and shouting (to make myself useful) helping to distribute the bottles of water. What a delight and privilege to be serving water to our role models like R.R. Amponsah and Haruna Esseku.
When all the bottles was finished I was given another job passing on lost ID cards to Lord Commey, National Organizer to announce on the platform as we wanted to ensure that the ?thumb power? was the one that prevailed on 7th December and nothing else.
The President arrived around 4pm with Auntie Theresa, JAjnr and 2 of her daughters. Our country was on the threshold of making history. It was a beautiful sight. Politicians not insulting each other but espousing polices and ideas to an ecstatic crowd.
When the president mounted the podium it was pandemonium. I was then assigned another duty by Nana Bediako (personal bodyguard to the President) not to allow anyone to come on the front part of the platform as Ministers; Ambassadors, Party Functionaries were all going wild for ?democracy?. It was a sight to behold as the President introduced the Greater Accra candidates the shout will go up ?Kufuor nie osono nie?. Of course I did my bit . I had a whistle and each time the president mentioned a name I will whistle out loud
I was proud to do anything for my country?s future. I would have cleaned, washed, swept -everything for my beautiful country and its people. It was a sight to behold.
Around 5.30pm it was all over and we headed for Legon to meet the students in the company of the President. The students were well informed and were clearly concerned about the future of their country. It all came to an end around 9pm when we left for the residence of the President and had a good drink with some ?sweet and powerful ladies? including Honorable Frema Opare the new MP covering the Legion area, HE Veronica Boakye Kufuor Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Vida Dugbartey ? Greater Accra?s Regional Women?s organizer and other important ladies who will help shape the future of our country. The President left us for a well-deserved sleep.
Watch out for Part 11 Election day

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