Feature Article of Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Columnist: Tamakloe, Kojo

Nana Akuffo Addo , the modern day “ Don Quizote”

“Don Quixote was a “ crazy” Spaniard with a selective vision of the real world. Windmills ,are giant brutes, sheep ,are attacking armies, and slaves, are oppressed gentlemen. Quixote was an idealist seeing things through rose-colored glasses at times. He fights impossible symbolic battles while the rest of the world says it can't be done and mocks him for trying. It is ironic that a crazy man is showing humanity the "right way" to live. This character has survived the centuries demonstrating his universal appeal to all. “ Don believed his dreams were real and so was passionate about them . Why do I liken Nana Addo a presidential candidate to a debonair satiral character ?

To my mind ,life is about applying correct applications to solve problems. I will say it loud that Nkrumaism is not dead, rather it is this Danquah-Busia –Dombo philosophy that should be in the trash. Just as Don Quixote was more of an illusion so is this Nana Addo. What is free SHS supposed to solve among Ghana’s myriad of problems. ? Nkrumah effected mass and free education at a time when the literacy rate in Ghana was below 20% , and there was a great deal of poverty , much more than today. For Ghana and Ghanaians to benefit from their independence and be productive in the industrialization and agricultural programs , mass education was needed. Aloso that was to help upward mobility and harness the dormant resource of the newly Independent Ghana . So mass education was not a philosophy in isolation but linked to other productive endeavors. Ghana now has a literacy rate of 73% . Nearly 3 out of every 4 Ghanaians can read and write , so why Free SHS? What does he aim to achieve? Is it to feed into the brain drain , or get more Ghanaians dying in the desert looking for greener pastures , or sneaking into Equatorial Guinea or being fed to the sharks because they are stowaways? I do not agree with the PPP nor my CPP about this . Let me tell you why

Many years ago when I had just completed University I was posted to a school to teach . Specifically to teach science. The school was only up to what will be JSS level by today standards. It had no science laboratory , no equipment, no electricity, no water. I asked for a test tube and the reply was “ what is that’? Teaching science was going to be like teaching history . Later we have seen the myriad of schools under trees . How do we use such institutions to produce scientists and innovators . Today’s schools even need more as the world deals a lot with IT. So are we going to spray knowledge over them but leave them non competitive? Also now we a moving away from middle class as it was to business class

Then if only 3% of children who start kindergarten end up in the Universities should our efforts be geared towards this 3 % or should we equip the majority with skills that will ensure they earn a living . We tend to look down upon farmers and the vocational and technical people and look at them as “failures” or drop outs. It is my premise we should be concentrating on these also and have curricula and programs that will cater for graduates from these institutions that come out ready for market. Under the NLC after so many institutions were closed , research showed those with skills, either went into self employment or were easier to place in new occupations. At the time of the Nigerian oil boom when many joined the “chicken run “. We even saw fellows come to Nigeria and through apprenticeship mastered these trades and became assets to themselves .Today he talks about building 100000 houses in a year . With what and with whom? Are there serviced sites and where is the money from? How do they people purchase the homes as Bank for Housing has been collapsed by no other than the head of his economic team, Osafo Marfo.
The NPP amazes me . 50 years after they opposed Free education , they want it. 50 years after they closed the factories and productive units , now they want it . 30 years they opposed Jerry Rawlings , now he is their darling, Nana Konadu has been known as “Jezebel” , “ the evil one “ now she is St Konadu . 50 years after closing the tomato factory and depriving the people of their livelihood , they see the good in it . So Ghanaians must wait 50 years for the NPP to come on board. Guys the world is moving at a supersonic speed and can we afford to go 50 years behind the others? Nkrumah said “ what it took Europe 10 years to do, to catch up we need to do it in a year” . How can we catch up with people who want to be at least 50 years behind. ?
Energy . I do not give credit to the NPP for the oil discovery . GNPC and the investments had been done before NPP came to power . They opposed the Volta dam, Bui dam and the Kwabenya Nuclear plant . 8 years they did nothing to address our energy needs and now they want to build houses and schools and want industries. Question is where will these get energy from? Dr Wireko Brobbey’s energy plan at VRA was installing a bed in the office .
Human Resource . “An organization as good as the people who make it”. Ghana’s main problem today is economic . Osafo marfo heads this . What will he do differently from what he did before? Sekyi Hughes , who stripped his government bungalow of everything. Kennedy Agyepong , who wants Ewes and Gas killed in spite of him having a mansion on Ga land and a business on Ga soil . Asabee who is in court for his misdeeds , Anthony Karbo who cannot tolerate opposition and would march to lynch any one with contrary views . The list goes on with small minded or tribalist views. Is Ghana to be ruled by the extremists . That is what the two leaders are, Nana Addo himself and Jake Obetsebi lamptey are. Extremists .
Ghana is now blessed with quite a lot of high level man power floating in the diasporas. No one has articulated a position of how this pool of talent and knowledge can be harnessed to move the nation forward . We have experts in agriculture through all fields to even the oil industry . Pooling these can help kick start out industries and make them work . It was Jimmy Cliff who said “ use what you have got to get what you need. Our plans should be immediate , short term, medium term and long term. . That is why divisive statements like ,Yen akanfo , or Kill the Ewes and Kill the Gas do not resonate well with some of us. There is a need for all hands on deck
Political ideology . Lost in all the fury of promises is the ideology of the NPP . We know it is a conservative party which believes in the philosophy that of laissez faire or capitalism . Kuffour labeled it “ property owning” society. Of course my grandfather owned property without being an NPP member so I do not see why if I want to own property I should join NPP . But that is not the point . In all the promises of from free land to free air the party does not tell us how the laissez faire ideology will come into play. Has the NPP that vilified socialism become a socialist party? But as we want to State to take on more responsibility for free items , how do we pay for these ? Ours should be to learn lessons from the extreme capitalist countries and socialist models and chart a middle course. Guys ,let us compare what has happened to Greece and Spain and compare with the USA now we see in UK riots against austerity . What kind of free enterprise does the NPP want and how will they use it to increase State revenue so they can fund the numerous promises they have stated. ?
International Relations and trade relations. There was a debate yesterday between the two persons seeking to be leaders of the Free world. Africa was barely mentioned. On the contrary China was mentioned many times. China with a socialist policy has become number 2 in GDP in the world. It has a large land size and a large population. It is a dictatorship which has not mattered and they did it their way . But what about Africans? We want to be more divided and we cannot tolerate each other an want to be apart . We cannot see the advantages of Unity . Take Nigeria , a country we love to hate . They have a population of 170m . If Ghana can produce something and sell it even at $1each to 25 million Nigerians , will that not make it profitable? Will you not be a millionaire? But we fight them all the time and call them names . We look down on our neighbors the Togolese and Beninios Give them goods and services at a $1.00 each and you will have a steady market. Guys can we look at the positives instead of the negatives all the time ? .
Dr Bawuma an NPP big wig says “ small minds do small things” Can he please give that advice to his own followers , the ma te me ho and his associates

Forward ever, backward never
Nkrumah never dies . Vote this December for forward looking parties Vote CPP , Vote NDC
The writer Kojo Tamakloe is an Nkrumaist who believes African Unity is a solution to our under development . AFRICA MUST UNITE