May the best man win. And may the man who loses this time around, concede defeat gracefully, please, In the silence of my heart, I have bet my stakes. God save Ghana. Amen.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

The critically-acclaimed documentary “An African Election” is an excellent primer for Friday’s elections in the small, but pivotal West African nation of Ghana. Directed by Jarreth Merz, the film chronicles the final month of campaigning in Ghana’s December 2008 presidential elections which led to a hotly-contested nation-wide run-off later that month, followed by a cliff-hanger vote in a single rural constituency one week later. The film seems to focus on the specters of violence, intimidation, and fraud that hung over the elections like dark clouds, but Ghana’s reputation as a relatively stable, peaceful and democratic nation — within a region characterized by coups, rebellions, and fraudulent polls — emerged intact. Though much has changed in Ghana over the past four years, including the start of off-shore oil drilling, most of the same issues and personalities that feature in the 2008 elections dominate this week’s vote, too.

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5 thoughts on “

  1. Just read this piece on Africa is a Country.

    Thought it was rather biased in favor of NDC. Though the aspects of NPP’s ideology, history and track-record presented here are not entirely based on fantastical machinations, I was surprised how easily he glossed over the atrocities of the JJ years. Some of us might not have been born yet, but from historical records we are aware of the “Let the blood flow” days, among other (at best) unpleasant situations. JJ and the NDC crowd, like the NPP folks, are a complex set of individuals with skeletons in their closet. Now when it comes to which group has a larger skeleton count, here we can have a debate.

    • Hi Kwaku. Truly, insightful comments you have here. Yes, I primarily reblogged this post because I personally thought it opens up room for a lot of debate. You are right in saying that this article has a bias.True. The JJ era has been watered down, and JJ is being protrayed here as “admired” more than he is “detested” which may not actually be the case currently in Ghana. In many respects though, I feel the article is unique in that it does highlight the fact that JJ does deserve some credit for re-establishing Ghana’s democracy. Yes, he committedd heinous atrocities that I still find repulsive until today, (and some of my family were victim off), but had he not relinquished power, there will be no “democracy” we will boast off today. Seriously. There are other African leaders who hoisted the helms of power like he did and trust me, the turmoil they catapulted their country into is the antithesis of the peace and democracy Ghana enjoys today. Secondly, about the article being very skewed toward NDC rather than NPP. I agree to some extent, and I would have wished they were a little less assertive over many opinionated statements they make. I am not affiliated with any party, however in this election in particular, just keenly analyzing both candidates from an independent standpoint, it is very obvious to me that one of the main strategies of the NPP has been a launch of attacks on the NDC that vilifies Mahama, or at least, makes A LOT of the media presented to us, ultimately skewed towards the NPP. Seriously, You just peruse countless articles, I can send you a ton if you wish. You will realize that the NDC has been on the defensive a lot in their campaigning. Why do you think the NPP has made this necessary? I often take Atta Mills’ model of leadership, and how there is no doubt he wanted us to divert attention from the people and focus on the issues, and I am forced to believe the political slandering has cancelled a lot of his efforts. Effective, or ineffective, records show he was vehemently against corruption, and was keen on debating “the issues”. Why then, will someone ALWAYS make it a point to highlight how corrupt the other is? As the good book said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. If records were to be pulled out showing the skeletons as you put it, oh boy, will both be IN for it. Thus the finger-pointing just annoys me, seriously. Again, this is why I decided to reblog this article. Inasmuch as it is not entirely adequate, there is an iota of truth in here that I believe needs to be weighed in on. There is massive politicking and personality slandering going on that is skewing our vote more than we see it. Trust me, it is there. I only wish a lot of the reports showing the TRUTH about Ghana’s figures and THE TRUTH about a lot of “cleaning up efforts” being done or initiatives being taken was made available to the general public. Seriously. But hey, thanks for your thoughts! 🙂

      • First off, love the local textile background,

        As i said, both parties have complex histories. With regards to J-squared, he is the epitome of a complex individual. From one angle, he is a man of the masses, a populist, a man with an acute understanding of the working of neocolonialism and neo-imperialism that would make an Nkrumahist salivate. Yet still, he is also a power-hungry, demagogue, dictatorial personality. As such, I am against any attempts to demonize him entirely or present him, as they say, as ‘Junior Jesus’. I actually admire his charisma and his political acumen. With regards to NPP, they have a lot of baggage as the above article describes. Also, being the party in power, it is not too surprising that NDC has had to be on the defensive. They have to defend their track-record over the past four years. I will agree with you though that the personality attacks against mahama have been, at best, unfortunate. However, it is hard to feel sympathy for him when his folks do the same to nana addo. I actually feel sad for Ghanaians who have to deal with two parties that, instead of arguing on policy differences, rely on good old propaganda. Even such an approach has a tendency to bring drama (some may say entertainment) to our politics, t is an outright insult to our intelligence.

      • Agreed. Well said! Thing is, it’s the same everywhere – The name is politics. Romney did it to Obama. Obama did it to Romney. The name-calling, I mean. Thus, I do not think we should be too harsh in extending it to be a reflection of our people’s intelligence. Suffice it to say, it is indeed sad that we are overtly engrossed with this aspect (the propaganda) and not the issues, like you rightfully assert! I mean I followed the US elections to the best of my ability, and I feel the propaganda material was more by way of jesting. At the fore, Americans were very much interested in what both candidates had to say about healthcare, their military, education reform, etc.
        Thanks for the comments on the background. I designed it myself in honor of all that inspires these posts. 🙂

        Again, thank you for the discussion. I love the dialogue, do come here more often,and be sure to let me know if you have a blog/space of your own too!


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