Ato Kwamena Dadzie, for the words you sprawled on that blogpost “Indecision 2012″ breaking the chains of my indecision to finally write down here my thoughts concerning Ghana’s election brouhaha 2012, I say thank you, although I shall still try and exercise some restraint
So I read this blog post from Ato Kwamena Dazie’s blog. It is an amazing piece. Seriously. I agree with him fully except his predictions of who will win. I suggest otherwise. Follow the trajectory of the writer’s thoughts.He gives an amazing perspective on Ghana’s fascinating “politics” in the recent election, specifically the two men battling neck-à-neck for the presidency (This is not to discredit the other candidates, some of whom have made great strides communicating laudable goals for the country but I’m afraid haven’t really been successful in convincing the masses. Some too have been conceivable jokes. Nowhere near ready to run a nation if you ask me , and perhaps are running on the ideal of the “people’s voice”, “power to the people” mantra!).
I have been following my country’s politics ever so keenly in the past six months or so. I think this is perhaps the formation of my political consciousness. I became heavily engrossed after a few discussions with a few young folk making amazing strides back home in Ghana, and indeed, on the continent of Africa. Again, I took a keen interest because I knew that in the six months leading up to an election, this would be the first time I was eligible to vote, and I knew the one thing I didn’t want, even if I couldn’t exercise my“kokromoti” power, was not know who I would vouch for. So, it turns out I cannot vote (sadly, my country has not progressed to have an absentee ballot), but the one thing I am so self-satisfied and confident about is, I know who I would have voted for.
Even though I have no permanent party affiliation, and have decided to make sure I always vote as some version of America’s “independents”, I have found myself worried in this particular election, that the NDC seemingly wasted a lot of time countering all the NPP’s politicking and image/personality slandering. From the very beginning I found myself asking, Why is it so necessary for Mahama to be the pivot of all the attacks unleashed by NPP, given that he would not have been the man ideally running barely three months ago? In actual fact, Why does the NPP or Nana Akufo-Addo in particular need to make this such a central strategy for his campaign? Doesn’t the political slandering unnerve other Ghanaians, as much as it does me? Why does the possibility of an NDC almost automatically have to be equated with vote rigging? Is the NPP saying it is impossible for them to lose? Why is it wrong/terrible that Mahama gave the nation an address in his office as current president, urging them to please, stick to peace? Honestly for me, without bias, it just really really shows how close the peace of this nation is to his heart. It is not a political ploy. He has the jurisdiction as president to do so.
With all the talk about this election in Ghana being hotly contested, I wonder whether people have questioned why it has garnered such attention by ECOWAS, Africa, and the entire world. Could it perhaps be reflective of a ‘strong’ fear that there is amongst the two, a candidate who will not concede defeat if it so happens that he loses, and can wreak havoc in a nation hailed as the beacon of democracy in Africa? What testament can this possibly serve to the overarching narrative of this candidate’s personality? Will we want such a candidate to be holding the reins of our burgeoning nation? I often find myself going to these philosophical lengths because I do think sometimes it is essential to go past the image, the issues, the ideas, the plans and the promises and simply just look at the person – competence, vision and character. Because at the end of the day, the character of the man at the helm, will be the constitution he governs by. Competence + Character will take us a long way.
It’s been said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, and yet we do not question the motives of all this political finger wagging and war of words? As far as I know it, both the NDC and NPP, do not have brilliant track records of corruption perception indices (CPIs). Both fingers are soiled, fully soiled in dirt and corruption (so say the numbers, which are very similar too!), and so I think they both do us a disservice to be name-calling and finger-pointing. Focus on the issues. And no, Free SHS is not the only issue. It has been a desperate political ploy to make us believe we have been talking about issues. It is only ONE main issue, clouding the political blame-game that has actually been going on. While I am still hopeful that the best man for the job will win despite all odds, I think everyone NEEDS TO READ Ato Kwamena Dazie’s blog post. He says it all in a very humane way.
With regards to Ato Dadzie’s post, I concur fully, except again for his prediction of the winner. I predict otherwise. He skillfully articulates what is attractive and repulsive on both party fronts, with perhaps a slight bias, which is humanly acceptable. All in all, I am glad he wrote about it, more so, blogged about it. He mentions for instance how Mahama’s actual message to the Ghanaian masses has perhaps been clouded because he is always on the defense, with all Akufo-Addo’s finger pointing at him. Another problem the NDC faces is the Atta Mills record. No doubt. President Mills was a dignified man – Good, Respectable and honest in the very least. Trust me, it is uncontested. The records show this. This is probably a contributing factor to the repute he earned internationally. However, sometimes these honorable qualities are insufficient to run a nation efficiently or appease its people. Unfortunately he fit the description of a proverb I once heard that said something like “an honest man surrounded with a pack of dishonest people is bound to suffer”. He was perhaps the most lambasted president Ghana has seen, and yet on the day he passed, Ghanaians could fully assert, one one accord that he was a good man. That’s a powerful statement if you ask me, but his management of our country was not the gold standard if you ask me, although people’s complaints about the poor not seeing the benefits of the oil money to say the least are a bit unprecedented given that oil revenue is only in its initial stages of generation and has not been given due time to “trickle down”. It is interesting, good in fact, and necessary that the public continues to insist that they see some benefit from the “oil money” soon. As history has shown it, we can be gvoernment’s biggest pressure group. So yes, The NPP has played their politics well although I find it repugnant to say the very least! Picking on the Atta Mills missteps and failures, highlighting the corruption of their opponents… They have successfully convinced a mass of Ghanaians that one man’s poor record (perhaps attributable to ailing health) directly implies his deputy will be incompetent at the helm of affairs now that he has been given the chance. I mean, I was reading a comment on JoyFM’s Live youtube page by some Ghanaian who says ‘If NDC cheats and wins, we will go to war!” Such comments are very very disturbing. And trust me, I have heard a ton of those. It does not only nullify the possibility of one party winning at all, but automatically vilifies them by asserting that a win by he NDC could only come about as the result of vote rigging. Seriously? You honestly think, there does not exist a large caucus of Ghanaians in the other nine (9) regions you do not live in, or in the other 12.9 million voters who do not fully assert NDC is the pick for the ballot? I have heard too much vile being disseminated, on one side more so than the other, and this is very worrisome. Again, you need to read Ato Kwamena’s blogpost.
A là NPP’s candidate. Sure, he sounds like he has a plan – free SHS education is a very laudable goal, but sorry, I don’t just want free SHS education. I want a very quality education. And one that we should be able to afford even after (if so) the NPP finishes their term, not one that will land Ghana bankrupt in the long-term or leave our country in limbo when all our finite resources are somewhat not generating enough (oil, gold, cocoa?). I mean, are they hoping to finance it only during their term in power? Or are they thinking long-term? They also have good policies on many other things – culture, tourism, economy, oil, health, etc. They have done a great job communicating these ideas to the Ghanaian masses but this is not to say the NDC too does not have a message. In fact, I actually think they do. A Solid Message as that. A Solid Plan. Go here to read and find out more. What I think has been the problem is that the NDC, unlike the NPP, has not articulated it well enough. They have not played politics well enough. But for the plan they have, I say it is solid. And I really mean it. I have read every single page and juxtaposed it with the NPP’s here as well.
Please, Ghanaman, I hope you did same (read both plans as much as possible) before you went to the polls! And perhaps in modifying my favorite phrase in Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech” where he says “I have a dream that one day people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, I can project that, demonstrated character and competence of both prominent candidates will weigh heavily on voter’s minds. I want to be able to successfully look at my president for the next four years, and see his character shine through any crises situations Ghana is subject to face. I am an Obama fan, by virtue of the character this man has exuded over the course of his leadership, how it affected some of the decisions he has taken and even some of the ideas he has communicated to the American people and won them over for. Sure, he has also had a lot of missteps, but I say, he is a legacy to be lived after, and boy, oh boy, America’s next president truly has big shoes to fill. In the same vein, in future moments when Ghana is faced with crises, where character may speak louder on our behalf than policy, I pray it will be sufficient to propel this nation onto the trajectory it deserves to be on. Hmmmm. I really wish I was home to vote! I really really wish so, but may the best man for our nation win!
I initially restrained myself form commenting so much on my country’s politics for fear that my personal opinions will soon be affiliated with me being a supporter of a single party, or being reflective of family and friends. No, not at all. Like I said before, I deem myself an independent voter and will make decisions based on who I believe at the time will be the best to be at the helm of affairs. However, with only but about a few hours until we hear the results of what will be our fate for the next 4 years, I am afraid I have to let out my frustrations at how much bastardization of a potentially good choice for Ghana has happened because some men, well-versed in the leanings of the Ghanaian people, decided to play music, we, the people, will sway to easily. This beat came in the form of constant direct name calling and a big promise that is very questionable (not in terms of the fact that it can be done and I believe will be done, but in terms of “how” it is going to be done.)
Until we know, I rest my case. God bless our homeland Ghana, and make her (and Africa) great and strong, for I am still convinced, You are watching over us.
The Black Star will shine on.