Friday, March 28, 2008

Politrics In Ghana.

I have been thinking about the run-up to next year's general election. Atta Mills already won the NDC candidacy. People are already saying buy Mills, get Rawlings free. Hmmm. “hwe wa asetenam na tu aba pa” meaning, “consider your current situation very well before casting a good vote

Their nemesis the NPP after all their big billboards display and fussing around town went in for Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo? Akufo-Addo was one of the founding members of the NPP in 1992, and was also the founder and first chairperson of the Ghana Committee on Human and People's Rights. A recent newspaper article described him as a potential future President of Ghana. A recent opinion poll conducted by Research International put him well ahead of all the 17 people aspiring to be nominated as the presidential candidate of the governing NPP in Ghana.

Nana Akufo-Addo was preferred by 40% of his party members and 38% of the general electorate out of the field of 17 candidates. The closest to his popularity was the country's vice president, Aliu Mahama, with a distant 18%. If radio airplay is anything to go by, you have to go with Alan Cash, the man who has promised Ghanaians cash. On December 23, 2007, Akufo-Adda was elected as the NPP's 2008 presidential candidate at a party congress, receiving 47.96% of valid votes (1,096 votes). Although he fell short of the required 50%, the second-place candidate, John Alan Kyeremanten, conceded defeat and backed Akufo-Addo.

Up till today, Ghana politics is still about J A Kuffour and J J Rawlings. Don't let the lack of Boom speeches and Waa waa press conferences deceive you, advises the Ghanaian music monk aka Shasha Marley. Remember Shasha Marley? He's the guy who released the track, See ye good and not evil, one of the biggest reggae hits in Ghana. He also led the Johns Hopkins sponsored AIDS campaign song which proved very successful in educating Ghanaians about the HIV-AIDS pandemic. He disappeared from the music scene for awhile and just resurfaced with his second album, Lost & Found. I don't know if he was ever lost, because listening to his album, he was still very aware of Ghana and 'conscious'.

I am really glad he's found because I love his track 'Buum buum waa waa', the inspiration for this blog. The album also has tracks like Maata family, Shame Politicians, Promised land, Twin city mafia, I am not ashamed of the gospel, etc.

To Shasha Marley, Ghana Politics is all about Kuffuor and Rawlings. Rawlings says Buum! Buum! Buum! and Kuffuor says Waa! Waa! Waa! The two have been going at ever since Kuffour was running for the NPP in 2000. After leaving office, Rawlings has not been able to be a quiet statesman, resorting to 'boom' speeches, criticizing the NPP government and even making some 'threats' that many pundits did not take lightly.

The gentle giant aka Traveller John Agyekum Kuffour has matched Rawling's fire with his own fire, and the relationship between the two has not been cordial. We've had to have people like Kofi Annan, Pastor Mensah Otabil and countless Ghanaian chiefs to reconcile them. They have not been in the news lately as attention has turned to their successors though, but stay tuned."

Cost of living gets so high, Rich and poor dem start to cry". But Ghana Politics is all about Rawlings and Kuffuor, NDC and NPP. Instead of battling ideas and ways to move Ghana forward, we find ourselves discussing political parties, attacking personalities and likening every situation to two people. "It’s a shame". Do you know that there is a Boom boom junction and a Hotel de Waa Waa in Accra? We need to focus on the average Ghanaian who is hungry and hungry for some opportunity.

We need our press to focus on more pressing issues. Focus on constructive criticisms and pushing the agendas of our leaders so that our citizens can be aware of where Ghana is as a nation and where we are going. "Writer man, change your headline news". The media must not use the liberty accorded them to disrupt the political landscape in Ghana. We must move away from sensational journalism to selling the news of development, excellence, ambition, patriotism and service.

According to Shasha Marley, GHANA stands for "God has a nation ahead". I am amongst the few who believe Ghana will take its place on the world map and become a beacon of greatness and prosperity. We have the people to make this happen, we have to encourage them and not discourage them by pitting every 'boom' against 'waa'. Shasha Marley signs off by saying "Asem beba dabi, Asem beba dabi". If we don't change, we shall face the consequences. I believe we can change, it is the only thing that is constant, and Ghana shall prosper.

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