Saturday, 4 April 2015

How #OccupyGhana Can Help Transform Ghana - Into An African Equivalent Of The Egalitarian Societies Of Scandinavia

When the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, was heckled and booed at an early #OccupyGhana demonstration (shortly after it was formed), when he put in an appearance at the event, it gave many apolitical Ghanaians the distinct impression that the movement was indeed genuinely non-partisan.

It is for that reason that the recent announcement that Mr. George Andah, who is a leading member of #OccupyGhana, is to stand as a candidate in the NPP primaries to select a party member to contest for the Awutu Senya constituency parliamentary seat, in the 2016 elections, raised eyebrows amongst some of those who had always believed that #OccupyGhana was a nascent Ghanaian equivalent, of Spain's Podemos and Greece's Syriza.

Some of us had gained the impression that #OccupyGhana had come onto the political scene because its founders had seen the damaging effect that the intense rivalry between the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the NPP, has had on our national life - and therefore wanted to work to ensure that henceforth the national interest, instead of party advantage and personal-nest-feathering, would underpin governance in Ghana: and determine the fate of our nation and promote the welfare of all its people (rich and poor, alike).

It is obvious to many independent-minded Ghanaian patriots that high-level corruption in Ghana, can never be tackled effectively, as long as the NDC/NPP duopoly take turns to govern  Ghana - because when in power both have tended to rely on the very vested interests that profit so handsomely from the existence of a corrupt system, to enable them hang on to power.

Whenever they have been in power, it is to those selfsame vested interests that both parties have turned, to fund their nationwide activities - and build up a war chest large enough to enable them  successfully fight the next presidential and parliamentary elections, and return to power again.

#OccuppyGhana must not let the ordinary people of Ghana down by allowing its leading  members to abandon the noble and worthy cause they are pursuing as a collective - just to line up to take their turn in the ongoing gang-rape of Mother Ghana by the NPP/NDC duopoly.

It  would be far better for our nation if they remained with #OccupyGhana - and worked with patriotic one-nation politicians, who practice accountability and  are incorruptible, to form a broad coalition-of-the-like-minded, to fight the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Those naive enough to think that Ghana will experience rule by saints, should the NPP win power, after the  2016  presidential and parliamentary elections, had better revise their notes.

They would do well to ask the Dr. Bawumias if they and their spouses - to prove that they will also not come to enrich themselves at Mother Ghana's expense when in power - will publicly publish their assets before the next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2016, and promise to do so again at the end of their tenures, should they come to power after the presidential and parliamentary elections.  Ditto publicly publish all the sources of the NPP's funding.

Ghanaians, to use local parlance, "Go then sabbe what be world-class equivocation in motion, Massa." - in the response they get from the erudite Dr. Bawumias: who give endless public lectures about what is wrong with the economic policies of the present government, but never once profer any solutions to Ghana's many challenges.

Surely, if Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, and the Progressive People's Party (PPP), were able to demonstrate accountability in practical fashion, so dramatically, in the 2012 elections, why should the NPP of the  Dr. Bawumias - a party so vociferous in condemning today's high-level corruption, and which promises Ghanaians a corruption-free administration, if elected to power again - be unable to publicly publish the sources of the party's funding,  and publicly publish the filed tax returns, as well as the medical check-up results of the party's leading lights, too, I ask? 

 It would be helpful if #OccupyGhana did not give its blessing to those of  its leading members who decamp to join opaque political parties, practising the old-style divide-and-rule-politricks, which is slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy - and many of  whose leading lights approved engineered-siphoning-off-schemes in the past, which led to Ghana losing out badly in a number of international agreements.

Egregious examples of such perfidy, are the agreement with Kosmos Energy (in which two well-connected Ghanaians who did not pay a pesewa upfront were given shares in blocs in oilfields off our shores, which they eventually sold to Tullow Oil for some US$350 millions), and the fraudulent sale and purchase agreement for the Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO), to a so-called International Aluminium Partners (IAP), which was railroaded through Parliament during the Kufuor-era.

That outrage, was under the active personal supervision of the hypocritical Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsus - who, as a result of the persistent and strenuous public denials by Norske Hydro and VALE (the purported IAP joint-venture partners),  knew perfectly well that the IAP that the then NPP administration claimed had agreed to purchase VALCO,  did not actually exist: yet went ahead to manipulate Parliament towards a dubious end meant to enrich a powerful few with greedy ambitions.

The question for #OccupyGhana is: How can Ghana become a better and different place, from what it is today, if such cynical and unprincipled politicians should come to power again, after the 2016 elections?

If #OccupyGhana's members want to join established political parties to fight for parliamentary seats in the 2016 elections,  why do they not look instead to a strategic alliance with the Paa Kwesi Nduoms - who demonstrated their commitment to transparent governance in the 2012 elections - instead?

 #OccupyGhana must denounce the old-style politics of division, rancour and sham-accountability, practised by opaque and corrupt political parties - and strike a strategic alliance with those politicians who embrace the new one-nation politics of uniting to work to protect the national interest at all material times, and promote the welfare of all Ghanaians.

That is how #OccupyGhana can help transform Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia - which ought to be our national goal as a people.

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