Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Yearning For A New Ghana Must Inspire Nkrumah's Followers

It is obvious that many ordinary people in our country are yearning for a new Ghana. They are fed up with the corruption-riddled dog-eat-dog society created by the policies of governments formed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Perhaps in the fullness of time, political observers in Ghana, will come to realise that sea-change occurred in Ghanaian politics, towards the end of President Mahama's tenure - with the emergence of apolitical pressure groups like #OccupyGhana and the use of social media platforms to organise public demonstrations: such as the recent #DumsorMustStop vigil.

It is obvious that many mainstream politicians (and their parties) have failed to recognise  that change of a very fundamental nature is actually occurring in Ghanaian society - with many ordinary citizens, including middle-class professionals, no longer willing to tolerate the negativity of the politics-of-equalisation: and the corruption and incompetence it is used to justify.

Parliament recently considered the Conduct of Public Officers Bill - but the Speaker had to adjourn the debate: for the bill to be sent back to the relevant parliamentary committee to take a second look at the monetary threshold at which gifts will have to be declared by public office holders.

It is instructive that the only politician who publicly published his filed tax returns, and publicly disclosed the sources of funding for the political party he founded (the Progressive People's Party), during the campaign for the 2012 presidential election,  Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, in commenting on the debate in Parliament  on the Conduct of Public Office Holders Bill,  insisted that there should be no threshold ("not even one pesewa") put on the value of gifts that will trigger their disclosure by public office holders.

Nduom's sense of outrage that parliamentarians were seeking to put a threshold on the cash value at which the disclosure of gifts to public office holders  (who he thinks should publicly publish their assets in any case), has to be made, sums up the mood of the nation perfectly.

Clearly, most Ghanaians want their nation to be a well-run and prosperous society, with a government made up of honest, competent and world-class individuals.

And they want to live in a nation in which all who break the law, rich and poor alike, are prosecuted and jailed for their crimes.

For many people it is intolerable that those engaged in petty crime invariably end up in jail, whiles the white-collar criminals who steal huge sums of taxpayers' money, almost always get away with their crimes. Above all, Ghanaians want  to rid their nation of high-level corruption.

That is why many were scandalised that Alfred Agbesi Woyome was not found guilty of defrauding Ghana and jailed - but instead was asked to refund the GHC51millions unlawfully paid out to him as judgement debt without interest.

Ghanaians yearn for a leader who can undertake the kind of rapid development that took place under President Nkrumah - which benefitted ordinary people: who had access to well-designed, well-built  and affordable accommodation, free healthcare and free education from primary to tertiary level, and jobs galore from import-substitution-industrialisation.

That yearning for change (and desire for the nation to move in a completely new direction) that is reverberating across our homeland Ghana, should inspire Nkrumah's followers to create a coalition-of-equals: in which each of the Nkrumahist parties maintains its identity, but joins an alliance that selects a common candidate to stand for president in the 2016 presidential election.

A Paa Kwesi Nduom-Samia Yaabah Nkrumah presidential ticket would be  a formidable one - and attract the votes of the many young people yearning for a new Ghana.

Like President Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Nduom should serve one term as president  - and hand over the baton of leadership to the next generation, under a President Samia Yaabah Nkrumah: who will lead the transformation of Ghana into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia.

Ghana needs a fresh start - as a united and disciplined polity. That is the yearning of millions of young people across the nation. That should inspire today's followers of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

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