Sunday, 15 May 2011

Democracy!!!!!!! - Whose definition and under whose terms?

My Dad once said, in his Ashanti culture, a king can be overthrown by removing the king’s shoes in public. Thus, an action that symbolises lost of power and authority of the King. My immediate reaction was an astonishment mix with amusement. However, with the recent uprising in the Middle East and in Africa has made me rethink of my dad’s story. If indeed, what he said is true to the Ashanti culture, then in my opinion this signifies a huge power to the people and a sign that Ashanti king is accountable to the people despite their royal treatment and display of power. This view I hold is further affirmed by the fact that before our current system of governance, our kings and Queens did not just declare war but they also fought with the people at the battlefield. This display of warrior leadership cannot be said to our current Leaders who sit at the comfort of their homes and send brave men and women to fight for them. My politics teacher once said that the man who declares war is the last man to die (I think she quoted someone but I can’t remember whom).

The widely known definition of democracy is that it is a form of government where all citizens have equal contribution towards the participation of governance in a given State. Thus, “one man one vote system”. Also, Democracy is a Greek word which simply means ‘power to the people.’ Hence, it bate the question, does power really lie with the people in this colonial imposed democracy on the African Continent? My answer is no. The African people will never hold power in this Western style of democracy, simply because: 1. It is a system developed in the west for a western culture, 2. It fails to give room to merge with a culture opposing the western civilisation. 3. It is a cruel imposed system which is yet to be fully understood by the west after over a thousand years of implementation. Hence, just over 50 years of “political Independence,” it is somewhat naive and inconceivable for anyone to expect Africa to operate this “one man one vote” system of governance in the same level as the West.

Indeed, it is widely known that Ghana is a democratic country. This in my opinion is far from the truth. Ghana just as any African country can never be democratic as Africa is yet to rediscover it true cultural identity. The Day Africa rediscover it culture will be the first and the most significant step towards the creation of a system of governance understood by the people and for the people. Until then, Africans will continue to fight over election being rigged and no number of revolutions will bring about true democracy. The Western media propaganda depicting some country in Africa as democratic is a curse and a major hindrance toward a true and strong people’s power system of governance.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Ghana Oil

The saga between Kosmos Energy, ExxonMobile and the Government of Ghana highlights the politics of Oil in which I truly hope the President Mills’s administration has learned quickly for mother Ghana’s sake. We Ghanaian must not under-estimate how international politics are shaped by the Oil & Gas industries and it’s entanglement with western powers.

The recent entry visa denial to Ghanaian government official by the United State embassy it's a none issue bearing in mind how United State operate it Oil & Gas politics around the globe. When President Obama arrived in Ghana I wrote an extended article about the real reasons to his visit to Ghana which was obviously in connection to the discovery of oil in Ghana. I was gobsmack and ashamed that the Ghanaian media bought the idea that the visit was about Ghana’s “model of democratic election in Africa”. This notion of Ghana being labelled as a democratic State is simply a fallacy if one looks at countries such as Botswana and Cape Verde which have always had a democratic and peaceful election. Notwithstanding, the so called democracy recognised by the West is not and will never be ideal system to Africa and its people.

The external and internal pressure on any elected government in Ghana from now on will get to an extreme and I sincerely hope it will not crack the core foundation of the mother Ghana. There are many examples all over the world on the negative or positive effects of the Oil politics and the devastated effect on the countries at the receiving end of those policies are difficult to be ignored. The incomprehensible open wars, covert wars, destabilisation and complete destruction of any moral or tradition of a nation in favour of money, greed and “a seat at the table” are the operational tools of oil politics. Ghanaians do not need to look far, Just a glance around the African continent and the recent war in Iraq illustrate the devastate effect of Oil politics. The AFRICOM base makes the oil politics far easier to operate within the African continent.

Mother Ghana or GNPC can learn from Sonatrach (Algerian government-owned company) and Sonangol (Angolan state-owned Oil Company) in terms of exploration and production of hydrocarbons. Hopefully, the recent meeting with Angolan government and the Mill’s government will bear fruit in helping GNPC develop into well functional and an oil giant in the world.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Creator must be weeping….

I watched President Mills from the very moment he was elected as the Head of State of Ghana. The more speeches he gives the more my heart bleeds for mother Ghana. And for those people who are quick to dismiss my article because they are NDC supporters, I assure you that my intentions are solely for the benefit of all Ghanaians and also like to remind my readers I have no political affiliation. President Professor John Atta Mills has given various speeches asking God to intervene and help mother Ghana. Well, I am not against God helping Ghana except, I am angered by Professor Mills and his elite politicians who have bluntly refused to use their beautiful mind that the Almighty God has given them to create a better nation for all. Their laziness and lack of willingness for creativity is of great disturbance to me. I am highly disappointed by President Mills’ lack of vision and the whole Obama “want to be” attitude by constantly delivering not so well written and irrelevant speeches. I question his lack of reasoning and ungratefulness for not thinking like his Creator. The bible says ‘ God created man in his own image’ therefore it is the greatest insult to say the least that these political elites regardless of what party they belong, use the weakness of Ghanaians love for God for their own selfish corrupt political ambitions. These political elites are always willing and happy to show how religious they are however, always clueless and incapable to solve various problems such as poverty, mosquito eradication and drug war.

God gave Solomon wisdom and he became the Wisest man ever lived but for some obscure reasons Professor Mills, despite all his education and the blessings of becoming the leader of Ghana, he consciously or out of stupidity has no clue what to do and he spat on God’s face and says to God well, how about you send manna from heaven then perhaps I can lead and do my duty as head of state. May be I’m being too critical of President Mills because he has only been in office for less than a year. But, surely men with purpose and vision clearly stand out and never in a single breath are they ever over shadowed by their own lack of articulate speeches or spoken words. When Martin Luther King, Kwame Nkrumah and even Barack Obama spoke everybody understood and imagined their vision. However, when President Mills opens his mouth, not even himself understands or believe what he says and by the way, Jerry Rawlings and John Kuffour were worst. Ghana is a nation full of various mineral resources in addition to the finest brains and man power on earth. Yet, all these already wonderful blessings from the creater have deliberately gone to waste and sadly undiscovered. It is with great sadness that Ghanaians adores the West however, what they fail to recognised is that the Western civilisation was built by man who acted like man and not like mashed potatoes. The West’s mineral resources are no close at all to the rich mineral resources floating around the continent of mother Africa. However, these ungrateful leaders live on the richest continent on God’s planet yet the people they govern are the poorest under the beautiful Sun.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Tribalism is a danger to Ghana’s development…

As a kid, I witnessed many political pundits’ debate passionately about NPP and NDC on television. These debates were not simply about which party is best to lead Ghana but also which tribe is the best to lead the nation. Unsurprisingly, it is most likely that an Ashanti man would support NPP and non-Ashanti would support NDC all with great passion. Funny enough even in my old age I still see these debates between ordinary Ghanaians and more so than never, tribe determines which party one will affiliate. I am yet to find a Ghanaian who has not witnessed a political debate being argued without it having tribalism as the sole foundation. The latest hard fought 2008 election is evidence of Ghana’s tribal political democracy. The question is how one can reconcile tribe, politic and democracy to make a better nation for all.

My assessment on all of these tribal democracy and political debates is that each side unconsciously, seems to admit that both NDC and NPP parties have so far failed Ghana. Hence, I waste no time of mine to argue about who has failed Ghana the most and as far as I am concern failure can not be weighed. However, it should be treated as what it is thus, a failure and such it must be frowned upon by patriotic people who in their reasonable minds should seek to argue about getting the best out of their leaders regardless of which party is in power. Therefore, I urge Ghanaians not to be blinded by the fact that any particular leader is from their tribe therefore avoid to criticising them and holding them accountable for the lack of patriotism towards mother Ghana. For it is best to criticise things valuable and important to all than to be silent for the detriment of all Ghanaians. Let not conscious ignorance and unfounded hatred bring out the worst in you to the extent that your brain functions with baseless and unfruitful dangerous arguments. My careful conclusion is that Ghana can go toward a failed state due to tribal biased and ignorance for one can not look at a person’s tribe to assess him or her on their leadership skills.

Let me be clear, I am not by any means suggesting that Ghanaians have always voted on tribal connections nonetheless there is only one evidential exception thus the late Osagyefor Kwame Nkrumah who was voted with overwhelming support by Ghanaians. But the notion I bring forward is that, within these hostile tribal environment that Ghanaians have created means it will be almost impossible for an articulate and wise leader from either one of these tribal political parties to win an election with a huge support from all the various tribal groups in Ghana as a whole. So, to my fellow Ghanaians please do not act with tribal conscious stupidity and hold your politicians accountable only when they are from the ‘other side’. The harsh reality is that whether a leader is Ewe, Fante, Ashanti or Hausa, they are all corrupt and their lack of care for Ghanaians is detrimental to all. Notwithstanding, the awful reality which is that when these elite politicians regardless their party or tribal affiliation are busy stacking up money in Swiss banks, the welfare of any particular tribe does not concern them but rather they have themselves and their immediate family interest in mind.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Ghana a Country without Vision….

Ever since the brutal over throw of Osagyefor Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana is yet to have a government in power who really believes that leading Ghana to become a developed nation among the world’s richest nations is not only possible but necessary. Ghana's political elites appears to know about democracy and sell it to the people, however when it comes to practicing a real democracy, these same elite politicians falls so low disgracefully. The question that Ghanaians should be asking themselves is, have their politicians failed the country consciously or out of ignorance and has Ghanaians themselves failed their nation? Ghanaians are never hesitant to call their politicians corrupt but always fall short in admitting their own contribution to building a corrupt nation. Ghanaians lives in a society where children get admitted into top schools and universities because their parents are rich or “somebody”, people get jobs not based on their merit but because they agreed to sleep with the boss or through family connections, A rich man pays the police to arrest a guy whom he thinks is sleeping with either his wife, girl friend, or daughter, the police and the army who are put on the street to check for bad vehicles receives money to allow dangerous cars to move around on the street without stopping to think that the same vehicles may result in accident killing mass people, Law enforcements who are paid to protect the people receive a bigger sum for not protecting the people who employs them.

Ordinary Ghanaians receives money to allow toxic goods into the country which inevitably will harm the environment and the people, politicians receive money to sell the country out without a blink of an eye. The fact is, the mass majority of Ghanaians are either corrupting or being corrupt to the scale that it has become the norm in the minds of most Ghanaians. When a corrupt system becomes the norm in any society, it blinds the people from having a vision of true prosperity and development for all and the disadvantage is that it creates the selfish vision of making life better only for ones own self. So the painful reality is that, Ghana’s elite politicians have consciously and ignorantly failed the nation which they serve. Nonetheless, Ghanaians themselves via naivety have failed their nation too and my assessment is that, the corruption name calling will not solve Ghana’s problem. However, Ghana has a better chance becoming a developed nation for all if Ghanaians take the initiative to educate themselves.

Ghanaians must educate themselves to gain knowledge of the world which is outside their comfort zone. In other words, acquiring knowledge of this globalized world will open the eyes of Ghanaians to demand better Governance from their leaders. After all, the elite politicians come from the people and are voted into office by the people. Therefore, if the people of Ghana educate themselves well they will eventually raise the bar of accountability and good governance high. Inside the minds of Ghana’s political elites are any things but vision of what mother Ghana ought to be. Therefore, it is right for any reasonable person to find them guilty of the lack of development in the country however; they share this blame with the Ghanaian people whom they govern. The whole system in Ghana signifies the blind man leading the blind person and because “vision is the art of seeing things invisible to the others”, if Ghanaians educate themselves well enough to see things that appears impossible for the elite politicians, they will not elect these corrupt leaders no matter how convincing and neither tribe or education background will entice Ghanaians to vote for them. Hence, I will put the responsibility of Ghana’s social and economic development solely on the shoulders of Ghanaian people because the power of democracy lies within them, even though it may sound harsh.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Malaria Africa's Great Killer...

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds. Malaria is a mosquito- born life threatening disease caused by parasites and it kills about 350–500 million people worldwide each year mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The phrase “prevention is better than cure” is so widely known yet African governments seem to find it hard to understand what this clearly explanatory phrase really means. I don’t think it requires a genius to figure out that the prevention of malaria is perhaps more cost-effective than treatment of the disease hence, so many deaths of innocent children would reduce if African governments educate the people vigorously on the benefits of clean environment.

Also, the construction of a proper system of draining of wetland which are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the total prevention of stagnant water or oiling of stagnant water and in all better sanitation in the sub-Sahara African countries who are mostly victim to malaria would just be enough in combating the parasites. Well, my view is that a little bit of common sense approach will go along way in reducing the spread of malaria rather than the well publicized used of Bed nets by footballers and politicians and yet I have not seen a campaign on good sanitation. Malaria was once common in most of Europe and North America where it is no longer endemic and I doubt that they achieved this by using mosquito nets.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Corruption Africa’s poisonous apple…

The African continent since the end of colonial rule has been labelled as the failed continent with corrupt leaders. In reality corruption is an issue in every continent and some Western nations do have dip-rooted corrupt structures in their political systems. For instance in the USA and UK, corruption is replaced by sophisticated names such as “lobbyists” or “Party financial donors”. But whatever word is used to refer to corruption, it depicts the dysfunctional nature of a political or institutional system of any country. However, the level of inexcusable corruption in Africa surpasses any where in the world and the effect of it is undeniable. Most African leaders came from a very poor financial and moral background therefore when they are in a position of leadership they tend to concentrate on their personal financial gains and the lack of moral value gives them a sense of entitlement to do that. Corruption is a formulation which is used in so many ways to destabilize a nation by an organisation or state that pays the bribe and Africans should not forget that corruption was instrumental in overthrowing Africa’s greats such as Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Lumumba just to mention a few. Nonetheless, corruption the poisonous apple has become a self fulfilling prophesy to greedy minded African leaders who will do anything to get to power and also hold on to power. Whiles in power they spend the money which belongs to the country as if it is their own without any consideration for the people. Disappointingly, what these power and money grabbing leaders fail to do is think beyond the money. Politicians in Africa act with great disregard to their people and pursue acts of bribery and embezzlement without any accountability and the lack of independent organizations to enforce accountability make it easier for politicians and indeed people within higher level of governance.

Subsequently, corruption has crept into the African society as a whole and it has replaced the Africa moral values which edge that working for the good and progressiveness of society as a whole is a good thing for all. Individual Africans in their every day life are either victims or perpetrators of corruption. In other words, corruption has become the standard pattern of behaviour in the African society and in reality selfishness and greed has become the norm to the extent that consciously or unconsciously people are corrupting others and are also being corrupt. I call corruption a poisonous apple because at first instance it looks and taste good but the end is deadly. Corruption is not good for any society and even more dangerously for Africa as it has crippled the continent. Africans are always quick to point fingers at their leaders but what they fail to do is to look within themselves. For corruption to be eradicated, it must start from the root and work it way out to the top of governance because eventually, the people from the top came from the bottom. Therefore, corruption will only become a thing of the past when the African society begins to establish deep rooted values that embrace patriotism and selfless act but which also absolutely frown upon greed and self interest which leads to corruption. Corruption will perish in Africa if well structured institutions are created to hold everyone accountable for their acts or omissions to the society. From laypersons to students and teachers, religious leaders, business personals, the media, the army and the police, lawyers, doctors and nurses and all the way up to Members of parliament, the judiciary, ministers and Head of States, all must bear the cross of eradicating corruption. The various corruption name calling is simply a mediocrity.