Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ghana 2008 Elections

For a great while, Obamamania has managed to zap the the interest in the elections in our own backyard.

Now that Obama has fed our frenzy for this long and most of us are gradually getting back to living our lives, the issues that surround us must begin to occupy our senses once again.
Bless you, Abena for reminding us about the Ghana 2008 elections with humour and grace.
Be as it may, I have to confess my brutally honest feelings about the December 7 elections in Ghana.
My opinion about the on-going campaigns in the Ghana 2008 elections is that we are still a bit tardy in the way we project ourselves. I don't really see the electricity and passion from any of the candidates. Where are the fresh ideas and persuasive arguments able to fire up the whole nation to believe in ourselves? Where is the bold, compelling and exciting new vision to move all of us to congregate around plausible and attainable goals for Ghana?
Where are the plans to make Ghana a brand that majority of Ghanaians will believe in?

None of the candidates, in my opinion, has been able, so far, to articulate an agenda that is discernibly outstanding from the cacophony of partisan soundbites.
I really cannot understand why those on the field campaigning have not been able to authentically demonstrate to me what they are going to do differently, how they are going to get the entire nation to stand together to do so and what it will take to get us where they want to take us.

Rather what I see, read and hear are voices that invoke doubt instead of dogged determination. My sense of those parading themselves as leaders for Ghana is : a group of penalty takers wildly shooting the ball in the direction of the post but almost always not getting close to scoring. Who really embodies a winnable vision for Ghana or are they all hopeless chancers?

I believe, a great deal of what Ghanaians expect is obvious to most of us(read what one of us is proposing), but most of the presidential candidates are not articulating in simple terms what the average Ghanaian must expect from them after December 2008. The candidates, in their campaigns, must demonstrate the attitude of forthrightness, sincerity and pragmatism with the people of Ghana. Evoking tonnes of promises that everybody knows cannot be delivered is indicative of bad leadership.

Ghana has been in the doldrums for far too long. It is time to march out of the miry clay. We want a leader who knows how to inspire, motivate and sketch a path to our prosperity.

Let all the candidates who are unsure of themselves go and sit down!


Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Powerful! It make me wonder whether there is just a general death of vision and charisma in Ghana, or whether the persons who wield the commodities are in business, leaving politics for business and professional drop-outs!

posekyere said...

Gee whiz, Nana!

It really makes me wonder.
If the cream of our brains are in business then good for our economy.
We really don't need the emergence of a business-as-usual president next year in Ghana.
The challenges ahead of us are certainly very unusual.

Abena said...

Well put Posekyere...However, I think the candidates are afraid of being branded unrealistic by putting forward visions and lofty ideas. Well, the NPP to their credit have the whole rally cry "Believe in Ghana" campaign. Apparently you can get t-shirts with B.I.G (Believe in Ghana) and a Ghana flag. The BIG campaign is alas tepid with no real reasons why we should indeed believe in Ghana.

posekyere said...

Hi Abena,

It is good to realise the I am not the only one who has not yet been irrevocably swayed by any of the candidates.
My real question is whether our candidates can hold their own when compared to certain leaders, like the former Prime Minister of Singapore,Lee Kuan Yew,who succesfully led their nations from poverty to prosperity.
The fact that the current candidates have not yet proven to me that Ghana is set to advance under their stewardship is a sure source of concern to me

Qué? said...


There are certainly no transformational figures in this campaign in the mould of an Obama or an Nkrumah, which is a shame. Then again, the young revolutionary Rawlings was pretty transformational when he first came up and that was not necessarily a good thing.

It would be great to have a leader who articulated things clearly and around some inspiring vision, but perhaps we need to look away from leadership a little.

As part of my work, I have been having discussions with some of the behind the scenes people at the Ministry of Finance and you would be surprised at how hardworking, gifted, future-thinking and even visionary some of those guys are. Talking with them fills me with hope that even though the people at the top may be a little low on substance, the people who need to know - at least a few - are working on it.

It's not glamorous work, but it shouldn't be thankless either.

posekyere said...

Hi Que,

I am certainly enlightened by your comments.
Good to see that we have remarkable people in the civil service who are doing great work for Mother Ghana.