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THE “SALT” & “THUMB” AFTER ELECTION 2012

THE PARLIAMENTARY and Presidential election just ended – with the Electoral Commission giving its verdict and the new President sworn-in. Before then the two leading political parties, which are the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, were trading accusations and dropping invectives that lead to physical violence.

A month after the elections, we can say that we are not out of the woods yet.

This is because the leading opposition party, claiming that the verdict was stolen for John Mahama, may go on a demonstration, apart from the recourse to the law courts that they have undertaken.

We may predict that sometimes in such situations as this when the stakes are high, that anything can happen if the men in charge of security fail to be tactful. Unfortunately, when such caution is thrown to the wind, violence erupts. Incidentally, those who are used or rather abused for such purposes are our indigenous Ga boys and those in the Zongos.

Gas are a brave people, Yes…And the Zongo boys, too. However, when it comes to who buys auctioned cars at the Harbour; or who are offered de-silting contracts, our boys don’t get it. In fact, we don’t even crave for it. We just happen appear to love being in the thick of the fight and political rollicking and picnicking, enjoying it – just for the sake of being in it. Even when we live in constituencies that we know we can win without a fight, we still want ‘action’ to prove our case. Unfortunately, those politicians who want to see Accra burn goads us on because they know we love it.

Neither they nor their children would fight if it came to it; but when it does come, however, they would be more willing to have us be in the front and bite the bullet before it gets to them.

I think as the Jews that we claim we are, we are cut for more noble things…in fact, we should be, as youth, the first to examine the various manifestoes and take the decisions of our lives – without being blankly attracted to the colour of a party and seeing the whole picture as ‘we against them’ or a section of Ghana or a certain social class.

When therefore we tune in, deliberately or involuntarily to current affairs programmes, on any of the networks, what I think is the sensible thing to do is listen carefully and take a decision for yourself and not for the benefit of the politician – at least NOT to the point of looking for mobile phone units or credit to hook into the network of rabble-rousers to ignite flames of conflict in the nation.

If you saw the June 4 uprising or the December 31, 1981 coup; or far worse, the February 1966 coup that overthrew Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, you would be among the first to cast stones at the politicians that speak rubbish for you to sing up to it.

As senior citizens and statesmen, we must be the first to teach out boys and girls the hard road to the top, which is self-identity – knowing who you are, where you come from, where you want to go and how to get there.

When we fail to learn to compete, we become social liabilities and afflicted with a dependency syndrome. We must sing a tune that benefits others so we can manage with the crumbles that fall off their table. The greatest mistake our children are making today is seeing politics as a short-cut to prosperity or fulfillment. That may be true because there are people we see in Ghana today who, but for politics, would have been nowhere near where they are today. We can count hundreds of thousands of them in our own backyards.

Anytime we go to the polls or are confronted with political issues, we must speak for ourselves and not allow others to use us to speak a certain language. That means we must look carefully at the issues and vote in the direction of what you honestly consider progress and hope. If you and I and our children fail to look at this that way, we will reap gloom and bequeath it to our children, and that is not good enough if we claim to be the ‘salt’ – wכji ŋoכ; and the ‘thumb’ – wכji gכŋtiε”.

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