Friday, 6 May 2016

Tribal And Religious Bigotry In Ghana's Politics

The Former Minister of Transport, Mrs. Dzifa Attivor has re-opened the door to one of Ghana's enduring challenges; ethnic politics, and the reactions have been something to behold. In all sincerity, Mrs Ativor cannot be right in suggesting that the erstwhile Kufour regime targeted only Voltarians for prosecution. However, to be fair to her, she was only following a well-trodden path in Ghana's politics. The hypocrisy on both sides of the NPP ---NDC divide in reaction to Mrs. Ativor's outburst to say the least, has been disgusting. The NPP that is so outraged about Mrs. Ativor, for the most part found nothing wrong when Ken Agyapong urged that Ewes and Gas be chased or when Osafo Marfo said people from some ethnic groups did not deserve to rule Ghana. Of course, those throwing rocks or defending blindly never read about Jesus'dare for whoever was sinless to cast the first stone against the woman in the Bible. Indeed, while the NPP is praising Rawlings for condemning Mrs Ativor, imagine what would happen if Kennedy Agyapong said a similar thing and former President Kufuor condemned him. The hypocritical vigilantes in the NPP would be baying for his blood and calling him a traitor! Amidst the cacophony of hypocrites, former President Rawlings broke ranks to condemn Mrs. Ativor. He went a step further to deplore those urging Voltarians to support the NDC because he, Rawlings hails from there. Again, Mr. Rawlings backed the non-tribalistic credentials of the NPP flag-bearer. No matter, how one looks at it, it is commendable. But in the interest of historical accuracy Mr. Rawlings has questionable credentials on the issue.
And for Mr. Rawlings to vouch for Nana Addo's non-tribalistic credentials is tantamount to a bank robber vouching for the credit-worthiness of someone. This is hilarious. Over the last few days, too many have spoken for partisanship and ethnic bigotry. Let all stand for a nation where all citizens, including leaders, will be judged by the content of their character, and not their ethnic origin. Ghanaians have given ample evidence of their desire for this: In 1951, the people of Accra Central chose Dr. Kwame Nkrumah over native son Obetsebi Lamptey in a vote that sent Nkrumah to the Premiership and greatness. In 2004, the Central Region decisively picked Kufuor over Native son Atta Mills. Sam Okudzeto led the fight against the Ewe-dominated PNDC and was labeled a traitor by many Ewes. It is unfortunate that the NPP running mate, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumiah has joined the ranks of those dividing the country. Dr. Bawumiah is reported to have claimed that there are not enough Muslims at Flagstaff House. Ironically, he did not tell the nation whether there are enough of those who are neither Christians nor Muslims. Dr. Bawumiah needs to be condemned for the same reasons Mrs Ativor was condemned, for the two are joined in spirit. Dr. Bawumia has a fine mind on economics. But his decent into intolerance must give everyone a cause to worry. Maybe, it is not power that corrupts but politics. It seems that even when good people join politics, instead of making it better, they are corrupted by it. Let every Ghanaian stand up for Ghana and against the ethnic and religious bigots who are dividing the nation. Let all join and work to restore control of the two major parties to people of tolerance and good temperament so Ghana shall, for many generations, know and have peace. God bless mother Ghana.

BY: DR ARTHUR KENNEDY, A PHYSICIAN INVOLVED IN POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT.

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