Saturday, December 29, 2012


Caroline Boateng It does not take an awfully lot for an impassioned supporter of a cause to destroy property and, sometimes even lives, in protest against those not of the same passion. But it takes an awfully enormous amount of resources, human will and the grace of God, to sometimes redress or reverse the destructive effects of untamed political passions. I voted for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and unlike most Ghanaians, have no qualms about making my vote known. I did that because I believed in what they planned to do. I surmised that with the limited resources, it was about time that politicians focused on one sector that could, with all the capital injection and attention, have a cascading effect on the development of other sectors. And for me, education was that sector. Getting all our children, at that impressionable stage in life, senior high, to be in school, was for me a good start. These sympathies were previously with the NDC, when in 2008, I gave my vote to the NDC to kick out the NPP, who by the end of their eight year tenure, had become complacent and were offering a ‘one-size-fit-all,’ solution, that is, capitation grant, school feeding programme, etc., for all other economic challenges that Ghanaians were pointing out to them. I tend to sympathise with parties based on their offerings for the particular electioneering year. I also have a political philosophy, calcified in eight years of journalism and interaction with politicians of all shades that the African political elite cannot be entrusted with power for long periods of time. When they stay in power for long, they become despots, complacent, corrupt and disdainful of the people who lined up in the heat and with much inconvenience to vote for them. Somehow in 2008, I happened to have backed the winning team, unfortunately, this year that has not been so, despite my strong conviction that the NPP was going to win. Since the declaration of the results at 9: 45p.m on Sunday, I have repeated to myself the scripture, “Whatever the Lord does is good,” (I know it’s is from scripture but have forgotten where). I have bolstered up my spirits with that in the face of the rumblings-on of the NPP. Primarily, I believe it was a faux pas by the executives of the NPP to hold a rally at the Obra Spot, the same venue at which NDC held their celebration over their victory in the polls. Holding the rally there to tell supporters that there were misgivings over the results after their executive meeting on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, could have sounded like a plausible excuse for dealing with the mass of supporters impatiently waiting for some information from the leadership. But the result was the show of defiance by supporters who refused to leave the spot until Nana Akuffo Addo had been declared winner. Subsequently, that defiance was transferred to other areas with reports of the harassment of some supporters of the NDC. Some make the excuse that the NPP executives did not tell supporters to harass their opponents, or act in defiance at the Obra Spot. But as I began in my musings, no one needs to tell an impassioned political supporter to act in a certain manner. He or she acts with passion. But when those passions are ignited and burning, it will take more than “telling,” to douse the flames. It was comforting to hear the leadership of the leading political parties speaking out against violence, but I hope that will not be the end. Supporters are not lawyers, or people with the wherewithal to solve the electoral challenges of the NPP. Leadership of the part should keep calm and work diligently, better than the work they did with the monitoring of the election, and proceed to the courts. We must all remember our actions have far reaching consequences. I do not believe that at the international level, anyone can shake of liability when the country is in a conflagration, merely by the excuse that he or she did not tell anyone to act atrociously. The NPP leadership must show themselves as the statesmen and women I thought them to be. (PUBLISHED, DAILY GRAPHIC, WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2012, pg 7)

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