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04.08.2002 Feature Article

Erasing Political and Tribal Divides

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In past articles, I have hinted at how political party lines (African style) have divided and regressed us as a people rather than benefited us. Our diversity, as a people, is yet another rich resource that has not been fully utilized to benefit our society, but has often been used as a weapon that rather causes harm to it. Let me repeat this mantra again. “The welfare of Ghana is not dependent on the governance of any single political party or tribe or by a party or tribe pitting itself against another to gain access to power.” If that were the case then since independence, Ghana would be a land flowing with milk and honey, and not one with a long rap sheet of coup d’etats, corruption, bloodshed and most recently, a pathetic, dependent cripple called HIPC. We seem to have lost our vision for nation building by forgetting that every Ghanaian is a potential building block to the nation’s growth and development. That it is not the sole responsibility of the Frafra, the Dagomba, the Ewe or the Ashanti, or that of the NPP, CPP or NDC’s , but the duty of each and every one of us, together, to improve conditions in Ghana. It is our own mixed joint effort, regardless of tribe or party, that matters in the end. Indeed, the negative energy generated by political and tribal conflicts in trying to malign and outdo each other just to inherit the throne of a battered and impoverished nation is counterproductive. If anything, the hostilities of political parties and tribalism have caused more harm to the continent than any natural disaster God could have struck us with, to set us straight for all our worthless wrangles. Political and tribal conflicts only lead to pronounced poverty, coup d’etats, corruption, murders, and in essence nothing of significant benefit to any society. Is that who we are as an industrious, ingenious, united, self-governing people, whether a Ga or a Fanti? Can we only unite in our tribal clusters to self-destruct? Can we do anything together as one people, one nation with one destiny as prescribed by our national motto at independence? If it isn’t a foreigner out to exploit the nation, it is her very own poisoning each other to plunder the remainder of her riches. Perhaps, the “One people, one nation, one destiny” should be plastered everywhere in our communities to remind us that we’re indeed one people with one destiny. We are Ghanaians in the eyes of the world before we ever will be Akyims or Akuapims. The fact still remains that we as a people need to begin to heal the ever-deepening rifts among ourselves that we have successfully created over the years. Lines that only fray the fabric of our societies, leaving us all bare, naked and vulnerable to the rest of the world to ridicule. We the Ghanaian people must return to our peaceful roots and abandon unnecessary artificial boundaries set by certain devious individuals or groups who do not have anyone’s interest at heart, but only clamor their loyalty to the nation in order to impose their depraved, selfish ambitions germinating at the bottom of their souls. Instead, we Ghanaians need to roll up our sleeves and work together as one people for the development and prosperity of the nation. After all, we are all of the same blood and of our mother Ghana, and her prosperity, like much needed showers after a long drought, waters all of us when it falls. We Ghanaians have always cherished peace. We have in the past, whether Nzima or Krobo, each painfully sacrificed our rights as citizens to purchase peace at the cost of colonialism and tyranny. And what did we do soon after our freedom was restored to us in both oppressions? Fight among ourselves utilizing political parties and tribalism as a weapon to pull ourselves down and do worse damage than our past oppressors. And where has that taken us? Nowhere, but backwards. And who suffers? All of us. Not sparing a tribe or a party. Many Ghanaians back home can barely eke out a living, but we cannot put our heads together to find ways to improve living conditions for every citizen. It is rather shameful to say that some Ghanaians can’t even wait to see our current government quickly fail for another despotic one to succeed it. And in my opinion, this current government is the most receptive to ideas and change than any we have had. But some Ghanaians will, by their harsh words and intentions, dismantle what is being slowly built than lend an encouraging word or hand to contribute towards Ghana’s overall success. We forget that if the leaders we willingly and freely choose through a democratic process fail, we all fail and the nation regresses than progresses. History has confirmed to us all that not one single party or tribe or the strife generated from both, has ever lifted our nation out of its quagmire since independence. We sit by idly, like well-paid referees, commenting and complaining endlessly about everything that is wrong with everyone but our own unproductive critical selves and our lack of positive contribution to the growth of the nation . We sit by idly, hoping that the government like some messiah would swoop down and save us all or be damned. We still have that insatiable, dependent and complacent spirit that never reared a single industrious, innovative, problem solving individual which is essential for nation building. Our energies have always been wasted on issues that never really mattered anyway, of political and tribal brouhahas which never amount to anything of value that will improve the life of the ordinary citizen. Energies that could be put to use to provide quality education for our children, healthcare for all citizens, build better roads, shape effective government, develop valuable commodities for world markets… all laid to waste, like a run-off after a tropical downpour. My question is can we afford to be divided along any line at all? It is high time we stopped to reason that eliminating political and tribal conflicts can solve half of our problems. It will afford us the stability we desperately need to utilize our energies to be innovative, productive people. A united people who can honestly smile in each other’s face and know that regardless of where we come from, we each make a difference in the other’s life. It is again our unity that will strengthen us, not only party to party, tribe to tribe, but also nation to nation as a strong force of influence. We have an incentive here to gain. We can unite, erasing all lines of divisions, by putting our heads together, as one people, team members racing to alleviate poverty to provide a better future for our own selves or be deceived along party or tribal lines only to wake up to the fact that these lines lead us nowhere except to our own shameful downfall and destruction.

Ruth Peprah
Ruth Peprah, © 2002

The author has 9 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: RuthPeprah

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