U S President Barack Obama Barrack Obama was the subject of discussion on the floor of Parliament yesterday when the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya, Prof. Mike Oquaye made a statement congratulating him on his election as the 44th President of the USA.
He said the success of his Presidency would sound the death knell of global discrimination.
History was made in the most powerful nation on earth on January 20th when the 47-year old African-American, Barrack Hussain Obama took the Presidential Oath as the President of the USA.
According to Prof. Oquaye, for US to voluntarily and overwhelmingly vote for a 'nigger' to rule America from the White House shows that a myth had been broken, which should serve as a perpetual encouragement for the youth of Ghana, especially those from broken and poor homes as 'they can make it'.
The Deputy Second Speaker of Parliament said the lessons of the event make useful analytical study and relevant to the people of Ghana citing ethnicity, equality, preservation of the country's heritage, accountability among others as issues which should be critically looked at.
Commenting on the issue of ethnicity, he said, “If it continues to deepen, we may have grave, unprecedented consequences in Ghana”, therefore “we should learn to open up and vote on issues and principles devoid of tribal considerations”.
He continued that tribalism does not pay and that even in marriages, workplaces, politics, and other places there was the need to do away with tribalism.
“The tragic traits of politics should be eschewed in Ghana”, he stressed and called for the establishment of institutions to preserve our national heritage, explaining that “Obama had a hero in his political career- Abraham Lincoln. And Obama used the Bible which Lincoln used for the Presidential Oath in 1861.
“Can we today find the Bible President Nkrumah used in 1960. Perhaps some day a CPP Presidential-elect might want to use it. Role models are crucial in getting our youth to aspire to greater heights,” he further stated.
Comparing Ghana's inauguration to that of US, the Dom-Kwabenya MP who is also a reverend minister said American's ceremony was elegant and worthy of emulation. Dignity prevailed. There was an opening prayer and a powerful closing prayer with a benediction. The flags we saw were American flags. It was a national programme. God was given honour. Ghana is a Godly nation and it must show on such occasion.
By Shiella Sackey
To avoid witnessing a chaotic programme such as the one the country observed in December, he suggested Ghana's election should be held in early November so that the President assumes office in January as in the USA.
By this, he said the victorious party would have plenty of time to celebrate and make room for an inauguration for all Ghanaians, besides, electoral disputes could properly be resolved so that if a party has a case it wants to take to court it will not look as if it wants to be disruptive.
“Run-offs can take place without creating problems. There will be time to have ministers chosen,” he added.
Prof. Oquaye condemned state funding of political parties and discouragement of proliferation of parties which spring up so as to be given vehicles stressing, public office should be seen as a call to service and not for self-aggrandisement.
He challenged Ghanaians to “remember that the strongest force on earth is the law of mutilation. The only thing that changed not is change. This should be a guide to all politicians”.
Reacting to Prof. Oquaye's statement, MP for Tamale South, Huruna Iddrisu, said as much as we have to learn from America we must be guided by our history.
He welcomed the idea of the new dates for Ghana's elections but was quick to suggest that the issue required constitutional amendment and electoral laws.
In his contribution, MP for Asewase, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed, wished Ghana was like the US where everyone irrespective of their tribal, religious, age, sex background was given the opportunity.
He said if it were Ghana that Obama was selected as presidential candidate, Ghanaians would argue that he was not nurtured to lead the country.
“The law of Ghana gave us the opportunity to be what we are but we are not ready to do that. No matter where a Ghanaian is found irrespective of the age, tribal and other difference we should not be denied political demarcation.” Alhaji Mubarak therefore charged President Mills to consider nominating the youth to serve in various capacities in the country so as to bring their experience to bear.