I have never belonged to any of the political parties. But I worked with Akufo-Addo in the early 90s, at Alliance For Change (AFC). At the time I found him magical. A very careful planner, he was very diligent. In organising Kume Preko, he covered all bases.
Ensured all legal angles were covered. Personally reached out to bring in many of the old-guard politicians who were nervous about AFC. On the morning of Kume Preko, most of the well-known politicians from Adu Boahen, JAK to Alhaji Farl were present.
He actively courted the media to the extent that the private media thought Kume Prekowas their demonstration. They devoted pages to publicising it. And along with the other AFC leaders, Akufo-Addo worked to set up regional groupings that made Kume Preko campaignable.
When it finally struck, mighty Jerry Rawlings felt power slipping and withdrew VAT. He only reintroduced it at a reduced rate. And after extensive stakeholder consultation and significant modifications. Ghana has become so unserious that, even against much warning people insisted that Kume Preko II was the beginning of something. Weeks after we can assess that claim.
The bread hungry 80 rebel MPs, stomach direction to the hilt, were hailed by some as a positive sign. Their gyrations since have left many dizzy. Ghana is broken and that is worrying enough. We have become a veritable Robinson Crusoe Society, with tons of miracles that lead nowhere.
What leaves me most rattled though, is the obvious intellectual fatigue of many in the elite. I was told by senior activists that enough thinking has been done, we must now act.
What precisely have we thought about as a society for our future?
Civil Society has collapsed. The media is by and large in political capture. Chieftaincy is fossilised in the pursuit of non-beneficial culture.
All this leaves the metropolitan elites stranded. Empty; intellectually fatigued; no time to think comprehensively; serious and high political discourse among the so-called activists, the major political parties and the metropolitan bourgeoisie – as a social formation, is finished. Kabisa!
It is this last bit that worries me the most. Because the long-term consequences of living in an uncritical and unthinking society are dire.
Yet this is where we are – Robinson Crusoe Society. The media working with all-natural allies must lead the fight to reintroduce time to think seriously about society. A determined assault on our Philistine ways. So that we take on the many ills of our society. But also, by restoring social graces, and reinstall an appreciation for aesthetics in our physical spaces. And a general regard for the arts. All in the interest of a long-term future of a society that is wholesome and sustainable.
Right now we are really not serious. Faced with sovereign default, John Mahama made the headlines for claiming that Jubilee House was being used for a photo shoot. This is serious opposition? The opposition and government are both wedded to Neoliberal Capitalism.
Well, you decide for yourself whether you think we are serious. . Ghana needs a serious conversation. What is happening in the political parties/movements is not it.
At this rate the Ghanaian metropolitan bourgeoisie is headed to intellectual extinction. And it hurts to watch.
The writer, Yaw Nsarkoh has extensive experience, spanning over 29 years with Unilever, in leadership and managing market conditions at strategic levels across developing and developed economies. His areas of expertise include Business Development, Strategic Leadership, Marketing and Branding, Corporate Governance and Organisational Strategy and Leadership. He is currently an Executive Vice President of Unilever based in the UK.
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