It may come off to many keen observers of Fourth Republican Ghanaian democratic culture ? at least as it is practiced by the faux-revolutionary socialists of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) ? as a comic relief; but that is precisely the point (See ?Mahama?s Failure Prompted Me to Contest Him ? George Boateng? TV3Network.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/1/15).
I mean, we are talking about a country whose life expectancy is just under 60 years old for men. It could well be lower, especially if one factors in the hell-fire kind of economic hardship brought upon our pates by the John Dramani Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress.
Mr. George Boateng?s decision to contest the President in the November 7 primaries is quite laudable, even if it has a clearly quixotic edge to it. It may also well be a rite-of-passage entailing shearing himself of his outgrown youthfulness.
To be certain, I can readily name a handful of prominent party hacks who could really give Mr. Mahama a run for his proverbial money; or perhaps I should more appropriately say a proverbial run for his money. But even as Mr. Boateng boldly put it, these other people are morbidly afraid of an incumbent who may very well have been elected by Togolese citizens.
So much for ECOWAS alliance and solidarity, and Pan-Africanism. The Oyarifa NDC Youth Organizer also says that two concerns have prompted him to contest Chairman Rawlings? former Communications Minister, namely, Dumsor, or erratic electric power supply, and the abject and total failure of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
For the latter bleak state of affairs, of course, we have the Ketu-South NDC operatives who allegedly packed their Togolese clansmen and women onto Ghana?s Voters? Register to thank. But there is actually a third motivating factor that prompted Mr. Boateng?s decision to contest President Mahama. Funky-Reggae Highlife Maestro Daddy Lumba may have something to do with this third motivating factor ? if also because had he not dreamed and come up with his ?Yenntie Obiara? number, we would probably not be having this discussion.
I have even heard from the grapevine that ?Yenntie Obiara? has been canonized and adopted as the Palatial Anthem of Manhyia. I thought Pat Thomas had already composed one for Asanteman, in much the same vein as KK?s Number 2 composed ?Onyame Sane (Dear Lord, Descend)? as the Okyeman Anthem, long before Messrs. K. K. Ofosu and P. Thomas.
In my most humble opinion, though, it is Dr. K. Gyasi who topped it all with his ?Meyare Merewu (I Am Sick and Dying),? in hearty celebration of his Asante and Akyem mixed heritage. I may one of these days come up with a definitive anthem in celebration of Akanman?of course, I know about Dr. Amu?s ?Yen Ara Asase Ni (The Land Is Our Very Own).? But you know I don?t believe in this geopolitical nonsensicality called Ghana, whose origin has never made any good sense to me, though I am also as darn proud as the next ?bugger? to be nicknamed a Ghanaian.
Anyway, all jokes aside?the problem I really have with Mr. Boateng?s decision to contest President Mahama is the fact that the challenger?s motivation appears to be more ?reactionary? than it is progressive and/or constructive. What I mean by the preceding is that Mr. Mahama?s challenger needs to craft a more comprehensive platform agenda that is based on the real needs and aspirations of the Ghanaian voter, and not on the gapingly obvious failure of our sitting President. Then also, Mr. Boateng needs to tell us precisely where he will ?solicit? the necessary capital resources to bring his campaign platform to fruition. If he can pay the GHC 51,000 presidential candidacy fee being demanded by the likes of Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, then, of course, he may well have to change his surname to Woyome, if he really wants to have a fighting chance come November 7, 2015.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York