She is not using the exact same words as the caption of this column, but the thrust and import of her assessment and prognosis are crystal clear. And it is that if President John Dramani Mahama is permitted to finesse the Ghanaian electorate back into the Flagstaff House, once more, the destiny that awaits our beloved country and nation would be more harrowing and catastrophic than any other upheaval ever witnessed during the three-score-year history of postcolonial Ghanaian political culture (See “Dec. 7 Polls Can [Sic] Lead to Violence If Not Well Managed – EC Chair” Daily Guide Guide/Modernghana.com 9/7/16).
The renowned management and administrative lawyer, and before that Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), cites a World Bank report that indicates that since 2009, when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) resumed reins of governance in Ghana, youth unemployment has skyrocketed to nearly half of the country’s entire estimated population of some 28 million, to 47-percent. In this respect, the middle-income-aspiring West African country’s potentiality to dramatic devolve into civic chaos of apocalyptic proportions dangerously approaches that of post-Hussein’s Iraq in the immediate wake of the massive and economically crippling invasion of that oil-rich Gulf nation by U.S. Republican President George W. Bush (or Bush Junior) in March 2003.
In other words, the massive “malarialized” pool of unemployed youths is highly likely to generate post-electoral violence of unprecedented proportions, if serious foolproof measures are not set in place for the assurance of transparent and fair conduct of the December 7 general election. According to the perennially embattled Electoral Commission’s Chair, the already grave and near-irreparable economic milieu created and/or supervised by the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress has been further complicated by an apparently woefully lax security apparatus that has enabled the illegal importation of more 1.1 million pieces of small arms and munitions into the country.
Mrs. Osei further observes that the massive proliferation of illegal small arms has directly set the country on the cusp of civic and political chaos. The government that gaily produced world-class robber-barons and baronesses, like Ms. Nayele Ametefe and Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, has also complicated matters by woefully failing to stanch the massive flooding of the country’s markets with deadly drugs and alcohol, whose abuse among unemployed Ghanaian youths has peaked at an unprecedented level. Short of drastic revolutionary change in leadership, Mrs. Osei clearly seems to imply, Ghana may be dangerously headed towards the Biblical land of perdition, to wit, Jericho or Babylon.
At this juncture, what the country clearly needs is the immediate intervention of a visionary, foresighted and creative leadership that is armed with a far-reaching, constructive and well-resourced and comprehensive economic and culturally rehabilitative agenda for both the radical reorientation of Ghanaian youths and the rapid development of the country at large.
At a lecture presentation geared towards the drastic reduction of violence in the lead-up to the December polls and shortly thereafter, the civic-education savant drew up the following nightmarish scenario of what could really occur if Election 2016 failed to command the confidence of the Ghanaian electorate and citizenry: “Now we know that when we talk about conflict in election, the youth are most likely to be used. So when we put all of this together, it is probably a wakeup call for all of us.”
We hope the National Democratic Congress-sponsored Azorka Boys, their Gonja Mafia and Trokosi Nationalist capos and their “Kwamena, Ebo and Esi Hangers-on,” as well as their counterparts among the opposition political parties, are paying sedulous attention.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 7, 2016