It is an indisputable fact that partisan politics is doing more harm than good to all African countries that have adopted it as a means of running their socio-politico economic affairs.

Indeed, the African type of partisan politics is breeding too much self-interest to the detriment of national interest. It benefits only a few privileged people. We see childish desire for opulence; destructive conflicts, disunity, excessive greed that is making majority of our people poorer and poorer. It also promotes reckless spending.

The African type of partisan politics makes it very difficult even to express a frank and harmless opinion on certain political issues, simply because some people in power easily take offence when the said opinion does not favour their party. In most cases, those who hold different opinions are branded as partisan and considered as enemies.

In African countries that have adopted multi-party democracy, political campaigns are so rough and destructive that they prevent many genuine and prominent people from contributing immensely towards our struggle for socio-politico economic independence.

Most African countries lack basic necessities of life simply because the masses’ right to them has never been the topmost priority of the bulk of our political leaders entrusted with our human and natural resources. This is evident in the fact that after the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for instance, more than forty five (45) percent of Ghanaian basic schools lacked decent toilet facilities.

Our political leaders know very well that we have enough resources to make Africa self-reliant, but for reasons best known to themselves and their parties, they prefer allowing their countries to depend heavily on foreign goods rather than accelerated “domestication” and exportation; forgetting the basic truth that “For man to be happy he must be free and to be free, he must possess his own needs. Whoever possesses your needs can control or exploit you. He may enslave you despite any legislation outlawing that” (culled from New Patriot Weekly Newspaper, Wednesday, 17 May 2006, page 5).

In most cases, political leaders lack the vital political courage and the necessary measures to maintain discipline in the society for fear of losing the votes of some voters, and as a result, many people in the state suffer injustice.

Other disturbing appendages of African partisan politics are that the main opposition party and the party in power, as well as their respective supporters, are usually at each others’ throat to the detriment of national interest, development and cohesion.

These failures of the African type of partisan politics might have prompted Prof. Akilakpa Sawyerr, a member of the Council of State, to make the following remarks about politics and in our case African Politics: “There was a crisis of legitimacy of politics in the country, as there was the sense of disillusionment with the failure of politics to deliver on the aspirations of the people. The country could not boast of political parties, but electioneering machinery and groupings for various political interests. The true story of the 2008 elections, which put the country almost on the brink of violence, had to be told by those involved to serve as a basis for reflection. (Daily Graphic Thursday, May 13, 2010).

In the same vein, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, the Presidential Candidate for the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) had this to say in his article which appeared in the Daily Graphic of Thursday, May 13, 2010, page 2: “Ghanaians know what has happened in the Fourth Republic. What I know for sure is that we need people who will want to form government in Ghana only with the national interest in mind – not for self, not for divisive partisan interest, not for foot soldiers”.

The late Kobina Sekyi and the late Casely Hayford, eminent jurists, steeped in knowledge of law and politics, and indeed, in the constitutional laws, both of Britain and traditional systems in the Gold Coast, also expressed their views on party politics.

Kobina Sakyi:
He was bitterly apposed to party politics and referred to it as a wholly alien constitutional development. He went on to assert that the western style of categorizing people in political administration into “Government” and “Opposition” is completely alien to our traditional concern for national co-operation and the cultivation of a united front.

Casely Hayford:
In a speech delivered in the Gold Coast Legislative Council in 1923 he stated: “I personally deprecate anything in the form of Party Government, in other words, opposition for the sake of opposition. ‘I should like to feel that in this country, every little unit, no matter what, and every section thereof are all working for one end in the spirit of co-operation, which I say will lead to successful administration”.

The late Professor S. A. de Smith, a renowned authority in constitutional law and Professor at the University of London till his death in the mid seventies, often stressed the importance of home grown constitutions during the course of his lectures. (The Westminster Model in Africa and a search for African Democracy, by Dr. Silvester Kwadwo Ankama, LLM. Ph.D., BL page 69-71).

In Uganda, as a result of the failure of African party politics, 91% of the electorate voted, in June 2000, in favour of NO party politics. The Ugandan electorate after experiencing the advantages in the NO party system and a strong economy, rightly put partisan politics in the shade (culled from Free Press 18-7-2000).

The Organization of African Union (OAU) which is now called African Union (AU), and which is at the hub of African politics; at its 34th Summit in 1998, moved towards the non-partisan concept by adopting the Ouagadougu Declaration when member states agreed to work for politics of inclusion involving all as opposed to politics of exclusion.

Reflecting seriously on these failures of the African type of partisan politics and on African Union’s (AU) movement towards the non-partisan concept, the best conclusion that one can draw is that partisan politics has indeed failed Africa miserably and therefore, there is an urgent need to do everything possible to bring about a transformation of African politics so as to save our continent from becoming a failed continent.

In view of the said transformation, I am calling on all those who have Africa at heart to join me in calling for a national movement for the transformation of African politics (NAMTAP) through God, in all African countries. A kind of transformation that will help us promote the following:

  1. Nationalism
  2. “Accelerated “domestication”
  3. Self-reliance and not self-sufficiency
  4. An Independent National Development Planning Commission
  5. Equity in the distribution of the national cake so as to do away with the mass exodus of our youth to the cities and also bridge the gab between the few rich and the many poor.
  6. A simple life-style for those who will want to be our political leaders.
  7. Elimination of reckless spending by government in order to save more money for the provision of the basic necessities of life for our people.
  8. African personality
  9. Elimination of dependency syndrome
  10. Introduction of an easier, peaceful and less expensive system of getting political leaders to run the affairs of Africa by surrendering our franchise to God, who is the ultimate and the source of all goodness (Acts 1:15-22 and 23-26, 1 Samuel 16:6-7).
  11. Liberation of Africa from socio-politico economic and mental slavery.
  12. The formation of United Africa States.
  13. An African University of Science and Technology
  14. A Bank of Africa
  15. A Common Currency for Africa

Let us not allow any foreign partner to determine our destiny because it is in our own hands. Our foreign partners can help us to develop a home grown system of government, but not coerce us to adopt their system of government.

The biggest obstacle in our way of developing a home grown system of government in Africa, is that presently, some of our foreign partners make us feel that we are doing so well in partisan politics by parting on our shoulders, where as in actual fact, we are on the verge of putting our continent almost on the brink of violence because of partisan politics.

Indeed, there is no need at all to have patience for the development of partisan politics in Africa, because there is an Akan adage that says: “Se agoro beyede a na efiri anopa”.

This literally means that the joy of any entertainment can be seen from its beginning or the success of any system can be seen from the beginning of its implementation, so WATCH OUT AFRICA.

We should also take note that there is no need at all in delaying in our efforts to have United Africa States (UAS). If those who did everything possible to destroy Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s idea of continental unity are united, what are we waiting for? Please let us do away with self-interest and get united now, because unity is strength and power.

Let us always be mindful of the fact that united we stand, divided we fall. Let us not allow self-interest to transform our beautiful and rich continent into a failed continent.

Long live Africa for the greater glory of God.

By
Rev. Fr. Ignatius Amponsah
P. O. Box 147
Nsawam E/R
Ghana
Phone: (+233) 342122263
Fax: (+233) 8122728
Cell: (+233) 0209 062367
E-mail: difficultcat2@yahoo.com

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