The votes may have been tallied months ago, but it seems as though the December 2012 election is still not settled. There is an electoral dispute quietly processing in the background while President John Mahama’s government gets down to “business as usual”, but the determined opposition will not settle down until the courts release their findings.
This was obvious at the President’s State of the Nation address earlier this week. Parliamentary members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) walked out of the room, just as President Mahama arrived to deliver his speech. They did not exactly walk out quietly either, choosing instead to wave placards with the word “thieves” written on them.
Of course, this did not stop the president from delivering his address to the nation. His main focus was to reiterate the promised he made on the campaign trail late last year. But, there was one notable exception to this rhetoric.
According to IMANI Ghana, governance think tank, President Mahama has gone back on his plans to continue with recently increased spending on public sector salaries. Instead, Mahama says this needs to be relooked for the benefit of the national budget. But this does not necessarily go hand in hand with the new universities, airports and hospitals that the incumbent government plans to build during this presidential term. Nor, does it match his campaign promises, claims IMANI.
But the political arena is not the only platform that has had its share of finger pointing this week. Over the Twitter waves, the rapper and producer Jayso of Skillions Records, wanted to know what makes music Ghanaian. The responses were not always pleasant, and in fact, it came out that most Ghanaians are simply not interested unless the music has a danceable beat. Musicians who cannot fit into this category have been advised to give up rather than combat the majority will. Advice, one can only assume, President Mahama wishes the NPP would follow.
Developing locally honed skills to entertain the crowds has certainly served several prominent Ghanaians in the past, just look at the success of Azumah “The Professor” Nelson. The renowned boxer brought fame to the country, and in fact, his neighbourhood, through his ability to fight, though it was simply a way of fitting in to the rough and tumble area, Bukom, where he spent his youth. He just took it further, and developed the skills he needed to satisfy the crowds, and then brought home the glory.
But home is no longer the unruly streets of Bukom. Nelson now lives in an upscale neighbourhood, filled with luxuries and trendy restaurants. And once again, you could visualise the president pleading with his opposition, promising holidays and homes for just fitting in with the mainstream. Only, in this case, unlike Nelson’s, fitting in would mean not fighting.
Then again, where would Ghana be if everyone just continued to tow the party line?