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Reality Zone: Putting Ghana first on Friday, December 7

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Listening in however, there was something that one of the ladies said that got me thinking.  Who is putting Ghana first?  According to her, the adverts that have taken up all our air space almost on daily basis, leaving us with no other alternative programmes to enjoy was most unfair. 

She argued that we have not just arrived in Ghana and that one has seen what has gone on and no level of adverts was going to sell, she said.  She asked a pertinent rhetorical question, “in all the politicking, who is putting Ghana first?”  She set me thinking.  The elections cannot be about any individual or political party.  They should be about Ghana and how our beloved country would be able to make giant strides, going forward.

And so, at long last, the counting of years, months, weeks, and days have now shifted to a matter of hours.  All the euphoria that has gripped the entire nation, particularly over the last couple of months, draws to a close barely forty eight hours from now.  The sober day, Friday, 7th December, did not go anywhere; it has come to meet us.

Much as some of us would wish for the day to whisk away quickly so we can get on with our lives, the question we probably should be preparing to answer as we cast our votes on Friday is how ready we are to put Ghana first.  As we make our choices, we are not only selecting our preferred candidates, we are also making a selection for and on behalf of Ghana Incorporated.

Together, the elections are going to be some special effort by all of us as players.  At any particular polling station we happen to go to, our comportment, our watchful eyes, our application to duty, our sense of responsibility, our level headedness and above all, our patriotism on the day, will win tons of applause for Ghana.

As we go to the polls, there is something really in common for each one of us.  Whether as an individual voter, the electoral officer on duty at the polling station, the security officers guarding the polling station, the party agents on duty, the candidates, and above all, those who will be watching on; there is only one thing that is going to be on our minds and in our hearts.  It is the good of Ghana that we would be casting votes for.

As electorate, we have a huge stake in making sure that we select for Ghana candidates who have clear aspirations for the nation and their constituencies and not for themselves, their families and their political parties.  All the presidential and vice presidential encounters, debates and the numerous rallies and campaigns have repeatedly informed us about what our shortfalls are as a country with so many resources available to us. 

On Friday therefore, we, like shareholders of a business entity, are just going to a special general meeting to elect the CEO and Directors who will be in charge of Ghana Incorporated.  In that sense,  we are going to pick those leaders who, when entrusted with the mantle, will have a practical convincing vision with the passion to transform our country and the lives of our people. We are looking to see a Ghana that belongs to the twenty first century.

Quite apart from what is expected of the 14.07 million registered voters who will be taking a binding decision on behalf of the 25 million shareholders this Friday, one person whose conduct is going to be crucial for our country’s good is the electoral officer on duty at the polling station.  Would he or she stay committed for Ghana’s sake and be as objective as possible?  Is he or she going to stay neutral and ensure that no one group or persons have undue advantage through whatever means and that he or she would execute their professional duties as expected? 

The security officers detailed at the polling stations are there for Ghana’s good.  They are there to protect and defend the integrity of Ghana and so would have the mandate to deal with any trouble makers.  We should respect them as such.  But while we accord them that respect, we will also in return, expect them to protect our ballot boxes at all cost and help keep the few mischievous ones out of coverage area.   Ghana will be watching them.

The other players on the field on Friday who should carry Ghana first are the political party agents on duty at the polling stations.  By their name, they would be at the polling stations to protect the interest of their political parties and also serve as counter-checks ensuring that the right things are done.

 All well and good but at the end of the day, what must concern them most is how best, in doing all that, they would also preserve Ghana’s peace and hence Ghana’s shining example for the world.  What good will it be for them and the parties they represent if there is no Ghana or there is no peace at the end of the day?

On Friday, Ghana must win and celebrate unprecedented victory by all means.  I trust it would happen because well-meaning Ghanaians have consciously worked tirelessly for just that. 

Let all players in this game of selecting a CEO and Directors remind each one of us that as we make our choices on Friday, we should take note to put Ghana first.  We should be guided by the fact that this is one of the beautiful countries in the world today.  That is a fact. 

While we are getting ready for the show, how about the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) arranging for us to have playing in the background, soft tones of the anthem, “Yen ara asaase ni”, particularly at the over 1000 flashpoints that the police has identified, as voting goes on.  This patriotic song does soothe all mischief and speaks directly to us this period than any other.  If the NCCE cannot do it, let the radio and television stations play it continuously for us on the day.

Happy voting day to all the 14.07 million registered voters who will step out and head for the polls on Friday.  Ghana must win.

Article by Vicky Wireko