Ground Floor: In Ghana some three powers are not permanent

I have always held that Ghana is a beautiful country, and no matter how bad things get at one or the other time, Ghanaians have a great sense of belief in the future, which makes it easy to contain the pain and stress of living as a Ghanaian.

The saying “No condition is permanent” holds so true to many, and makes the average Ghanaian pin hope on change, change for whatever, because even that change itself whatever it turns out to be would not be permanent.

There are however some three phenomena in Ghana that are powerful, but sadly do not last. These are electricity power, bottom power and political power.

Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, despite all the challenges of the era he found himself in took some good decisions in the interest of Ghana. He was confronted with the geopolitics of the era – the cold war, and the fact that Ghana was just finding its feet in statehood very early in the day when almost all countries of Africa south of the Sahara were under one form of colonization or the other.

One of the very best of his decisions was to build the Akosombo hydro-dam against all “good judgement” at the time. Thankfully, his obstinacy paid off, and Ghana has a source of electricity energy supply. But in the last couple of years this very important resource, has also become the very source of the country’s economic woes. It has become unstable and often unavailable when it is needed most for industry and domestic consumption.

At the time when Nkrumah succeeded in building the dam and the benefits became obvious even to his bitterest critics, everyone thought it was going to be permanent. But thanks to ‘good’ leadership, electricity power in Ghana is not permanent. It goes off unannounced, and can go off more than five times in a single day.

When it gets really impermanent, electricity power is rationed. So you see, electricity power in Ghana is not permanent.

Then there is bottom power. In Ghana, women who are endowed in the behind are considered sexy. The size of a woman’s hips is an asset in so far as attracting suitors are concerned. The attraction that the size of a woman’s hips has is not genetically influenced but a social construct, carved out of the Ghanaian patriarchic system where the male dominated. Ghanaian men are conditioned by words, deeds, and gestures to see the backside of a woman as a source of sexual attraction.

Indeed, this social perception is widespread in Africa. For instance among a group called the Ibibio in Nigeria, the size of the behinds of a woman determines which of the men high up on the social ladder she gets for a husband. As a result therefore, young girls’ backsides are physically groomed to be voluminous! There are old women in that community who specialize in grooming the hips of young girls to make them big enough to attract men.

Back in Ghana, sometime during the most morally bankrupt regime of the Acheampong regime, the power of the female behind held sway in the corridors of power. Bottom power was used as a critical tool for accessing import license and the route to wealth creation.

It is an open secret that bottom power was used by some women, to get Golf cars in those days. The fact though hasn’t changed over the country’s political life, many women still use their bottom power to get what others want and what others cannot get.

But the truth is that, like electricity power, bottom power too is not permanent.

It gets to a point in a woman’s life that the endowments at the back lose their value! They may shrink, or they simply would be out of vogue when it comes to matters of greater importance. So some women are learning too fast that bottom power alone is not enough to get one everything that one wants. Like some married women have come to realize that even though, their bottom power was one of the reasons why their men married them, it has not been enough power to keep the men from straying.

The most attractive of these three powers is political power. Nothing is so sweet in Ghana like political power, especially when you are in power or on the side of the political party in power.  By being in power you are immune from legal prosecution even when you break the law in most cases. You and your cronies even though unqualified, can get juicy government contracts, and depending on your connections you can even get a diplomatic passport.

If you doubt that please go and ask former president Kufuor’s son, Chief or Grace Omaboe alias Maame Dorkonu. When the NPP was in power, these people were untouchables, but immediately power slid out of their hands, just by some 40,000 votes, the president’s son was driving his own car, and some NDC hoodlums accosted him in town, literally dragged him out of the car and drove the car away claiming that the car belonged to the state.

As for Maame Dorkonu, she used to be with the NDC, when it suited her. She even stood as a parliamentary candidate on the party’s ticket and lost. I remember how soon after losing that election she came out to say it was all over between her and party politics. Her reasons were that she suffered so much verbal abuse by simply entering politics. But before the dust settled, she switched camp, and started hobnobbing with the then ruling party – the NPP. She stood on the party’s platform to say all manner of things including some specific allegations against former president Rawlings’ wife, Nana Konadu.

At that time the NPP was in power. But suddenly the tables turned and the NDC took power and in less than a month since the NDC took power, on February 5, 2009, Maame Dorkuno was arrested for a crime that was committed in her orphanage by one of the kids!

I am still trying to understand how any law enforcement officer in his right senses would do a thing like this. Or else all landlords, parents, business owners, whose tenants, children and employees committed crimes within their premises should all be arrested for negligence as the police are claiming.

Ghana’s politicians never learn. It was this same NDC that ruled this country sometime back, and felt so enamoured in power to the extent that some of the party’s appointees became tin gods and so on, and they were given the electoral trashing of their lives. They languished in opposition for only eight years, and some of them nearly died of hunger. Now they back in power and have began their show of power. Well, it is a matter of time.

As a matter of fact, I am all for the rule of law, but the law must be applied lawfully and without fear or favour.

The NPP on the other hand were enjoying their so called economic successes and forgot how to do things right at the tail end of the last election year 2008. They have now realized sooner than later that power, indeed, political power is not permanent. And a good friend of mine who was part of the Akufo-Addo campaign team was telling me the other day that he is still licking his wounds.

Fact is, even life itself is not permanent and that is why it behooves us all to do right and to in as much as we can leave a lasting legacy of whatever is pure, acceptable and of good report before we lose the opportunity to make our contribution to Mother Ghana.

It is important to make the best of whatever you have now, and do not abuse it, because, nothing, not even power in any form is permanent.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Email: [email protected]

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