How politics in Ghana overshadows Christmas

ElectionsChristmas is approaching, very close, but can hardly be heard about or felt.

No Christmas carols at home, on radio and TV, no Christmas wares displayed in the various markets and this is hardly typical of Ghana, a country with over 70 per cent of its populace being Christians.

Christmas carols are being replaced with blaring political party songs everywhere you go. Christmas trees and wares have also been replaced with the sale of political party paraphernalia.

This is a strong indication that the 2016 general elections means everything to most Ghanaians especially against the backdrop that Donald Trump unexpectedly won the US general elections – a strong indication that any political party could win this year’s election.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by the incumbent President, John Dramani Mahama is doing everything in its power to get a second term as evident in the acceleration of civil works, projects and relentless commissioning of roads and other projects.

Since Monday, the President has inaugurated about three projects. The Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the Trust Sports Emporium and the Tema Port expansion project, with a few more projects in line to be inaugurated before the elections on December 7.

For Mrs. Grace Badu a fashion designer of 10 years all these infrastructure means nothing to her. “I don’t understand why the President is only focused on infrastructure. He does not care about the economy, especially increasing utility tariffs. It is good to have roads, hospitals and so on but not to the detriment of a good economy,” she said in an interview with

A trader at Accra Central who only gave her name as Pokuah said, “When it is getting to elections, they speed up work on projects to get votes. I always make sure I don’t fall for such intentions. Everywhere you go there is a project being inaugurated just because of votes.”

For Mr. Komey, an engineer with a construction firm in Accra, more infrastructure depicts the growth of a country. “All these projects that the NDC government is embarking on are for our own good. This government has built schools, ultra modern hospitals and roads and deserves to be commended. We need to give President Mahama another chance to complete his projects,” he said.

The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is also doing anything humanly possible to win the elections after being in opposition for eight years.

The NPP is seriously campaigning pointing to tariff hikes and the high level of unemployment currently being experienced under the NDC government.

Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the NPP, according to a story published on November 7 on another online platform said that the growth of the national economy and the creation of jobs will be the ‘twin goals’ of his government when he wins this year’s election.

Although Ghana is known for its peaceful elections over the years, the country has witnessed some level of misunderstandings and clashes between supporters of the two major political parties prior to this year’s election.

A recent example is the clash between NPP and NDC supporters at Nana Akuffo-Addo’s residence last Sunday.

Pamela Ofori-Boateng
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