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The Neutrality Debate; Alleged OG’s Credibility Crisis

Posted by Business in Ghana on April 2, 2015

Owusu/, Founding President New Era Africa 

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If the elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

Over the years, there have been some politicos who have masqueraded as credibly neutral entities to push a certain agenda. I am sure in our political history, several names may feature if a list is to be made.  Some journalists notably the “Coffee Shop mafias” were bastardized for not being “neutral” especially during the eight year rule of JAK. Last year, the fine Manasseh Azure Awuni suffered absurd criticisms from these “neutrals”. When the group Occupy Ghana (hereinafter referred to as OG) launched themselves through the unprecedented “Daddy Bees Demo on July 1, 2014”, the governing party pooh poohed the “genuine” effort of the demonstrators by painting them with the partisan brush. Since then, any objective observer can attest to the fact that they have acquitted themselves creditably as long as the push for responsible governance is concerned.

Once again, the credibility of OG has been under siege. It has become so because one of their leading members George Andah has put himself up for the Ewutu Senya West seat on the ticket of the Opposition NPP. Monitoring the social media, I gather that the arguments have shifted from the personality of George Andah and what he brings to the table as an individual to whether the OG is genuinely neutral or just a branch of the NPP. I join the bandwagon to also inquire; is OG neutral? Did they ever tell us they are neutral? Have they broken our trust?”

I will attempt by defining neutrality. Neutrality is the act of being neutral. Neutral is from the latin word “neutralis” meaning “of a neuter gender”. Further interrogation points out that this word is used to refer “the act of not taking side in a fight”. It means being disinterested or uncommitted to a certain cause of action.

The OG as an entity has never claimed it is neutral. As a matter of fact, they are pushing for an agenda. With the little I have seen and read from the OG so far, I gather that they are pushing for the “New Ghana” agenda. A Ghana where strong leaders occupy strategic positions to give oxygen to institutionalism. A Ghana, where citizens become very proud to associate themselves with their nation. The germane question is does Mr Andah’s new path affect this agenda? My answer is No (at least so far). In any case, my understanding is though he remains a member of the group, he is not going to be the lead communicator as he used to be. So why this noise about neutrality breach?

Now back to the neutrality argument. As far as I know (though I know little), Neutrality will not fix our problems. I don’t see how my neutrality will fix the dumsor situation, unemployment, corruption, insecurity, and the general challenges of the farmers in my hometown and the country in general.  Respectfully, only dummies can convince me they are neutral. No man with a head can preach neutrality to me to buy into. Not even pastors, judges, chiefs, imams and journalists can claim neutrality. I dare change the bible quotation “there is none righteous, not even one” there is none who is neutral; not even the pope. For example, judges are not entirely neutral “animals” but the clause of “veneer of objectivity” makes us have confidence in them. Our bane is not the absence of neutral men rather our bane is poor leadership (over the years) coupled with the absence of genuine, objective, and lack of principled and conscientious citizens.

There have been instances deans and lecturers from our universities have resigned to run for political positions. It never made their institutions partisan or biased. In any case, what is neutrality to the dying man who can’t make ends meet? Which sane mind will choose neutrality if your options is “choose between good or bad”. Didn’t Sydney C. Hayford tell us somewhere early this year or late last year that the OG may not only be behind trying to push their agenda but will try to sponsor some of their credible guys to run for Mp positions? Where then is the dishonesty and breach of trust?

The political affiliation of George Andah for me is not the issue. That for me is between him and his NPP. The main issues for me include the following; is the quality of our legislature suspect? Can George add to the quality? The first time I saw George was 2008 during Legon Hall’s orientation for freshmen (I was a freshman myself). His presentation was great. I also know him to be a cool business guy. If anyone has any damaging report about his integrity, just make it public. That will help us sift the kinds of people who go to the law-making chamber.

“Politics is too serious to be left for politician”. In this quagmire we find ourselves, we must all play active role in getting the challenges fixed. We must get serious minded Ghanaians taking centre stage to influence decisions. Politics is about lives. I don’t care who the protagonist is, once lives are affected positively, I am all for it. Politics is the business of the nation. To execute this business creditably, you need objective individuals and courageous leadership. Neutrality has no place in good governance. I will forever be on the side of the oppressed. Ethics require of me to show fairness, so I will always be fair to the oppressor. But I cannot be neutral. I believe the push for neutrality is utopian and absurdly unrealistic dream. My conviction disallows me to preach neutrality. My maker isn’t neutral so why should I pretend to be what I am not?

As a person with an intense passion to push for the New African agenda, I cannot be neutral. I believe OG is not also neutral and has never claimed neutrality. They have chosen the side of good governance. That is the stance I have seen them push so far. They have been very responsible, assertive and objective. Their engagements with the Attorney General and Auditor General have been commendable. George Andah is not OG. The mere fact that he is going into active partisan politics doesn’t alter in anyway the overall goal of OG. Assuming Franklin Cudjoe or Jean Mensah decides to vie for any political position in the name of XYZ party, will that be enough to call their establishments (Imani and IEA) XYZ party? Let’s get real and push for the New Ghana agenda. Africa is sinking so is Ghana and the solution doesn’t lie in our neutrality. Objectivity and sane reasoning must be our desired aspiration because objective Ghanaians have what it takes to fix our challenges. You can be a member of a political party and still be objective. No objective person will claim neutrality.

For me the credibility of OG is still impeccable. But let me hastily try to advice the OG and other civil societies that let sound logic and courage drive our genuine intentions. Perhaps, some genuine Ghanaians want us to take lessons from the likes of C.J.A and AFAG. OG, for now your integrity is intact but time will tell what will become of you tomorrow. Will you be the next CJA or AFAG?

One Response to “The Neutrality Debate; Alleged OG’s Credibility Crisis”

  1. S B ACKAH said

    The best way to stop war is to support Charity

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