UMC To Promote Independent Presidential Candidate
A new political movement, the United Movement for Change (UMC), Ghana’s version of the Tea Party Movement in the United States, has been launched. Founders of the UMC say Ghana’s development had stagnated as a result of partisan party politics. They said many politicians had shied away from taking proactive decisions that will fast-track the development of the nation because of political considerations. The Secretary to the UMC, Mr John Aggrey, said the country would have achieved significant economic development if politicians were not bound by the restrictions of political parties. UMC will therefore sponsor and support independent candidates for the various levels of the country’s political strata – the president, Members of Parliament and so on. Published below is a full statement presented by a Co-founder of the UMC, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah, at the launch of the movement Saturday, on the objectives, rational, and aims of the UMC. UMC’s -Tripod By Jacob Osei Yeboah- Co Founder UMC at the Launch of United Movement For Change (UMC) At the British Council Accra, on 30 Oct. 2010. Theme: Establishing the foundation for the emerging Ghana – A task for UMC Your Excellency, Nouhoum Assouma, The Republic Of Benin Ambassador to Ghana, Nii Ayi Bonte II- Gbese Mantse and Adonte of the Ga State and your Distinguished Elders, Religious Leaders, Nananom, Niime, Naame, Distinguished Guests and Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen, All protocol Observed: The theme for the launch of UMC –“Establishing The Foundation For The Emerging Ghana, A Task For UMC”- is appropriate especially now that Ghana has attained 18 years in its 4th Republic democratic expedition. The Theme is equally relevant for the broader African Continent as the year 2010 is the Golden Jubilee year for most of Africa country’s Independence. The majestic presence of the diverse of culture in this assembly is the demonstration of unity as a critical tool in building a solid foundation for the emerging Ghana and therefore of Africa. A task for UMC in setting out the very foundation for emerging Ghana hinges on Respect, Intelligence and application of our identity in pitching Ghana towards a developmental paradigm that every Ghanaian will be part. The foundation for the emerging Ghana that we are talking about is premised on what we call the UMC’s Tripod- The Tripod of which are UMC’s Argument, Alternative and Agenda (3As). Your Excellency, for the purpose of the launch, I will base my discourse on the Argument leg of the Tripod. Under the Argument, I will talk on three key issues, Economic, Social and Political. UMC Argument – Economic Now, we are talking about a foundation upon which wealth for a nation and her citizenry is built, isn’t it? Now what is the foundation? The foundation could only be the resources that nature has given Ghana. What are the resources, Ladies and Gentlemen that we are talking about? The almighty God in His infinite Wisdom, has given Ghana a rich soil or land from which we extract the mineral resources (Gold, Manganese, Bauxite, Diamonds, Lime etc). The same soil has Rivers, Lakes and Streams in abundance for drinking, irrigation and fisheries. More importantly, we have the climate and how many have considered the climate as an economic resource? The largest source of energy, the Sun is in abundance for most part of the day. Aren’t these valuable economic resources that nature has graciously given onto us? The final most important Resource is the Human Capital well endowed with the knowledge to transform the other inert resources mentioned above into creative wealth. The human resource can make a nation either rich or poor. Ghana had her meaning to its market activities as far back as in the late 13th century by actively engaged in batter trading of Kola and salt, especially at Salaga market by countries such as Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso before it was turned into the infamous slave trade of inhuman activities. There was therefore an established regional trading integration without artificial boundaries that was later created by colonialism. These pre-modern ancestors did not lift up begging bowls for our development partners to supplement our yearly budgets, did they? No they didn’t. So how modern or more sophisticated are we? Clearly, Your Excellency, there is something that is fundamentally wrong with the very foundation upon which to build our economy and to set the right records of our economic indices. We (as Ghanaians) therefore need to diagnose the disease of Ghana’s economic deprivation before we are quick to prescribe camouflaged drugs of economic indices. These economic indices not only worsened our economic plight and served as a huge inertia to our immeasurable potential and resolve as a nation to emancipate ourselves from this shameful plight but also rather insult the emotional intelligence of the good people of Ghana. Are Ghanaians not smart enough to understand our plight and how these indices reflect in our social interaction? Your Excellency, Whose responsibility is it to transform our natural resources into wealth creation? If we cannot build a stronger economy out of abundance of riches and we are to send our begging bowls to nations that had nothing to supplement our yearly budget, then we need to have a second look at our Political Leadership, i.e. our human resource. Your Excellency, distinguished guests, UMC’s economic argument is that, there are three sectors of Ghana and Africa economy. That is the Modern sector, the Traditional Sector and the Informal Sector. The modern sector is the seat of government that has for a very long time been abysmally dysfunctional. The modern sector has not strategically had the key to unlock the country’s economic potential. Your Excellency, the other two sectors, i.e the Traditional Sector and the Informal Sector is where the Ghanaian resides. Unfortunately, the traditional sector that has a sterling potential to create wealth has been sucked of its economic vitality and segregated to almost inactivity by the constitution and sadly reduced to beggars of the begging central government. The plight of the Informal Sector is worse off, being depicted as the symptoms of economic deprivation, poverty, diseases, angry souls of nobly created and strongly built Ghanaians working hopelessly and helplessly in their own country. These Ghanaians risk their lives on the desert to journey back to our colonial master not as colonialists in this quest but rather to even be enslaved possibly. What a shameful state of the Ghanaian and over 50years after independence, the Blackman, given the chance by the colonial master had still not proven his capability of managing his own affairs. The launch of UMC in the edifice of our colonial masters, is therefore symbolic and humbly enough, to firstly congratulate our British colonial masters of their strategic achievement and our readiness to learn and set the foundation of our economic activity right and no longer to blame imperialism and neo-colonialism but to firstly blame ourselves, the Human economic resources. Again UMC is launching in this British edifice to dramatise the shameful state of the perennial Ghanaian economy, for it is through this act of humbleness and introspection of our economic performance that we can remove the scale of vampire states by our governments from our eyes and galvanise the obligatory energy of nation building by holding our leaders responsible. UMC believes that, it is about time, after over a hundred years of mining, that Ghana by its maiden name, Gold Coast, established large scale mining companies in the likes of AngloGold, Newmont, Goldfields etc. Over fifty (50 years) years the hopeful farmer continues to use hoes and cutlasses. Whereas only three percent (3%) of our colonial master’s farmers can feed their nation with surplus, we on the other hand can boast of over 60% farmers who cannot even feed the population. Over fifty years, we’ve not Improve upon on our regional trading based on country’s specific advantages and encouraging the business communities to invest in one another’s country to increase the flow of FDI and technology improvement. Who is responsible, is it our Traditional Leaders or Religious Leaders or Political Leadership? Where is the social cohesion and energy that we can tap into transforming our inert resources? This leads me to talk about UMC Argument on the Social Foundation. UMC Argument- Social Foundation Your Excellency, distinguished guests, the Ghanaian society, characterized in the past by its model of hospitability, pleasantness and respect for those in authority is gradually being waned out. The cultural identity of most Ghanaians is also under serious threat. Who is responsible for this state of affairs? Is it Political, Religious or parental leadership? When did it start and where will it end? Ghana’s illustrious son, and former UN Secretary General, Dr. Busumuru, Kofi Annan said “To live is to choose. But to choose, you must know WHO YOU ARE and what you stand for, where you want to go, and why you want to get there”. The educational pride of the Ghanaian must reinforce our identity for continual justification to live and to succeed, for no nation, person or group of individuals can succeed in life by discarding their identity. Even in terms of business and entrepreneurial culture, differentiation of products has a higher return price premium than the mass production low cost value. Culture is the framework on which nations developmental Agenda pivot, suffice it to say that, culture is the source of latent energy that nations tapped into for their development. Any national development without due recognition of its culture is tantamount to developing from a weak foundation. For over fifty three (53) years with an attempt to discard the very energy that gave Ghana’s Independence, has seen our dear Ghana wallowing in the valley of despair in search for a democracy, that is still not sustainable but rather has the propensity to polarise instead of uniting us. Your Excellency, the enthusiasm to embrace foreign cultures holistically to the detriment of our positive traditions and cultures which have the differentiation premium to our true Ghanaian personality have had negative impact on our society. How can we as a nation balance our proverbial Ghanaian hospitality without necessarily allowing foreigners to take advantage and trample on our fundamental human rights? How can we use and translate our traditional myths into modern context and knowledge available to protect our environment and improve our health delivery in order to maintain our identity? Our national aspiration will be a mirage and the rate of Ghana’s accelerated development will be tortuous and near impossible in our life time if we fail to galvanise our social energy as one people, one nation and with one destiny. The modernist’s mindset always asks the question “How will we change?” but seldom asking, “How will we stay the same?”. Nations and countries that forget their history or where they have come from justify why they should not continue to exist on planet earth. The tranquillity, national cohesion, mutual trust and natural security enjoyed by Ghanaians are becoming a mirage in our society, exemplified by increasing indiscipline, social disorderliness by political party sympathisers, killings, armed robberies, vulgar languages on our radio stations, to mention but a few. This is definitely not the Ghana we all know and we look forward to perpetuating. Distinguished quests, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is up to you and I to define which social values can help us build a cohesive society towards our collective interest and national development? UMC Argument- Politics Your Excellency, distinguished guests, “the destiny of man presents its meaning in political terms”, remarked by Thomas Mann, a German novelist. However, politics is the activity by which the framework of human life is sustained; it is not life itself. Politics is so central to our civilization that its meaning changes with every change of culture and circumstance. For this reason, our first call as UMC, in trying to engage Ghanaians to understand Ghanaian political disposition and appropriate democratic structure must be to free ourselves from the unreflective beliefs of the present democratic governance and the options available for us as Ghanaians to make a choice in order to enjoy an authentic existence and prevail by excellence. UMC is neither a political party nor a pressure group but an entity that is ready to Respond to Ghana’s Social-Economic Development CALL. This call specifically targets our Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and Professionals most of whom are the embodiment of talents, knowledge, wisdom and distinct culture. Anyone or a group can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course of a nation’s destiny. In agreeing with Thomas Mann, UMC cannot help steer the destiny of Ghana without assuming a Political Nature that brings meaning to the destiny of our beloved nation, Ghana. The political nature of UMC calls on its members to support independent- minded Ghanaians to contest for the various level of political leadership in our country, especially, the Executive and the Legislature, to neutralize the sharp and illogical polarization created by the political parties and the ensuing phenomenon of the ” tyranny of the majority” decisions of our representative democracy. Now, look at me, can we say that parliament takes decision based on the overall interest of Ghanaians, who the constitution stipulates as being the custodians of true power? UMC states unequivocally, that with our political nature to support Independent minded Ghanaians makes it in sharp contrast to the principles of UMC to metamorphose into a political party. Your Excellency, Nananom, Niime, Naame, distinguished guests, How can such a noble association such as UMC, with noble agenda, entices such respected dignitaries namely, Traditional Leaders, Religious Leaders and the Business community of Ghana’s society for its membership only to later deceive the same for any political exigencies? But UMC is a channel of hope and the key to unlock the bridle of the needed political leverage by the same dignitaries to assume their rightful position and influence in our nation polity. Our Traditional and Religious Leaders in particular ought to be watchful of the “neo-vampirism” of most politicians, that suck socio-economic vitality from any perceived strong and influential institutions, so that they can subtly control society at their own pleasure. Your Excellency, UMC holds it as a self-evident based on the African’s anthropological make up that, the sustainable democratic structure on the African continent for African’s progress finds its true meaning with the election of an independent presidential candidate with the political parties operating at the legislative level. We explicitly encourage Ghanaians to participate as Independent Candidates for parliament to deepen our democracy and to enrich the quality of our parliamentary decision making processes. UMC supports what the Republic of Benin has achieved for the rest of Africa nations to emulate. The republic of Benin has witnessed the triumph of justice for Africa democratic structure, the unsung victory and unreflective possibility that seems impossible because Africa fails to originate its own democracy based on its tradition and anthropological make up. The Independent Presidential Candidacy democratic structure has an inherent demeanour to marshal the virtues of national cohesiveness as enchanted by the slogan of one nation, one people and one destiny. This has been Africa’s greatest challenge because of ethno-linguistic fractionations. As rightly put by Eugene Udeze, an African writer, “When intelligence weds culture, they give birth to sustainable progress”. UMC is the Altar upon which knowledge-based human resources and intelligence weds Ghana’s and Africa’s culture with a deep appreciation of African anthropological make up for sustainable progress. The Chiefs and Religious Leaders in UMC are not cheap in character but thirst for freedom without drinking the cup of sharp political polarisation by the prevailing political environment. UMC believing in the liberties enshrined in our constitution with understanding of what democracy and politics are about, queries, every Ghanaian to reason why we’ve unwillingly enslaved ourselves to the political parties as the only option for true Ghanaian democracy. Which political caldron have the political parties put Ghanaians into for which they stir our minds and insult our emotional intelligence daily such that we look hopeless and helpless without exercising our sovereign will from which all powers of the government emanate? Ghana is 18years into the 4th republic this year 2010 and we can boast of the fact we are of age to vote for a democratic structure based on our tradition. UMC’s Response for political stability and accelerated socio-economic development for the future generation, finds its meaning in UMC political nature. UMC’s Response is to demonstrate that there will be joy in our 2012 election and not sorrow and blood bath in the stead of the peace we enjoy. The response is in building a Ghana worth dying for as a Republic and where ones liberty is enjoyed without affiliating to a political party. The response is to help formulate Ghana’s educational system where politicians cannot toss the destiny of our children because of political expediency to jeopardize our future knowledge-based economy. The response is to ultimately respect the rule of law with a stronger institution to hold leaders responsible and accountable. The response is in tapping into our social energy as a nation in charting the course of our nation building and finally the response is to right the wrongs of our political history and to name the NEW heroes of Ghana and Africa. Your Excellency, may I take this opportunity, to congratulate the other dignitaries and persons witnessing the launch of UMC, as representative of the energy that gave birth to our independent struggle. Once again, history has been made today by your presence at the launch of UMC and providence, indeed will count you as brave men and women, who came to conquer and identify yourselves with the task of UMC in order to establish the foundation for the emerging Ghana. God bless Ghana and UMC, God Bless Benin for showing the way, and God bless you for Adding your name to history. Thank You.