Posts Tagged With: Elections

Inauguration 2013 : Speeches – My Ghana, Our USA

It has often been said in Ghana that, our election of presidents over the fourth republic follows the pattern that the United States goes.

Whichever way that you want to believe or take it, seems the pattern coincided one more time when the Democrats led by President Barack Obama won a second term to run the nation.

In the case of Ghana, the ruling national party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by John Mahama won the December 7th 2012 elections for the second term and the first term for the current President Mahama.

After Barack Obama’s inauguration speech delivered on 21st January 2013, I decided to go back to that of President Mahama’s which was delivered on January 7th 2013, and I found a few similarities of a sort worth comparing.

Enjoy my little pairing of what I feel was in a way similar in their deliveries.

A

Mahama- Ghana

“Ghana’s past is filled with one example after the other of courage, sacrifice and perseverance. Ghana’s past is defined by heroic men and women pioneers, visionaries, patriots”.

Obama- USA

“As a nation we need to ensure that America’s freedoms are protected, for history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing. That while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on earth.”

B

Mahama- Ghana

Complacency and frustration can entice us into believing that we are insignificant players stuck somehow in the background of a bigger picture, or that we are incapable of making a difference. But history itself has proven that nothing could be further from the truth.

Obama- USA

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began, for our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,”

C

Mahama- Ghana

We all, each and every one of us, have a role to play in the growth and development of our beloved mother Ghana. In our hands—yours as well as mine—rests the success or failure of Ghana’s future.

Obama- Ghana

“You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time, not only with the votes we cast, but the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideas,” he concluded. “With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

D

Mahama- Ghana

We need to look beyond temporary fixes to find lasting solutions for the complications we’ve experienced with power, water and sanitation.

Obama- USA

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations”.

E

Obama- USA

“Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution,”

“We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together are not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.”

“What makes us exceptional, what makes us America is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Mahama- Ghana

“I have taken an oath that as president of this nation, I will work hard to place us on the right path, and I will lead us over the hurdles and past the obstacles that might threaten to keep us from meeting our goals. The promises that I have made are promises that I intend to keep”.

20130123-081521.jpg

Inauguration : Ghana and USA

F

Obama- USA

“For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it,” he noted, adding that the nation was bound by “an oath to God and country, not party or faction.”

Mahama- Ghana

“Of course, every society has its share of people who would rather talk and complain about what is wrong, than devote their time and efforts to do what it takes to make things right”.

G

Mahama- Ghana

“Ghana is on the cusp of enormous transformation. We are moving forward at a rapid pace. New resources are at our disposal; new alliances are being formed. The opportunities posed by these gains could result in a self-sufficiency that was always imagined and desired, but was never a realistic occurrence in the foreseeable future, not in the way it is right now”.

Obama- USA

“With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

Well these are excerpts picked from both presidents’ speeches on their inaugurations here in Ghana and over there in the United States of America.

Credits:

Ghana news Agency

US Magazine Weekly

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Hawa Yakubu : My Memory 5 Years On!

“Being in the university is one thing, leaving the university is another but applying what you gain here makes you a better person”.
I met her personally when the former president J.A. Kuffour was honoured

Hawa Yakubu The ‘Iron Lady’

with a doctorate degree at University of Cape Coast. Whiles all the other ministers sat comfortably in their cars, this gallant woman stepped out and told security to allow her relate with each and everyone who wanted to say hi. She got down from her ECOWAS parliament officially registered car, said hi, greeted and responded to cheers, then she gave us this short message for which till this day rings a bell in my head.
Those words till this day pushes me to the brim to aspire to be the very best in whatever I intend to do.
Personally she was a great woman of valor and the most respected politian to ever grace the land of this country and for me I salute her and pray her soul still rests in perfect peace and as they always say, vengeance is of the Lord.
For the few people who don’t know of this great woman I am talking about and paying homage to, you can find her detailed biography below.

THE GENESIS

To the body politics of women, a soon to be trailblazer had been born. In the tropical darkness of sub-Saharan Africa a soon to be torchbearer and a doyen of Ghanaian politics was born.

Tarkwa a medium size mining town in the western region of Ghana was proud to have accommodated the new born child in 1948, the year of great political awakens and consciousness towards independence. She is a native of Pusiga in the Bawku district in Ghana.

Her firm resolve to make it in life was that a keen sense of purpose must not easily be overcome by difficulties, her lovely mother a CPP activist was next to the infamous “Kulungugu” bombing, this showed how politics had taken roots in the family.

So it was no surprise when she took to politics like mother like daughter. Her mother was the women’s organizer of the CPP in her district, at a very young age she was elected unopposed to the local council and at the time a new constitution was being written in 1979, she was elected unopposed to the constituent Assembly to help in the drafting of that important document for Ghana, the youngest person to be so honoured, and the only one out of five people to be elected with the rest getting their positions by appointment.

She has exuded traits of martyrdom with such optimistic temperament, boldness and persistent action culminating into stardom and making her a paragon of society, with humility as her tramp card she has bridged the gap between the aged and the young, the incumbent and opposition, the hopeful and the faint hearted and a comforter for the destitute in society.

She has come close to death on several counts, when the hallowing storms of doubt and fear assailed she managed to prevail by the living words of God and the prayers of many people.

Take a walk with us as we delve deep into the beginnings of the woman behind the “Positive Change” enchantment which the ruling New patriotic party (NPP) used as it’s catch call slogan to win power in the 2000 elections, on the wheels of the slogan “Positive Change” many votes were delivered to NPP and in reminiscing time across memory lane we also trace her contributions to the body politics of Ghana, ECOWAS, Africa and the world at large.

The woman who has survived the Mamprusi and Kusasi skirmish, the conflict prone area of Bawku says bigotry and prejudice are the worst things a man could be guilty of, from her many a help has gone to people, and as a source of inspiration observers and admirers, have seen a great leader; tanned, well tailored in command and on her way to make a better world through the art of politics.

The one who has brought:

“Harmony in times of discord, Hope during despair, Truth where there is doubt”

Wish that amongst all the things that history will say about her when she is no more, it will not fail to record that she appealed to the best hopes of people and not their worst fears, their confidence and not their doubts, her wish is that people tread the path of life with liberty lamp lightening their path and stretching and arm of opportunity and help.

The Story of Hawa Yakubu unraveled…

EDUCATION

Upon the death of her father Mr. Yakubu Awinaba, her mother popularly called Hajia Azore went through an ordeal from her in laws, Uncles insisted that the children who happened to be all girls, got married and forget of schooling, a defiant and visionary mother resisted, persisted and had her principles materializing later in the years to come.

Hon. Hawa Yakubu’s mother was thrown out of the family house for insisting that her daughters took to education instead of marriage, and being a very appreciative mother she promised Hawa the daughter that she was fond of, a house if she finished Navorongo Secondary school without getting pregnant, this feet Madam Hawa achieved to the praise of her mother.

After completing Navorongo secondary school, fate found her in Accra where she came to pursue catering at the revered Accra- Polytechnic, where she finished her tertiary education with resounding success; she later had the job of matron at Navorongo Secondary her educational roots.

HER NUCLEAR FAMILY

She had two sons from her first marriage to Amadu Ayebo namely Felix and Derek and with these kids she sought refuge in 1982 in London. There she stayed with her two sons on a single bed as a refugee, in the night one of her sons will fall off from the bed because the bed was too small to accommodate the three of them.

Her new abode created a distance and a barrier between her and the husband( Amadu Ayebo) and this eventually led to the collapse of the marriage, she married captain Hodge Ogede, a pilot at Nigeria Airways with whom she had two girls, Amanda Ogede and Dieudonee Ogede.

Series of threats on her life and her devotion for politics took a greater part of her family time, Captain Ogede who increasingly got worried as a result of the threats on his wife and family decided to seek solace by opting out of a rather happy marriage, yet again on the wheels of politics she (Hon. Hawa Yakubu) lost her second husband, the relationship collapsed irreparably.

She lost her beloved son Felix in 2000 round up to the elections, living her with one surviving son Derrick, Amanda and Dieudonee.

BIDS MOTHER FAREWELL

In 1992 she came over to have the final funeral rites for her late mother (Hajia Azore) who died in 1983 from a shock upon hearing that her daughter (Madam Hawa Yakubu) had died in exile, this was later found out as rumor funned by no other than her surmises.

POLITICAL LIFE

Hon. Hawa Yakubu’s political life started from the grass roots, she stood for the district assembly elections unopposed, and thus she became a member of her constituent assembly. Out of 5 women at the constituent assembly she was the only elected woman as the 4 were government appointee’s’, also she was the Upper East representative at the local government.

With a divided tradition she took to the side of Paa Willie, Adu Boahen, R.R. Amponsah to form UNC, which contested the 1979 elections and lost to Dr. Hilla Limann, though a Northern she never believed in tribal politics and she felt UNC had a better appeal and offer to the nation, she therefore defied the norm and voted against one of her own Dr. Limann thus ensuring thumbs up for objectivity and shame to the politics of tribalism and nepotism.

She sought political asylum as a refugee in London as the PNDC took over the reigns of power on 31st December 1981, after a long spell in Britain and Nigeria she came home in 1991 and contested the 1992 elections, as an independent candidate remaining neutral on the ensuing Kusasi and Mamprusi she drew lots of votes from both warring factions, also many sympathizers who were aware of the tragic and terrible death of her mother supported her efforts, the writing was therefore on the wall and it was no surprise that she won the 1992 elections and took active role in the first parliament of the 4th Republic.

As a strong member of the opposition and in the minority in parliament she distinguished her self as the voice of the voiceless this no doubt made her the envy of most of her colleagues in the majority who on certain occasions sought to eliminate her.

CLOSE SHAVE (Narrow escape)

She came close to death on several occasions, she was shot on close range but missed the target, her bag and windscreen were broken into on numerous times, in such times she used civil society and media to carry out the views of the opposition, she thus earned several accolades some referred to her as a myth breaker, a ‘bula matari(breaker of rocks) however the most popular with her fans was “Iron Lady”, she thus carved a niche for herself from an otherwise quiet, humble small – town girl into a national Heroine. To say she dominated the first parliament of the fourth republic is an under-statement.

She became a much sought for, participating in international for a , especially in connection with her pet subjects of women’s Empowerment, children’s right, Female Genital Mutilation, good governance and conflicts resolution. She was Executive committee member of the parliamentarians for Global Action and of Anglophone

Africa on the women’s Co-ordinating committees of the (I.P.U) Inter Parliamentary Union.

GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT

In 1996, a concerted government effort to rid parliament of this irrepressible woman led to the one of the two shameful of African political practice when electoral officers were pressured to declare her loser although she had retained her seat by a handsome margin, Hawa challenged the results but to no avail, a typical hallmark of a democrat she conceded defeat and left for Cotonou, Benin to serve as Executive Director of GERDDES, an NGO that observes elections. She stayed there till 2000 when she came down to contest for the 2000 elections on the ticket of the NPP and as an MP for Bawku Central.

SHOCK OF HER LIFE

In the 2000 elections she felt peeved, when she had won and the results were still not declared, a big squabble ensued which led her to come out from her hide out and to the police station for 4 more of the boxes to be counted after the elections had ended, these 4 boxes had her earning 2 and 300 for Fati Seidu, in some 8 (Hawa) 300(Fati Seidu) yet she won after the count of those boxes, Madam Fati Seidu later conceded to her big sister whom she regards as her mother. It is now known that 300 lives perished and 120 houses were raised down in that skirmish.

CONCESSION

She says that even though she is now in the Danquah-Busia tradition she has lots of respect for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and even beliefs that President Kufuor attest to the fact that Nkrumah was a great leader and a proud son of Ghana this she says the President stated when they made a trip to Morocco.

She admits that the Danquah Busia tradition makes room for social development even though it is private sector oriented.

Credits: hawafoundation.org

Photo : Ghanaweb.com

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No Light No Vote !!

Elections 2012

People of Akorley off the Somanya – Dodowa road are peeved !!! Their message, “No Lights No Vote”.

I happened to find myself in this town when i attended a friend’s engagement and wedding ceremonies. The people are predominantly Mango ( What we call in Ghana ‘SALO’) farmers. Their land as i was told is a very fertile one of which any plant yields with high bearings when cultivation is due.

This is a town that on any day, sees rain twice everyday, no wonder the evidence was clear to see as a friend took me round a vast mango farm with the leaves very very green and fresh.

My friend’s uncle told me, there were vast lands available for which if anyone needed could come see the overseers of the land though he made it clear that, it had to be for developmental projects or for farming purposes.

So i asked, why the chanting out of the No Light No Vote ? And he’s response was simple – “We have been neglected for far too long and we need to be recognized since we also form part of the Yilo Krobo District”.

I also asked whether they’ve channelled their grievances to the respected authorities? The answer was in the affirmative and to add to what the middle aged man said in his own words – “Plenty plenty ‘tams’ (times)”.

As to how serious they were in this plea or threat, whichever way you might want to describe it, i was dared to come around during the December elections to see for myself if what they are pushing is a mere fluke in relation to what they are agitating for is not met.

Well lets see how it goes : i will try and link up with the folks there hopefully in a few weeks before the general elections to find out whether there’s been some level of progress in their quest for them to have electricity or light as the say they want.

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