African News

Let Osu Castle Stay

1 January 2006 at 23:35 | 1044 views

By Dr. Daniel Tetteh Osabu-Kle,Ottawa

Ghana is a small country that cannot afford the luxurious and affluent
life-styles of the developed world. The President of Ghana must at least
demonstrate leadership qualities. Leadership means guiding the people as
a whole towards the achievement of their collective and basic goals of
food, shelter, clothing, security and good health. Ghana is a
country plagued with a high level of unemployment, scarcity of drugs and
poor and ill-equipped medical facilities. In my last visit to Ghana last
year, I visited some hospitals and clinics. I was bitterly
disappointed. I asked, is this Nkrumah’s Ghana? The poor cannot be cared
for in any clinic or hospital for the capacity to pay must first be met.

The hospital beds were dirty and the wounded must even supply their own
bandages or bleed to death. The hospitals are practically graveyards!
Ghana is no longer a country, it is a cemetery. Is that the appropriate
condition for a presidential palace to be a priority? Shame unto the
political leaders of Ghana for their irresponsibility in even thinking
about such a luxury while the people who voted them to office continue to
suffer.

It sends the message that Rawlings’ revolution was fake, for it failed to
eradicate affluence from the minds of both the elite and the masses.
Instead of curing Ghana of its ills, Rawlings and his cronies engaged in
ripping the coffers to enrich themselves. That is why, Rawlings the poor
at the beginning became the Rawlings riding in luxurious cars. The present
government seems to be emulating the bad examples of the Rawlings regime.
Given that Rawlings is not truly Ghanaian, I can understand his ripping off
the coffers to his personal benefit, but I cannot understand those who are
hundred percent Ghanaian engaging in making their own people suffer.

Ghana does not need a presidential palace! What Ghana requires is a
presidential office where the committed head of state can do his work and
Ghana already has more than this. The Castle already has more offices
than the President of Ghana requires. After all, how many offices can
the President of Ghana occupy simultaneously? Only one. How many
secretaries does the President require? I may require only one. But let
us assume that the President of Ghana is luxurious enough to have ten.
The Castle has several times that number of offices for secretaries. We
should not forget that the Flagstaff house was not built for the Army, but
for the President of Ghana. When Nkrumah was overthrown, the misguided and
envious Army argued that the Castle was sufficient for any head of state.

The Army commander, Kotoka, illegally seized the Flagstaff House for the
Army despite the fact that the Flagstaff House is too luxurious for any
Army in the world. If the President wants more offices in addition to the
Castle, then the Army should be moved out of the Flagstaff House that it
occupied illegally by the power of the gun. If the Army deserves the
Flagstaff House, then Flagstaff Houses must be built each for the Air
Force and the Navy. In addition, there are offices at the Peduase Lodge
that was built for the President. Therefore, Ghana has more offices than
any President needs. Why should any sensible President demand more? It
only shows that the leaders of Ghana are shamefully inadequate! It makes
the outside world to disrespect us and claim that Africans do not know
what they are about. What a shame!

The notion that the Castle is polluted because of historical slavery is
pure nonsense enshrined in superstition which a sensible President with
the appropriate leadership qualities should not engage in. The notion
that the Castle is juju-infested is another unacceptable excuse. Juju
exists only in the minds of misguided ignoramuses who refuse to be
educated. If juju had any power, then Ghana should not have been a victim
of slavery or colonialism. Historical slavery and colonialism are sure
proofs that juju has no power because it simply does not exist. What
exists apart from God is technology that can turn material things into
usable objects for humans. Juju is nothing but deception and an illusion
at best. Magic is nothing but an illusive art in which the hands are
faster than the eyes, and juju is nothing but the drumming of
psychological tricks. Culture makes sense only if it is compatible with
technology in the political and economic spheres.

The millions intended for a new presidential palace can be wisely invested
in equipping the hospitals and clinics of Ghana, and in creating
employment. Any person who advises on building a new presidential palace
is only cleverly or machinately inviting a bloody revolution in Ghana.
This is the hidden agenda which the inadequate leaders of Ghana refuse to
see. There have been too many coups in Ghana to no avail. Why should we
invite another? Can we not just learn from our history and from our
mistakes? May God save Ghana! I hope any new bloody revolution is a true
one and not a fake one like that of Rawlings. A word to the wise is
enough.

*Dr. Daniel Osabu-Kle, a former Greater Accra Regional Secretary under the
Jerry Rawlings’ PNDC regime is a political science professor at Carleton
University in Ottawa, Canada.

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