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Tribal Politics Breeds Division — Prof. Akosa   
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Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, an Nkrumaist, has deplored tribal politics in Ghana, saying that it breeds division and retards development.

“This country can only develop if we think of Ghana before tribe, and the use of tribe to win political favour does this country no good,” he added.

Tribal passions

Professor Akosa, who is the Executive Director of Healthy Ghana, speaking on the topic, “The politics of Ghana today,” said it was worrying when senior politicians inflamed tribal passion to their advantage.

He was speaking on the second day of the three-day 47th series of the J.B. Danquah Memorial Lectures at the British Council in Accra.

The lecture, organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, was on the theme: “Ghana’s Polarised Political Terrain.”


Professor Akosa said many tribal slogans had been coined by political parties to whip up tribal sentiments and cited “yere gye ye man,”; “Adze wo fie a oye,”; and “vote for your northern brother”.

Tribal politics

He said tribal politics existed since the Gold Coast era and, noting that this had not stopped as “the voting patterns continue to reflect the role of ethnicity in politics” with the voting pattern in some areas becoming predictable.

“The Ashanti Region votes one way and the Volta Region the other. These so-called “world banks” of the two major political parties prevent the election of the best person for the constituency. It does not matter who eventually is selected to represent the dominant party in the region,” he lamented.

Media pluralism

On media pluralism, Professor Akosa said instead of the media projecting the appropriate documentaries that would expose the socio-economic discordance in the development of the country, “most of the media spend time on political issues, bringing politicians to slug it out and opening phone lines ostensibly for the general public to contribute to the discussion.”

“However, the tendency has always been that serial callers, a new phenomenon in multi-party democracy practised only in Ghana, and along partisan lines, are those who get through to all the programmes to air their views - most of which are overly partisan and propagandist,” he emphasised.

Corruption and poverty

Speaking on corruption and poverty, the former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service said corruption was endemic and pervasive in Ghana and contributed in no small way to the increasing poverty and inequalities.

He said, for instance, that funds allocated to essential projects that would provide basic needs of the people were diverted into individual accounts, depriving communities of bare necessities of life.
Source: Daily Graphic

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