When Rawlings eventually decided to open the democratic space, he established the National Democratic Party (NDP) and made John Mills his deputy and together they went on to win power. And what they did with their mandate is there for everyone to see—a democratic and prosperous Ghana. When J.J Rawlings terms expired John Mills took over the mantle of the party and in 2007 won power. Though he had lost to John Kuffour immediately after JJ’s terms expired.
Ghana’s much touted democratic stability and prosperity owed very much to the refinement its leaders—including John Mills brought to bear on how it has been governed. The exquisite refinement with which its leaders have deployed power and authority in running it has made it a reference point to other countries, notably Nigeria where good government is a much sought after commodity. Without oil Ghana has managed to keep itself on an even keel and built its prosperity. But with oil now gushing out from its coastal region it is certainly going to be an Eldorado of sort, particularly if its leaders do not succumb to the malady in Nigeria and keep their fingers from the oil proceeds.
It’s a cruel fate on John Mills to have been translated to the great beyond just when the oil proceed was beginning to trickle in. A few more years at the helms by him superintending upon Ghana’s new found oil prosperity would have really cemented his position as the leader at whose time Ghana moved from being a middle income country it is now to a high income one. Still, no one can deny that the cultured sophistication that now characterises Ghana’s democracy—witness the smooth transition of power to his deputy, John Mahama without the rancorous political uproar and backstabbing which would have occurred elsewhere, is remarkable. And it is owed to the politically savvy and adroit manner John Atta Mills as much as anyone else had run Ghana.
Nigeria’s debacle at the Olympic Games
The Olympics Games currently going on in London is on the home stretch. And if the opening ceremony is anything to go by, on Sunday it will come to a fitting spectacular end. For many countries that had prepared well for the event –China, US, UK, France, Jamaica and South Africa and many others that have been registered on the medals table, no matter what category, their successes are certainly the result of hardheaded planning and preparation for the quadrennial games.
Besides being, at a personal level, a show of exquisite sportsmanship and the unquenchable spirit of the human to seek to achieve the super human through single minded determination and effort, the games have also become a measure of a country’s determination to put itself on the pecking order of global (sporting) relevance. Hence, during the cold war period the Olympics were dominated by the US and the former Soviet Union, and the two countries fought for supremacy on the medals table. The latter’s decline as a super- power has also witnessed a reduction of its ability to compete effectively, even while it is still putting up a bold effort. The US’s real competitor for supremacy for medal now is China, which in this edition has led for most of the time on the medals table, but it has just been supplanted by the US as the sporting occasion nearing its end. Four years ago China was the host and it showed that it could match its spectacular economic performance with an equally spectacular sporting show. Hence at Beijing four years ago, the opening ceremony was an out of this world razzmatazz of splendor and artistic creativity and was far and away better than anyone that had ever held.
In the current one, Britain tried to match the spectacle of four years ago with a measure of success. The strength of the UK show however is its attempt at portraying the event as a cosmopolitan one as against the predominantly Chinese event of four years ago. Long before the event therefore the organisers incorporated theatre and music into the occasion and invited troupes and musicians from almost all parts of the world to put on drama, preferably Shakespearean play to showcase the reach of British culture and reflect the fact that the UK has become a place for all people.
Performance-wise Nigeria’s outing leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, as this column prepares to go to print Nigeria was yet to register on the medals table. One after the other our medal hopefuls fell by the way side, a sad commentary to the lack of seriousness that was brought to the preparation toward the games. Nigeria’s outing this year is particularly pathetic because unlike previous ones when she brought home something, it does not seem as if Nigeria would win even as modest as a single bronze. And to think that Nigeria in those days used to be the third leg of the tripod of the US and Jamaica in the steep competition for medals in the track events, in fact a few times Nigeria had dusted its two rivals, such as when the quartet of Egbunike and co won the gold in the 4 X 400 many years ago. It’s a shame.
ECWA Church in Kaduna
The donation of foodstuff by the ECWA Church , Tudun Wada to six Muslim communities in Kaduna as assistance to less privileged persons was a fitting gesture of goodwill and fellow feeling and would go a long way to lessen the mutual anti party in Kaduna neighborhoods. Presenting the items which included millet, maize, bags of sugar and beans, the Senior Pastor of the church, Reverend Yunusa Mmadu said it was to assist the less privileged and re-establish longstanding relationship between Muslims and Christians.
Good move like this one can never be over-emphasised as it amounts to a concrete demonstration of good neighbourliness, friendliness and compassion. It is way better than empty preachments, particularly from official quarters.