Today the President of Ghana starts a two-day State Visit. Most overseas Guyanese have reacted with indignation at their country being confused with Ghana when they say where they’re from, but our literal Ghanaian connection goes so far back it’s beyond human memory.
Billions and billions of years ago, the continents were all joined together, and when Africa moved away from what was to become South America, Ghana broke away from Guyana!!
In fact, when Tullow struck oil off Ghana in 2007, they reasoned that, geologically, oilfields had to also be formed off the coasts of the Guianas, hence their successfully drilling off Suriname!
Ghana’s experience with oil should be an object lesson for Guyana. Their people had great expectations for their standard of living to rise to First World levels, since they had a democratic political system, a two-party system, and an educated populace. Their problem was that the politicians jumped the gun and borrowed heavily, with the expectation they’d be able to repay from oil revenues. But the flow of oil wasn’t as smooth as they had expected; there were problems with their pipelines for oil and gas and to shore. They’re now stuck with a huge debt overhang!!
Like with the PNC here, they felt gas from their oilfields would solve their power generation woes, but ran into a slew of glitches. Lesson for our politicians.
While Ghana haven’t been able to completely eliminate their ethnic politics, they’ve developed a swing vote in the urban areas that ameliorates the divisions.
Young Guyanese should know that the first Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, played an important role in attempting to bridge the gap between Jagan and Burnham, after the latter split from the PPP to form the PNC. Jagan and Burnham both attended Ghana’s independence celebrations in 1957, and asked for Nkrumah’s intervention. However, Nkrumah was influenced by his close advisor, Trinidadian Pan-Africanist George Padmore, and met Burnham along with other West Indian leaders, who told him that Jagan was going to form an “Indian state in the Caribbean”.
In 1964, in the midst of the CIA-sponsored ouster of Jagan, the latter asked for the anti-imperialist Nkrumah’s help once again. His aide, W.E. Alexander, was however unsuccessful, since Burnham reneged on his promise for a coalition government between the PPP and PNC. And the rest, as they say, is history.
It was also the same for the leftist Nkrumah in Ghana. Two years later, just before Burnham was rewarded with “independence” for his collusion, Nkrumah was ousted in a CIA-instigated military coup when he went to visit North Vietnam; even though he’d famously declared, “We neither face East nor West; we face forward.”
…of obeah’s denigration?
Moses Nagamootoo, the soon-to-be erstwhile PM of Guyana, who’s fighting desperately, dirtily and treacherously to have another go at being given “Larwah” rather than any real power, came out swinging at his critics.
In the Chronic column he awarded to himself while axing Lewis and Hinds, he sniped snarkily: “On the sideline, the enemies of the party expect to see blood on the floor of the conference. Like the fabled but terrifying witch-doctors, they have been concocting a toxic devil’s brew of division and personality clashes amongst AFC leaders.”
Imagine, when the Attorney General of his government just announced he’ll introduce legislation to remove obeah from the Summary Jurisdiction Act as an offence fetching up to 12 months’ imprisonment, Nagamootoo warns about “terrifying witch-doctors”, which is what the colonials dubbed voodoo practitioners!!
How insensitive! On the eve of the State Visit of the President of Ghana, where obeah is considered as a native healing practice!! Some countries, like Tanzania, even register obeah practitioners.
How insensitive can Nagamootoo get? Shame on him!!
…of UF and AFC
But Nagamootoo’s fighting a moot battle; the AFC ain’t getting the chance to nominate the PM candidate again.
Why should the PNC give them that power when they couldn’t even elect a single RDC Councillor?