An Nkrumaist, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has observed that political polarisation is a nation wrecker that must be uprooted at all cost.
He said polarisation stifled development and is a source of civil wars in certain countries; adding that what was disturbing was the fact that the polarisation was not limited to only politicians, but that the public was much polarised on issues such as economic growth and the role of government.
Polarisation and development
“There is no way this country, Ghana, can develop under such a trying polarised system,” Professor Akosa said when he delivered the 47th series of the Danquah Memorial Lectures at the British Council in Accra.
It was organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the theme, “Ghana’s polarised political terrain”.
“Never has it reached this level. In certain parts of the north, tribes that had coexisted for years now find themselves on the opposite side of the political divide and are creating no-go areas for each other,” he said.
Professor Akosa, who is also the Executive Director of Healthy Ghana, was worried that polarisation was getting out of hand, adding that even inter-marriages had not been left out, and insisted that tribe and politics should not be bed fellows.
For over an hour, Professor Akosa, who took his audience down memory lane from the pre to the post colonial era, endeared himself to the audience who were glued to their seats and intermittently applauded anytime he made a strong point.
Polarisation and tribalism
He said polarisation and tribalism had existed as far back as during the pre-independence rule when the CPP in the 1956 election exploited the Brong-Asante brawl and called on all Brongs “to vote for CPP for independence.”
“Tribal politics have orchestrated violence, intimidations, atrocities and assassination attempts which had led to the promulgation of series of laws such as the Prevention Detention Act to maintain the intactness and sovereignty of the nation,” he said.
He examined the various coup d’etats and their effects on the development of the country and traced their origins to political and ethnic polarisation.
Professor Akosa traced the backgrounds of the formation of the various political parties in the country and how the country had been polarised.
He said he was sure there were anxieties from various quarters when he was invited to deliver the lecture because of his political background as an Nkrumaist.
“But the only way to chart an unpolarised political terrain is when a Danquahist mounts an Nkrumaist platform or the vice-versa,” Professor Akosa said.