Politics

Mahama Promises New Leadership At Hogbetsotso Durbar

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Former President John Dramani Mahama has given assurance that if given the mandate after the December 2024 general election, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will provide a new type of leadership that derives from past experiences, and would not dare to be reckless in the management of the public purse.

Speaking at a mini Hogbetsotso durbar at Dzelukope in the Volta Region through former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Sylvester Mensah on Saturday, the former president pointed out that Ghana is currently confronted with avoidable challenges.

These challenges, according to him, include politics of division and divisiveness, needless destruction of Ghanaian-owned businesses through reckless decisions often shaped by ethnocentric considerations, and mindless partisanship.

The NDC, he indicated, has a clear strategy for reversing the economic decline, for reducing the cost of government and governance, for job creation, for ensuring public accountability, for reviving confidence in public institutions, for creating opportunities for all and particularly, for devoting more attention to the development of the Volta Region, among others.

Mr. Mahama has therefore charged Ghanaians to rise up and put an end to the massive suffering that has engulfed the country.

“Let us mobilize and show that we are intolerant of policy inconsistencies, moral abdication of leadership and deliberate acts of negligence that impact our economy and social life,” he stated.

Drawing parallels to the festival, the former President indicated that as Hogbetsotso signifies the resilience, fortitude and tenacity of forebears to emancipate themselves from the oppressor’s rule; so too must Ghanaians use this occasion to remind themselves of the need to extricate people from the debilitating conditions.

Hogbetsotso is a festival celebrated to signify the escape of the Anlo and other Ewe people from the ruthlessness reign of Togbui Agorkoli, who persistently assigned the people very dehumanizing tasks to perform.

Those who failed to perform a given task were severely punished to serve as deterrent to others.

After years of endurance, the moment of freedom and liberation came when the people devised a creative and innovative plan that allowed them to escape unnoticed, thanks to the hard work of the women in particular.

According to Mahama, Hogbetsotso brings to the fore the tenacity of Ghanaians as a people to take their destiny in their own hands when it matters most.

“One of the lessons that can be drawn from the Hogbetsotso narrative is that the Anlo and Ewes, and indeed all our people are freedom loving people who detest oppression in any form or shape. So today as we celebrate Hogbetsotso, we are celebrating the fact that we are the forebears of democracy and the liberties it guarantees.

“Hogbetsotso also teaches us that in unity lies strength; the strength we need to overcome our collective challenges. When the people under Togbui Agorkoli realized the danger posed to their collective survival due to the ruthlessness of king Agorkoli, they were united not for violence but for peaceful and undetected exit,” the former President added.

According to him, the decision of the ancestral Ewes to escape from the tyranny of Togbui Agorkoli is arguably the first liberation struggle by a group of people within the confines of Ghana’s modern state in recorded history.

He pointed out that nothing is more worrying today than the deliberate attempt to disenfranchise the people of the Volta Region over the last couple of years and cited the use of the military to scare people from registering during the last voter registration exercise.

Former President Mahama noted that currency depreciation, increased price of electricity and water, and an increase in VAT have driven up the cost of living, particularly for food.

“The World Bank suggests that in 2022 the government pushed about 850,000 Ghanaians into poverty due to rising prices and the loss in purchasing power while the food security situation in the country has worsened considerably.”

“Our country is now awash with mass poverty and the fastest growing activity in Ghana today is corruption, and it is mostly by public officials.”

He lamented that what is obvious is that 0the country is back to the days of Togbui Agorkoli and citizens are uncertain what life holds for them.

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