“Today marks the last Akwasidae of the year 2021. And what better than to use the moment to confront the unprecedented challenges facing our nation, and resolve not to be buried by them but to strive to turn the tide and regain the momentum of progress in our lives. So Your Excellency the Vice President, Mi Lord Chief Justice, before this honourable audience including the envoys of brother and friendly nations from across the world, I ask our leaders from all shades of political opinion, our social commentators who control the space for public discourse, and captains of finance and business whose enterprises depend on the climate for success, IT IS TIME TO STOP THE NATION BLEEDING TO EXTINCTION..”The above was contained in a SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS MAJESTY OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II, ASANTEHENE, AT THE DINNER COMMEMORATING THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF HIS MAJESTY’S COMMEMORATIVE GOLD COINS ON SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2021.
According to him, the good people of Ghana take great pride in their commitment to democratic governance. “We have been proud to be an oasis of peace in an isle of torrent and our record as a thriving democracy has served us well and made the chosen destination of many investors. What we dare not forget is that Democracy is not a static object. Nothing in statecraft really is. Democracy is a work in progress”, he explained.
The King of Asante Kingdom said the British have avoided giving themselves a written constitution because the absence obviously gives British democracy the latitude and flexibility to float with the tide. The American Constitution, held as the gold standard of democracy, has been sustained by its scope for amendments to suit changing circumstances. In a sense, adaptability has been its source of sustenance.
He continues that “we have been brought up on the notion that democracy simply means the minority have their say but the majority have their way. That may very well be, but in the cold world of real politic, it cannot be without caveats. As national and international problems become more complex, nations are finding that the smart and prudent way is to seek the convergence of different points of view. Thus across many jurisdictions today, one word has come to symbolise the lifeblood and the soul of democracy. It is called COMPROMISE.
Whether you are navigating through the labyrinths of international diplomacy or confronting the intractable issues of domestic politics, from the United States to Germany, from Israel to Japan, through all the land proclaiming their faith in democracy, the name of the game is Compromise.
It makes sense. History and perhaps science too should tell us that when an irresistible force meets an immovable object, the inevitable outcome is chaos. When the art of governance becomes overly rigid and inflexible, it invites the search for an irresistible force and an unorthodox path to resistance. Or if you like, when you tempt fate too often you risk the danger of fate descending with unintended consequences.
We have been fortunate in our political journey to have moved on from a period when one political party dominated everything. Today, at least the two main political parties have each had a period in government. If we are honest, we will agree there is no perfect government and there will never be as long as different points of view prevail. And if we are honest we will also agree that there are no people in the whole wide world who love paying taxes.
And yet there is no other way yet conceived by the human mind by which governments can raise the resources to provide for our needs other than by raising taxes. And I do not know of any form of taxes which is less painful than others. So, alas, governments of all hues will raise such taxes as they find necessary to meet our needs. And alas, if we are good citizens, we have to pay our taxes.
We elect people to represent us to make sure there is some equilibrium in what governments do. It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject the national budget to the most vigorous scrutiny and to call for changes. Governments must always have the humility to acknowledge and embrace useful inputs from all sources. But our representatives need also to bear in mind that it is not their role to either determine policy for the executive or to frustrate them from performing their legitimate duties.
The good thing in a democracy is that the people listen, observe and weigh what their leaders do over time and pass their judgement at the appropriate time. So our Parliamentary representatives can be assured that their contributions in the house are not wasted. The people have noted them and no doubt they will reflect on them when the time comes to determine the next phase in our governing process. That may be two years away but that is what democracy demands.
What is important now is for them to turn down the temperature and allow the process of governance to proceed so that the people will retain their exclusive right to pass judgement on how they have been governed at the appropriate time. The captains of business and finance gathered here tonight need the certainty in our political climate to facilitate their successful operations. The global investment community seeks the certainty of our democratic commitment to encourage them to purchase our gold and invest in our economy. And the good people of Ghana want the reassurance that the democratic path they have chosen remain irreversible. So let the spirit of compromise prevail and drastically reduce if not completely eliminate the risk of our democratic governance being truncated by unforeseen circumstances.
May the storm soon blow over and Ghana continue to shine like the 24-carat Commemorative Gold Coin now and forever.Thank you for your support.And may God continue to bless our one indivisible homeland Ghana and Asanteman !!!!