It was said by Ralph Waldo Emerson that « Who you are speaks so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying » and this is exactly the image that Kobby Acheampong has left in Ghanaian politics. His personality has overlapped his performance that many people think he is nothing good for Ghana.

My first encounter with Mr. Acheampong was during the ministerial vetting in 2009. Prior to this event, I had heard a lot of acidic allegations against this well educated and Communication professor, including insults, false allegations, very aggressive in radio and TV studios, and many more.

Upon all these allegations which I taught they were mere political propaganda, when Mr. Acheampong & co were nominated to be part of the Mills administration in government, I said to myself that thank God we now have young men who are going to refresh our system with fresh ideas. But I was completely misled on that very day that Mr. Acheampong was being vetted.

On Wednesday, April 01, 2009, Mr. Acheampong was called upon by the Appointments Committee which comprised of noble and well experienced members of parliament and ministers including Hon. E. T. Mensah and Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, to be vetted out for deputy minister designate for Tourism. I followed the live coverage in my room till the end. During the entire process, Mr. Acheampong displayed an unethical, naive, and insipid composition of character and attitude which made Hon. Atta Kyea to conclude that, « Should you get this position, I wish you well. » I was in fact shocked to see such a man of his caliber designated for the ministry of tourism and he didn’t know where the center of Ghana was located. Mr. Acheampong’s behavior during the vetting process cast a shadow on his soon to be occupied office.

Today, one just has to google Kobby Achemapong and nothing so special is written about him. His insolence and sharp cutting tongue has gained him an unfavorable record in the annals of Ghanain politics. In fact he’s one of the pioneer names to be mentioned in politics of insult which is only linked up in Ghanaian politics. But what does Mr. Acheampong’s behavior tells about the future of the Ghanaian youths’ participation in government?

Mr. Acheampong was not the only young man to be found in Mills Administration, alongside with him were Omane-Boamah and Okudzeto Ablakwah. These were few of the many young men in Ghana who had a privilege to serve in Ghana’s high public offices. But so sad they have disappointed the entire nation and cast a shadow on the reliability and efficiency of Ghanaian youth.

Africa in general has always considered the elder to be right. The youth has always been relegated to the background as school boys and girls. This has been a phenomenon that has been in our system for such a long while. Today, as the transition from the modern era to the post-modern made a lot of elderly personalities lose focused, it became necessary that the youth, who understands the current language system, must take up leadership mantles to meet the current demands. In many countries today, the youth have been given attention to contribute their quota in public services.

An opportunity to serve shoulder levels with the so-called elders is to prove that when the youth are given the chance, they can do better. Sadly, Mr. Acheampong and his cohorts have turned the clock anti-clockwise. Their vicious recalcitrant has cast a shadow on the entire Ghanaian youth. I congratulate president Mills for recognizing the youth to serve in that capacity, but I must also say that, his reaction to some of these unruly behavior in these men were unethical. He should have fired these notorious boys to sanctify his image and Ghanaian politics. As he has always claimed to be the father of the nation, his negligence has not paid him well as it is said, “If children eat snake as a result of the carelessness of the elder, he too is considered as snake eater.”

Now the question is, how many youth shall be considered in 2013? Should NPP, CPP, PNC or PPP win this coming election, will they consider the youth? These questions must be pondered over, especially the youth to be careful about the way they handle their lives. We are fed up with to much stupidity in individuals who abuse power. It’s time we get down to real business and lift up the image of our Ghanaian politics. But if men like Mr. Acheampong and his cohorts are in government, then where lies the future of Ghana?

Clifford Owusu-Gyamfi

University of Lausanne, Switzerland

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