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Curing The ‘One This, One That’ Pandemic


The number ‘One’ seems to possess a magical wand when it comes to shaping the socio-political life of a people, and only heaven knows the authority behind the mystery.

It is therefore not surprising that politicians, philosophers and theologians have at various times tried to apply the number to help shape society.

For instance, soon after attaining independence in 1957, our leaders whipped up our national psyche with the slogan; ‘One Nation, One People, One Destiny’; and it worked like magic.

Then came the phrase; ‘One Man, One Wife’ from the preacher’s pulpit, which also worked on our national psyche.

However, the term had been so recklessly abused in our recent political discourse, to the extent that its misapplication can appropriately be described as being pandemic.

During the run-up to the 2016 general elections, the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) came up with the catchiest political promise ever: ‘One District, One Factory’.

The party’s campaign team went up north barely two weeks later to promise the people there a ‘One Village, One Dam’, when voted into power. This also sounded cool at the time.

As if these were not enough, the party virtually swept the entire electorate to its side with the ‘One Constituency, One Million Dollars’ promise. Whether they were fulfilled or not is not the issue here.

Convincing as they were, political observers only started revising their scripts when nine long months after winning the elections, President Akufo-Addo, speaking at the 2017 World Cocoa Day celebration, made yet another promise to the good people of Ghana: ‘One Student, One Chocolate Per Day’.

According to him, the programme was aimed at boosting the consumption of local cocoa products.

That was when some of his critiques, particularly those from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), openly ridiculed the programmes and described the president as ‘King Promise’.

Worse still was when a few weeks later, Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, also came up with what he called a ‘One Constituency, One Ambulance’ promise.

And as if adding salt to injury, Freddie Blay, acting NPP national chairman, promised to roll out a ‘One Constituency, One Bus’ programme should delegates vote for him to become the party’s substantive national chairman.

That promise was the last straw that broke the camel’s back as several NDC communicators teasingly hit back by calling the current NPP administration a ‘One Day, One Scandal’ government.

In fact some people are forecasting a ‘One Akufo-Addo, One-Term Presidency’ come 2020, all because the party’s most captivating message is being diluted.

Like many Ghanaians, THE PUBLISHER believes that slogans, no matter how captivating they may be, stand losing their potency once they are over-flogged.

Like the Biblical salt that has lost its taste, they could either be swallowed with contempt or randomly recited as mere words.

The paper will like to advise politicians to be more circumspect with the rate of usage of their slogans, lest they also lose their taste and essence.

As we speak, the word ‘INCOMPETENCE’ is fast losing its relevance in our political discourse simply because almost all political parties are cashing on into it.

It is high time we cured this national pandemic.

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