Ghana improves on ‘stomach infrastructure’ – By Louis Odion, FNGE

President Mahama

In more than one way,
Ghana is showing Nigeria superiority. In chronological age, the country once
addressed as “Gold Coast” already comes first: she got her
independence in 1957, three solid years ahead of Nigeria (1960).

It is only in upending
democracy that she was slightly overtaken by her Anglophone neighbour: military
putschists struck in Accra a month (February 24, 1966) after the “5
Majors” rumbled in Lagos (January 15).
Louis Odion
In contemporary terms,
while it is true Nigeria discovered oil first, Ghana, a newcomer in the sector,
is fast evincing more gumption.
Despite its manifest
innumerable benefits, the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is yet to be passed
into law in Nigeria as our political actors continue to put personal/sectional
interests before country.
But without much ado,
the Ghanaian congress took a bi-partisan route and turned PIB to law few days
ago.

Now, Ghana has
transited to the realm of creativity. Since All Progressives Party (APC) was
shellacked in the governorship polls in Ekiti State in 2014, Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) has often gloated one magic formula – “stomach
infrastructure” – did it. Claiming to understand the psychology of
politics better than the competition, PDP postulates that physical offer of a
“congo” (measure) of rice, salt and “wedging” that cocktail
with token cash on election eve is far more irresistible to most voters than
the catalogue of infrastructural projects delivered for public use. Since it
worked in Ekiti, PDP was then quick at laying claims to the patent right of
“stomach infrastructure”.

Bukola Saraki
Ayo Fayose

But, as usual, Ghana
has exposed the structural inadequacies of that Nigerian creation by simply
proceeding to stretch “stomach infrastructure” to its culinary
limits. With campaigns revving up ahead of their forthcoming presidential
elections, members of the National Democratic Congress, the ruling party
in Ghana, have been bringing the unusual to rallies: jollof rice massed
cooked in massive pots. Those interested were encouraged to help
themselves to the feast as campaign “starters”.

Dele Momodu

At a recent rally, a
foot-soldier of NDC was seen squabbling with a serving female minister during a
session of jollof rice (as pictured).
The message should
however not be lost: if they serve raw foodstuff in Nigeria, in Ghana value is
already added to the condiment before offer is made to the people.

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