Skip to main content

Ghana Improves On 'Stomach Infrastructure' By Louis Odion

August 18, 2016

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).

In contemporary terms, while it is true that 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 Congress (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.”

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 mass-cooked in massive pots. Those interested were encouraged to help themselves to the feast as campaign "starters".

At a recent rally, a foot-soldier of NDC was seen squabbling with a serving female minister during a session of jollof rice.

The message should however not be lost: if they serve raw foodstuff in Nigeria, in Ghana value is already added to the condiment before the offer is made to the people.


Ghana Politics