Nana Akufo-Addo and President John Mahama
Nana Akufo-Addo and President John Mahama

Since the inception of independence, Ghana as a country has developed democratically and politically.

Nana Akufo-Addo and President John Mahama
Nana Akufo-Addo and President John Mahama

Being the first country to gain independence in the first sub-saharan region, Ghana at a period became the hub of “political development”.

Ghana became the mecca where all other African countries emulated the passion with which Ghana, led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah gained independence. After the british had left the Gold Coast and their jurisdiction vanquished, we had as a country the opportunity to write our own history.

On many occassions we put the blame on our colonial masters, for reasons that they took away nearly half of our population. On many occasions we blamed our masters because we thought that we had enough to liberate ourselves from the chains of suffering. It was not surprising, how the founder of the nation, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, with a clear vision of lifting the nation from the doldrums took the wheel and on the 6th day of March 1957 said that the black man was capable of managing his own affairs.

Unknown to us, we had so little idea concerning his vision. However, Ghana stands today as one the nations in Africa cloud with dirt and filt in its body politics. The main issues today in our politics affecting the forward movement of the nation must be realised and until we realise our wrongs and get them corrected, we stand the chance of remaining where we are – stagnant like the choked gabbage in a gutter.
Ghana has been struggling with her economy over the last three to four decades. And funny enough, every four years since the inception of the fourth republic, we go the polls to elect for ourselves crop of leaders to represent and lead us to the promise land. A land of milk and honey. The question one must ask is, after we queue and get these people elected, what effort do we make to support them succeed? Do we have to sit alof, watch and monitor them without contributing our quota? Absolutely NOT! But the tragedy now is that we sit and watch them. No effort done. No contribution made.

After we decided as a nation to do away with the founder of our nation, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, by staging a coup against his government, we have since not atoned for our sins. Ghana is 58 years and counting and has since not learnt any lesson. We have not corrected our wrongs. Do we have any vision going forward?

The nation today is plunged into a state where we refuse to learn to accept the right even when we go wrong. The unhygienic state of Ghana’s politics is what we must look at critically. At first, when you want to talk of a country where efficiency is the name of the game, Ghana comes to mind. At first when you want a city that is as clean and glittling, Accra is the city. At first when you want a country where people participate meanifully in the affairs of the state, Ghana is the country. At first when you talk of a country that is ahead of the game in West Africa, Ghana is the country. Demostrating that Ghana had risen from the ashes.

So what lessons are we to leaen from all these? Because Ghana must again become the star of Africa as we claim to be. We only sing praises to ourselves as being the “Star of Africa” but which in truth are not. Maybe we used to be. One must begin to understand why we are not moving as we should. When we judge ourselves based on the basis of ethnicity, that is what might happen to us. When we vote for people based on the depth of their pockets, that is what might happen to us. When we are hypnotised with the “Pull Him Down” syndrome, that is what we might encounter as a nation. When we engage in politics of insults, that might be the end results. When our media men become open to the highest bider, that is what might happen to us. When our clergy associate themselves in political parties and unholy alliances, that is what might happen.

Our politics needs a hygienic enviroment to survive. Our politics needs an environment which is serene and free of vituperations. Carefully, let’s look at these problems hindering us from reaching the mountain top of our political desires.

The first to note is the personification of office by our leaders. Whether from the district, regional or national levels, when one holds on to power for so long, he runs out of ideas. Most of these leaders believe that without them, the nation will not succeed. How difficult is it for one to find a leader leaving the stage when the applause is loudest. Very difficult. Another troubling aspect of our unhygienic political nature is voting for a person on the basis of ethnicity. One would remember that during the times of Dr. Abrefa Busia, the United Party (UP) was essentially an ethnic alliance instead of a political party. And today in Ghana, we don’t hold elections but rather ethnic census. We go to polls to determine which ethnic tribe is larger. That is what i describe “the feel good effect”. So far as the person is your kingsman, he is the best. Most surpringly, you hear people say, “it is our turn to eat”. And so it compels them to vote on a particular direction. It was Julius Kambarege Nyerere of Tanzania who once said rhetorically, “that how is it that in the 21st century, ehtnicity becomes the basis of political mobilisation?”…….that was a rhetorical question that demanded an anwser.

Today, we also vote based one’s pocket. We look at the depth of one’s pocket before we make our choice on the election day. We must understand that our default position with regards to how one can pay us to vote for him or her is one problem today in our body politics. We must liberate ourselves from such primitive acts. It cannot be possible for one to truly account to his people when he had bought their consciences. It also becomes difficult to criticise one when your vote was bought by that person.

The “Pull Him Down” syndrome is a threat to national development and its forward move. Mostly, this happens with the opposition party. The opposition in the country intend to rubbish any good done by a goverment in power. Their willingness and dire need to come to power make an opposition party to criticize everything concerning a government in power. It is good to criticise in a democratic state but we must understand that in the classical sense, we ought to criticise constructively so as to allow for a transparent government in our country.

The main trouble we face today in the Ghanaian politics is corruption. This has been a cancer eating into the political fibre of our dear country. Until we face corruption as a national disaster, we would continue to retrogress. It is common in our country how political parties tag their opponents of engaging in corruption. We must delete from our minds the perception that corruption stated as far back as the days of Adam.

Our media today has become a big challenge today. They have contributed in polluting our today’s politics. They are also a major contributor in the politics of this nation. How? Many have engaged in doing the bid for various political parties. Our media, filled with journalilsts must remember the ethics of their profession and do as in accordance with their guided ethics. The must not shout fire in a crowded room when indeed there is no fire. Joseph Momoh of Serrie Leone once said ” A journalist with a pen in his hand is like a soldier with an AK47 riffle in hand. He can either use to kill or defend”. Going forward, our journalists must learn to be truthful in their reportage and selfless in service.

THE WAY FORWARD
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If we want to liberate ourselves from the unhygienic state of Ghana’s politics, then we must look at the following as we move forward. We must walk our talk. As it is very difficult to embrace the call, let us make an effort. For me, i look forward to the day, when we shall have a clergy that does not interfere into the Ghanaian politics. A clergy that does not endulge in the affairs of political parties to the extend of becoming political communicators. I look forward to the day when we shall have an independent media that sends across the right information to the people. I look forward to the day, when the ordinary Ghanaian shall vote based on policies and competence of political leaders. When one eschews the influence of ethnicity and bribery. I look forward to the day, when our politics shall be free of insults and the likes. I look forward to the day, when Ghana shall reason together. Sometimes wisdom not only demands but requires that we don’t speak for too long. And i know those days will come……

Source: Mahama Socrates Samuel

Email: [email protected]

The writter is a student of Law at the Kings University College

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