I had an experience many years ago that never left my memory; we all get that once in a while. I was sitting with a friend in an open air restaurant somewhere in Tema and close to me was a table of three, two of whom I recognized to be “big guns” of the National Democratic Party (NDC). A Toyota Landcruiser vehicle then pulled by, its automatic window on the driver side rolled down slowly and a man I know as a senior National Patriotic Party (NPP) politician stuck out his head, slowed down and yelled at the NDC men “mu di abaen sika nu paaa O” literally meaning “you guys are really enjoying the country’s money”. To my not-so-surprizing amazement, all three of them laughed out loud at the insinuation. The eldest of the two NDC men retorted back with hysteric amusement “se, saa na musu mue di bee” which literally translates “of course, just like how you guys also enjoyed it in your time”. Right then, it dawned on me; first of all, that was my hard-earned money in the form of taxes they were insinuating at and secondly, these politicians came across to me puppet masters and the population, the puppets. If that is the case, then “WOW” what a large population of puppets they have available to play with.
The current events in the political landscape of Ghana raise many many many questions in the minds of many many people. The recent events surrounding the death of the president John E. Atta-Mills (may he R.I.P), before, during and after simply make it obvious that the leaders of the NDC consider the political image and interests of the party a higher priority than anything else including the very life of those in it. I am not saying the NDC killed the ex-president but it’s become very obvious they weren’t interested in doing anything more than “the minimum required” to support the needs and very life of a person of such high national importance. The question every Ghanaian including the so called “party-faithfuls” should be asking is this – “if they don’t care about a president that much, would they care about you the ordinary citizen?” As sad as it sounds, it took the death of the president to expose the total and immovable commitment of the NDC to LIE about everything about the president’s health, all the way to his death. I question many of its members who, after the fateful event are now parading themselves touting how they objected to the lies, how they knew something like this would happen and on and on; one question – did the president have to die before they talked? One thing lingers on my mind – if it took the death of the president for this commitment to lies to be exposed, every Ghanaian should wonder what other evils have transpired of which we may never know. The fact of the matter is this – if a man, or a group of them are so committed to falsehood, even if it means the death of one of their own, I assure you they would do likewise with no hesitation for one who is not their own.
Now, the NPP; Firstly, their recent aggression and blind resolve, to win the presidential elections “AT ALL COSTS” leaves a lot to be feared. It begs the concern – if all they want to do is contribute to the progress of this country, why can’t they do so without necessarily having to be a ruling party? Or is it because their current presidential candidate owes too much debt as a result of the so many failed attempts at the presidency? And if per adventure this was true, and per adventure he also won the presidential election – I wonder whose money will be used to pay those debts. I simply wonder, nothing more. I didn’t want to, but I had to ask: if a man or a group of them aspiring to be leaders of this country, claim that they are willing to go all out and DIE in the process, in order to be elected into such honourable roles, shouldn’t we all as Ghanaians be asking if we are safe to exercise our freedoms under the leadership of such men? Honestly speaking, it appears if I voted against them, I would also have to taste death. Secondly and just out of curiosity, does every Ashanti bear total allegiance to the Ashanti King? If that is so, would the current presidential flag bearer of the NPP possess the complete independence needed to act properly in the office of president or could he be influenced or be seen to be influenced? I am just asking.
I don’t deny the fact that there are a “few good men and women” left in both the NDC and NPP. For these few, it is their personal choice to remain bonded to a party and people with corrupt natures?” Permit me to borrow the biblical illustration, “what has light got in common with darkness?” I guess it begs the question whether the followers of Ghana’s political parties are being loyal to the virtues and ideologies or to the leaders of such parties. By and large, the basic underlying principles of making life better for all Ghanaians that the NDC and NPP subscribe to have all been eroded by their proven exemplary records to date. In financial auditing, we say a person must not only be independent, but they must be both “independent and seen to be independent”. In other words the two must go together for the principle of independence to be established. In the same manner, Ghana’s two major political parties must “care about this country Ghana, and be seen by Ghanaians to care for this country”. Unfortunately however, Ghanaians have had a taste of both, and none of them is “SEEN” as caring enough about this beloved country. In fact, the experience has been like eating Quinine in the morning and Alafia bitters in the evening.
Ghanaians cannot be fooled, and even if they could, you couldn’t fool them all the time. They know that the essence of party politics is to offer them a greater variety of good, clean and progressive leadership; they know that party politics is not to be used for the current injustices it is being used for – the injustice of knowing that I cannot get what I rightfully deserve, or earn my due wages from my genuine abilities or get equal access to all opportunities, simply because of my political or non-political affiliations. But then again, we are realists: we know corruption and all manner of greed and political wickedness exists in every nation, but then again some nations progress more than others. Why do we have to be reduced to what this nation has been reduced to in spite of all our Oil, our Gold, our timber, our quality human resources, our rich farming land, our bauxite etc. Why?
Our political leaders have a huge hurdle ahead; if they feel the need to restore the trust and confidence we once gave them freely, they need to honour their duties to the citizenry and to demonstrate that they can and are committed to taking this nation forward with no prejudice to ethnicity or political affiliations. They need to show that their overall allegiance is to the good of this country’s future and that no single person or political entity has greater importance than the lives and destinies of all Ghanaians. Or perhaps, to put it as bluntly as a very good friend of mine recently put it – Ghana just needs fresh blood. A fresh breed of posterity and people-centred ideas; Ghana needs fresh blood. A fresh breed of politicians who do not score their points by how much then can embezzle or how many people they can insult; but rather, how many Ghanaian lives they can affect positively for the greater good and what progressive legacies they can leave to posterity.
Ghanaians have a very consistent record of ridding themselves of what does not work for the good of their beloved nation. Many years ago nobody else believed we had a right to sovereign independence – we earned it; then we were told we didn’t have what it took to establish a flourishing democracy – we did; then many, including our very own, thought that as a people, we couldn’t sustain our economic stability and yet in spite of the cancerous corruption and plunder – the hardworking spirit of the Ghanaian people triumphs. So, to some politicians who “think” they and they alone have the rights to satisfy their greedy bellies with the wealth and good of this country, hear this – the people of Ghana are not blind, neither deaf nor incapacitated. Remember, by the people’s own will they opened their arms to embrace you, but with that same will and in that very embrace you could be squeezed to choke – to those with corrupt intentions, remember this.