“In Germany they first came for the communists and I didn’t speak up then because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for Catholics and I didn’t speak because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up”.-Pastor M .Niemoller
Who will speak up against the MONEYcracy and political pimps?
You can’t miss them: Like the rest of the country, every election cycle we allow political pimps of every political kind to descend on our communities, villages and towns ;and throw a little ,money around like so much chum or chicken feed…..but, pay scant attention to our basic needs , desire and aspirations.
Then, when they win and don’t do a damn thing for us, whose fault is it? Have you been on Kade- Bomso road lately? What about our schools where some students pay for their own desks and the lucky ones in Kindergarten go to school under mango trees?
What about the self-employed “road contractors”, we see on our roads on weekends, who fill potholes for living? Are they our answer to our youth unemployment or the alternative to the ministry of Roads and Transportation? Go figure! I guess our politicians don’t see them when they attend funerals on weekends.
Paradoxically, there is an uprising going across the Arab world; engineered by ordinary people who are fed up with their governments, but Ghanaian politicians still don’t give a damn about this development which is unfolding in the other parts of the world. They fail to realize that when powerless people run out of options no government machinery can stop them from standing up and speak against injustices. So Ghanaians should have to start to stand and speak up against the political injustices we’re experiencing across our land.
Oftentimes I have the feeling that either something is genetically or mentally wrong with some folks who keep on electing the wrong people every four years and keep expecting different result. By the way, one of common definition of insanity is to keep doing something repeatedly and expecting a different result. We wish things in our district would be hunky-dorky once we keep electing the wrong people. Sadly our run-down schools and pot-hole road network are still there while our politicians are enjoying their booties.
Unfortunately, some of our career politicians also believe that our cash-hungry and poverty -stricken voters (delegates) keep electing them because of their good stewardship—“Bullshit!”
I say “bullshit” because sometimes some of our politicians in our constituencies like to conveniently forget that the difficult conditions and circumstances most voters find them in were created not by their own doing but by governments after governments and political machinery that perpetuate the voters’ dependency syndrome. We have therefore created a system which allows the highest bidders to win the election every four years, with no sweat.
Yes, I know I’ll be castigated by some people for criticizing our Politicians. They think I simply like beating up on people for no reason, but that is not true. What I’m attempting to do is prick the conscience of those in control of our resources, destiny and power –to remind them of their obligations to our children and elderly. I simply want them to find programs that focus on the welfare of our youths and elderly .But that can only be achieved if we elect the right candidates who have the drive, empathy, vision and the ability to make a difference in the life of the ordinary people—not just the delegates. Unfortunately that is not the case.
During the recent NPP primaries some of the candidates were clever enough to ram through the election process with tons of money. Oh well, I can be “clever” too ,ya know—to keep people’s attention on what’s going on in our towns and neighborhoods and not to keep those who elect the wrong candidates off-the –hook.
The point is if we let the career politicians to ram through the elections with money then why should we expect them to do anything meaningful to improve our livelihood? By failing to elect people on merit we’re ensuring that we’ll be paying for the outcomes: the bad policies and wrong choices.
When are we going to wake up?
Wouldn’t that be a great legacy to be known as the generation of Ghanaians who finally came to their senses and woke up to make this country and its politicians live up to the expectations of the electorates, by creating conditions that allowed everyone to be free and have the basic human needs?
Poverty is a prison, you know! But so too is ignorance, visionless, selfishness or apathy.
It’s time to stand up for something. Not just to stand up but also not to sit down and swallow the political garbage down your throat. Democracy is not a perfect system but it is good enough to work with if it remains DEMOcracy, not MONEYcracy; where barons buy electorates’ conscience at ‘dokomi’ on open market.
What goes on during elections will eventually affect every development effort in Ghana, regardless of whether the party is in power or opposition, because of the integrity of people we vote for. In fact, our electoral system needs refinement to make it robust that even in the face of abject poverty ,ignorance and selfishness, the right people will only be elected to office—not because of how much money they influenced voters with ,but on the basis of their own capacity and their vision for the people they represent.
Indeed, there is a price for any political party that sits down to let some of its members to turn our infant DEMOcracy into MONEYcracy with impunity
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (CEO; Lion Gate Security Limited)
*The author is a social commentator and founder of Adu-Gyamfi Youth Empowerment foundation, of Asuom.