The directive principles of state policy in the 1992 constitution of the republic of Ghana clearly states that, “the most secured democracy is that which is able to meet the basic needs of its people”(1992 constitution Article 36(2e).
As i walk along the beach in my homeland Ghana, the wind tends to blow faster than normal, wiping the footprints of my feet as they are hugely drawn in the sand at the seashore. Then my curious mind said that is how the democratic gains of Ghana gotten through the blood and toil of our fathers is gradually eroding, due to the wanton disregard for the basic needs of the people.
The question is, how secured is our democracy? Is it meeting the basic needs of the people of Ghana? I guess the answer to this question will be relatively subjective, depending on whether you are referred to as an “ORDINARY GHANAIAN” or “EXTRA ORDINARY GHANAIAN”.
There is no doubt that, in recent times, the political landscape of Ghana has been shaken by a wave of disturbing, and, in actual fact, tumultuous events which have weakened, if not already eroded, public confidence in our democratic system of governance and body politic.
The worsening state of ‘official’ corruption, that age-old cancerous disease in our body politic which continues to eat away huge portions of our already-dry national coffers by few, greedy, selfish politicians whether in the form of payment of preventable judgment-debts, or the award of dubious contracts and shady deals by government officials, in blatant disregard to due processes and checks and balances, in the use of tax-payers monies, is indeed worrying. “Aye fe notse, waawaa, nyafunyafu, dibimamindibi” amongst others, have become very common in our day to day language.
Unfortunately, though not new, the perceived unwillingness or inability of the government in power particularly, the president, in who lies the ultimate responsibility of leading a “LESS VERBAL MORE ACTION” fight against corruption, has helped fuel public mistrust about the commitment of the ruling class to routing out this menace from our political system.
These emergent trends have caused Ghanaians to lose faith in politicians and in the institutions of governance created to advance and safeguard our collective interests and wellbeing. They have left us wondering if the mantras of ‘free and fair elections’, ‘kabi ma menka bi’, ‘good governance’, ‘accountability’, ‘rule of law’, and so on, which we have been singing for many years is worth the tunes of our sweet, peace loving Ghanaian voices.
There is one question that keeps popping up in my mind, dreams and visions, and that is: is it not time to rethink our democratic politics and re-structure the existing system of governance, including reforming the institutions of state and the mechanisms of accountability, to give true meaning to the concept of participatory democracy which we have subscribed to and fought for?The peace-loving people also deserve a pat on the back for continuously embracing democracy. This, however, is not the time to be complacent.
DOING THE SAME THINGS
As the Chinese say, we can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. That is absolute insanity
We need African-made solutions to African problems’ is the modern-day translation of one of the most-often quoted lines in what has been described as one of the greatest political speeches of all times delivered in Africa by an African politician, in the person of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on Ghana’s Independence Day: ‘..that after all the black man is capable of managing his own affairs’.
In the contemporary global era, where the importance and role of the nation-state is constantly being threatened and diminished by the hegemonic forces of western capitalism, economic internationalization and the Euro-American neo-liberalistic vision of the ideal world, the need to preserve and showcase the unique identity of the state, and to fashion local solutions to local problems is even more compelling now than before.
Yet, the reality is that the call for ‘African-made solutions to African problems’ is often not borne out of the quest to find and address critical flaws in imported ideas and adapt them to the exigencies of the African context in order to deliver better outcomes for all Africans.
But, as the case has often been, it is used as a pretext by Africa’s ruling elites to manipulate those ideas to achieve their myopic interests. The transition to democratic rule is a classic exemplar of this behavioural pattern.
Resultantly, the supposedly new system of ‘government of, for and by the, people’ in the end created new dictators out of the new political system, rather than eliminating the old dictators from the old system. But this time, however, their designations would not be ‘socialist or military dictators’, but rather ‘democratic dictators’. Why? Because compared to their counterparts even in the so-called democratic countries, the new democratically elected African leader enjoys unfettered powers and privileges.
To be continued………………..
BY DR ALFRED OCANSEY (HONORIS CORSA)
NEWS MANAGER- FIRST DIGITAL TELEVISION