“A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.” These are the words of one James Freeman Clarke.
It saddens my heart to hear Ghanaian politicians on national radio and television refer to “Politics” as a game. These are people who are highly regarded in society and some are even given the mandate to manage the affairs of the state. So, then, my questions: “Are games not supposed to be played?”
“If politics according to the Ghanaian politician is a game, are our politicians not playing with our destinies and future as a people through the game of politics?”
Allow your conscience to judge the above rhetorics.
To those in the field practicing politics, those yearning to practice politics, those who are yet to decide on practicing politics, and especially, those who are privileged to be given the mandate to steer the affairs of the state and those who are campaigning to capture and recapture political power, I just want to call to your attention that it’s no where in the dictionary, I mean no dictionary in the world has the word “game” in its definition of politics so tread cautiously because it’s people’s destinies we are talking about.
Politics is an “art,” one that involves the activities of managing a state through varied opinions.
By this, I mean, we have every right to criticize governmental policies and initiatives but first, we must ensure that we have an alternative. Is it not obvious that when one criticizes a phenomenon that means there is something wrong with it? Then it will only be prudent that after criticism the critic must have another way of approaching such phenomenon.
That, unfortunately, is not the case in Ghana, it is all about who makes the most noise on radio and television and who has the best communication team rather than who has the best ideas.
When leaders are constitutionally mandated to account to the people who placed them at the helm of affairs on issues that bothers on the nation, they uncharacteristically divert and digress to partisanship with the sole aim of scoring cheap political points.
No matter how lost and how wrong a government is in the administration of the country, its followers, supporters and sympathizers will turn a blind eye to it, of course they know what the benefit of such straying acts will bring to them. As long as they make their gains out of sycophancy, they are okay. It’s all about them and building fortunes for their generations yet unborn.
You sometimes do not have to blame them but the people who gave them such a privileged opportunity to manage our wealth of resources. People are refusing to hold leaders to account on the basis of let’s wait for the next election, oblivious of the rippling effects of the actions and inaction of the government on their pockets and standard of living.
Politics is not Ghana’s problem; partisanship is Ghana’s problem.
Our leaders tend to think and know what’s right from what’s wrong only when they are in opposition. It is when a government is relegated to opposition that it tends to employ its critical thinking caps. That’s when they see the need to hold the government of the day in check by opposing most of the policies they deem detrimental to the state.
Ghanaian leaders pride themselves in being the pinnacle of democracy on the African continent but I must say that, we are yet to achieve same feat when it comes to governance, because, we are really lagging behind. There are some countries in Africa that are having a tough time when it comes to the practice of democracy but when it comes to governance they are at the top. Ghana can keep relying on past glories, being the pinnacle of democracy on the African continent is no more an achievement, it’s now a clichè. So, let’s wake up and chart a new path of good governance. One that is devoid of partisanship, greed, selfishness, bigotry, character assassination and pettiness. There is no school for politics but there certainly is a class for politics.
Ghana deserves better, politicians ought to know better and we all need to demand for better leadership.
By: Victor Yekple