Feature Article of Monday, 10 December 2012
Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku
“The possession of power does not guarantee wealth. Nor does wealth always guarantee power. But the lack of power can guarantee poverty and poverty can always guarantee powerlessness”.
The jury has spoken…. Ghana has spoken.
All right, that may not be what you’ve been thinking and expecting but you’re not God so move on….
This election reminds of a story in my constituency. During the 2008 election, an independent candidate contesting for the Kwaebibirem Mp seat allegedly distributed cell phones to voters who promised to vote for him. But, he only got six votes (five from his family members and one from himself.)Obviously, he wasn’t happy about the result so he went house to house to demand his phones back—no question asked. He saw no reason why he should give them free phones when they didn’t vote for him. I wonder if all the candidates got their monies’ worth. Halba, should all the”gifts” count for something? No pun intended!! Giggle if you want!
Ok, I tried. I really, really, tried to hold all in, but I couldn’t hold it in any more. So I’m letting it all out. I mean all out. The long, excruciating campaign moments were enough to force me out of my comfortable shell; it was too much for me (or anyone for that matter) to endure. I’m glad that this thing is over. I’m sure I’m not the only soul in Ghana who is so glad that the election and campaign bombardments are over—thank God!
Now, it’s no more news that the NPP got beaten…big time. Given the money all the political parties spent, it’s the worst return on investment in any election cycle in the history of Ghana.
Anyway, nobody likes to be called a loser and nobody likes to be at fault, so NPP is predictably going to assign others the blame for losing the Presidential election. The major culprits are: the mal -function of the voting machines, Dr. Mensah Otabil, the rainstorm in the central region, Rawlings, the evil greedy dwarfs and Atta Mill’s death and Mills’ ghost .The whining game is not going to be over anytime soon.
In reality, the NPP didn’t lose the election because of any particular person or event. It lost because many Ghanaians, especially the youth and women voted against it despite the free SHS education promise it ‘vuvuzulaled’ to the electorates. The party didn’t embrace the politics and ideas that appeal to these demographic groups—and lost .And, that is the fault of NPP and its campaign team which tiptoed around one single issue (free SHS education).’Edey Beat keke’.!!(This is copy-righted and you have my permission to use it at any moment), Please hold your applause!! Before I start my rattle I’ll suggest the need to mandate all appointed and elected officials of the land to be required to pass an examination to determine the level of their sense of vision for the nation and how many good books(excluding the Bible or Koran)they have read since they graduated from college. Don’t laugh, this is serious business. Yes, we need to ascertain whether they have these precious commodities because many government agencies are infected with employees who are devoid of simple good ideas to revitalize our economy and get things moving. After all, the best educated person is the one who has a good understanding of the life in which he’s placed in. It’s apparent that we have a real issue that the life of the mind has been in decline for some time now for those who are responsible for our welfare and wellbeing. If you take care of the mind everything else follows. No wonder we get so many problems that need attention. These are problems which do not necessarily require researching, or a huge capital infusion. They’re just everyday ordinary human problems that need ordinary human solutions. But we can’t because our minds have stopped to grow. They lack the required ‘nutrients’---like the creativity we get from reading good books. Now, with that bit of information out of the way and out of my chest, I can concentrate better on what the election of president Mahama means—at least to me and millions of Ghanaians. Other than fulfilling his promise of providing QUALITY SHS education to all, we now have this grand opportunity to right some wrongs in our system and make our nation the kind of nation that really cares for its people—especially the children and the elderly. Winning sure is great, isn’t it? However, this electoral victory only opened the door for Ghanaians—both outside and inside. But, we still have to go through it. What good is it if we have free SHs education and the students don’t learn? What good is it if the new administration lets its ministers go on shopping spree and start to acquire houses in foreign lands while our roads are death traps?
What is the meaning of an NDC victory when the 275 newly-minted Mps are going to grab fifty -thousand dollars free- money –euphemistically know as “car loans”—, before they start tackling the issues of the nation? What does the election mean to us when ninety-five percent of the college graduates look for job handouts from the government? What does it mean when the country is full of sellers and consumers? What does Quality education mean when entrepreneurship is not taught in our educational system? What does an NDC win mean when our classroom studies are not used to solve our emerging problems in our communities and towns and villages? As an Mp or a minister, are you willing to make your voice heard for the sake of common person in the land or are you going to look for your own personal interest? We’re watching every move you will make. Amnesia and selective memory can be powerful defense mechanisms for politicians sometimes.
In an effort to go through the ‘door’ we must have a different mindset. There are a lot of flaws in our system here… Yes, I know this is sometimes going to be contentious, but hey someone has to do It. so let us get started. Remember that 48.5 percent of the Ghanaian voters didn’t vote for you because they don’t have favorable opinion about you and your party. So it’s your advantage to prove them wrong and spend time with the ordinary people because four years will soon be here and they won’t forget the way you and your party treated them on Election Day in 2016.
Now to those who have invested their last limited hope and dream on the winning of NPP or NDC, I have some news for you. If you’re planning your life based on whether you think Nana Addo or Mahama’s win will strike some grand entitlements and make your life happy after—well you’re not too sharp. And, if you’re in turn basing those decisions on what the politicians said on campaign trails, then you’re kind of a dope.
Political speeches and writings are full of euphemistic deceptions because euphemism is used to defend the indefensible. In other words, beware; reacting to what politicians say or do won’t give you an edge—regardless of what they say. Why?......well, the overwhelming majority of stuff that elected officials say to the public is b.S. What they say has no bearing –frequently on the truth, or on whether things will get done and make life better. How many times have they said they will fix our roads when elected? In 2000 they promised to fix kade- Asuom road. In 2008 the same promise was made. Its 2012 the road is still the same---nothing was done. If you let politics and your view of policies dictate your life decisions—kids’ education, work.etc---and then you’re in a rude- awakening. A Politicians’ main concern is to maximize their power while in office or act to maximize their reelection prospect. Politicians are seldom honest when they talk publicly about our money or our welfare. Promising to use the money judiciously is something small children might believe. Rational adults should not. If you’re waiting for Nana Addo or Mahama to be elected before you plan your kids’ education or waiting for government job handouts when Nana comes in –then you’ll miss a lot. Whether or not your party won, there is much, much more to life and to goal- setting, than politics so move on—that is the only power you have and can control.
Power plays a critical role in one’s life. We can’t see, touch or taste it. But we can sense its presence and we can attest to its strength and potency. It has different forms and shapes and it affects every aspect of human relations .So don’t just sit down and wait for the politicians to bail you out or give you handouts. That is what powerless people do when they want to sell their souls and dreams.
Nevertheless, the incoming NDC government is going to have the unenviable task of fighting several multi-alarm fires simultaneously because Ghanaians have soaring expectations and they are unwilling to negotiate or compromise. Mahama and his team cannot afford to default on their promises. It’s impossible to predict all the things NDC will do for Ghana .But this I can guarantee: Mahama’s performance will be closer to Kwame Nkrumah’s after he spends four years in office, if he’s given enough room to implement his agenda for the nation. I can wager my right thumb on this.
On that, I’ll like to say today is short. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come so if you want to do something for yourself, family country or society, do it now! Gotcha!!
Enjoy your day and take care of yourself and your dreams.
Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi(Voice of Reason) NJ,USA