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Opinions of Monday, 1 October 2018

Columnist: Frank Donkor

Tears from the black island: The lies of the politician is eternal

Africa undeniably is one of the most resourced continents in the world Africa undeniably is one of the most resourced continents in the world

Africa undeniably is one of the most resourced continents in the world; yet the poorest and most miserable. A continent driven by conventions that is unconventional.

A continent which after decades of independence cannot help itself with food, healthcare, education, employment, roads, affordable accommodation and several others but chooses to wallow in civil unrest and obnoxious political propaganda.

A continent that has countries that indirectly pays colonial taxes to colonial masters, in the name of “advantages of slavery”. It should be known some have it that, the monies are not colonial taxes but reserves paid by these former colonies to the Treasury of their colonial masters for safe keep. When shall we rise to the occasion and put smiles on the faces of the generations in our loins?

Africa is faced with several challenges that have averted its progress and freedom. It is not untrue that its mineral resources can feed its population for a century, if not more, but we live as laborers and die as aliens in our homeland.

The wealthy continent, Africa, exploits its natural resources without recourse to environmental preservation and posterity yet tangible benefits from these resources are not evident.

Who does the African continent at all do mine for? Is it still a mirage, that other continents accumulate wealth at African’s expense through an imbalance exploitation of our natural resources?

It cannot be gainsaid, that they love the natural resources on the continent and not its people. The sale of these resources to foreign corporations makes it difficult for Africa to escape the merciless hands of poverty.

The continent does provide Europe and the America with raw materials for their phones, jewelries, vehicles and others and alternative resources to these are scarcely available outside the African continent. How then is it that, every single African currency worth less as against any of the so called first world currency?

The African Politician’s Idea from the Outset

I do not intend to level any accusations at the door of colonial masters; but instead, unveil the shameful behavior of our political leaders which explains the continent’s wretchedness.

Politicians continuously seek the avenue to divide the populace on partisan, religious and tribal lines. They make inflammatory statements to their advantage and care less of the repercussions since power and its retention are all they seek. That is the way of the politician; they divide and rule.

They have in no small way succeeded since you can tell the political party a newly born baby belongs to in most African countries; all that one needs to know is the tribe.

The challenge to democracy in Africa is not the availability of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote one’s own tribal interests. This is tribalism. Kenya took this path in her 2007-2008 elections and calamity broke out.

The Luyah, Luo, Kamba, Kalenjin, Meru were for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Kukuyua, the Party of National Unity (PNU). There were gory scenes after Kibaki (Presidential Candidate for the PNU) was declared winner. The other sections of the tribes protested and many lives were lost in that tribal war.

How is this different from Ghana, where the Akyems and Asantes cannot be separated from NPP (New Patriotic Party) and the Fantes, all tribes in the three Northern Regions, Ewes and the Ga are the blood of the NDC (National Democratic Congress)? The life of Somalia as a nation has shown the dangers of ethnic competition and points the essence of building nations around ideas rather than tribal identities.

Illiteracy is one of the major ways, if not the only, that entangles the African population in the corrupt claws of the selfish politician.

Since effective education can father the solution to the political slavery menace on the continent, the leaders have wisely opposed this course. The average African child is so impoverished that, a dollar bill has the potency to buy his or her vote.

The politician uses the plight of the people, which they caused, to perpetually keep them under control. Since the percentage of illiterates is higher, the politician takes consolation in that and formulates policies to keep them in power for ever.

I am so confident that the growth of literates on this lovely continent is the way to free the victims of the current political slavery. I opine that the “FREE SHS” policy employed by Ghana is worth emulating by other African countries. It is a step in the right direction.

The issue of employment in Africa leaves so much to be desired. Employment opportunities on the continent have closed its doors but the doors of lack and struggles continue widening.

The fact that your ability to secure a job with the public service is largely dependent on your affinity to the ruling party cannot be taken lightly. Nepotism is the order of the day. Unemployment is a major threat to the African continent.

Instead of leaders to sit down and think of ways to solve this canker, they rather choose to debate for years which political party to blame. As if not enough, the economic environment is so inimical that entrepreneurs barely survive.

The collapse of businesses is on the ascendancy. If graduates are scarcely employed, where will the illiterate be? This has led to an increase in social vices. Coupled with this, indigenous industries cannot compete with foreign corporations since these infant industries are not protected.

I would like to state that the reasons for African’s misery are so many that times would fail me to mention them all; but, the pitiful issue of gonzo journalism cannot be left untackled.

The African politician, I think, seeks to own the media. Some of the television stations, radio stations and the print media are owned by some politicians who are power drunk.

These media houses are set up to champion the evil interest of the politician and their political parties. The media under the control of the politicians fabricate stories just to excite the population without decency to the truth. Most media houses now are extensions of political parties.

They have lost the respect due them and now dance to the rhythms of the politician.

I would plead with the youth to avert the politician from using us to achieve their selfish goals. We should also refrain from atrocities and pains inflicted on our fellow citizens especially during electioneering campaigns.

Most of the politicians on the continent do not love us as we think. Let us rise to creativity like other developed continents. Let us not trust the politicians. To them, we are ways and means.

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