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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Columnist: Sarpeah, Adu

Corruption,lies & deceit on the part of our Politicians started from student politics!

One controversial excerpt from the inaugural speech of the incumbent president
admonished Ghanaians to be citizens but not spectators henceforth! Likewise, I,
holding the pen into a position in which I can say what is right and what could
transform our society for the good of all must not be done with fear or favour.
Setting the records straight, our politicians have been labeled by the populace as an
embodiment of corruption, embezzlement of state funds, lies and deceit and many other
acts that retard societal growth. As a result, the cry of the masses have been geared
towards how to find an antidote to fight these aforementioned societal cankers.
However, we've failed to eliminate them because the fighters continue to put
square balls in round holes in their bid to solve these critical issues at hand.
Simply put, they've failed to locate where corruption, embezzlement, lies and
deceit on the part of our top officials or better still our politicians originate.

On records, majority of Ghanaians who're occupying top ministerial positions and
many other enviable positions in the country started their leadership dreams from
student politics in the various tertiary institutions in the country. That's the
very grounds where they germinated and watered corruption, embezzlement, lies and
deceit in their hearts! Fast forward, the students leadership front (SRC) is more
corrupt than the word corrupt! Starting from department and faulty elections, residence
(halls) elections, TESCON & TEIN elections and the worst of all happens to be the
SRC and NUGS elections. These are the grounds where lies and deceit are nurtured and
gradually find their way into our parliament and other top ministerial positions.
Therefore, if measures are to be put in place to minimize the rate at which our
leaders are draining this country with social ills, the journey must start form the
grassroots (student leadership of elections).

It'll interest you to know that the campaign budget of some SRC aspirants in our
tertiary institutions are estimated to be not less than GH¢5000.00. So after winning
the elections, what do you expect from such candidate? How can he deliver all the
propaganda promises when he has not defrayed all his campaign debt? Indeed, my
country is in crisis! These days, student politicians go to the extreme of seeking
sponsors and also form a team of communicators who're committed to deceiving the
electorates with perpetuated lies in order for their candidates to win the elections
over the expense of their capabilities as a leader. Truly, there's no way a
person can win campus elections without having a strong financial backing. With this,
good people who can stand in as a bridge between the students body and the school
authorities have all been sidelined because student elections continue to be

The reality is that, from day one, we've been told that the easiest way for one
to acquire his or her dream job after school is to get some extra “certificates”
apart from the degree. Fair enough, so you'll see a particular person after
becoming the president of a particular hall of residence, the next step is how he can
be the next SRC or Local NUGS president. So instead of focusing on his current
position and working hard to achieve all the campaign promises, that's not his priority.
Likewise, after becoming the SRC, NUGS, Tescon or Tein president, he's dreaming
of how he can manoeuvre his ways to enter into parliament someday. A typical example
is Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who has been labelled as “a baby with sharp
teeth" in our Ghanaian politics. The impression is that after holding these
positions in the various tertiary institutions, they give the candidate the nod to
become a parliamentarian especially in a country where favoritism and “whom you
know" have become our brand ambassador.

Now going forward, things must change. We cannot continue to keep mute and pretend
all is well. Very soon, most of the tertiary institutions will have their elections,
because it's more of a tradition which happens in every second semester. These
days, the student vigilante does not see the essence of voting during SRC elections
because the winners continue to disappoint the electorates when they assume office.
The respective SRC presidents in the various tertiary institutions in Ghana continue
to bloat expenditure in every trivial project they embark on, especially when it
comes to construction of shuttle stations and summer-hut of which majority of UCC
students can attest to. As a result, some crop of undergraduates are even calling for
boycott of SRC elections as the winners have nothing good to offer. They're
simply fraudsters who come to power and steal or better still amass wealth for their
parochial interest.

Adu Sarpeah (Publicist