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Opinions of Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Columnist: Zambaga Rufai Saminu

Ghana's democracy under threat, blame game sinking governance institutions

The democratic system of governance, as prescribed by western countries has come to stay in Ghana following seven successive elections conducted since 1992 to select leaders for the country.

Unfortunately, the people who are deeply involved in the process (both electorates and politicians) of managing the democratic pillars, processes, are beginning to annoy each other with unpardonable mistakes, misconduct leading to development misfortunes.

Ghanaian leaders who are at the receiving end of the difficulties are particularly incurring the displeasure of electorates who make decisions of the kind of leaders been selected for the country through the polls.

These crop of active players of the democratic process are accusing each other of corruption, indiscipline, lawlessness, abuse of power, failed campaign promises, lack of participation in matters affecting the Ghanaian society, disconnect between the parties among other infractions considered detrimental enough to hurt the democratic credentials of the country.

In addition, the political class appears to be in bed with foreign institutions previously accused by freedom fighters of been the brain behind many of the challenges confronting the country.

An unfortunate development many anti western Ghanaians deem unnecessary, provocative, and serious drawback to the forward match of the country known for her peace and tranquility since 1992.

Aside the displayed attacks of political class on social media by ordinary angry citizens as saboteurs of the development of the country, there's also the growing smouldering campaign on the ground been backed by well informed angry middle class Ghanaians, who are media practitioners, lawmakers, legal practitioners etc. There are also others working in civil society fraternity pushing hard for the executive to stop at nothing in sanitizing the system.

They all want institutions been established to police the system of governance to remain strong instead of becoming weaker, weary, wobbly and wallowing. An unfortunate development obviously placing the country's democracy under threat.

A country hitherto practicing traditional form of governance until the introduction of slave trade, and subsequently colonialsm, mastered courage to hold on to the popular system of governance previously unknown to its citizens and yet has been able to solidify the political grounds for sustainability of the system for nearly three decades now struggling to control the national kitty due to dissipation of resources.

FACTORS WEAKENING DEMOCRATIC PILLARS

There are genuine factors currently contributing heavily to threaten sustenance of democracy in the country and there are also factors in my view if well cultivated could spare growth of the country, the democratic institutions and all structures policing the system of governance.

Many Ghanaians turn to attack and criticize politicians and the upper class in society for being responsible for the challenges facing mother Ghana.

I want to differ from this position on grounds that all Ghanaians opted for democracy and not only few. Again, one can not place the blame squarely on only the political class, because before they get to where they are, it is the citizens that would determine who is leading that process and who must get there.

That is why it is important to acknowledge that when we as citizens place square pegs in round holes, the results would come back to us though in unpalatable manner.

This means, choosing the right leaders would not only form a new breed of selfless political class but reform existing ones and transform future leaders of the country.

The decisions we make today as citizens would offer us the kind of results we require tomorrow but it may not appear clear to us as electorates due to poor participation, lack of patriotism, partisanship, tribalism, sentimentalism, influence of resources, deceit, propaganda, and lack of appreciation of national issues considered dear to our hearts.

The reverse of the aforementioned factors would spark plugs of reforms, engineer changes we could never have imagined as a country to occur, and imbibe in all circumstances and in all citizens the responsibility to own up, stand up to the herculean task of nation building, and work for the country, in the interest of the country and not individuals, institutions, a certain class or group in society.

WHO MUST TAKE THE BLAME

The blame for what Ghana has become falls on you and I. It is certainly not our successive leaders right from former President Jerry John Rawlings. It is not John Agyekum Kuffour, Late Professor John Evans Atta Mills and obviously not former President John Dramani Mahama and definitely not the civil and human rights advocate President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo.

I believe strongly that our wickedness as citizens has reached its crescent and stinks to the high heavens as we go about our daily lives, pulling down everyone and everything in the country to become rich.

We undermine our regulatory institutions through wicked officials, import substandard Chinese products, fake drugs and expired baby food unfit for human consumption, destroying the environment with illegal logging, illegal mining (galamsay), sand winning, all aided by the Chinese and other foreign nationals and we have the nerve to complain about leadership and governance?

As if that is not enough, we even steal from widows, orphans, and refugees just to buy mansions, heavy vehicles such as land cruisers, V8, among other popular vehicles while faking as Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's), Think-tanks, Consultants, Chiefs, Lawmakers, Men of God, among other notable titles we carry on our heads.

We take their food and sell it for profit instead of doing the right thing. We appear not to have conscience in our dealings with each other. Many Ghanaians currently do not fear God at all, therefore nothing scares them and nothing is sacred to them.

This is the unfortunate growing development that is preparing the grounds for upheavals, mass unrest, disturbances, and riot. Under the circumstance, no one and I repeat, no one would be spared if the situation escalates out of control, and not reversed immediately because we cannot continue on this tangent.

Our architects, planners, engineers and contractors build substandard roads, schools, houses, hospitals, all for profit at the expense of human life; an invaluable item which all our profit and contract sums cannot buy.

One would think this behavior is reserved for urchins, but somehow, it would surprise you to know that, it is exactly the character of many decent looking people who appear to be normal but are not any better than terrorists like Boko Haram members. They are religious leaders, church members, Muslims, Buddhists, husbands, wives and sadly youth.

Today in Ghana, we pervert justice and pretend we do not know right from wrong just to serve our selfish interests. Those mandated to expose, deal with these ills, including law enforcement agents, media practitioners, judges, lawyers, working to correct these ills including fighting corruption, pretend to be correcting them and yet appears in the dark to be fanning them rather. We loot the State and dump the booty in Middle East, Dubai, Europe, Asia, Mauritius Banks ostensibly to get away from possible detection and prosecution.

We are applying slave traders pale in our relationship with each other considering what we do to ourselves today. We are wickedness personified and yet dignified in the shadows.

So much hatred flows in our blood and we transfer it to our children and grandchildren who are innocently embracing them with crumpets. This is evident in what we say and do as citizens.

Interestingly, we have been fasting and praying without ceasing, aggressively opening sessions of encounter with God all year round with long hours of interceding for each other, embarking on nights of vigil, deliverance, when the actual problem facing the country is in us.

Truly speaking, we simply cannot learn to love each other, love others as the Holy Books (Bible and Quran) say to us. Everything we do today is all about individual aggrandizement. It is me, me and me only. That is all that ever matters. It is sickening, appalling and dangerous in a democratic society.

We need to send a strong signal out there that any religious person whether Buddhist, Shintus, Christian or Muslim who cannot love, demonstrate care, apply conscience adequately has no business in politics, Government and in leadership in Ghana.

Until we understand this, we will continue on this path of destruction when indeed we could build our country with our collective effort, wisdom, patriotism, sparkling mentality, discipline, and positive character.

Only God knows why we were brought together to this nation called Ghana and therefore we must endeavor to manage her together and we must do that with responsibility without fear or favour.