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Opinions of Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

I hate no NDC; I rather detest hypocrisy, dishonesty, incompetence and corruption

Let us admit, Ghana politics has become a scorned profession, not a noble profession it used to be. Suffice it to stress that we have deferential regard for politicians who have the heart to tell it as it is.

Yes, some of us will hold in high esteem the unpretentious politicians who have the will and the commitment to do the right thing. And we admire the politicians who have the courage of their aspirations.

Needless to stress that more often than not, some politicians would betray the trust we repose in them. Why?

Let us however be honest, it is heart-wrenching to know that the people we entrust with the day-to-day running of the nation continue to steal our scarce resources to the detriment of the penniless Ghanaians.

Of course, we have politicians who are morally upright, empathetic, intelligent and knowledgeable. But then again, the vast majority of the modern day politicians are heartless, insensitive, greedy and corrupt, and, lack empathetic qualities to plan and place anything substantial at the disposal of the needs of the ordinary Ghanaian.

I must, however, confess that my honest and passionate opinion on the subject under discussion is that the vast majority of our politicians harbour vested interests and do not care about the wellbeing of the citizenries.

Perhaps, more than anything else, some politicians indulge in corrupt practices so as to feed their opulent lifestyles. Unsurprisingly, therefore, corruption is at an all-time high amongst elected politicians and other public servants.

The late American president, Ronald Reagan, once said that the most frightening slogan ever heard from politicians was: “We are from the government and we are here to help.”

But who says that we do not have manipulating politicians in our midst? Obviously we have plenty of politicians whose primary objective is to clasp political power by the hook or by the crook so as to advance their vested interests.

Ghana, so to speak, has been lagging behind in terms of economic advancement largely due to lack of true patriots to oversee important positions in the past.

Apparently, greed, selfishness and lack of empathy have been the order of the day. Indeed, it is an illustrative case of ‘every man for himself’.

Disappointingly, though, the unpatriotic and selfish attitudes of the men and women we often put in responsible positions have indeed cost this nation dearly.

But all said and done, it is never too late; we can undo the wrongs by working honestly, synergistically and diligently towards a meaningful advancement.

Of course, we have in our midst some honest men and women who have the wellbeing of Ghana at heart to put things right. But the fact of the matter is that if some nation wreckers elsewhere choose to hide behind patriotism and political party and steal from the national purse, we will need courageous and ever prepared law enforcement bodies and the judiciary to crack the whip without fear or favour.

“No heart, no brains, no courage – guys, why haven’t you gone into politics?” says a cartoon of Dorothy chatting to the tin man, the scarecrow, and the lion.

Yes, the vast majority of our politicians have no hearts. They are heartless. And, if that was not the case, how come they have wilfully dipped and continue to dip their hands into the national coffers to the detriment of the poor Ghanaians?

Just take a look at our political landscape and you would agree with me that most of our politicians harbour vested interests, and have no empathy whatsoever.

How could we make any meaningful advancement as a nation when the greedy and corrupt politicians and other public servants continue to steal from the national purse as if there is no tomorrow?

I recall vividly how a Turkish Taxi Driver once impoliticly asserted: “Africans are not intelligent”.

The vociferous Turkish Taxi Driver nonetheless maintained that Africa’s retrogression is largely due to lack of intelligence on the part of Africans.

Although I did not agree with the Taxi Driver at the time, upon a carefully considered reflection, I came to a sad conclusion that the impolitic driver was after all on point, for most Africans are intelligent and knowledgeable, but the stark reality is a sizeable number of Africans are deficient in wisdom.

Make no mistake, we have all the skills, knowledge and qualifications. Sadly, however, we lack the needed wisdom and motivation to transfer such knowledge.

Suffice it to state that we have some well-trained individuals who prefer ripping off the system to applying their acquired skills and knowledge at the disposal of the nation.

Frankly speaking, the Turkish Taxi Driver had a valid point, but in my opinion, he should have linked the lack of meaningful development in Africa to the “lack of wisdom on the part of African leadership”.

Well, I think that is a true reflection in the sense that it is the leadership that takes all the important decisions in the nation building.

Thus, it would not be farfetched to attribute the slack in our advancement to the leadership’s persistent awful errors in judgement.

Yes, we have to attribute the looseness in the economy to the elitists who claim birth right to politics and leadership.

Obviously, we all have a part to play in our torturous journey to advancement, but if the elected politicians failed to put advantageous policies in place, I am afraid, we cannot realise any meaningful progress in the socio-economic living standards.

In any case, it is crystal-clear that we have intelligent and knowledgeable men and women in important positions, albeit the vast majority of them do not apply the needed wisdom in their day-to-day living activities.

In all these, it beggars belief that in spite of the unbridled corruption, the arrogance of power and the irrevocable incompetence by the erstwhile NDC administration which resulted in massive economic collapse, the NDC apparatchiks would still have the moral authority to accuse others of non-existent sleazes and corruption.

Dearest reader, if this is not sheer hypocrisy and dishonesty, what it is then?

Let us face it, though, the NDC operatives weird attitude and behaviour do not represent patriotism. Candidly, no true patriot would desperately try to thwart the progress of his/her country through dubious means.

“A patriot is a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. “Every patriot has qualities of bravery, devotion, and honour.

“The term patriotic refers to believing strongly in one's country and defending its honour. “Naturally, a patriot is bound to feelings of national loyalty because of an intense and passionate love of country.”

In fact, if we were to go by the preceding extant acceptations of patriotism, we can confidently and honestly deduce that some of our current crop of politicians patriotism is questionable.

In sum, so long as we have ravenous and corrupt politicians and other public servants whose preoccupation is to amass wealth at the expense of the hardworking tax payers, I am afraid Ghana may never see any meaningful advancement in our lifetime.

K. Badu, UK.