Feature Article of Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Columnist: K. Badu

On NDC MPs alleged double salary: An illustrative case of insensitive politicians?

Mahama Ministers Double Salary Nii Lante Vanderpuye (L), John Mahama (M), Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah (R)

Obviously, the recipients of the alleged double salaries have an inherent right to the presumption of innocence. Suffice it to stress that it is the job of the Police to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or to establish a prima facie case, and not a job for the suspects to prove their innocence.

“No heart, no conscience, no empathy – 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.

Let us admit, though, there is nothing out of the ordinary for an employee to receive double salary. Of course, the pay roll managers are not immune from human foibles, and are therefore susceptible to human errors. However, it is up to the recipient of such irregular payments to come out clean and notify the appropriate quarters.

Given the circumstances, if the alleged recipients of the double salaries refused or declined to disclose such anomaly, then they have questions to answer.

Ghana politics has become a scorned profession, not a noble profession it used to be. All the same, 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.

But more often than not, some politicians would betray the trust we repose in them. Why?

It is, however, heartrending to know that the people we repose our absolute trust to run the day-to-day affairs of the nation continue to disappoint us.

We should, however, take solace in the fact that 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 masses.

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.

Greed, selfishness and lack of empathy have been the order of the day. It is an illustrative case of ‘every man for himself’.

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

I hate to admit this, but in so far as the greedy and corrupt politicians and other public servants continue to steal from the national purse as if there is no tomorrow, we cannot make any meaningful advancement as a nation.