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Opinions of Monday, 21 November 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

On infrastructural projects: Mahama is only a chief contractor

By K. Badu

Some Ghanaians harbour a sophistic view that we (Ghanaians) should all join hands together and carry an elected government aloft in palanquin for putting up both epochal and inconsequential infrastructural projects in the midst of economic downslide.

However, I, for one, will not be part of such coalition. In fact, I will dare state that such a notion is an instance of an isolated thinker’s thought process. And, some of us will do no favours to ourselves if we blissfully join the apple-polishing bandwagon and fail to ward-off the apparent wrench.

Worst of all, I could hardly conceal my arousing disgust when the disputatious followers continue to argue somewhat inanely that we should even be thankful that the government did not embezzle all our taxes and the gargantuan loans, but chose to erect infrastructural projects.

It is indeed depressing to keep hearing such ridiculous arguments from the government apologists who only follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism and reasoning. But then again, one has to contain his/her emotional intelligence and composure, for after all, haven’t sycophancy, partisanship and lack of patriotism been our greatest nemeses?

Given the circumstances, we can logically conclude that vague apprehension of governance exists in the minds of many Ghanaians and thus prefer to heap undeserving praises on an elected government for providing infrastructural projects and failing to fix the ailing economy.

It would, however, seem that we, Ghanaians, and Africans as a whole, are possessed with grovelling characteristic of a sordid mind which hates anything quality and would thus prefer to worship mediocrity, hence our current sorrowful state.

As a matter of fact and observation, our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our mediocrity worshipping, tend to take us for granted and continue to provide us with mediocre leadership and services.

In any case, those who hold a view that we should thank the contractor (the government) for providing us with social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity and many others, may be suggesting so, out of courtesy or earnest gesture of goodwill.

However, what the contractor (the government) should not be doing is to keep boasting for putting up the infrastructural projects, for after all, the financiers (the tax payers) do not go about beating their chests for funding the projects.

For the purposes of this periodical, I will define a contractor is an individual or an organisation that agrees to perform services or work for a specified reward.

Actually, governance is encapsulated in the theory of social contract. Social contract theory emerged during the era of enlightenment.

Once upon a time, human beings lived without rules or laws. In fact, human beings neither had government nor laws to regulate the activities of mankind.

Consequently, there were unbridled hardships and oppression, and in order to remedy the appalling situation, human beings entered into social contract.

In hindsight, citizens came together and pledged to obey an authority and surrendered the whole or part of their freedom and rights to an authority. The authority, in turn, guaranteed everyone protection of life, property and to a certain extent liberty.

Thus, citizens agreed to establish society by collectively and mutually abdicating the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature and they vested authority in someone or assembly of persons to enforce the initial contract.

In a great scheme of things, human beings agreed to live together under common laws and created an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it.

Thus, our contemporary authority or government came into being, as a result of the emergence of the social contract. So it was against that backdrop that President Mahama and his NDC Party entered into agreement with Ghanaians prior to the 2008 and 2012 general elections.

It goes without saying that President Mahama solicited votes from Ghanaians, and in exchange, President Mahama guaranteed everyone protection of life, property, provision of social amenities, better socio-economic standards of living and to a certain extent liberty.

So, governance is not reducible to only provision of infrastructural projects, but it also involves thinking outside the box and coming up with expedient policies to improve upon the socio-economic standards of living.

If you may remember, prior to the 2008 and 2012 general elections, President Mahama and his NDC Party gave a slew of Manifesto promises, including one-time NHIS premium, free SHS, ‘making dumsor a thing of the past, putting money in Ghanaians pocket, creating more jobs for the jobless, stabilising the economy, protecting Ghanaians from the menaces of galamsey and Fulani herdsmen, bringing an end to dubious judgement debt payments, fighting the rampant sleaze and corruption, working with ‘lean’ government etc.

So, after giving all those promises and failing to honour them, why must President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks then hide behind the provision of infrastructural projects?