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Opinions of Thursday, 10 May 2012

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Sell your vote for a tin of Geisha and your Future is Doomed

Vote consciously; Sell your vote for a tin of Geisha and your Future is Doomed


I am still on my mission to share overwhelming views on the impending December 7, 2012 elections with fellow noble Ghanaians. I have come to share these views to provoke sense of political awakening in you but not to persuade you to vote for a particular political party or person of my choice. Your vote is your power so exercise that unique power and right sensibly.

I will argue my persuasive case with intermittent citations of instances of how some politicians and their apologists take Ghanaian electorates for imbeciles. Most of these political party sycophants as greedy and purporting to be wise as they often are, take Ghanaians for granted. They think democratic politics is all about numbers, he who wins the most votes takes all. There is more to it than winning the most votes to form the government, become the President of the nation or proceed to parliament as a parliamentarian.

In any nation where democracy is in practice, grants to all citizens the right of universal adult suffrage, each person's vote is equally important and carries the same weight. Whether you are rich, poor, infirmed but mentally sound, as long as you have the right to vote and want to exercise your voting right, nobody has the right to disenfranchise you. That poor man's one vote is of the same value as that of the President or the richest man in the country. One is one; one is equal to one regardless of the size and shape of one as written. My point here is to emphasise how equally important all votes are despite from whom it is coming. Why then do certain poor people knowingly or inadvertently seek to cheapen themselves by cheapening their votes? Why also do certain people who see themselves as well placed by default or by merit, seek always to cheapen the poor and the less educated ones in society by feeding them lies to get their votes free? Let us consider the following case scenario where some people think they are wiser enough to play on the intelligence of fellow noble Ghanaians with impunity. One alias Dr. Asemfofro from the NDC fold is a perfect example of how some well placed Ghanaian politicians or political activists take the less fortunate compatriots for gargantuan fools. This man is renowned for his political campaigning prowess that won the NDC more winning votes in the Ashanti region during the 2008 elections. He also campaigned to win the NDC more votes nationally. What did they do for him when the NDC successfully wrestled power from the NPP? From Dr Asemfofro's own mouth, the NDC government, the NDC gurus and all those well placed within the party had completely forgotten him. They had not reciprocated his efforts. They had been very ungrateful to him, pushed him far away from the fringes of the numerously accruing gargantuan benefits to the NDC. To him, people who never wiped any sweat nor worked harder as he did, are now enjoying the fruits of his labour. He fell sick and was hospitalised, but nobody from the NDC went to see him. He nearly died from his illness because he could not afford the cost of certain prescribed medication but nobody from the NDC went to his aid financially. He saw himself as an enemy to the NDC after they had won election 2008. Neither President Mills nor his Vice President John Dramani Mahama nor any of the party executives nor any of the party diehard activists bothered to pay him a visit throughout, or after, his illness. He had become as poor as the proverbial church mouse.

After his illness, he went on air to tell the entire nation how the NDC had completely ignored him despite his massive campaigning that helped to bring NDC to power. For all the good services he had rendered to ensure the success of the NDC as aforementioned, he had completely been sidelined or forgotten. He announced that he was this time round going to campaign against the NDC to ensure they never secure re-election come December 2012. He further said those that had not done a quarter of what he did for NDC to win are now the very ones at the helm of affairs enjoying through embezzlements. Hardly had a few days passed after announcing his intentions when the Vice President upon hearing Dr Asemfofro's threats gave him a brand new saloon car. The NDC Head office also quickly gave him a new car. They sought to placate him with the cars and to get him to campaign for them again. Dr Asemfofro then came back after the gifts to thank the NDC and assured them of his unflinching support during the 2012 elections. He came back a few weeks later to say that the two cars are not enough and that he needs more. This in my mind is a perfect chance for him to make money out of the cheating opportunistic NDC. Now, let me relate Dr Asemfofro's classical case to how Ghanaian politicians take the majority of the unsuspecting electorates for fools. This man after squeezing two brand new cars out of the NDC, and even wanting some more, is going to come to you. He will either come to you with nothing, or he will come with one of the following items: a tin of milk, a tin of geisha, a machete (cutlass), a half piece of cloth, a second-hand shirt or trousers, one live fowl, a kilo of rice and a GHC10 note. He may give you one of the listed items if you are fortunate, in exchange for your one and only precious vote.

He has two cars that he sees as not sufficient compared to the material wealth and other benefits some NDC people are enjoying. He comes to offer you a tin of milk or geisha and in his mind; he has done you the greatest favour on earth. If the comparatively insignificant offer to you is free, then it may have been a different story to tell but he wants your vote in exchange. He may even go a step further to oblige you to take an oath, invoking a curse on your own head should you refuse his party your vote as promised on acceptance of that tin of milk, geisha or cutlass. How do you see yourself, a fool or an intelligent person when parting with your vote to a person like Dr Asemfofro? Are you not worthy of a car or other benefits as the corrupt persons in government are enjoying? How do you equate your tin of milk to Dr. Asemfoforo's two cars? Are you that cheap? I think you are better off if your children, grandchildren and all Ghanaian youths are able to access free Secondary education than to accepting a tin of Geisha and then forgoing all the accruing benefits of education to your family. Knowledge is power. You can only acquire that knowledge through education. Nobody like Dr Asemfofro can approach with flimsy excuses for your vote when you are abreast with issues.

Some people have since Dr. Nkrumah's days been enjoying free education to the University level - free tertiary education. These same people are today telling you that Ghana cannot extend free education to other parts of the nation. Do you still believe in this regional discrimination in our education system that impoverishes you whilst it empowers others to rule you forever?

Please, do not cheapen your vote. Cast your vote based on your present circumstances and future expectations. I shall be back on this path of sharing views on how best to cast our votes.

Stay blessed my dear Ghanaian compatriots. May God please grant us discerning wisdom. Amen

Rockson Adofo