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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

The power of the people

He who knows not that he does not know, is a fool; so a popular saying goes. Can there be any correlation between this saying and certain personalities in today’s Ghana?

Supposing you have been elected by the people of your country to represent the nation and its citizens as their president, in a democracy; do you have to listen to the popular voice of the people? Is democratic government not said to be the government of the people, by the people, and for the people?

As the president, you have the obligation to take tough measures and decisions that are in the best interest of the nation and the people. Will there ever be any occasion during your tenure of office where you will have to listen to their pleas and requests, or you have to constantly
ignore them to do as you want when you want?

Assuming you turn round to tell them you will never listen to their outcries, no matter how genuine their raised concerns are, what do you think they will do next time they have the opportunity to decide your fate? Do you know if you refuse to listen to the voice of the majority to do as they genuinely request of you to better their general conditions
of living, they can vote you out in any future elections?

Should you be too daft not to know that the governed wield the power of the thumb to kick you out of power, then I am afraid, the title of this publication best befits you. Simply put, you are a fool.

Why should you think the fact that they have never been president before, they have no useful advice to offer you because they are devoid of what it takes to govern a nation?

What about if you were a traditional chief? Without your subjects, can you rule? Who will you be ruling, trees, animals, and the land? It is the authority you exercise over the subjects of that particular traditional area that makes you a ruler. Therefore, a chief must have the obligation to
listen to the popular voice of his subjects.

However, the modern day chiefs in Ghana think they are Overlords; they can do whatever they like to their subjects without anyone able to question their actions. They can sell stool lands and stool properties to pocket the proceeds for their selfish ends. They can treat their subjects as though they are dirt on their slippers that can be wiped off with one blow of air from their mouth.

If a chief does not know that without his subjects he is Mr Nobody, then I am afraid such a chief is a fool.

What about an electorate that a President constantly claims as having a short memory hence treating him disgustingly? Like a pet that is calmed down with gentle pats at the back by its owner, so does the President view the voter who sells their vote for a pittance during elections? If such a voter does not know that he will pay a hundredfold the money accepted for selling their voting rights in cost of utility bills, cost of living, etc., then such a voter is a fool.

Anyone, who for the attainment of their myopic interests does deliberately underrate the intelligence of the others, using fine-tuning tricks, is a fool. Whoever indulges in such acts does not know that when the one being tricked realises he has been tricked, he will go mad. He will take drastic action to prove to the abuser that he is not a fool after all.

Finally, it all boils down to the fact that he who does not know, and does not know that he does not know is a fool. If an “Ede bii keke” President does not know that if he mismanages the economy, steals money and disrespects the governed he can be booted out of power, then he is a fool.

If an overlord (chief) does not know that he will be exposed and shamed if he arrogates to himself power he has no prerogative of, then he is a fool. If an electorate who sells his voting rights for a pittance to a political party and President who do not care about his ultimate welfare does not know that he will suffer many times over in consequence, then he is a fool

Who then is a fool? It is neither you nor I, but if anyone does any of the above cited instances, then a fool is around.

Just see the humorous side of it and enjoy, at least, for
once.