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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

The solipsistic mindset of a greedy and corrupt politician

Of course, we have politicians who are morally upright, intelligent and knowledgeable. But then again, the vast majority of our contemporary politicians are greedy, corrupt and lack empathetic qualities.

If you were to seek my honest opinion on the subject under discussion, I would dare conclude that the vast majority of our politicians harbour vested interests and do not care about the wellbeing of the citizenry.

Couldn’t that be the reason why corruption is at an all-time high among elected politicians, civil servants, and corporate entities?

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.

“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. If that was not the case, how can they 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.

If that was not the case, how could a group of politicians conspire and clandestinely import about 43 vehicles at a staggering cost of $9 million at the blind side of the incoming administration?

If those politicians aren’t heartless and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians, how come they conspired and paid dubious judgement debts to a tune of GH800 million?

If they are morally upstanding, how come they created loot and shared all the monies belonging to GYEEDA and SADA which were meant to transform the lives of the needy in society?

Where is their honesty and integrity when they squandered funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through cloudy deals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA and among others?

It is nothing but heartrending whenever you hear that the people we have entrusted with the day-to-day running of the nation are villainously stealing our scarce resources. Haven’t you heard the alleged YEA (Youth Employment Authority) GH54 million scandal ?

It is being reported that some conspiratorial plotters in the erstwhile NDC administration set up a dubious scheme that earn them over GH4 million per month. How bizarre?

How could we make any meaningful contribution to the humanity when the voracious politicians and other civil servants continue to steal from the national purse?

I recall a London Taxi Driver once pontificated : “Africans are not intelligent”.

The vociferous taxi driver maintained that Africa’s retrogression is largely due to lack of intelligence on the part of Africans.

I did not agree with the Taxi Driver at the time, but 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.

We have all the skills, knowledge and qualifications. Sadly, however, we lack the needed wisdom and motivation to transfer such employable skills to the work settings.

Suffice it to state that a well-trained individuals often prefer to rip off the system than applying their acquired skills and knowledge at the disposal of the nation.

The 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”.

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.

To this end, 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 perquisite to politics and leadership.

Obviously, we all have a part to play in the long 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 Ghana for instance, 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 sum, so long as we have ravenous and corrupt politicians and other civil 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.