Feature Article of Saturday, 24 February 2007

Columnist: Kesse, John

Our Policy Makers - Do They Have The Nations Interest At Heart?

One follows with much sadness our young democracy we are trying to nurture. Indeed Ghana can boast of stability – thanks to our maturity and all Ghanaians need to be commended for this good effort. At 50 years when we are busily preparing ourselves for celebrations, our opposition parliamentarians are not least bothered about working to make our country better but rather playing politics. I say this with regards to their boycott of parliament on the Dan Abodakpi issue.

All Ghanaians I believe want to see Parliament debate on issues for a better Ghana, make policies that will better the lives of individual Ghanaians, move the country forward and aim to make poverty history so every one will live happily working with joy for a better nation. Sadly however, we only see our politicians agreeing when it comes to things that will benefit them – car and house loans to mention a few.

I am not a supporter of any political party because politicians are the same wherever one goes. They will only ‘lie’ to the people for their votes with pretence to make their life better. Campaigns with promises of constructing roads, schools, provision of water and other infrastructure they use should not be accepted because of course it is the duty of every government to make such basic provisions for its citizenry. Unfortunately in our Ghana, politicians take us for a ride and use these promises to canvas for votes.

The essence of an opposition party is to keep government in check on issues of policy for a better nation but the least said of our opposition NDC the better. The conviction of Mr Abodakpi in court for causing financial loss to the state makes them all boycott parliament and politicise the whole issue. As law makers one would have thought they knew better how to seek redress than resort to boycott and blame government for the conviction. One wonders if it was the government that said Dan Abodakpi should be investigated for the offence or it was because the issue of his offence was raised and needed to be investigated and subsequently found guilty.

If policy makers cannot be prosecuted for their offences, does it mean they are above the law and can use our taxes the way they please without being accountable? Is it only the ordinary person on the street who commits an offence that should be punished? If this is the case I beg to differ and this will be setting the wrong precedence for the nation. One would have thought that the new age of our leaders being held accountable for their actions would be appreciated by all in the house but the opposition action seems to mean otherwise. Their concerns should have been channelled through the courts where the verdict was given for redress of their concerns and not boycott parliament as doing this is a disservice to the country.

Accountability should now be the common word on our streets to everyone in authority so no one will think him or herself above the law. If a wrong is done it needs to be addressed and investigated and if the culprit found guilty face the full rigors and powers of the law. If this basic rule of law is not part of our tenets as a nation then one fears where we are going. Once this precedence has been set by the present government then all our policy makers need to make sure they are doing the jobs for which they are appointed and not embezzle or misappropriate state funds in office.

I think the opposition should be ashamed of themselves for their present actions. What type of country are we trying to build if our policy makers refuse accountability and refuse to do what they have been elected to do.

I think I will be politically correct by saying that parliamentarians boycotting parliament should not be paid for the time they are not at post. Let charity begin at home.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.