Politics President

I have intentionally avoided the political landscape in Ghana because of several factors especially the fact that our country is polarized into black and red, NPP and NDC and most of the masses cannot see past that. But isn’t it interesting that the politicians who are on both divides just sit on talk shows and make plenty noise and then go back into their caucuses and hook and think how best to milk the nation?

It is for such profound statements that I don’t veer into the political sphere. I cannot write satire like Nana Awere Damoah or wax lyrical like Hon Rodney Nkrumah or delve into the thin line between satire and slander like Kwame A Plus but will say it as it is and get it off my chest and this is usually bound to get me into trouble especially since I’m an ardent neutral.

In this political landscape, when you seem to be talking for one side the other side tends to give you the eye and the ‘winning side’ seems to hail you. But turn on them and the tables turn again. Well, I know Franklin Cudjoe and his IMANI team know exactly what I’m talking about and I admire how they remain unfazed in their quest to do what they do despite the vitriol thrown at them from everywhere.

Funnily enough I usually preamble my comments with the statement that I’m being neutral and looking at the issues from an apolitical point of view.

Oh! Reminds me of a discussion I had in the office with regards to a satire post on social media about the former president John Mahama winning an award for ‘his incompetence’ in government. I tried to explain to the person who saw the post that it was only satire and what satire meant only to almost be drowned in a deluge of saliva in angry protest and rather called an ignorant sod. That was the last time I attempted to be part of any discussion vaguely bothering on politics in that particular setting.

Unfortunately for me I find myself in a setting where being political will not augur well for me and my livelihood otherwise.

For a long time, especially after relocating up north I have avoided listening to “political breakfasts” all over the country as served by several radio stations particularly Peace FM and a host of others and also until recently I didn’t have a television set so that also kept me away though I am pretty aware of what goes on because there is no way you can avoid hearing about the political landscape in Ghana and anywhere else especially after the ‘three old men’ took over the reins of running their countries.

Donald Trump of USA, Buhari of Nigeria and Nana Addo of Ghana are the three old men and you will agree with me that not a single day goes by without one news item or the other referring to usually two out of the three in the news and we all know who has the constant Trump card especially with his shenanigans with the Koreans and his itchy tweeting fingers. That one is a whole study on politics.

Anyways events in the world come and go and in Ghana for example we all know the lifespan of a news item is maximum 15 days and it will die away and in the words of former president Mahama ‘Ghanaians have a short memory’. Simple.

However I find one thing pretty worrying about African politics in relation to for example the American democracy. Unlike the Yankee system where the political colours come out every four years for a few months and everybody else goes back to work in the interest of the country, African politics lives in us and we rather concentrate on partisan politics and political expediency rather than the greater good of the nation. Political leaders advocate for policies and strategies that will keep them in power as against what is the greater good for the people they were elected to serve.

It is such a shame that this has persisted since time immemorial and the growing sycophancy that partisan supporters seem to attach to defend this is pretty astounding and thus the reason why some of us neutrals just stay away and will remain in our corners and just do what we can in our own way to make the system bearable.

Political expediency rules over the greater good and this is so because the people to demand for the greater good are the very ones blindly supporting this political expediency.
It is also very important that we separate the presidency from the personality of the president. It is not a secret that some Americans don’t like Donald Trump as a person but then he happens to be the President of the USA and the leader of the free world and so these Americans accord him that respect. No American will just go stand anywhere and talk shit about the presidency though they will cast aspersions on the man who is the president. There is a difference. What this fosters is that it allows the president to play his role as the leader of the people and take decisions in their interest especially with appointments. When there is a committee that recommends that the president fires a presidential appointee appointed by a former president, it wouldn’t be the man in the presidency that is doing the firing but the president as an official duty that only him can do.

How difficult is this to understand.

This is different in Africa and since the opposing president made the appointment, I wonder if that ex-president will be the one to do the firing whilst there is a sitting president. Such a situation is going to explode in Ghana in the next few days largely due to the polarization of our political sphere into a bi partisan state and aspersions being cast in the same sycophantic matter that characterises our politics. As usual the ignoramuses are the ones who will be the loudest and well, you debate them at the peril of your own sanity.

Some of us have stayed away from it all and are not going to start now or ever.

Inasmuch as it is against everything we believe in we will continue to sit in the bleachers and watch it all unfold and predictably as usual we will time it with a shelf life of 15 days.

Ghana belongs to all of us no matter what political divide you belong to. Let us demand accountability from the people we put in place to represent us all and stop giving them the power to manipulate us for their whimsical activities. The real power lies with the plebiscite if only they will recognize it.

The power is yours.

It begins with YOU!

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