On 6th June 1960, the late Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory, launched a developmental plan dubbed; vision 2020. I believed Nkrumah coined this as a result of the high level of illiterates, who were unaware of what to demand from a president as at that time.
This well-defined goal was to set the country’s socio-economic and political aspect at par with other middle income countries by 2020; with its evident growth in GDP, Human Recourses and the Ghanaian cedi. When he was overthrown with counter overthrows by the military, a clear cut vision was expected from the 4th republic because, predeceased military tenet and an unstable political atmosphere could not be adjudged to respect the will of the people.
However, with the high level of literacy in this era, we still have several Misplaced Priorities; a prevalent character in the play of Partisan Politics. This has rendered every facet of the country on bended knees, due to poor social infrastructure, collapsed financial institutions, and depreciation of the cedi, undervalued human resources and sky-rocketing inflation.
In the bloody quest to win an election, politicians armored with the truth, fight our brains with lies.
In the partisan gesture to polish the image of our party as individuals, we defend the indefensible; fully loaded with the gun of ignorance, we aim at critical thinking yet we perish!
For the purpose of this write-up, I will term ‘confused’ as to take and be taken advantage of due to ignorance and prejudice on the part of the victim.
Ghana’s problems are not only caused by the inability of politicians to make good decisions, but also, by the complacent attitude of citizens: We don’t know what we want! If you cannot comprehend why a bird always looks up in the sky when drinking water, you will assume pouring water to its throat horizontally will be of help. In the constituency I live in, asking an NPP supporter if he’s satisfied with development in his community, is like asking a child if the food prepared by his mother is sweet.
The answer is always in the affirmative. Meanwhile, we have a poor drainage system, no community library, untarred roads et.al. Should you ask an NDC supporter, why this social infrastructure was not completed during their tenure of office, you will be astounded to see the advent of “tattered boys with a yellow wig cap”, defending an opposing fact.
Must partisan interest jeopardize our future? Why can’t we demand answers? Must we consent to every questionable actions with no brow raised?. With the advancement of technology, we must have researched well enough to know what we want from our leaders and as such, why accept a “KVIP when you need jobs”. Leaders can only be put in check when citizens have a clear cut idea of their expectations.
No party supporter questioned the rationale behind encouraging mass gathering and political rallies when Covid19 was at its peak in 2020. All I heard was “Science and Data” “Nana Showboy” “We have flattened the curve”. Down to 2021, a weekend immediately after the presidential inauguration, Covid 19 have spiked with deaths recorded on daily basis. Should safety have been our expectation, citizens will have unanimously protest against the registration exercise, mass political campaigns by political parties and enforcement of social distancing in troskis. However, we find pleasure insulting anyone who questions “our party” but “when the wind blows, the anus of the hen will be exposed”
In 2012, the NDC government and the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) combined an expenditure of GHS47 million in an infamous Afforestation and Guinea Fowl projects, which have both gone horribly wrong. This money can no longer be accounted for. Yet, any NDC ‘person’ will prefer to overlook and paint a perfect picture of an incorruptible government. Meanwhile, in the same year, the country’s external debt had pegged at GHS16.6 billion. With an estimated population of 25 million, every Ghanaian is owing $753.3 to the country’s creditors both externally and internally.
The Agyapa scandal that characterized the second half of 2020, nearly led to the loss of 76% of the country’s future receipts from gold royalties to an unknown company based in the UK tax haven, in exchange for $500 million. NPP and its supporters of over 6 million Ghanaians (based on the votes cast during the 2020 general election) are still in denial of the repercussions of this deal. Ghana is Africa’s leading producer of gold, accounting for 4% of government revenue in 2017. Incapacitating this sector for a short term benefit will sink the country deep in poverty in the near future, and guess who will suffer? Party foot soldiers!
Firstly, in the absence of a well-defined expectation by the people, why not draw up a developmental plan for the country, just as Kwame Nkrumah did. But unlike the vision 2020, every incumbent will be binding to its letter. This will ensure citizens’ demands are obligatory. This will also go a long way to safeguard the country’s development against individual prejudice; you cannot cover up truths and decorate lies when the people are well informed of what they need. A leader will then be held accountable on the basis of percentages of developmental plan covered in his tenure of office. This is not to stifle innovative ideas, but will ensure such innovations are guided by laid down principles that will benefit the people, and will not be scrapped out when a new government comes to power.
Secondly, we the people should throw away partisanship and criticize our party when the need be. Why give free water when covid19 reached its peak in 2020, only to scrap it off when it “spiked in 2021”. The United States of America still gives stimulus packages to its citizens as a measure to combating the effect Coronavirus has on livelihood, and yet in Ghana, subsidy on electricity is lifted even when recent governmental restrictions has led to partial operations and outright closure of several businesses. Let’s cut down on the insults and make good use of our knowledge even when party politic come knocking-
A well oriented citizen is not blinded by partisanship
THINKING IS EVERYTHING!
By: *Rachael Quaye*