Ghana’s democracy is decayed

“Where we are, there are daggers in men’s smiles”—William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Ghana is going through perilous times in our governance system with our democratic infrastructure standing on the lone and decaying foundation pillar of successive elections; churning out outcomes that ought to make every right thinking Ghanaian ask, how did we get here? And accept the need for real change.

 

Democracy:

Democracy is not all about lections. It is not all about buying the people’s power (votes) and using the power to steal everything and impoverish them. Democracy is about giving the power the people gave through the ballot box back to them, through probity, accountability and ethical behaviour, in leading the nation and managing its resources.

We make election promises we know, we cannot or would not fulfill. We are debating and disputing obvious facts to score political points. Lying has become smart and normal; and truth is questioned if it is not coming from our political stable. We are rewarding unethical behaviour, giving the hawks blank cheques to cash and expand their own empires within the collective kingdom and at the expense of the motherlands higher loyalists.

Throughout the first quarter of the year 2018, we have disputed the obvious facts that majority of Ghanaians do not want our gay laws to be amended. That, the expanded Ghana-US military agreement is fundamentally consistent with the previous ones and would have happened even under the previous administration. That, the new state of the art University of Ghana Medical Centre could be operated to save lives, even in its “incomplete” state.

That, the office of the president, has always been overstaffed to provide “jobs for the boys”. That, elections of Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) should have taken place in 2018/2019 as promised in the NPP’s 2016 manifesto. That, 51 factories, should have been built under the one-district- one-factory campaign promise by now.

 

The disturbing artful advertising, manipulation and deception is not confined to government machinery alone, it has escaped to infest and infect many institutions of our land. It is happening in boardrooms of public and private organisations, newsrooms, university campuses, the entertainment industry, religious organisations, chieftaincy, professional bodies and associations to mention just a few.

 

Negative impact:

I am tired of quoting former American President Obama’s advice that Africa needs strong institutions. We did not listen. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.’ Institutions are collections of rules and norms agreed upon by human beings. If leaders attack, denigrate and abuse them, they will be weakened, and this, in turn, will weaken the character and quality of democracy…”

Our leaders, in operating the greedy winner-takes-all politics, have abused and weakened our institutions including the security agencies and the police service in particular. How did three police officers stationed at the Weija District Police Command come to the point of hiring out their assigned AK47 rifles to armed robbers? The same armed robbers the police are supposed to be fighting to protect citizens?

At the local levels police officers are accepting bribes and threatening to keep innocent persons including very vulnerable, fragile women in police cells to extract forced confessions to support the wicked agenda of the bribe givers.

Why are we still appointing majority of ministers of state from the legislature when we know it is inefficient, ineffective and weakens Parliament? How come some MP/Ministers in the previous administration, are now being exposed for receiving double salaries while they were in government. How come no one raised the alarm when they were in government and committing the crimes? Is the exposure to silence them as opposition noise makers?

 

Hypocrites and vampires:

I hold the view that when politics divides a nation to the point we are, the media, civil society organisations and the church would serve as the conscience of our society. Unfortunately the vampire mercenary journalists, false prophets and social commentators have taken to the low moral ground seeking and amassing wealth through manipulations, fear mongering, character assassinations and blackmail. I hear people complaining helplessly and many have given up in despair. Where are the leaders of our land? And what do they make of our decaying democratic society? It is time to go under the tree of talking leadership for change in Ghana. Our electoral democracy is simply flawed!

 

The Last Uprising
…with William DOWOKPOR (billdowokpor@gmail.com)

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