After two years into Mahama’s administration, a friend of mine who knew I voted for Mahama asked; “haven’t you regretted your choice? The rate at which the country is suffering, if you have any conscience left, you should be regretting ever voting for a man who has done nothing but watched over the most corrupt administration in the history of our nation. See how the ordinary Ghanaian is suffering whiles he walks around unperturbed.”
I grew up when John Jerry Rawlings was the president of Ghana. To my young mind I thought he was the best thing that ever happened to Ghana. For someone to be president for over 19 years I thought there should be some love for him hence the reason to have him lead this country for that long. I was young. I didn’t know so much of the history of his ascension to the presidency of the country.
People were complaining. They called him corrupt. They called him a dictator. They called him every name that sounds like he was a chip off the Lucifer himself. Who were those people calling him so many names? They were the people who wanted power. In politics, you can’t win without calling your opponent names. You can’t win if you are not able to discredit whatever the opponent does. That is the only way the people will hear your voice and offer you power to rule.
Rawlings served his two terms. The opposition won and brought us a man who’ll also rule for 8 years. Was the country prosperous when we finally saw the end of the Rawlings rule? Your answer will depend on where your political allegiance lies. If you try to play the neutral card, your answer will look at the bad and also assess the good. The basic question then becomes; did people complain about hardship when Rawlings was not the president?
When we pushed the party of Rawlings aside and brought another political party to steer the affairs of the country, we did that with the hopes that this leader will make the country better and take the hardship of the people away. We did that because we were promised a better life under a new leadership. But we still had people complaining. Who were those people complaining? These were the people who wanted power to rule again.
Nkrumah was the president of this nation. Till date he’s touted as the best thing that ever happened to this country. Even that, people who wanted power had a reason to complain about hardship. They had a sacred reason to believe they were the people who could put this country into a graceful pasture. They couldn’t wait to be given power so they took it.
National Liberation Council became the government. The country needed a liberation only they could bring so they seized power. Progress party was next to ascend power. Obviously to bring progress. Followed by National Redemption Council. Obviously if you go through failed progress, you need a redemption to be able to succeed. Then there was Supreme Military Council. Followed by a coup which brought Rawlings to the limelight. Then there was Limann’s People’s National party. Rawlings came again with the PNDC and the NDC. Followed by NPP, then NDC and another NDC.
As a country, we’ve gone through a convention, liberation, progress, redemption and even through supreme military, still this is where we are! A country once upon liberated has to be redeemed at a certain point in time to be pushed through a rail of progress. The names of our political parties sounded like a church instituted by the messiah himself to bring us liberation and redemption so we could progress. Ebenezer, this is how far you’ve brought us!
Throughout all these phases of our political history, there were suffering people. There were rich people. There were political craze people who will follow anything and everything as far as it looks as what they want.
So I asked my friend; “At which point in time of the history of this nation have we had a president who made life better for all people in the country?” There is always someone who wanted power. There is always someone who has the power. When these two people collide, there will surely be people who are suffering! The want of power creates unsatisfied people; sometimes it’s genuine sometimes it’s fake just so they can create a reason to battle for power.
What has politics gotten to do with it? Nothing!
However bad situations may seem, there are people who are making the bad situations look like an opportunity—An opportunity they take which bring them success in the end. Power outages was so bad we never stopped complaining. It was power outage that made my neighbor rich. The word is opportunity! Situations wouldn’t be better no matter who is the president. The only better situation is what you choose for yourself—it’s an opportunity you take.
Rawlings couldn’t do all. He left a debt for the country. Kuffour campaigned on that and as a way to reduce the debt of the country, Kuffour said; I will reduce the number of ministers when voted into power. He was voted in. Ministers increased during his term then he said; “I’m sorry, I didn’t know it requires so much.” Kuffour did his best. He couldn’t do everything. He left debt for the country too. Fuel prices increased. He kicked against VAT but when he was leaving office, VAT rate had increased. There was not a single thing that the price had gone down after the 8 years rule of Kuffour.
Then there was Attah Mills who screamed on top of his voice on a campaign trail; “When voted into power, I’ll reduce fuel prices drastically.” Some weeks latter, Kuffour reduced fuel prices. Atta Mills once again on a campaign trail said; “I’m not satisfied with the decrement of fuel prices. When I get the nod, I will still reduce it drastically.” He got the nod. the next months following his swearing in into office, he increased fuel prices drastically! Ironic, isn’t it? Nothing went down during his term of office. Inflation was up, corruption was up and people were up still supporting his presidency.
There is one thing you have to decide for yourself; Choose yourself, not the next president. Die to see yourself succeed, don’t die so another person will accomplish his dream of leading a nation. Strive to make opportunities out of the prevailing bad conditions created by politicians. Opportunity is equal to money but only when you make it count.
We are different people with different perspective to life. Our problems are different. Our pressing needs vary from individual standpoint. That is why at any point in time we would have different perspectives as to who should become our president and how our country should be governed. The day we all decide to have one choice, that day is when we all die.
Politics has gotten nothing to do with it. Who is the president of a country has little to do with it. The political colours you are affiliated to only adds next to zero to everything you are. But you have everything to do with it—who you are, who you ought to be and who you ultimately become is all your choosing.
Today Mahama is the president. I voted for him. If the way I stamped my finger print on his side didn’t destroy my ballot, then I’m one of those who contributed to his ascension to the presidency. He wants a second term. Today, Akuffo Addo is in opposition just like the previous two occasions that we voted. He’s still saying he’s the best person to take Ghana to the promised land. He has public service records to back his claim.
Who would you vote for?
As a country, we’ve gone through a convention. We’ve gone through a liberation. We’ve also gone through a redemption. None of them worked! What we haven’t gone through yet as a country is a self change. Maybe—just maybe, the SELF is the only thing we have to change to be the country we’ve all dreamt to become. Choose yourself. Be the change you seek on the ballot paper.
Of course, politics has nothing to do with it.