Originally Published, November 2014
The election cycle just picked up in earnest with the Political Parties holding primaries and electoral conferences to select their candidates. It is to gear us up towards the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. And, already the functionaries and hopefuls are beginning to gain animation about what lies ahead.
The most vexing question, however, for most Ghanaians at this time is, whether come 2016, we can expect any changes in our living circumstances.
Of all the political functionaries and potential appointees who are likely to emerge after the elections how many are able to imagine and be candidly motivated to serve the nation out of the poverty, filth and squalor ?
What new thing can we expect from the politicians who will be seeking our mandate to form the next government, outside of what the nation has witnessed from their political parties in the past? How important are we in their scheme? What difference should we expect? Something in the ordinary Ghanaian craves for an alternative to our poverty and under development.
JUST A LITTLE SOCIAL INTEREST
Many of our “Big Men and Women” travel out of our dear nation at least , once a year to Europe , United States of America or Canada. I know some do so several times a year. But, my interest is, how do they feel when they disembark into the airports at their destination?
When they step out into town in Europe or America on bright beautiful day, how do they react to the environment and atmosphere that greets them?
It will be outrageous for any of them to say that they feel no difference and therefore, have no need for any impressions being formed.
Whatever errands we run in those foreign lands, we are never denied the time and opportunity to reflect on the difference in atmosphere and life style. Unless, we take leave of thought for the period of our stay; in the stillness of our minds we will somehow ponder the ‘whys’ of the difference.
What about our Members of the three arms of Government, directors and technocrats, etc., who travel on official assignments; what has been their reactions when they experience how daily living is organized in the host countries?
How do you feel honourable’s, when water constantly run through the faucets of the foriegn countries you visit each time you step into the shower or turn on the tap? Or, when you have use of all the electrical gadgets you find around you 24/7 a day? Contrast your experience there to the erratic electric power and unstable water supply in our country. How do you feel Honourable?
Honorable managers of Ghana’s economy, when you drive through town in Europe or America and you observe well manicured lawns and opulent landscapes, -forget about the shops – how do we feel? In Ghana about seventy percent of all that we eat is sold on dusty floors.
When you chance on a mechanical broom sweeping the streets as compared to how we deal with refuse collection in Ghana, how do you feel?
Do you see workers holding up their trousers and skirts to avoid the mud on the streets in Europe when it rains?. What does it take to at least improve the streets and pavements in our communities? What is the role of the District Chief Executives and the Assemblymen? How have they applied their knowledge in town planning and urbanisation? How many of them are skilful in this regard anyway?
Honourable’s, when you drive outside Ghana, and you notice sections of the roadsides marked as “no parking zone” and you are told its because traffic will have to keep off the brightly colored fire hydrants, how do you feel? What do you say to yourself? Where are the fire hydrants on the Tema motor way and the George Walker Bush highway-N1 which was recently constructed?
When the news bulletin states that prominent members of the society in those countries have fallen prey to the law, because of indiscretion or corruption, what do you say to yourselves?
When you hear that county residents in the countries you visit are meeting to discuss the local government budget , to set property rates to cover education, Policing and Fire Department, and other safety concerns, how do you react to that? What is the practice here at home?
When you meet the dump truck in Washington collecting trash made up of hedge trims and mowed lawns, what comes to mind? What about the parks and open spaces in London, Lisbon or Amsterdam ? Where are the children’s play grounds in our communities?
When you see uninsured young men with tree branches and flash lights mimicking the police dress code to direct vehicular traffic , what do you say to your self? A tourist attraction indeed! Why can’t we improve our environment or at least dream about improving it?
Do you feel our frustration and hunger to break out of the curse of underdevelopment?
The ordinary citizens with higher aspirations for a more functional society are surprised that our leader’s exposure to working models elsewhere, which are part of basic infrastructure for national development has not translated into how to better our backyard. How do you feel this morning Honourable, juxtaposing how you, over the year’s have managed our resources for national development to how your counterparts elsewhere have done?
Need I remind you Honourable, that it is never a good idea to take for granted that, simply because things are a particular way, that’s the way they always will or ought to be.
Simply because we have always accepted a particular form of leadership, and tolerated what appears to be some fairly glaring limitations and liabilities, doesn’t mean that this is all we should ever expect from our political leaders. Especially in a nation where the buck of political leadership stops on the desk of “We the people”. Good morning Honourable!!