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22.09.2020 Feature Article

The Triumph of Optimism over Experience

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Ghana’s elections are slated for this December. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, one of the two political parties which have ruled the country since the dawn of the Fourth Republic, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) or the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will produce the next president.

As to be expected from the Evil Albatross grandiloquently called ‘Democracy’ foisted on Africa by our new-colonial masters, stalwarts of the two parties are doing what they know how best to do: Criss-crossing the land in their shiny jeeps and making fake promises to gullible electorates who, by clever designs, have been kept illiterate, ignorant, docile and in perpetual poverty so that they can, like serfs, remain eternally grateful from the crumps their new predatory leaders dole out to them.

I do not make these allegations lightly.

The duopoly of the NDC/NPP (two sides of the same bad coin) have, between them, ruled Ghana for about forty years, yes, 40 years.

Yesterday, September 21st, was universally marked as Founder’s day in memory of the country’s first President and Africa’s Man of the Millennium, Kwame Nkrumah (KN).

The frenetic pace set by KN in whichever area of governance we care to examine is truly awe-inspiring.

This, precisely, is what makes watching the current politicking in Ghana all the more heart-gutting.

If we are serious as a people, we all should feel insulted and ashamed that a country that produced a leader who, 60 or so years ago, built the Mighty Akosombo Dam, the Tema Motorway, manufacturing factories across the country, an Atomic Reactor, etc today has ‘leaders’ jumping all over the place cutting sods for community boreholes, public toilets and whatnots!

Ok, Ok, politicians will always be politicians and we all know that they breathe and live on making promises they have no wish to fulfill, especially in Africa.

But, as rational beings, why do we lack the capacity to ask critical questions?

If the politicians gallivant around the country making the same empty and unkempt promises they have been making for four decades why do we not ask them why, after forty years, the provision of basic services - food, water, housing, education, electricity, health services remain major production. Why should we, in this age, still have citizens sharing the same drinking water stream with cattle?

Neither the treating and pumping of water into homes nor the generation and distribution of electricity are considered Rocket Science in this age. The Netherlands has proved that Agriculture is no longer an esoteric subject as the tiny country remain the second largest exporter of agricultural products.

We can understand our people being intimidated by visiting POWERFUL figures who, apart from election periods, they see only on television, with their police and military guards who are attired like SWAT teams (we crazy plenty to have people overdressed in such manner in a tropical country), but what is difficult to understand is why our journalists, Senior Journalists, Executive Editors refused to asked these politicians pungent questions? Or are brown envelopes such great de-motivator?

Ok, if our people are too intimidated to query their new oppressors, ooops, sorry leaders, what explains their jumping up and down to welcome the very people that keep them the Wretched of the Earth?

Does Stockholm Syndrome even begin to explain this phenomenon?

Is it not time African psychologists get into the business of seriously questioning what exactly it is that makes our people so docile, so gullible, so mindless like little children, so pliable and ever so ready to live in abject poverty and continue to sing the praises of the same people that kept them there?

We should no longer pretend that keeping people in ghettos in not a deliberate policy.

Come December, our people will line up in hot sun or pouring rains to cast their votes and winners will be declared. The victorious politicians will vanish into their official mansions in the choicest and most exclusive part of town where, guarded by their fierce-looking bodyguards, they shall remain inaccessible to those whose votes put them their. They will remain cocooned there and talk down to their people only through their mouthpieces in the media.

That is until the next elections in four years. Of course, our people will troop out to dance and welcome them. They would have forgotten all about all the unkempt promises, they will joyfully applaud the promises of new tidings.

A case of the triumph of optimism over experience.

That’s the way the Masters at the Breton Woods institutions have designed things.

Fẹ̀mi Akọmọlàfẹ́

September 22, 2020

Femi Akomolafe
Femi Akomolafe, © 2020

The author has 236 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: FemiAkomolafe

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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