Precedence for National Cohesion
Political partisanship is forcefully gaining roots in many institutions of State. Political partisanship does not provide the needed values that draw the energy and knowledge from people with different political background and orientation. Partisanship is inimical to national cohesion.
The decision of the Parliament of Ghana to choose the speaker of Parliament from a non-majority party, even if it was inadvertently done, is a good precedence for establishing relations that have characteristics of national cohesion. The overall trickling down effect of this action, and decision of Parliament is an indication of a possible political tolerance and cooperation among state agents in carrying out their paid-duties.
The Speaker and the Legislative House as a whole, need to utilise this opportunity to neutralise the spirit of political patriotism (partisanship) by working together cooperatively. The ability of the Parliament of Ghana to establish deepened grounds for working together effectively, will be a precursor for all institutions to work with a cohesive force.
There is an opportunity for the Parliament of Ghana to display, in the house, its nationalistic character by scaling the interest of the State highest in undertaking the legally mandated duties of the house. It is time to shelve acts and behaviours of political chauvinism.
The successful use of this opportunity to collaborate with one another, as Members of Parliament from different political ideology, will create and serve as a case study upon which other attempts to establish acts of national cohesion will be based. The Speaker of Parliament then, needs to set standards and principles of fairness in setting a priority for the legislative House. The priority of the 8th Parliament of Ghana should be the one that maximizes the best efforts of the Members of the house than fulfilling party aspirations.
The political elites need to be faithful and loyal to Ghana. Members of Parliament from both sides should show commitments in developing national values and modern principles of governance in creating a transformed, cohesive, peaceful, united and a value-driven nation.
The Parliament of Ghana should now be able to scrutinise government projects succinctly. The inability of the Members of Parliament to work together with a clear majority had paved ways for many corruption-infused projects to easily pass through the legislative house that is supposed to assess the nature of the projects and subsequently approve them. This was possible with the use of majority to approve projects. The current structure of Parliament indicates projects cannot be approved easily if the Members embrace “State patriotism” rather than political patriotism.
Parliament as a key agency in the fight against corruption should begin to set benchmarks which will serve as the yardsticks for approving government deals. This way, the use of majority to approve deals will be needless as meeting the requirements of the benchmarks becomes the focus of the house. The house has been blamed, on many occasions, for failing to augment the efforts of the State in tackling corruption issues. A case in point is the famous Woyome issue. In this case, the House failed to question institutions of State that participated in the activities leading to the payment of the huge sums of money to the businessman.
The Assemblies, which are development agencies, can take a cue from the works of Parliament by working together to develop the communities that form the State. With a spirit of national cohesion exhibited by all the citizens, the winner-takes –all syndrome can be eliminated at both the national and the local level.
The Legislative House needs to establish unimpeachable leadership that works to achieve the ideals of Article 35 (5), which reads “The State shall actively promote the integration of the peoples of Ghana and prohibit discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed and other beliefs, including political beliefs (emphasis mine) as well as Article 35 clause 6 (a), which states “Towards the achievement of the objectives stated in clause (5) of this Article, the State shall take appropriate measures to – foster a spirit of loyalty to Ghana that overrides sectional, ethnic and other loyalties, including political loyalties (emphasis mine)
Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
Economics Tutor, A growing Activist and Religion Enthusiast.
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