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19.01.2006 Feature Article

Inside Politics: The Politics Of Favoritism ...

Inside Politics: The Politics Of Favoritism ...
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... The Irony Of Law Enforcement In Ghana. Politicians Clean Up Your Act, Not Just Your Image. External politics, pleasing donor nations has robbed the good will of our leaders. In their frustration our leaders tend to major on minors such as pleasing their party members, love for approval from sycophants, selfish cover up, legalistic brick-giving, and self-deception. All these make our leaders enemies of the people since they had not only lost the light for themselves but also for the nation/others. In this way, they had taken away the key of democracy/rule of law –government by the people and for the people.


Our leaders may be likened to a group of dishwashers who clean the outside of a container, while leaving the inside dirty (Luke 11:39). While they look good externally they lack credibility internally/home. The "ritually clean" records with IMF and the World Bank don't go below the surface. Their image is good, but their act was bad.

Education has not changed the heart of our politicians and elite. They admit that colonialism was bad but they practice the same. They have colonized their country and do as they please with it. Once elected they lose touch with the people and real issues. All they care about are the surface issues. Yes Ghana like the African elite and political elite needed to be born again (an internal, revered birth) if he was ever going to see and be a part of a new Ghana where the people are self reliant and no longer wallow in poverty.

It is never the fault of the politician and maybe it will never be, even of the president. Complaints may be good but action is even better. Our officials seem to be dwelling too much on explanations on how things are not working the way it ought to be; sometimes they are pointing fingers to others like brain drain, colonialism, tribalism etc. Can we move out from these trivia and seek real answers? A capacity for trivia can become a weakness if not kept in check. Jesus described the dangers of getting lost in details when telling the Pharisees that a fault of their religion was to major on minor issues.


1. Presidential palace

2. Vindictive (pay-back) politics

The little things have their place as long as we don't let them get in the way of the more important issues. However we should avoid the mistake of attending to details but forgetting to love or attending to the plight/needs of the people. Else we end up missing the whole point of government. Government is about people not things.


Law Enforcement. Strengthening our judiciary and legal system Job creation Our politician can be likened to the man who goes to the auto dealer to buy a new car. While there, he notices some accessories that seem to be just what he needs to add a touch of class to his new "wheels." An hour later he leaves the showroom with a smile, clutching his purchase of a coffee mug, dash compass, map holder, and manufacturer's key chain; he leaves with more than he came for--and less. With trinkets in hand, he gets in his old car and heads for home.

Most of the loans received were meant for very great projects like educational reforms, road construction, provision of pipe-borne water, health improvement etc., but they end up in trivias like per diem allowances and new vehicles for MPs, presidential palace and so on. None of these put a dent in the economy. The people are still suffering; the hospitals still remains a grave yard; our educational system is still a mess etc. Hence Ghana has not changed much since independence in 1957. What makes the problem difficult to detect is that the process of getting good at the fine points of colorful political speeches and inflation of statistics to confound he West and International Politics and even the ordinary Ghanaian. It's all about ego trips not the nation. They make things feel like it's working when it isn't. There is no substitute for a heart of love and justice that reflects a right relationship with the people. Paul made it clear that even spiritual gifts, knowledge, faith, and self-sacrifice are trivial pursuits if done without love (1 Cor. 13). What plays more to our sense of self-importance and pride than to be thought of as someone of whom God/the people approves?

Wouldn't it be better to be known as the PEOPLES' MAN/ than as a THIEF AND CORRUPT POLITICIAN? Maybe not. For we are all the same. The only difference is that we reserve the severest criticism for our president and ministers who are using their positions and reputation to get social attention and honors. Bending the rules/laws for our friends and political mates enable us to get the praise of men. Submitting to full practice of the law, however, is the only way to advance a country. As Ghanaians we know what it is like to struggle with human criticism and to be found unacceptable by members of one's own family. But this is the sacrifice a leader has to make. By pleasing the few you end up displeasing many. However, by pleasing none you end up pleasing all. Let history judge you that you were a just leader. Do your job and let the law/God judge you.

Learn to take criticism with grace, not because it didn't hurt but because you did the right thing. You will soon find that human recognition and favoritism don't count (Phil. 3:1-10). All that counts is hearing the people say at the end of your term, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (As in the case of Nelson Mandela). Know the difference between being recognized by your friends and being approved by the people. Avoid hanging out with sycophants who are not being frank and real with you. A little humility to accept your faults will eventually turn out to be your strength. Avoid people who put on Sunday clothes and Sunday faces (façade) to go through the motions of Sunday worship.

"Woe to you also, lawyers (Figurative meaning self-righteous politicians and critics)! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers" (Luke 11:46).Let us all abstain from the art of brick-giving while having ways of excusing ourselves from the obligations we place on others. Playing the favoritism game is like saying, "I love everybody. It's people I can't stand" (De Haan II, president of RBC Ministries).The irony is that when they meet a real one, they want to kill him/her. Be real! One of the greatest dangers of favoritism is that it causes us to be a danger not only to ourselves but also to others. Favoritism robs the man on the street and gives to the one in the palace. It breads STRIVE AND DISCONTENT. Okyere Bonna, Secretary, Ghana Leadership Union, Inc. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.