08.01.2015 Feature Article

If Ghana Is To Prosper We Must End Mean-Spirited Partisanship

If Ghana Is To Prosper We Must End Mean-Spirited Partisanship
08.01.2015 LISTEN

It is gratifying to note that a groundswell of public opinion is building up in the country, against the old-style politics of mean-spirited partisanship.

Unfortunately, we have now arrived at a situation in the 4th Republic, in which once a new administration assumes power, elements in the opposition party with the most potential to supplant the governing party at the next presidential and parliamentary elections, then resort to sabotaging the nation-building effort.

Clearly, the purpose of such treasonable conduct is to derail the work of new administrations. To a degree, every administration in the 4th Republic has had to contend with this nation-wrecking trait, in some of the hardliners amongst the membership of Ghana's political class.

Yet, Ghana will never progress, if it remains polarised - with cynical politicians actively working to destabilise the country by pitting one part of the population against the other, to further their own ends: at society's expense. Some of the many public-sector strikes over the years readily come to mind.

Alas, it has resulted in the unfortunate situation in which the most ruthless and locquacious of the cynics amongst the membership of the two biggest political parties are constantly at loggerheads - creating unnecessary tension in Ghanaian society. It is all so unedifying and tiresome.

One of the ways this negativity manifests itself, is in the never-ending propaganda battles on the airwaves of television and FM radio stations across the country, between spokespersons of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is the largest of the opposition parties.

What Ghana needs is a transparent government led by a president who is a one-nation politician and patriot (in the Nkrumah mould), who will unite the country by selecting the best people from all the political parties, to be part of his or her administration.

(Naturally, the president and his or her spouse, as well as all his or her appointees and their spouses, will publicly publish their assets immediately before assuming office, and immediately after their tenures' end. All the sources of the ruling party's election campaign's funding will also be publicly published. But I digress.)

All appointments in the public sector (particularly to the boards of public-sector entities) must also be based on the same principle - with the best-qualified and most suitable individuals appointed to such positions, irrespective of their political leanings. Ghana belongs to all its people, after all.

Our common purpose as a people must be the creation of a system that is transparent and efficient, which promotes the welfare of ordinary people and ensures the overall well-being of Ghanaian society. We must rid ourselves of the present Byzantine system - which facilitates corruption in our country.

Ghana is at a crossroads. The time has come for us to finally put aside mean-spirited partisanship - the hidden agenda of the hardline politicians guilty of it (when in the political wilderness) being to make Ghana ungovernable: in the hope it will result in the ruling party's four-year period in power ending in failure.

To quote an old wag I know: "It is time the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos were made irrelevant in our nation's politics."

I concur with him. Surprising though it might be to the Bernard Antwi-Boasiakos, power in our homeland Ghana, is not for sale at any price to any individual or grouping - including even those with the most gold who can marshal the most resources. And it matters not how power-hungry such individuals or groupings might be, either - their wealth will not buy them power in Ghana.

We need to embrace a new kind of politics in which service to our nation and all its people - not selfish personal ambition and lust for power - is what drives politicians and political parties.

That is the path to take if we are to become a prosperous African nation that is peaceful and stable - precisely the kind of polity that the long-suffering people of Ghana deserve to live in. If the enterprise Ghana is to thrive we must end mean-spirited partisanship in our nation's politics. Now. Not tomorrow.