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July 10, 2018 | Feature Article

Politics of Convenience Is It An African Anathema?

Politics of Convenience Is It An African Anathema?

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong writes:
As a dog returns to his vomit so a fool repeats his folly. Did that strike a cord? Maybe it did, maybe it did not. Probably, I can do better than that. So how about this---: A nation that’s prone to what I term ‘Convenience Politics’ would perpetually lack social, economic and political development, it would permanently lag behind its peer group of nations but above all, it would miserably leave its people impoverished if not reduced to nothing.

The reason, the game never changes. It’s politics as usual they say. And it’s same old political gimmicks or politricks. This is their mantra: ‘we know the government or the opponents are right but we won’t go with them’.

I used to trek the mountains of the Himalayas to catch scorpions till I got stung. I used to play with the crocks in the Great Paga Lake in Northern Ghana, till one day I nearly got mauled. Simply, I would have become a good meal for the guys (reptiles) with the long jaws.

Indeed, until I learned my lessons well and took a flight, it didn’t appear the predators were anytime ready to cease their predatory prowess. Remember they (and I mean they) won’t stop to fool you, if you don’t stop to allow them to make a fool out of you.

Consider this: The authorities of Näləj (pronounced Knowledge)----a nation that’s situated at the centre of the world had canceled flight # GH 001957 which was supposed to make a layover in Timbuktu en-route to Gatwick UK. Why? The pilot and her co-pilot (s)were carrying what was then believed to be explosive device.

And it turned out the authorities were right. Judgment dictated, it was imprudent to let the three individuals fly the airplane. So, the flight was immediately canceled but not without public uproar. Don’t forget, it’s politics as usual! Those on the left made so much noise. They argued, specifically that the chief pilot must be allowed to continue to fly the airplane while the right-wing group said no they should be suspended and investigations opened to the allegation.

As the debate raged on the authorities took the bull by the horn. They suspended the chief pilot and her two co-pilots and launched a full-scale investigation into the matter. In the midst of the furor there were accusation and counter accusations traded by the embattled individuals. The captain’s two deputies claimed the device was brought on the airplane by her and averred that she was unfit to hold herself as captain of the speed bird. Likewise the captain accused her two deputies of being responsible for the plot to blow up the airplane.

After months of protracted investigations and deliberations the trio were found culpable of the alleged charge and were dismissed. Nevertheless the die-hard supporters of the trio see nothing wrong with their action. They’ve even called for the pilots reinstatement and plan to hit the streets to register their protest.

So, if we didn’t hear the rainstorm last night did we also not see the floods it left behind at daybreak? If at first you didn’t agree with the management that the pilot and her co-pilots were corrupt and be removed how about now? Do you still stand by your claim that you owe her your allegiance because you supported her from the beginning. I like to know would you allow a pilot deemed drunk to fly an airplane and to where? Obviously to nowhere but the bottomless pit.

I’m referring to the dismissal of the EC Boss Charlotte Osei and her two deputies—Amadu Sulley and Georgina Opoku Amankwaa. Their removal had triggered flutter as expected. But what’s still left to defend or jaw-jaw? Did they (the EC Chair and her two deputies) breach the constitutional law that enjoined them to leave above reproach? Yes, they did. So why the noise making? How long shall we get ourselves baptised in this partisan pool?

“Partisanship’ is a misnomer ‘Sycophancy’ I think is far more accurate description of this case.

As a nation we’re bedeviled with a number of challenges and problems yet we tend to expend time on resuscitating a dead horse rather than devoting time on fixing our roads. We have completed hospitals rotting up--- left at the mercy of the weather and it seems we aren’t bothered. We still have some of our children studying under trees, yet we shout our lungs out to defend the indefensible. There are some communities in the country that are without electricity and there are yet more other communities that cannot be reached out—no bridges, no transportation system.

How about filth, how about, congestion, how about indiscipline, how about the destruction of the vegetation and water bodies, how about the carnage on our roads and how about the siting of petrol stations on waterways etc?

Is this democracy or Kleptocracy where we tend to support the lootees regardless because we owe them our allegiance? I like to ask: Have we fixed the deplorable roads?

In June 2017 the whole world heard that Bole roads had potholes. I don’t know if they’d been fixed yet Bole is the hometown of former President John Mahama who was also the MP for the constituency from 1996 to 2008 on the ticket of the NDC. He served as MP for 12 years, vice president for more than three years yet the road to his hometown and other roads in the constituency never got paved. And people didn’t demonstrate. In the name of convenience politics they went to sleep as though they’d no problem to deal with. Only to cry wolf when the NPP government was sworn-in about a year later.

One cannot I overlook the Anwia Nkwanta-Obuasi road. That road could swallow a 30-year-old giraffe if not an elephant. Where are the royalties? Where are the DCE’s and the MCE’s? Where are the MPs and all the people that matter? Suffice to say we’re waiting for another calamity, another disaster to happen Obuasi is a mining town just like Johannesburg in South Africa but there’s nothing here to compare. The latter is like ‘Heaven’, the former has nothing to boast of. That road links Kumasi the capital of the Ashanti region but its condition is more than deplorable. I’m told the roads in Tarkwa township in the western region, another mining community is as bad as the Obuasi roads.

Is it an African Anathema?
What could at all account for this neglect? I refuse to say it’s a curse. Not at all, we aren’t cursed. It’s rather politics as usual.

From Accra to Harare Zimbabwe. From Azerbaijan to Zaire, Congo From Armenia to Zambia we’ve allowed politics to sketch, to doodle, to scribble and to use its broad brush to paint our respective nations at its choosing and the to the detriment of our peoples.

In June last month the president Akufo-Addo dismissed from office the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei and her two deputies. This followed the Chief Justice ‘s Committee report that the three be removed. According to the report Mrs. Charlotte Osei breached procurement laws in the award of several contracts, before the 2016 general elections.

The chief Justice established a prima facie case on some of the allegations made against the EC Boss as contained in the petition submitted to the president of the republic, according to the report. It said: “In all the Chief Justice made prima facie case against the Chairperson on six of the allegations in the said petition.’

It further said, for all the six allegations, the committee found Mrs Osei culpable and said her explanation that she wasn’t aware that the she needed to go through procurement for some of the contracts because the monies involved were from donor parties, is untenable.

I think it’s about time. It’s about time we stopped this political nonsense and sycophancy. Today we talk about Rwanda as though it’s governed by Angles and not human beings. That nation was literally decimated. How did it sanitation work there and it seems we’re failing here. Let’s do things right my people, we’re capable.

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong

The author has authored 237 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: GordonOffinAmaniampong

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Gordon Offin-Amaniampong and do not neccessarily 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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