NPP/NDC Footsoldiers And Grassroots: A Derogatory Term For Political Loyalists
For quite sometime now, I have been trying to strike a balance between the flamboyance, elegance, and resplendence of our Ghanaian politicians and the rugged, impoverished and hungry-looking individuals who are termed as foot soldiers or grassroots in our Ghanaian political parlance. These so-called footsoldiers or grassroots are the loyal men and women who travel the length and breadth of this country amidst various life-threatening activities to campaign, convince and canvas votes for these men and women who eventually become Members of Parliament, Minister's of State, others are appointed to various governmental positions in and out of the country. These loyalists risk their lives to turn the fortunes of these men and women overnight whiles they(footsoldiers and grassroots) continue to suffer perpetual hunger, penury, and dejection in the society.
We are witnesses to how these loyalists have had their lives cut short, others are maimed, some are hospitalized and cannot pay their bills, a great number have lost families, properties and precious things that were very dear to them.
The big question then is, "Do these loyalists know or understand the meaning of these words as used by the African politician in classifying them?" Let's take a look at these words and their root meanings.
From my research and careful observation, a footsoldier is likened to an infantryman. One who does unglamorous work in support of an organization or movement. He or she carries out important work but does not have a role of authority in an organization or field. Synonymously, he or she is a slave, a slogger, a laborer or a toiler.
Grassroots are the ordinary people in a society or organization especially a political party who use collective action or efforts to effect change in their societies, the national and international level. Some synonyms for this word are common people, laboring class, proletariat and so on.
From these definitions, we can deduce that footsoldiers and grassroots are individuals who play an indispensable role by laboring, toiling and suffering only for others(politicians) to enjoy. Indeed, these loyalists have played important roles, carried out difficult tasks, convinced hardhearted men and women to vote for their candidates yet after all these hard work, they wallow and wobble in abject poverty. Most of these so-called candidates did not really grow up in their constituencies, they never attended schools there, they don't even know the in's and out's of their constituencies because they drive inexpensive cars and more annoyingly, most of them don't even know their delegates.
I keep wondering therefore as to why the citizens, the youth and the old in these political parties, keep jubilating over being referred to as footsoldiers and grassroots when they have absolutely nothing to show for their commitment, their backbreaking work invested into the two political parties-the NPP and the NDC.
I agree that at least once in a century, some few individuals from among these footsoldiers and grassroots get the opportunity to the overcrowded leadership ladder in these parties but for how long will this be? Are these gallant men and women not tired of being slaves to these parties? Are these loyalists not wise enough to realize that these politicians are only interested in exploiting them for their own interests and fortunes? These politicians come and give promises, they build hopes and give the best speeches only to turn around to spite these loyalists and the citizenry.
We live in a country where citizens have to literally plead, kneel and shed tears to the government to build hospitals, roads, markets, schools among other fundamental amenities. What a shame to our integrity!
The electioneering year is fast approaching and these political parties are mobilizing citizens to go risk their lives while they relax in their mansions giving orders and their children and families abroad. While these politicians have their children in colleges abroad, our youth who can barely pay their tuition fees and feeding fees are wasting their lives with the title of being footsoldiers and grassroots for a damn party? God have mercy!
Let me use this opportunity to give my candid opinion. To all our brothers and sisters of this country who have been in this cage of slavery, laboring, toiling, slogging for these political parties for years, I want you to know that you are far better, important, worthwhile and indispensable than you have been made to be. Without you, the politician has nothing to boast of. Without you, that politician cannot drive in the fleet of cars, the handsome salary, the expensive allowances that cover everything you can imagine. Without you, that politician cannot send his children to the best schools, buy his or her family tickets to enjoy holidays abroad.
I want you to know that you cannot continue to be used and dumped by these selfish men and women called politicians. Let us understand who we are and what we are. No one is a footsoldier or grassroots, we are men and women of this country who want to have equal opportunities in every sector of the economy. We want the best for our country and our generations. Our Vote is Our Power!