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12.12.2019 Feature Article

The Political Citizen

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My community even without the moon is now as bright in the evening as when the sun is shining red hot. There is one reason for that; the 2019 District Assembly elections are coming up on December 17, just a few days away. Over the past few years, both petty and major crimes have happened in my community due to reasons that could have been prevented. Cars have been robbed and people have been kidnaped due to the absence of street lights. Just imagine! The absence of street lights has cost human lives. But, in the last few days, my community is shining bright like a diamond. Street lights sparkling every nook and cranny of the community. Minor roads have partially been constructed left for the rains to erode it again after the elections. Our thumps are really precious, aren’t they?

Oh yes! We have seen it all before, time and again. Ordinary citizens are the centre of attention during electioneering period and sadly, relegated to the background once voting is over. The rhetoric is now too much to bear. The roads that connect my community and many other communities are even an insult to the residents. To think that we vote every four years to elect representatives who we deem worthy enough to make wise decisions on our behalf is an insult to our brains and thumbs.

So, is the only the time right for developmental projects to take place an election period? Are we patriotic or political citizens? Remember we were citizens before we turned politicians. Most of the street light bulbs depending on who put them there have the pictures of the contesting assembly members on them. The grader that came to just level the potholes turned manholes on the road had the pictures of the incumbent assembly man on it. And as much as we have all witnessed all of this before, some residents still rise to defend the honour of these acts as honest desire to develop the communities. And I wonder if we are our own bane or the politicians are.

Some of these aspiring assembly members fumble when you ask them what they intend to do for the betterment of the community if they are voted for. Why must a visionless person be voted for to lead a community? And you have graduates campaigning for such aspirants for nothing but self-serving reasons.

Are we building our country or collapsing it to the ground? We will have ourselves to blame someday. Talk to a group of people about why it’s imminently eminent that we choose to serve the collective good than be self-serving and they will tell you that the order of the day is to fill your pocket and care less about other pockets. How do we develop our country with such attitudes?

If our leaders aren’t helping, let’s go around them and figure out a way to make it work. We can’t live in perpetual filth, hunger, despondency, death, and all the negative things that plague our country because of our own actions and inactions. I’m just pained that what I see in student politics is no different. I have seen student politicians start fine projects to win votes and once they are in office, every single one of them crumbles. I’ve seen and heard student politicians make promises they can’t keep. So, how do we then hope that the next generation will be any different from what we see now? If we keep shirking responsibility to future generations, our country will be in a perpetual mess.

Every politician was once an ordinary citizen who perhaps had honour in doing right by his/her country. Why the sudden turn of events? Think about that and ask yourself what you will do any differently if you ever become a political leader.

I rest my case.
YUSSIF AHMED IBN YUSSIF
[email protected]

Ahmed Yussif
Ahmed Yussif, © 2019

The author has 10 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AhmedYussif

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