Is Ghana Cursed With Bad Leadership?

Fri, 14 Aug 2009 Source: Boadi-Danquah, Eugene

Today like all days, discerning Ghanaians have woken to tussle with the bane of poor leadership and bad judgement which has gradually found its place in our Government institutions. We are once again having to answer tougher questions than, “Why do we give politicians 4x4s to feel comfortable on our degrading and unmotorable road surfaces instead of fixing them for all Ghanaians to use comfortably?” “Why do we announce the need to salvage our failing textile industries, and on the next day, announce awarding a national contract to a Chinese firm to supply textile materials?

I believe sincerely that, the real question to be asked now is, “Why do we bother wasting money on elections when we are almost always electing the same people, with the same mindset and the same approach to governance.” I hate to be the one to point this out, but Politics in Ghana now has become a fantasy for wide-eyed individuals, who without a political tag on them, cannot command an iota of respect even from a passing fly; talk less of succeeding in this globally competitive world. I will say it, with no equivocation that indeed, from all experiences of ex-honourables not finding jobs or being able to succeed after the voting out of their party, politics in Ghana attracts mostly no other people than inferior people, struggling to meet their daily wants, scared of facing life boldly and wanting a shortcut to riches. So where lies the surprise, when such people assume office, and make decisions that even a toddler would think twice about? I say all these making an exception for some current and ex-politicians like Dr.Kwesi Botchway, Dr. Mahammoud Bawumiah, Dr. Paa Kwesi Ndoum, Mr.Yaw Osafo Marfo, Dr. Kwabena Darko and some others who undoubtedly succeed with or without the political tag in this globally competitive environment.

I have not out of the blues decided to vent my spleen on Ghanaian Politicians for nothing. This morning’s news about our awarding school uniform contracts to a Chinese firm has woefully tickled my veins., I have no choice now than to spew some ether on whoever is behind these skirmishes. While I tried to make point clearer earlier, a few wide-eyed, ill informed mates tried to justify it with the fact that Ex-President Kufour’s team bypassed Ghanaian jewellers to award the contracts of the Kufour controversial awards to overseas jewellers; Kufour’s team bypassed Ghanaian textile manufacturers to award Ghana at 50 cloths contract to a Chinese firm. Since when did bad judgement become a comparison between NPP and NDC? Since when did party politics replace common sense? And if there’s anything worth considering, isn’t such ill judgement by the ex-NPP administration, among a lot more other reasons why Ghanaians rejected them in 2008?

Let’s now put party politics aside, (temporarily) and resort to the use of a rather unusual asset-Common sense.

Could there be one more important reason why Government would consider supply free-school uniforms to rural children other than to salvage our ailing local textile industries, create employment and boost revenues for tailors and dressmakers? I was thinking of boosting school enrolment, but let’s face it; Kofi Kyintoh will not abandon a day of his crab hunting to attend school because school uniforms are free. Neither will the lack of a uniform deter Akora Badu from taking his daughter to school, because he wants to see her become a teacher. Koo Amaning, the drunkard now sees no reason why he should chase his kids to go to school; after all, he is not even paying for the school uniform. I do not know what survey was conducted to conclude that low enrolment in basic schools was due to the lack of school uniforms. I would not even believe it is. But considering an ideal scenario, let us just say that is the reason why rural kids are not in school. Why not legislation passed, that insists they go to school irrespective of whatever clothes they have on, even if they are bare chest? Or make the choice of school clothes a bit liberal? What about focusing on creating rural jobs so that parents can afford their school uniforms for their wards without waiting in queues for their supplies?

NPP were kind enough to put us uphill on the slope down to communism, by introducing school feeding programme, and aluta continua, NDC have come in to make the slope steeper and more slippery. This unleashes the true intention of politicians: Yet as they exist, they will never make you self-sufficient, so that you can also have mouth to speak, or a brain to discern or a thumb to vote on policies. They love having to be the source of your daily bread, your kid’s school uniforms, their lunch and very soon we will all witness the launching of the home dinner programme, where every household will pick their dinner from the government menu and Assemblymen will be given the title of ladle holders. They will never make incentives available to local farmers so they can compete, not for entrepreneurs so they can compete with foreign businesses. The truth of the matter is that Governance in Ghana is hoax, all open your eyes up. You are on your own! Do not bother to even vote, because even if you are given a public sector appointment after your party assumes power, it is your initiation into a clique to destroy the country further with laziness, apathy and greed. You don’t love Ghana by making noise for politicians all day unending! You don’t love yourself either, because sooner or later, without politics, you will be like a zero before a whole number! You can never compete in the real world, and you will be amazed the number of issues that have overtaken you in the real world. Governance, especially of a place like Ghana demands and deserves the honour of a decent level of social responsibility towards rural and poorer Ghanaians. Oh yes. But that is far from buying their children uniforms or dishing out their lunches. Most are rural dwellers; they need to be put on the right level so they can afford to take care of themselves and their families. They need good roads to transport their farm produce to bigger towns to sell not 4x4 for their MPs to get to them. They need vocational assistance, so they can acquire 21st century skills. Their families in Juapong, Akosombo etc. need government spending on their textile industries so their remittances to them can be upped.

In august conclusion, if supply of school uniforms contracts is not to be awarded Ghanaian textile companies, then there’s absolutely no reason to do it at all. It is reminiscent of bad judgement, poor leadership, insensitivity, inferiority, pseudo-communism and as always the diabolic act of piling up unwarranted debts for the same children who appear to have been done a favour. It will make our economy worse off, and it will not make Ghanaians any better. Whoever even considers doing that is wicked, if not demon-possessed. If Ghanaian companies are quoting higher prices, the contract can wait until a better deal is struck between government and the industries period. Stand up and reject this. If it is not for Ghanaians, it is not worth it.

Boadi-Danquah (eb00026@surrey.ac.uk)


Columnist: Boadi-Danquah, Eugene