Let's talk about accountability of Ghanaian politicians

Empty Parliament Of Ghana Parliament House, Ghana

Mon, 10 Aug 2020 Source: Dr. Godfred A. Ababi

I am apolitical, but I want to pen my opinion about this timely and pertinent issue in Ghana. Since 1992, some politicians, who have been exposed to different means of addressing challenges facing Ghana, succumb to tribal, religious, and political orientation in their attempt to mitigate some of the problems. In both the two main major parties in Ghana, NPP, and NDC, some career politicians tend to operate in the realms of tribal exploitation at the detriment to the truth and justice. The melancholy at this heist is the celebration and reverence of the so-called politicians by the youth whose future is being squandered.

In my opinion, the current Ghanaian environment is susceptible to tribal and political exploitation because of the following reasons. In Africa, and for that matter, Ghana, kids are strongly encouraged to respect authorities at all costs. At home, we are taught that kids should not look straight in the eyes of the elderly or people in authority when communicating with them. In school – from Kindergarten to the university level, pupils and students are strongly encouraged to desist from challenging authorities. Those who dare to do so, even in good faith, are branded as disrespectful and arrogant.

Likewise, our chieftaincy and religious institutions, to a large extent, suppress citizens to express themselves freely and inadvertently desist citizens from becoming critical thinkers. Our educational system tends to reward unreasonable recollection ‘chew and pour’ in lieu of practical learning experience. The universities and would-be future leaders, as of this writing, somewhat reward and prefer upper first-class graduates with no practical skills to third-class graduates with practical problem-solving skills, respectively. Thus, by design, our culture, education, corporate philosophy, and politics embolden and groom Ghanaians to be timid vis a vis our collective civic responsibility to hold leaders accountable for their actions and inactions.

In conclusion, please note that this is an intellectual discourse to provoke people of divergent opinions to express their ideas in this forum. The overall goal is to help Ghanaian youth to question authorities and hold politicians accountable. After all, Ghana is owned by Ghanaians both within and outside Ghana. Every four years, we hire the politicians, led by the president, to manage our country for us. At any point in time, we are not clear about the direction of the country; we must summon them via town hall meetings to seek an explanation.

Our parliamentarians must account to us and update their constituents at least every four months about their actions. Politicians are not there to hand us money and goods; instead, we elect (hire) them to create an environment that may be conducive to economic prosperity and quality of life. As people, we should not celebrate and reverence politicians, instead learn how to hold them accountable during and after electioneering campaigns. Our educational system and culture should be receptive to innovation, critical thinking, and inspire kids to open up.

About the Author

Dr. Godfred A. Ababio fields of Interest include Topical or Regional studies relevant to national security; Crime prediction and prevention; Policing; Corrections; Policy analysis in the criminal justice system; Vulnerability studies, and Criminal Justice Reform.

Columnist: Dr. Godfred A. Ababi
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