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Opinions Fri, 17 Jun 2016

On our Politicians' largesse: A clear case of lost Priorities

This article does not seek to exaggerate Ghana’s calamitous situation, far from it, for, indeed, the country is in the throes of economic meltdown, which emanated from existential selfishness, corruption, nepotism, cronyism, sycophancy and incompetence.

The fact of the matter is at the moment, we are deep in the pickle jar, and it seems that in terms of socio-economic anguish, we are sinking deeper and deeper into the mire.

Apparently, the true patriots cannot be blamed for having sleepless nights over Ghana’s seemingly hopeless situation.

For, Ghana, our beloved country, has been at the mercy of corrupt, derelict and heartless individuals’ who parade as patriots but they are in actual fact, wolves in sheep clothing.

In all honesty, if we do not find an antidote to Ghana’s dire situation sooner, our beloved country, Ghana, may end up deeper and deeper in the mire.

In fact, we are deep in the pickle jar because of our apathetic and heartless politicians. They have failed time and time again to put the country on the right path.

That, for me, is a listless resignation on the part of our politicians who we have entrusted with our taxes and national resources.

Clearly, we lack good governance. So where lies the justification for additional emoluments- the ex gratia award purported to be around 200,000 Ghana cedis to our phlegmatic politicians? (See: www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/.../Former-MPs-to-receive-GH-20...-04/04/2013).

Of course, it makes sense to reward good governance. However, in the case of our politicians, I wonder if they, the non-performing lots, deserve their salaries at all, let alone gargantuan tax free ex-gratia.

The ex-gratia, in my view, is a reward for mediocrity, or worse still, incompetence. For, if that is not the case, what is it then?

If you, discerning Ghanaian, would take a critical look of what is going on in our political landscape today, you would agree with me that our policy maker’s performances are nothing to write home about.

They, the policy makers, have failed to come up with advantageous policies all these years’ to advance the nation meaningfully.

So it becomes puzzling if a group of academics (Chinery-Hesse, Prof Ewurama Committees etc.) converged and juxtaposed the emoluments of policy makers elsewhere to justify their recommendations of ex-gratia award ()to our non-performing politicians.

This is because policy makers elsewhere produce the goods, compared to ours. The big question then is what have they, the politicians, done for us lately to warrant such a gargantuan largesse (ex-gratia)?

For me, the introduction of ex-gratia was irrational and lopsided. For, the politicians ungraciously sought to elbow their way through and in the process, engaged a group of academics, who in turn defended decades of research and their academic standings by justifying additional emoluments- the ex-gratia payments to the unachieved politicians.

Our policy makers are indeed laid-back, otherwise how can we command all these resources and still be among one of the poorest nations in the world?

Isn’t it worrying that in this day and age Ghanaians have to endure intermittent supplies of electricity and good drinking water?

Our leaders’ are indeed lousy, otherwise how come we have abundant sunshine that can be generated into solar energy, yet we lack resplendent policy makers who would come out with bold decisions?

What’s more, we have enough water bodies, however, we have allowed foreign infiltrators to engage in illegal mining, and in the process destroying our sources of drinking water. How bizarre?

We are being swamped by tons of rubbish, yet our policy makers have failed to brainstorm how we can use such rubbish to generate power.

For me, our politicians ex-gratia award is a lost priority and must be reviewed urgently.

So in the future, the Article 71 Office holders policy must be looked at again, because it is irrational and devoid of innovation.

Of course, everyone deserves a pension, including our parliamentarians. Nonetheless, they, the politicians, cannot and must not enact advantageous policies for themselves to the detriment of the masses, for the national cohesion will only apace in the midst of equal rights.

“We are not serious as a nation, are we?”

K. Badu, UK.
Columnist: Badu, K