Politicians Must Be More Positive In their Outlook

Wed, 2 Oct 2013 Source: Thompson, Kofi

Ghanaian Politicians Must Be More Positive In their Outlook

By Kofi Thompson

I felt embarrassed listening to Mr. Ayikoi Otoo being interviewed on Peace FM on the morning of 30th September, 2013.

In any other jurisdiction, he would have effectively been committing political suicide - repeating what his harshest critics might describe as an outrageous and contemptible affront to Ghanaian voters.

Incredibly, he claimed that in his view, it was pointless for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to spend money campaigning to win elections in Ghana - when 11th hour vote-buying is what wins power for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at elections: and recommended that his party copy the alleged vote-buying strategy of the NDC, if it wants to win power again. Amazing.

Many discerning Ghanaians would say that it says a great deal about the nature of our nation's politics that a leading politician who once served as Ghana's Attorney General - in President Kufuor's administration - could make such an anti-democratic statement.

What possessed Mr. Ayikoi Otoo to say that his party, the NPP, should abandon issue-based campaigning at election time - and opt instead for vote-buying to enable it win power?

The desire to win power at all costs - that dead-end political strategy that seems to guide the actions of most of the members of that small band of hard-of-hearing and criticism-averse NPP hardliners, who surround the affable and gentlemanly Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo - leads to just such unfortunate statements.

What a sorry pass Ghanaian politics has come to, that a leading politician and member of a political party that claims to champion the rule of law, can make such an egregious anti-democratic statement in a live radio interview broadcast nationwide.

The cynicism and obsession with being in power that has become the driving force and focus of our nation's political class, is turning politics in Ghana into a zero-sum-game underpinned by that Machiavellian ethos: the-end-justifies-the-means-politricks.

Politics in Ghana should be a conversation about the nature of the kind of society we ought to have - and a competition of ideas in which the best ideas come to the fore: and propel the nation forward.

Instead of being so negative and anti-democratic in their thinking, leading politicians like Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, ought to be more positive in their outlook - and tell ordinary Ghanaians, precisely how, when they win power, they will create the opportunities that will enable members of each strata of society to realise their full potential as individuals - and enable them contribute positively to the nation-building effort. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi