Economic woes real source of our democracy’s decay


The suffering is indeed real, and experience has shown that propaganda and empty rhetoric do not permeate real economic experiences. Perhaps this explains the sudden groundswell of discontent and epiphanies about the leadership, or lack of it, under this clueless bunch of persons.

The issues unfolding have been in the public domain for a while, championed by a few principled persons – but were conveniently ignored by some accountability agents and other institutional governance leaders for reasons yet to be fully unravelled.

The damage to our nation goes beyond the serious issue of deteriorating living standards now and into the future. President Akufo-Addo and his cohorts have put our democracy and institutional cohesiveness at risk. They have created a reasoned basis for the youthful population to have serious disregard for bureaucratic apparatus, the institutions of state and the previously revered occupiers of higher religious, traditional and social positions.

Everyone who previously served as a voice of conscience is viewed with suspicion, and sometimes utter disrespect. Institutions that seemed sacrosanct have been exposed as unnecessarily biased and unwilling to adapt to the changing demographics and priorities.

I am worried about this trend wherin independent persons and institutions have eroded almost all their credibility through acting as unapologetic agents of President Akufo-Addo and his Vice, Dr. Bawumia. Such persons – of their own volition or perhaps through subtle and/or overt pressures – chose to stand against the course of righteousness, against the collective interests of the state and its people. The utterances of some elder persons cause more anger because they disregard popular sentiments, and seem to engrain the view that by virtue of their past endeavours, associations or touted credentials, they either have more at stake or are more entitled to the spoils of governance than ordinary Ghanaian youths.

A new government will need to dedicate time to rebuild the apparatus of democracy bit by bit and block by block. Hopefully, state actors, journalists, pastors, chiefs, CSOs, multilateral agencies and heads of independent constitutional bodies, who have become the subject of ridicule and mistrust, will have learnt their lessons. The onslaught of criticism they face is their own doing, or perhaps the herd-effect from the bad actions of their colleagues.

The epicaricacy expressed by a section of society about their tattered image is because they chose to stand against the people when they should have stood with them. They refused to diligently apply themselves to their oath of office – with disastrous consequences for themselves, their office and our cherished democracy. No leader is worth risking our democracy for, because it affects you and your future children as well.

The youths’ active interest in redefining how they should be governed and to reset national priorities is in line with the times, and should not be considered as an existential threat to some of our senior citizens who have been vociferous against this trend with ridiculous reasoning. The only thing constant is change, and these persons must not align to extremes in the hope of stopping the groundswell of counter-conduct by the youth. It’s their time. Simplicita!

The positive defiance of the youth, and their unwillingness to remain pawns in the political machinations of some out-of-touch persons, has quite clearly unsettled some people who benefit from this awkward system. The youths’ unwillingness to accept the status quo of a privileged few claiming superiority because of the ill-acquired wealth of their forefathers or themselves, the unquestioned claim to seniority by virtue of their self-appointed positions, or through some weird twisting of religious writings (that we can all read by the way) to justify obvious wrongs is now on shaky ground.

But here is the thing; they make up the majority of our populace, and especially so for our dear women. It would therefore be unthinkable that they won’t be loud with their clear intention of redefining our politics and governance system.

To help their very noble cause, young persons appointed into governance in any new administration must see themselves as part of a large campaign against the rot in our body-politic. They must maintain discipline, excel in their jobs; display thoughtfulness, balance and emotional maturity; create opportunities for the young generations and carry this very important demographic along in their nationalistic endeavours.

For the youth, the era of disregard for our own in governance must end. The idea that competence and experience must be demonstrated by the number of grandchildren or grey hair a person has must be contested. The same applies to rhetoric as against results.

Very often, we have been quick to join the mischievous chorus against our own to the delight of dangerous schemers who are only seeking to destabilise the winds of change. Let us be wary. Let us support our own, and let us be the first to hold them accountable if they falter. But only if they falter – not before and not for any other reasons. We understand ourselves better.

To those who have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the privilege and spoils of our governance system, the rise of the youth is not your demise. We can rise together, we can build together, we can all benefit from the spoils of democratic governance. We need you to work at restoring your credibility and choosing Ghana over an individual, especially if the choices and utterances of the individual are subversive to our long-term national cause. Shalom.

>>>The writer is the Deputy Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament and Member of Parliament (MP) Bolgatanga Central Constituency

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