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Elections 2016: Do I Care?

File photo
File photo

The election season is here once again. Emergency projects are being commissioned. Emergency good is being done. Wonders are happening. Nothing seems impossible in an election year.There is a diarrhoea of promises and constipation of fuel hikes.

Thank God for elections. Thank Him for promises.One man ‘this’. One man ‘that’. If the Ghanaian politician even could, he would promise, “one man, one country” with vivid evidence. Elections 2016. Do you really care?

Last week, my vicinity’s road was tarred the ‘make-up’ way. Well… it was expected. It happens every four years prior to every election. We are just waiting for the rains to wash off the ‘thick make-up’ that has been made up for our sake. If our leaders really know what is good for us as a people, why wait till now to do them?

Our political leaders are supposed to be figures we vote into office to solve our problems. In this part of our world, fortunately or unfortunately, they worsen them instead. And… fortunately because most of us don’t even care! They chase us every for years to do our civic responsibility and we chase them for the next four years to do their responsibility. A cycle of chase!

Do we really care who leads us? Some of us vote based on petty reasons while the rest watch on nonchalantly. Well… you are absolutely right to say politics won’t put food on your table, thus, the apathy. However, remember that the quality and quantity of food that may get to your table may greatly be affected by politics. The earlier you were concerned about those hands into which power was getting, the better it would be for us all.

If you don’t get involved to make the right choice, others will volunteer to make the wrong choice. They will make their choice based on what they can get after the election and not what the leaders may leave behind for the next generation. They may vote based on what their party has in stock for them today… not what the nation has in stock for them tomorrow.  Wrong thrives when right doesn’t care much. Do you care?

Leadership failure is a major cause of how stagnant we have been as a people. However, followership failure is even more threatening and keeps tearing our nation apart. We can’t hold our leaders accountable.

Politically blind, we have become their yes men, nodding to every policy of theirs; right or wrong. To us, everything said or done by an incumbent government or opposition is either right or wrong depending on who’s saying or doing it. Right and wrong are relative; politically relative! And… that’s why we are still where we are. That’s why my grandparents compared us to Malaysia and Singapore. My parents did same. I am doing same. My children will do, too, and their children will keep comparing us to them. We are just allergic to change and development!

We can’t be doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. We can’t be voting for the wrong reasons and expect to elect into office the right leaders. It’s about time we voted for creative solutions to the challenges that have bedeviled us. It is about time we chose our leaders based on their track records and how they could replicate such to make us a better people. Petty voting elects petty leaders!

In this age, we still vote for our leaders based on who’s tall and who’s not? Like really? In these times when other nations are galloping in development, here we are still voting based on tribes and other petty grounds. And… these petty reasons are the reasons our nation is utterly out of season! Do you really care about your future and that of our next generation? Then… vote for foresight… not height. Don’t vote for pettiness!

Take time to analyze the prospects of each leader. Be a mature voter. Vote with the next generation in mind. You owe them that duty. They can’t fight the same battles we are fighting today. They should live in their contemporary times. They should live in their era fighting challenges of their season and not ours. Under no circumstance should they fight ‘carry-forward’ battles because we never got to overcome them. And… it all begins with good leadership! It all begins with who stays at the top.

Until we vote for the right reasons, our lives will always be a matter of urgency because it is lived under emergency. Emergency roads. Emergency schools. Emergency hospitals. Emergency politicians!

Until we care about whomwe are entrusting the helm of affairs to,we will keep complaining because things are not going to change. Our nation can be better than what it is today. Between what we are today and what we could have been today is… change. Are our leaders going to change? Are we going to change our mindset as a people? Are we going to change the way we do what we do? Well… there’s no more a future for us. Today is our future!

This is just not another election. It is about you. It is about me. It is about the next generation. Do I care? Yes. I very much do. Do you care? Well…

By Kobina Ansah

The writer is a playwright and the Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, a writing company in Accra (www.scribecommltd.com).

 

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