The call for decent campaigns by Nana Akufo-Addo, standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to his newly elected Convention People’s Party (CPP) counterpart is timely and auspicious.
The call, for us, goes to all the players on the political turf whose assigns, infamously called serial callers and foot soldiers, have turned polemics into an industry in the fashion of land guards.
The call, coming at the heels of the gradually warming up campaign season, should serve as a wakeup call to all political players who must as a matter of urgency consider the interest of the country as non-negotiable.
The call echoes others by well-meaning and placed Ghanaians who have often expressed concern at the level of polarisation of the country to the detriment of development and progress.
The do-and-die attitude to politics has been identified as one of the factors responsible for the sorry state of affairs in local politics.
Politics has come to span unsubstantiated personal invectives to the ransacking of the public purse: it is an occupation under threat of losing its deference and values – if it has not done so already. Little wonder there are some who for fear of being infected by this contagion do not want to be associated with local politics and would rather live in tranquil retirement than open themselves to insults by juveniles with sharp teeth.
The experience of such persons needed to champion the quest for development in the country is lost, leaving the turf for persons for whom anything goes provided these can enhance their fortunes. When the end justifies the means, as it is the order now, societal values vanish into thin air.
This is not the way to go; and the earlier we pulled the brakes on this social aberration, the better it would be for local politics. It is so bad that what should ordinarily be an honourable occupation – politics – has been thrown to the riff-raff of the earth and therefore despised. No wonder people would comfortably say “I do not do politics,” presupposing that politics is filthy, full of unacceptable conducts and therefore not for the morally chaste.
For how long shall we allow the status quo, given the fact that not altering the order, a time will come when even the few who are ready to serve their country through politics – regardless of the invectives and mendacious allegations – will stay away? We dread how things would be then even as we pray matters do not degenerate to that level.
Politics has become a means of amassing ill-gotten wealth and so whatever it takes to find space on the turf is fair game, even if that entails throwing scum at the integrity of opponents.
We expect that Ivor Greenstreet, Dr Edward Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo will show the way for others to follow. Our youth need role models on the political turf also but would be scared when social media polemics by the assigns of the political leadership hold sway.