Folks, it’s another great opportunity to be with you once again and touch on another pertinent issue which concerns everyone especially ordinary citizens in the country. Numerous troubles bedevil us as a country but unfortunately, those who are in pole position to help us get rid of these problems are doing little or nothing about it. I direct this article to leaders who have the mandate from Ghanaians to make sure that ordinary citizens are in the position to afford decent lives but have rolled up their V8 windows and thus are unable to see. It’s about time they rolled down the windows of their expensive V8 which most of the time are financed by the ordinary taxpayer
Whenever I commute distances either short or long by private commercial vehicles popularly known as “trotro”, I see desirous Ghanaians who are making efforts to make ends meet. These are energetic men and women in their prime ready to work for the state, but such opportunity has evaded them and therefore must find innovative ways of engaging in economic activities to survive. Is it not funny that citizens want to work, but the state is not ready to provide such an opportunity for them? This is a big concern that needs critical and urgent attention.
In Ghana, you will see a vast difference between the life of a politician and the life of an ordinary citizen. These politicians most often than not live luxurious lives beyond description. As to where money emanates from for politicians only God knows! Out of the blue, they become the wealthiest people in town. They do not feel the heat citizens feel going through each day just to make ends meet.
During every election year, citizens are bombarded with all sorts of juicy promises from politicians. Sometimes the way and manner they present themselves leaves one wondering whether they have the panacea to every problem in the country. However, whenever they are given the mandate, they don’t fail to disappoint. They suddenly forget everything they promised. To them, capturing political power is an avenue to enrich themselves and their family members and not to alleviate the plight of the vulnerable people.
I am not here to fabricate stories or is this article intended to attack anybody, but I intend to call a spade a spade. It is my responsibility to be a citizen and not a spectator. There are vast differences between the ‘men at the top’ (politicians) and ordinary citizens. They can afford 3 square meals and beyond while ordinary citizens suffer to make even one meal a day. They live in all the laborious houses that you can ever think of while their citizens sleep under bridges. They drive the most expensive cars in town while citizens can barely afford to commute by “trotro”. They are unable to see all these problems because every day, they roll up their V8 windows which set them apart from citizens.
Sometimes, I tend to ask what kind of country do we intend to build for the future generation? The ordinary citizens feel neglected in their own country. These people are building a class society such that if you are not part of their cabinet you will find it difficult to make it. The level of inequality in Ghana is very terrible and troubling.
Every day we hear complaints of how weak the economy is and how difficult it is for the ordinary Ghanaian to survive yet politicians are insensitive to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian largely because these people are not living the ‘normal kind of life and as such do not understand the complaints of the ordinary person in society. They suddenly become aware of the problems whenever there is an election and mostly when they are in opposition
A few weeks ago, the news went haywire that the government was to secure a loan that will enable every member of Parliament to obtain vehicles which usually turns out to be the usual V8. Isn’t this shocking! We can secure a loan to buy cars for politicians, but we cannot secure a loan to build hospitals, roads, and schools. You secure a loan to buy V8 for all 275 parliamentarians! Sometimes I do not understand the kind of country that we live in. It has always been a misplaced priority agenda by the government. While citizens are crying for better living conditions, the government is busily also securing a loan to buy V8 for parliamentarians.
Becoming a politician in Ghana is one of the quickest means to enrich yourself. We have seen many in this country who when they were not in the office and how they lived their lives and when they got power and how they live as well. Their lives change suddenly. They become the wealthiest people in town. Citizens do not know how they make their money overnight. Someone will work for about 2 decades and all the money the person can accrue can never be compared to what a politician will get in just 4 years.
It is difficult for someone who feels hungry to explain his situation to a person who does not know or has not gone through such a situation largely because the latter cannot the problems of the former. The living conditions in Ghana are tough and it gets tougher each day for the ordinary Ghanaian. These men and women are driving the most expensive cars in town and have rolled up their windows hence they do not see the plight of the suffering Ghanaian. Prices of goods and services are on the ascendancy every day while taxpayers pay for everything that ministers and other government officials use.
If politicians will be humble enough to roll down their V8 windows, they will appreciate the suffering of ordinary citizens and listen to them. Because they don’t feel what the ordinary Ghanaian feel, whenever you complain they are adamant about it. The kind of humility they portray when they need your votes and the level of arrogance they display when they come to power is disgusting. They suddenly become deaf and go blind. They think about their family members at the expense of the people who brought them to power.
The government has rolled up its V8 windows tightly to the extent, that it has got the impetus to facilitate the construction of a national cathedral at this critical time when the country is going through one of its toughest times during this COVID-19 era. We can mobilize 1 million Ghanaians who will contribute 100 Ghana cedis per month towards the building of a national cathedral. A cathedral that will cost the state over 100 million dollars. However, some communities in the country do not have access to good roads, modern hospitals, schools, and many other pertinent social amenities yet we want to waste money on a national cathedral. As for the president, I don’t know the type of V8 that he uses and how he has rolled up its windows.
Look at the rate of unemployment in the country! Many youth have graduated from the university and have now become a liability and a burden on their parents and the state. These young graduates are full of energy and are ready to work but the state has no prudent plans for them. Do you know how dangerous it is for a country to have most of its unemployed citizens being youth? It is a threat to national security. If they have rolled down their windows how will they will find a solution to fight this menace?
Citizens are gradually losing trust in these people and are beginning to find ways to survive under this economic turbulence. They promised to build factories in every part of the country, yet it has been 5 years since they assumed office and we cannot even see 50 of these factories. What they always tell us is the popular politician parlance “they are in the pipeline” or “the projects are at various stages of completion”. How laughable!
Politicians can afford to school their children outside Ghana while they say they have provided free Senior High School (Free SHS) for Ghanaians, meanwhile, they will not onboard their wards on such programs. They can seek medical attention in the United Kingdom, United States of America, and other parts of Europe while citizens go to hospitals in Ghana only to be confronted with the new disease “no bed syndrome”. How pathetic! They promised to build 88 hospitals but at the end of their first term, they had not even completed 10. They do not feel the heat and that is why they are acting in such an absurd manner. Whenever the president is sick, he will go to either Europe or America for treatment, same to the vice president and ministers of state. But what of the poor woman in that village who can barely afford to eat, where will she go? Your guess is as good as mine
Students go to school and sit under trees and to compound their woes they sit on floors to take notes. This has not become an urgent agenda by the government because government officials and most politicians do not have any of their children or relatives in such schools, so they become insensitive to the needs of these people. They will rather secure a loan to purchase V8 for parliamentarians or use over 100 million dollars to construct a cathedral for God.
Whenever citizens see politicians, they become angry because they believe that they are suffering, and these politicians are not finding any means to put the situation under control. If these people do not roll down their V8 windows to see and appreciate the plight of Ghanaians and find lasting solutions to them, the country may head to doom. Citizens may revolt against them, and the outcome may not be pleasant.
We want leaders who will be sensitive to the people of Ghana especially the vulnerable citizens and not leaders who think about their family members alone. Leaders who can listen and appreciate every dissenting view from citizens and put them into consideration and act. We want to build a country whereby if you are not part of the V8 families you can live a comfortable life. When they roll down their windows they will appreciate and understand and will be ready to help.
Ghana must work again, Ghana will work again, YOUNG POSITIVIST a concerned citizen of Ghana.
Author: Sampson Boamah (0548690091/[email protected] Twitter @ypositivist)