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Are politicians worth our votes?

By: Ruth Tang

In Ghana, like many other democratic countries around the globe, the power to become a leader is dependent on the voting power of the citizens. That is to say, politicians or political leaders are voted into power by the people who see them as the right choices. Every election period, politicians make promises revolving around individual and nationwide development and progress which significantly influence the people’s decisions in voting for them, hoping to realize their dreams and economic prosperity. When these politicians come into power, the hopes of the people get truncated, in the sense that they leave their promises unfulfilled.

During election campaigns, their messages and policies appear as though “hell will be made into a heaven form”, they sound and seem too good that people begin to believe that their current state of struggles and economic difficulties will be turned into something better. For the past years till today, Ghana has been suffering issues of educational and health disparities, economic downturns, corruption of which the country was ranked 70th out of 180 countries assessed in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) and bribery, high rates of unemployment rising to 3.60% in 2023 from 3.50% in 2022, infrastructural underdevelopment, high cost of living and low standards of living, these and many others that make Ghanaian feel like the country is a living hell. People complain and grabble with challenges everywhere every day yet the politicians cannot fulfill their so many promises. And today, many have lost faith, hope and trust in them, and do not see the need to vote any longer.

“Whether you vote or you don’t the situation remains the same. NPP and NDC are all the same and I’m tired of them all. They keep promising things they can’t do and as for me I didn’t vote during the last general election and I won’t vote for anyone in the coming one” [anonymous]

The politician has become so selfish that the needs and interests of the ordinary citizens do not matter to him. They are so soaked with corruption and are enjoying more than they are supposed to. It appears as though they do not feel the pain that the ordinary Ghanaian goes through, that is where even the President, Akuffo Addo could say the the people of Mepe that he would not have been in their midst of it was a matter of votes, “Because, if it is a question of counting who votes for me and who doesn’t vote for me, then I shouldn’t be here, because you don’t vote for me”. As a concerned leader, whether a category of people vote for you or not, must you utter such comments? at a time when they were in a very difficult situation.

Also, to say to the good people of Ekumfi that developmental projects in their area have been neglected because they voted against Francis Ato Cudjo as their Member of Parliament in the 2020 general elections, “Ato Cudjoe was your MP and I made him a Deputy Minister and you voted him out in the last elections and because of that, I did not pay attention to development in your area, I have to be honest with you but since you have brought it up I will pay attention to it”. He said.
This statement indicates how unconcerned some leader can be about their people.
It is obvious that they do not feel the pain of the ordinary citizens because they are enjoying the most luxurious life, from their security to the series of expensive convoys, to the salaries and other incentives including what they call “the belt hook allowance” the education their wards receive outside the country, all these at the expense of the charcoal sellers taxes.

The politicians have woefully failed Ghanaians and this has left many with no choice but to not vote any longer. They feel perhaps the issues will remain the same even if they vote and despite the numerous policies and promises.

Ghanaians have gone through a series of disappointments and are still going through lots of difficulties. There are a good number of unemployed graduates on the streets engaging in all sorts of activities including prostitution, illegal drug dealings and robbery just to feed from hand to mouth. Prices of goods and services including health and school fees but the salaries of guardians never increase. Ghanaians pay taxes including luxury taxes for common products like sanitary pads. How can a common sanitary product be classified under luxury taxes? And the thievery taxes such as E-Levy, and COVID-19 taxes, that are paid directly and indirectly have not manifested it use. Ghanaians feel cheated, to pay taxes and see no use in them.

The politicians are not worth our votes, but is it right to decide to not vote any more?
It is high time the politicians stop throwing dust into people’s eyes to win power for their selfish interests. It is every individual who has a responsibility to vote during elections and as a matter of fact, this responsibility cannot be ignored. It is undoubtedly agreeable to the fact that by all means, there are still competent and unfailing politicians. It is also important to note that as much as they are not proving good to the people, they are doing well. Despite the shortcomings of many politicians such as unfulfilled promises, incompetence, and corruption, it is undeniable that some still contribute positively.

Acknowledging their flaws does not negate occasional good deeds or the potential for improvement within the system. Refusing to vote is not a protest against injustice so, as the clamour of election season approaches, remember your duty, not just to yourself, but to generations in future. Educate yourself, engage with the issues that matter, and above all, exercise your right to vote. For in that sacred moment, you are not just casting a ballot but shaping the destiny of nations, reaffirming the power and importance of each individual’s vote.

To the politicians, it is not too late to revive the dying hope among the people of Ghana. It is time to recognize the significance of doing what is right for everyone. Corruption, incompetence, selfishness, and deceit must cease while serving with integrity and prioritizing the welfare of all.

Source: Adoanews.com

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