Sunday, 2 November 2014

What Lessons Can Ghanaian Politicians Learn From Blaise Campaore's Fate?

What lessons, if any, can members of Ghana's political class learn,  from the fate that has just befallen Burkina Faso's former president,  Blaise Campaore?

The first lesson Ghanaian politicians must learn from the uprising that swept Blaise Campaore from power, is that they must stop taking the ordinary people of the Ghana of today, for granted.

In that sense, they are drinking in the Last Chance Saloon - in case it escapes them. Let them ponder the apathy displayed across the nation by so many who refused to check their names when the voters register was opened recently for that purpose.

All of those interviewed by journalists said they would not be voting in the 2016 elections -  as they did not see the point of voting when even changes of government after elections did not see an improvement in their personal circumstances.

It is a damning indictment of the two major political parties, the governing National Democratic Congress, and the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party. No democracy can survive in the face of such widespread apathy.

As it happens, instead of contributing positively to the public discourse whiles out of power, the New Patriotic Party's ruthless power-hungry hardliners (mercifully few in number - but influential in the party nonetheless), are busy sabotaging the nation-building effort - in the hope that their party will ride to power on the wave of popular disenchantment with the regime of President Mahama. But I digress.

Clearly, if Blaise Campaore had had the slightest inkling, that his ill-fated attempt to railroad a constituitional amendment through the Burkinabe Parliament, enabling him to stand for yet another term in office as president,  would eventually end in his enforced resignation, he would not have persisted with the idea - but would rather have chosen to simply serve out the rest of his final tenure: and leave office with his legacy (such as it is) intact.

Ghanaian politicians who serve as legislators in Parliament, would be wise to end their curious habit of sometimes passing controversial bills into laws, which are so glaringly inimical to the well-being of our country, and detrimental to the welfare of the ordinary people of Ghana.

 A classic example, is their illogical insistence on doing the bidding of multinational seed companies such as Monsanto, by attempting to pass the Plant Breeders' bill into a law, which will  permit the sale and planting of GMO seeds, in Ghana.

No matter how cleverly it is dressed up to hide the fact, it will, in effect, hand over control of Ghana's agricultural sector to foreign seed multinationals, if passed into law with clause 23 of the bill intact - and impoverish and enslave Ghana's smallholder farmers permanently.

If they pass such a bill into law, it will serve the interests of foreign companies, at Mother Ghana's expense - by ultimately rendering the Ghanaian nation-state powerless to control the activities of such companies inside what is supposed to be our sovereign territory. How can that be?

Why do they not simply tell those who attempt to buy them off to pass such one-sided laws that are so clearly not in the national interest - particularly the foreign oil companies that rip-off Mother Ghana under the world's worst oil agreements sanctioned by Parliament - that they will not survive politically, if they passed any inimical law, in today's Ghana?

Being obdurate in the face of widespread public disapproval of the attempt to railroad such a  daft and shortsighted bill through Parliament - in the case of the Plant Breeders Bill - could end in Ghana's present corrupt system being suddenly swept away,  in a popular uprising, similar to that which finally forced Blaise Campaore to resign as Burkina Faso's president,  and flee into exile in the Ivory Coast.

As a patriot and nationalist, one's prayer, is that Ghana's current crop of politicians will learn one vital lesson from Blaise Campaore's costly miscalculation - and its terrible consequences for him: They toy with the welfare of the ordinary people of Ghana, and the well-being of our homeland Ghana, at their own collective peril. A word to the wise...

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