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Ghanaian politics: Good soil for good men, women

Ghanaian politics: Good soil for good men, women

My first day on the Ashesi University campus at Brekuso in the Eastern Region of Ghana left me awed. Aside from the prim environment, I totally fell in love with the progressive culture I encountered that looked alien to the typical Ghanaian that I am.


One can imagine my shock when I discovered that their continuing students wrote examinations without proctors. I kept wondering how education could transform people so much… in the same country where integrity was a commodity that was almost going extinct.

My experience that day left me convinced that there were still good men (and women) in this nation. Even though we may have encountered the wrong ones, there still existed people who were content with what they had, no matter how little. No matter how much we doubt, there would still be others who will never stain their garment of integrity, regardless.

There is a mystery, however. Why can’t these good men and women climb to the top of our political ladder? If people of such ilk can brighten the corner where they find themselves, why has it been almost impossible for one of them to be at the helm of affairs of our beloved country? Why is it so hard for our political soil to nurture the ambitions of people who genuinely have Ghana at heart?

Truth is, we have successfully built a political system that disfavours people who have good intentions. The way to the top is so expensive that a good man or woman may broker a deal with the devil before they even know it. Our kind of politics is a venture where one will definitely need financial support from others. Investors who may appear to genuinely support one’s ambitions will soon make known their ambitions. And… this is where the cat-and-mouse game begins.

If we desire development as a people, we must constantly ask ourselves if our kind of politics is one that well-meaning people may want to get involved in someday. If the answer is “No”, we must consciously reverse this narrative because our nation’s progress will be stalled until we have a new crop of leadership.

Many good people have dared to join politics. Eventually, however, the system either spewed them out or cut their lives short somewhat. It is like putting a fish on land and expecting it to survive. It would… but for a few minutes.   

Indeed, there have been many politicians who used to have great dreams for this nation. Some had even wanted to replicate a local version of the American dream here. After they had gone through the mill of frustration, however, they had no choice but to join the bandwagon of everyday politicians ─ do what you can and steal what you can. The system changed them. They could not change it.

Today, many young people are grabbing nomination forms not because of what they can give but what they can get. They don’t mind spending their life savings because they are certain that they can reap their returns when they get close to power.

You see, the African political scene scares me not because of the current corrupt leaders we have. It is scary because of the more innovatively corrupt younger generation waiting to take over the baton. Pray for Africa!

Our political arena has gradually become the citadel of selfishness. Every election year, we elect our problems to solve our problems. Our woes keep getting worse with each passing day because our politics has become a ‘Keep Off’ zone for patriots who will die for this nation. 

Our political system keeps recycling the same calibre of leaders who promise us a heaven they do not have. Our problems never seem to depart from us because it is the same people in different party colours who keep showing up at our doors every election year.

This must have been the opportune time to have people of integrity strategically placed in critical positions. However, many of them have ended up drinking the soup of corruption while those who have not compromised keep on being frustrated so they can exit either by circumstances or by themselves.

The truth, it is difficult to find an honest person occupying a political position on this side of our world. Almost everybody is doing the bidding of their political party. Little wonder we keep going around in fruitless circles year after year because our politics is allergic to integrity.

Our kind of politics is like football. It is difficult to play with clean clothes. It has become more difficult to do right than do wrong. Ironically, when a good man or woman becomes a politician, they are going to be the minority. Each day, they will need to fight off the majority who want to find the least opportunity to store their treasures in their offshore accounts. 

Where are the good men and women who can turn the fortunes of this nation around? Where are the good people who will give today’s youth a glimmer of hope for this nation? Well, they have gone missing because many people in authority are beneficiaries of the rot; hence, they will fight anyone who dares to clean it. The poorer the masses get, the richer these beneficiaries get. 

Until people find an alternative source of wealth, politics will always be that changing room where anyone who enters poor will exit rich. Until we find good men and women who will shelve their selfishness and prioritise posterity, water will soon be one of the main commodities we will import because every successive government only pretends to be fighting this menace called galamsey. 

It will take one good man or woman to change the narrative about our politics. There are still humane people out there who are not hungry for power because they are hungry for material things. That person could be you. You don’t need to be the president to prove the goodness in your heart. Show it off in your office or home. Wherever you find yourself, be who you want your leaders to be. At least, that could be a good place to start from.

When it has all been said and done, may our political system favour good men and women who will be kind to our nation.

Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (, an Accra-based writing firm. Order copies of his animation book, Animuonyam The Bully Stopper, via 0243752793.



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