By Kennedy Nyarko Asiamah
“As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua boldly declared and asked the Israelites to decide for themselves whom to serve, either the Almighty God or the gods of the Amorites (Joshua 24:15).
One of the toughest challenges in life is making a decision, especially when it concerns a marriage partner or career. A lot of mental calculation goes through one’s mind before a decision is finally taken. But what one should not forget in life is that whatever decision one takes as a leader, there are repercussions.
The same applies to voting. Voting to choose a visionary and competent leader to govern a nation involves a serious mental exercise. Due to this, citizens’ right to vote in the early days in America was restricted to a small minority of the populace: only wealthy men and those with formal education who were deemed knowledgeable enough to make informed decisions were allowed to vote.
Women and blacks were considered low-class, and could not make rational choices when it came to choosing a leader.
Italian Political Sociologist Noberto Bobbio said, “Liberal democracy assumes that citizens once entrusted with the right to choose who governs them should be sufficiently well-informed to vote for the wise, most honest, most enlightened of their fellow citizens”.
Concerns of voters
One key area of concern is the understanding of some voters when it comes to voting. Voting is like sowing a seed that will grow to determine one’s future and generations yet to come.
A lot of Ghanaian voters think like Esau in the Bible. Esau exchanged his birthright for beans without, having a second thought. When he realized what he had done, it was too late to reverse it.
The same incidence often happens in every election period in Ghana. Some voters only consider their present state and accept anything politicians give them in exchange of their votes. For instance, during the 2012 general election, the candidate Akufo-Addo promised free accommodation for all head porters (kayayo’s and free SHS education, but majority of Ghanaians voted for the NDC in exchange for ordinary head pans.
Sadly, these porters pasted former President Mahama’s picture on their pans to demonstrate their support for him and the NDC party.
What Ghanaians need most in this election year are strong messages of hope that can bring all people together for growth and development, but not a message that will cause division among Ghanaians. In this era of information, it is only education that makes it possible for any child to transcend the barriers of race, class or background to develop and achieve their God-given potential.
Sonya Carson, mother of Dr Ben Carson, told her son after glancing through his report card, “Bennie, the only way you are ever going to escape poverty is education; “it is the only way you are ever going to get ahead in life and be successful.”
We have entered a new world where the most valuable skill you can sell is knowledge. A shift in technology and communication has created an entire economy of high-tech, high wage jobs that can be located anywhere there is an internet connection. Who thought that in some years to come students will be forced to write their exams online? Thanks to Covid-19! In every adversity, there is equal opportunity.
Okada and galamsey
One of the most regrettable messages from the NDC leadership is “Legalization of Okada”. The Bible says, “your own words would be used to condemn you” (Luke 19:22).
It looks like former President Mahama is not consistent with his own words, or as he rightly said, “Ghanaians have short memory”.
It is the NDC government which banned the “Okada” business in 2012, but now the same government is promising to legalize “Okada” when voted into power.
When was the last time Mr Mahama used “Okada’? How many of his family members are in the “Okada” business? Does he have an idea of the number of people who have lost their lives through “Okada”?
In an unlikely event Mr Mahama wins this election, and he legalizes “Okada” as promised, within four years, how many “Okada” riders can hold key positions in government? The “Okada” issue is very similar to galamsey.
The fact that galamsey brings income to feed some families does not mean it is good for the country. We are building a nation and every strong nation is built on good policies that will prepare the youth for future challenges, but not unproductive promises that will give votes.
What one is expecting from Mr Mahama is to encourage the youth and the “Okada” operators to take advantage of the free SHS education so that their sons and daughters can step in his shoes when he is old and not legalizing “Okada”. He should also think of a more decent and sustainable employment for the Okada riders.
Sonya Carson was offered the position of a secretary by her church, but sadly, she rejected the offer saying, “I hardly know how to spell my own name let alone be a secretary.”
Though, Madam Sonya did not get the opportunity to attend any formal school in her life, through her encouragement, and good direction to her son, Ben became a great asset to his country and the world at large.
If I had my own way, I will suggest that Ghanaians do not need any new campaign messages from both NDC and NPP in the December 7 election, but rather, rely on past achievements to decide who to vote for.
In an interview with the Africa Watch Magazine, former President Mahama claimed that the NPP government had failed Ghana in fixing multiple problems with unemployment, education and health.
This is the main reason I want Ghanaian voters to compare the track record of the two main parties to decide which party gets your vote.
Vice-President Dr Bawumia has asked the NDC to support its achievement, while the party was in office, with data, so that Ghanaians can make an informed decision on which party is telling them the truth.
The truth is that President Akufo-Addo has done a lot in the area of unemployment, education and health, compared to former President Mahama’s era.
According to the Chairman of the Health Committee in Parliament, Dr Twum Nuamah, NPP government has employed 3,000 doctors and 90,698 nurses. How many nurses and doctors did Mr Mahama’s government employ? Late President Mills promised Ghanaians one time premium in National Health Insurance but could not deliver. NPP rather inherited GH₵1.2 billion debts in National Health Insurance and has cleared it.
The NPP government imported 307 fully-equipped brand-new ambulances for the country as compared to the 200 empty ambulances imported by the NDC government.
My daughter completed College of Education in 2016, and was posted to the Ashanti Region. She taught for six months without receiving a dime.
It was the NPP government, led by President Akufo-Addo, that paid the arrears the NDC government refused to pay.
Mr Mahama accused President Akufo-Addo of not seeking broad stakeholders’ consultation on Free SHS education. Did he do same when he single handedly decided to give what Ghanaians entrusted into his care ( Nyinahin Bauxite) to the brother?
Mr Mahama himself has perfectly set the ball rolling, by saying “every election is a referendum on the incumbent government.” The people will decide whether to give another mandate to government or not, and this will be based on the tangible improvement brought in their lives.