Reading of manifestos in Ghana during General Elections has unfortunately been a mere formality now. Both the politicians and the people place less or no value in it. The former believes it as a “must done” duty and the latter sees it as normality. We are glad however to say goodbye to this harmful circumstance because of our expectations towards the provisions of a 2016 Election Manifesto.
We firstly want to hear from this manifesto things that are realistic; things that can actually be done in a fair possible means and within a reasonable duration with regard to the said promise. For decades now, Ghanaians have suffered the blunt of false talks and unfulfilled promises from our leaders and we are still accepting and internalising more of them. It is our sincere plead that all political parties and flag bearers shun the zeal for political power and place value in the future of Ghana, what the nation acquire after such aspirant has left office as a president or Member of Parliament (MP). This means that the voice of the manifesto should void of selfish voice and realise that when they are accepted and be voted for, they have only limited years to undertake whatever hidden mission; nothing else thereafter. Therefore any good or bad record left behind tells what the nation stands for.
In support to instilling on global peace and unity, the manifesto has to distant the thought of war, misunderstanding, scandal, tribalism, division, favouritism and unnecessary attack from Ghanaians. They should rather preach on the menace of these, telling their listeners that they are ready to combat them whether or not they win the election and in any way possible. Even though Ghana is financially handicapped, Ghanaians and the world need peace than riches. This 2016 election has successfully attracted global attention. Not alone, political parties, stakeholders and even children have actually opened all their senses waiting to witness the start and finish of it due to the inconsistencies that happened in the previous election (in 2012). This in actual sense makes it likely the occurrence of more serious inconsistencies to happen if the least mistake is committed. This causes for the reason why the manifesto needs to talk peace and unity for the smooth running of Ghana and the rest of the worlds, not to seek for votes and power. The manifesto should give enough grounds to see each other as one people with one destiny and with one Ghana. The manifesto should seek to for example, continue projects of the previous government, not always stressing on new ones which are likely to be uncompleted. The reading of the manifesto should not therefore be the moment of lambasting and criticising the shortcomings of opponents. That shows unity and promotes peace.
All said and done, it is worthwhile the manifesto makes mention on revising and repositioning our relationship between the so-called international financial institutions, namely the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They’re nothing but obstacles to our progress. In fact, they are doing countries like Ghana more harm than good that we need not to kowtow to them anymore, or even if so, we need to be more discriminative to their so-called economic recommendations. This should not also leave the Western Countries untouched. They have no good mission for us than to keep us under perpetual subservience; been “slaves” to them always and responding to their commands whether or not it is beneficial to us as a country. To the benefit of the youth of today, and possibly tomorrow, it is about time policies about these relations are thoroughly revised and even reversed if possible. This is not to say Ghana should shun from cooperating or friending other countries, but I recommend strong association and cooperation with the “BRICS”, (that is Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), which are more lenient and friendly in international trade and relations. It may look strange for a manifesto to sound this way but we believe of a better future and a better Ghana afterwards.
Ghana still remains stagnant prior to our major bad attitudes played not only by our political leaders, as it is heard on the lips of many Ghanaians, but stakeholders down to the grassroots level –Bribery and Corruption, the next point to be touched by election 2016 manifesto. The whole of Africa and Ghana precisely has been very famous worldwide when it comes to the said canker. It is pathetic that every manifesto bluffs of sharply reducing its rate, if not completely eradicating them but the story changes as they resume power. Judges, MPs and even presidents become corrupt. This is a shame! Ghanaians want to hear a strong enthuse from the 2016 Election Manifesto regretting the sad effects of these ugly twins on the growth of Ghana and spelling out strategic procedures to conquer them at all cost, to enable us stop being enemies to our own progress. Another area of attention is the Ghana Police Service, very popular nationwide in collecting bribes even more than their achievements. Political aspirants in the nation during election 2016 must reflect on these acts, including embezzlement, injustice and shoddy works and write within their manifestos in bold fonts “THE FIGHT AGAINST BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION”. Otherwise we shall not only deteriorate as a nation but we shall be used as a laughing stock at the face of the universe.
In the voice of this manifesto should again be more productive towards the welfare of the people. The people are the most important entity to consider as a policy is drawn or a law, made. Poverty has successfully overtaken bigger percentage of Ghanaians due to many reasons. They include lack of employment, unnecessary expenditure by the government and unnecessary increment of taxes, which are actually not caused by the people but the government. This makes many poverty-driven societies and their inhabitants stranded and more or less useless. It dislikes, for example, to realise that as in the year 2000 only 1% of Ghanaian population were university graduates. Similar to year 2010, only 1.7% (Sakyi, 2015; pg. 28). We cannot therefore boast of 5% of Ghanaian population in university education currently (in 2016).We (the youth) therefore want to hear voices wanting to make better use of our natural resources, inaugurating and expanding industries to increase the level of industrialization, promote formal education and entirely reshaping the economy in a more benefiting manner.
Moreover, 2016 Election Manifesto should be more creative and have foresight towards the people’s need rather than been expensive, pompous and conservative. Stated differently, the manifesto should speak under the tone of creativity, bringing new ideas and policies into the system while protecting and nourishing the already existing ones. There are so many things Ghana lacks. For example, there are no effective check-ups on immigrants, particularly the Whites from the western countries. Unlike their system where immigrants, especially the Blacks are checked day in and day out for their permit documents and are deported as early as necessary, people from all over the world come to stay here without anything proving their permit to stay inside the country. Some are incredibly given positions at some working places merely because they speak English. This includes the pertinent issues that need to be stressed on rather than bragging to do what already exist.
Then again, any manifesto aspiring for Ghana’s development during the 2016 election should never be silent on technological advancement. Modern societies like Japan and Germany have successfully developed massively through the use of technology. On the contrary, Ghana, since the time of civilization, stays at the base of the technological ladder. Unquestionably, this has contributed significantly to our underdevelopment. Indeed, the youth of today and modern technology are said to be inextricably inseparable. We’re tied and dying of things of antiquity, time wasting and the use of our physical strength for exhaustive works. Bigger portion of our problem as a nation will be solved if our political leaders initiate policies to enhance technology usage in Ghana. Our generation would eventually be motivated into studying technology-oriented courses; Ghana will also drastically dwindle, if not to terminate, importing technological personnel into the country to undertake certain works.
The great support and practical assistance from the people is another word that ought to be said by the 2016 Election Manifesto to promote democracy. Politicians in Ghana should appreciate that building a better nation is never simple. Leaders of political parties should hence avoid the use of words such as “I and my party” or the direct use of party names. This indicates self-sufficiency towards ensuring vast development in all the sectors of the economy which is practically impossible. We need no autocratic manifesto in the name of transforming our system ‘in the shortest possible time’.
My humble advice to our political leaders is we have only one Ghana. We shall therefore become the beneficiaries of any condition Ghana finds herself. In view of this, they should consider the health and effectiveness of their 2016 Election Manifesto provisions for an enviable Ghana.
MARFO HUSSAIN YUSIF
UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION, WINNEBA
P. O. BOX 25, WINNEBA
CONTACT: 0267673964 / 0241060990
Email: [email protected]
[email protected] ASSOCIATE PARTNERS: ADVOCATES FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT –University of Education, Winneba