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Politicization of the Economy Affects Everyone, a Bad Economy Wears No Party’s Color - Part 1

Post Graduate from University of Ghana-West Africa. I am a Public Health Advocate with interests in Tolerance, Quality Health, and Peace.

A Happy Worker Is Healthier, Peaceful and Hard Working Person!

Introduction

The “politicization” of the economy has always been one of the strategies that most politicians, in not only Ghana but, globally use to score political points (Ares, 2021; Franchino & & Mariotto, 2020). Though politics is not bad, the over politicization of issues of national importance, especially the economy indirectly contributes economic crisis. It can also results into political honor crimes (Björktomta, 2019) or even honor murder (Niriwa c, 2021; Gibbs, 2019) since the legacies of others could be wrongly given to others, which could triggers anger in their supporters. Journalists and researchers who try to expose these to help people and politicians learn from them to resort to decent politics could also be attacked (Grunter, 2019; Provencal, 2019).

Politicization of national economy is a situation whereby most political parties try to exaggerate their achievements in the economy whilst in most cases pretend that their opponent(s) has/have done nothing (Classfmonline.com., 2020; FCG a, 2020; Ghanafact.com., 2020).

A Brief Picturesque View of Politics

Every aspects of humans’ lives are directly or indirectly influenced by politics! Every political party always wants the best for the citizens; which is the “public interest” (Williams & Ferreira, 2021) or common good (Falkenbach et al., 2020; GON, ND). This is what helps them win election(s)! There is no political party that wins power with the intention to inflict hardship on citizens. Though some of these hardships or economic crisis are external factors that rulers cannot control (Adu, 2022; Kirby, 2022); some of them are also a result of bad governance, mismanagement or incompetence (Dzidzoamenu, 2022; GN, 2022; 3News, 2018).

What normally introduces bias or political discrimination is the inbuilt “Divide and rule” (Yahaya, 2020; Karlsen, 2019) strategy, popularly known as “Winner-takes-all politics” (Ijon, 2018), found in most political parties. The next one is the outmoded inherent conspiracies that are mostly used by most politicians against their opponents (Imhoff, 2022; Mancosu & Vassallo, 2022). Through observation and available literatures, these realities are found in Ghana’s politics even in the midst of “COVID-19 pandemic” (RENDA & CASTRO, 2020).

The truth is that, like in “religion” (Ioffe, 2016): no political party is also inherently violence. The violence nature of a political party are mostly determined by the leaders, especially the Presidential candidate as revealed by Nana Akufo-Addo in 2012 (Kennedy, 2012). The New Patriotic Party (NPP) under Former President Kufour was a very peaceful party admired by many.

If people are disappointed and lost trust in New Patriotic Party (NPP) now as revealed by one of their Chairpersons (Broadcastghana., 2022), it is not just because of the economy. The behavior of some members also form part of the reasons; most Ghanaians are absolutely not happy with what is currently going on, but they are afraid of being tagged with parties’ colors if they talk. They also fear to be victimized should they say the truth, since some people have gone through horrible experiences for trying to expose the rots in societies (Niriwa a, 2021; Niriwa b, 2021).


Four National Issues Overly Politicized by Ghana’s Political Parties

Four main national issues that have always been politicized by politicians in Ghana are the energy crisis, corruption, other state’s owned institutions (like National Securities, Electoral Commission, or Judiciary) and the economy in particular (Fig. 1.). The first are reviewed under this sub-heading, whilst the economic politicization is under it a different sub-heading immediately after these.

Energy Crisis: Both major political parties are guilty of politicizing Ghana’s energy problem that should have been tackled devoid of politicization (Niriwa, 2021). But, no political party has politicize her energy sector crisis than the New Patriotic Party (NPP). If Former President Mahma’s name was falsely replaced by “Dumsor”, it was due to their over politicization of the problem (Adehe, 2021). Erratic electrical power supply “Dumsor” has been an old canker of Ghana for many years (Rupp, 2013). All leaders have experienced this “Dumsor” which Former President Mahama has successfully ended, resulting in excess electrical power supply (Larnyoh, 2020; Sarkodie, 2019). He is rather still falsely tagged as the one who introduced it in Ghana and did nothing about it (GNU, 2022; Adehe, 2021; AdomOnLine., 2020; Ghanaweb.com., 2018).

In the lead up to 2016 elections, the then major opposition party (NPP) falsely created weak point and used it against Former President Mahama, that he introduced “Dumsor” but cannot solve it (Arthur, 2016). After the 2016 general elections they rather accused him for making Ghana pay for excess energy production monthly (Sarkodie, 2019). But in the 2020 electioneering campaigns, one of the message that most NPP members used to strategically win votes was the constant false claim that a vote for Mahama is a vote for dumsor (GNU, 2022; Muhayu-Deen, 2020).

Though President Akufo-Addo is falsely praised as the one who allegedly ended Ghana’s erratic power supply, evidence are there to proof this as false and misleading. What has vindicated Former President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is that; a President who is making you pay for excess energy production (Larnyoh, 2020; Sarkodie, 2019) cannot be accused for failing to solve it. Despite these evidence, up to now, the Former President is still falsely accused for introducing dumsor for President Akufo-Addo to solve (GNU, 2022; Adehe, 2021). Interestingly, his critics and accusers have never explained or tell Ghanaians how President Akufo-Addo ended dumsor.

Excess energy has been severely politicized, but the amount Ghana spends on importing gas far exceeds what she spends on excess electrical power (Jinapor, 2018; Kumi, 2017; VRA., 2016). This over dependence on the West African Gas Pipeline for oil is reduced by the NDC’s government because we now have gas plant at Atuabo (Jinapor, 2018; Kasapa, 2018). But Former President Mahama in his explanation for excess energy made it clear he knows exactly why they did that (Emmanuel, 2022; MG, 2022). Aside the fact that the excess energy was added to prevent future erratic electrical power supply (Emmanuel, 2022; MG, 2022), it also reflects the NDC’s initial intention to export electrical power (Larnyoh, 2020; Jinapor, 2018; VRA., 2016).

Corruption and Presidents’ Competence: Though Ghana is always blessed with very competent leaders, corruption is one of the serious national canker that has been increasingly politicized. Both parties are guilty of this too! Corruption has always been one of the reasons why Ghana is in coup d’état (Adjei, 2014)! The same is applicable to most African nations (Johnson et al., 1983). Yet, it seems Ghanaians have not learnt any lesson from this as we keep on politicizing this canker.

Evidence of this could be seen from how some flag bearers would talk with confidence: “I will protect the public purse” (Opoku, 2016). Immediately after swearing in, he reassured (Kwawukume, 2017); but baths in expensive private jet, ignoring other options that could have protected the purse with moderate or considerate luxury (MyNewsGH., 2022). The funniest thing is that whilst he wastes national resources and should have apologized, he would still politicizes: “We’re good protectors of the public purse” (Starrfm.com.gh., 2021).

This behavior alone exposes political mentality corruption! Former President Mahama was severely criticized for foreign travels (Ibrahim, 2015; Annan, 2014) but none was even about one eighth (1/8) expensive like this. President Akufo-Addo travels and baths in expensive private jet at the expense of the tax payers’ money, but receives little criticism. Bias criticism of issues that affect a nation is a dirty mentality corruption that promotes corruption. Even when Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa revealed a huge amount of “£345,000 i.e. GH¢2,828,432.80” in just one of his numerous expensive and inconsiderate luxurious trips (GhanaWeb., 2021; GhanaWeb a. , 2021), there was still little criticism.

During the 2016 electioneering campaigns, corruption was one of the major reasons why Nana Akufo-Addo surprisingly won as president (NA, 2017). But, quoting His Excellency Former President John Agyekum Kufour: “Corruption is as old as Adam and Eve” (NA, 2017). What is even worrying as far as corruption is concerned, is the mentality with which politicians and some Ghanaians try to fight this canker.

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Example of this mentality can be seen from how the energy sector crisis of Ghana has been biasedly and overly politicized. Those who have solved the problem are rather tagged as the cause of the problem and have been seriously politicized against (Ghanaweb.com(a)., 2019). Even the erratic power supply in 2021 was a clear evidenced that the Former First Gentleman and the NDC solved the problem. Government was already warned that failure to take over AMERI Power Plant, would leads to erratic electrical power supply “dumsor” (Adogla-Bessa, 2021). When they failed to successfully take over as warned, Ghanaians were experiencing “dumsor”.

The interaction between Otumfuo, the Former Energy’s Minister and his delegations (Foster, 2021) at the king’s palace (Manhyia) revealed the importance of the gas plant at Atuabo. But, the bitter truth is that though President Akufo-Addo has been falsely praised as the one who solved dumsor, no one is heard praising or congratulating the Former President for the excellent job. Yet, those who claimed to have solved the energy crisis (Yordoso, 2020), failed to successfully take over the AMERI power plant. They were already notified of “Dumsor” but when it started they were still blaming the previous government (Ayamga a, 2021) and were looking for a different name for it (Annang a, 2021; Peace, 2021). This mentality indirectly promotes corruption!

Both current leaders whilst in opposition have accused Former President Mahama as Corrupt (Ayamga, 2020). But, just like in the case of the economy (Ghanaweb.com, 2022), the corruption scandals recorded under this government are more than ten (10) times those under NDC (Nangegbe, 2018). In less than two (2) years of ruling Ghana, President Akufo-Addo’s administration is hit with sixty (60) corruption scandals (Nangegbe, 2018). Though the NDC was severely criticized and over politicized for corruption, their corruption scandals on record were few (OperaNews., 2021; Stacey., 2016; Yen., 2016).

Even an institution that is paramount in the fight against corruption was exposed to be involved in corruption with their head seen in videos receive physical cash (Ghanaweb.com(c)., 2019). Comments like: “NPP could go into opposition because of corruption scandal under Akufo-Addo government” (Addo, 2020) are evidence. This reality is why when Prof. Adei claimed that NDC is more corrupt he was quickly confidently refuted as: “Prof. Adei wrongly claims corruption ‘was worse under Mahama’ per CPI data” (Batoma, 2022). This revelation means that, corruption itself which is a national and an international canker that needs to be tackled neutrally is also politicized.

The historical “Family and friends” government formed by the President are physical evidence to proof that this is more corrupt (Ola-Morris, 2020; Arhinful b., 2020; Ansah, 2019; Addo a, 2018). The moment NDC begins to complaint about this, the NPP quickly reminded Ghanaians that NDC also formed “Family and friends” government (GhanaWeb d. , 2019; Mornah, 2018). But, the lists that NPP provided vindicated Former President Mahama since only Bawa Mogtari is his only family member amongst those listed (Adomonline.com., 2019; Ansah, 2019). In the case of President Akufo-Addo, his family members alone are more than ten (10) (Entsie, 2019; Inno, 2019).

The politicization of corruption on itself is a serious dirty corruption mentality that must stop if a nation really wants to stop it. They severely criticized the previous government whilst in opposition for forming family and friends’ government. But from the lists they provided, it means that it was a falsely tagged “family and friends”. The interesting exposé mentality corruption is that; they rather defend strongly that: “There is no need denying a qualified person an appointment just because he/she is related to someone in government” (Arhinful b., 2020; Ola-Morris, 2020).

Other State Owned Institutions: Aside the energy sector and corruption, other national institutions like National Securities, Electoral Commission, and Judiciary are normally politicized. Though government did excellently to pass the “Vigilantism’s Bill”, 23rd July 2020 (Web, 2020; Graphic.com.gh., 2019); it turns out to be mere politics. To claim to be disbanding vigilante groups but turned around to secretly recruit them to join various state’s securities is like tying the hands of opponents at their backs (Zoure, 2019; Nettey, 2019). The President convincingly talked of disbanding them using his veto power if the two major parties failed to do so (BBC a. , 2019).

However when some vigilante “De Eye” group were exposed, training (Shaban, 2019; Owusu, 2019) he was silent. He behaved likewise when the journalist who exposed them was threatened with death (Editorial 01, 2019; Provencal, 2019; WEB, 2019). Interestingly too, he is never heard condemning the activities of vigilantes until the NDC decided to formerly form theirs (Smith P. , 2018). This is one of the reasons that make some people asked questions, like: “Prez Nana Addo gradually introducing “Boko haram experience” in Ghana …?” (Darko, 2019). This is an exposé of bad perception and mistrust in the president!

People have raised red flags that government was secretly planning to use vigilante groups instead of the Ghana police, for the 2020 elections (Okine, 2020). Vindictively, some an unarmed citizens were brutalized by some state’s securities in the 2020 general elections (Apinga, 2020; Editor., 2020). Yet, the President, who wants to build a cathedral for God, has been silent about it up to now; not even when some of the victims who lost their lives have been disrespected and insulted as criminals (Asaah, 2021; Nartey, 2021).

Another institution that is also mostly politicized in Ghana is the electoral commission (EC)! This politicization of the EC is what is gradually trying to turn the natural loving nature of Ghanaians into violent, as one of the “consequence” (Ghlagatin., 2022; Nathan, 2019; Boakye, 2018). But, this is normal with every human society. No one likes to be cheated! This is one of the reasons why, in recent years, there have been increased mistrust in the EC, especially in 2020. This mistrust issue is one of the “Consequences” too (Ghlagatin., 2022; Nathan, 2019; Boakye, 2018). Even within the same party as seen Ghana, there is mistrust in the EC (Ghlagatin., 2022).

However mistrust in the EC is currently a global problem that needs solution. Even in the more advance nations like the United States (US), this is mistrust in the EC (Erikson et al., 2020). The next negative effect of this is attacks on EC officials which is also known secrete, globally (BCJ, 2021; Adeniran, 2012); this is mostly as a result of mistrust. Before the 2020 General Elections in Ghana, mistrust in the EC was the main reason why it was projected that there might be violence (Kwarkye, 2020).

Both major political parties always have issues of mistrust with the EC, especially the Chairperson! The NDC in government were always supporting the EC (Campus360gh., 2017); whilst the NPP in opposition was always against them. Currently, the same thing is happening where the NPP is always supporting the EC. The NPP accused the first EC in the fourth (4th) republic for being in bed with government though that EC has success organized free, fair and transparent elections for that brought both parties into power. The current EC is accused of the same thing (BBC b. , 2020)!

Because of the known mistrust in the EC, especially the Chairperson in most cases, the current President who is human activist was expected to help build some trust in the EC. Unfortunately, it is not so! Since the issues with the appointment of the previous EC were not that damning and she did not behaved in a bias manner, he ought to have maintained her. This is particularly because, before the NPP wins the 2016 general elections, some famous NPP members like Hon. Kennedy Agyarpong have falsely accused her of having sex for the job (Graphic, 2017; Larnyo a, 2016; Acheampong D. , 2016). Though he later admitted making that “Out of context” (Graphic, 2017), he is heard and seen threatening to suck her if they win (Acheampong D. , 2016).

After they won too, he was amongst those who called for her removal (Kumsah, 2018). There was also “Ayawaso Posters” that were done by some NPP members claiming that she was contesting as a Member of Parliament in the ticket of NDC (Graphic.com, 2017). There were also rumors of a plot to remove her (aL-hAJJ, 2017). In the “impeachment’s petition”, there were twenty-seven (27) claims that were made against her (Frimpong, 2017; Myjoyonline.com, 2017) but procurement breach was finally used against her. Despite all these attacks and removal, she has never tagged the NPP as a problem for Ghana’s democracy. The EC by then did not generalize it, for the Hon. MP., they even said that, they would not: “Condemn Kennedy Agyapong” (Obour, 2016).

Before she is fired, she was also always constantly abused resulting in news headlines like: “EC Boss ‘Weeps’ For Haters” (Peacefmonline.com., 2017). Though she did not label any opposition member then or the part itself as a problem to Ghana’s democracy, this same MP and others still alleged that her “posture” favors NDC (Darko a, 2017; Acheampong D. , 2016). This has created the impressions that, sucking her was out of political witch-hunting. This is especially when she is accused of attempting to rig for the previous NDC government, as alleged by “Jew Guy”, “JB Amoateng”, and “Joey” at the comment section of an article (Peacefmonline.com., 2017).

Though the current EC Chair has also been verbally abused (Adofo, 2019), it cannot be compared to the previous EC Chairs’ abuses! But biasedly enough, some EC members have rather described the NDC as a challenge to the “Democracy” of Ghana (Joyonline., 2019; Lartey, 2019). Besides this, there is a clear bad posture of the current EC Chair as exposed in the way she was reacting towards members of the major opposition, especially their General Secretary (3news.com., 2019; Annang b, 2019; Effah, 2019). Her actions indirectly vindicated the NDC’s initial resistance tagging her as a known NPP and anti-NDC (Kpodo, 2018).

The judiciary of every nation is the heart of the nation because that is always the last resort for critical judgments! Unfortunately, it has become clear that there is also mistrust in the judiciary now. Before the current Chief Justice is appointed, the major opposition were already having serious issues of mistrust about him. It was not just because they suspected to be an NPP member, he is also alleged to have made some bias comments about NDC.

The confession of the Former President that: “When I Saw the Supreme Court Judges, I Lost Hope” (Reportghana.com., 2022) is an evident that there is mistrust in the judiciary. His explanation that, he: “Was shocked when he saw the current Chief Justice …” because the Chief Justice, Madam Georgina Theodora did not include herself, is another exposé of mistrust. What even makes his confession damning is the lamentation that: “When he saw the remaining six Supreme Court Justices who presided the hearings, his heart skipped a beat”. Saying that: “His heart skipped a beat” (Reportghana.com., 2022; Admin., 2021) alone described the extent of mistrust.

For details on the judiciary, please read: “Is There Any Issue of Mistrust or Culture of Silent in Ghana’s 2020 Elections Petition?” or “Impartial Judiciary Is a Mental and Physical Preparation for National/Global Peace, Learning from Ghana’s 2020 Elections’ Petition.”

How the Overly Politicized Economy Is Paying NPP Back – A Lesson to All Politicians

Anyone who says that the NPP government under His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has done nothing is probably lying. But after ruling Ghana over six (6) years now in the Fourth (4th) Republic, the evidence speak for themselves (Ghanaweb.com, 2022). Experiences under him clearly explained a saying that applies Newton’s Third Law of Motion that: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” (Nguyen, 2020; Arbab et al., 2016). Though this law is right, the reactions received under him are more than their accusations in opposition.

This law is not only applicable in politics, it is also applied in most aspects of humans life; like in the treatment of diseases such as “autoimmune diseases” (Nguyen, 2020) or “cancers” (Arbab, 2016) and in our daily interactions with environmental realities (Abtahi, 2022). This saying that applies Newton’s Third Law originated from an Akan proverb that says that: “If you throw a ball at the wall it bounces back at you” (GS., 2020). It is easy for everyone to practice this for a personal experience by throwing a ball at the wall!

The leadership of the NDC though they were having very excellent excuses to give, did not do so. There were still various regional, municipal and district administrations and numerous physical infrastructural activities that went on despite the little or no foreign support. Yet, the President tried to play politics with these infrastructures during commissioning of the Tema Motorway Interchange (Bureau, 2020; GGEA, 2020).

He created the picture that they are found only in the NDC’s green book (Acheampong K. , 2020; Arhinful a., 2020), but he was proven wrong. Take notice of the word: “Only”! That accusation was not necessary, especially when the funding for the project that he was commissioning was raised by the same previous government (FCG, 2020; Kwafo, 2020; Myjoyonline.com., 2016). That speech clearly shows how most politicians try to shield or cover up achievements of their opponents for political points. The citizens are the ones who normally suffer most for this! So, instead of a unifying speech, the president rather decided to divide the country and spoil the beauty of that beautiful ceremony with politics of deception.

Cost of Living Allowances Exposes Politicians

Whilst in opposition the NPP used increasing prices of goods and fuel to accuse their predecessors as incompetent (Ayamga, 2020) though they used to mostly adjust salaries with respect to these. The Workers Union of Ghana has threatened an industrial action due to high cost of living (Ghana, 2022). In 2014 the then NDC’s government responded positively to the citizens when they protested against “High Cost of Living” (BBC., 2014; Adomako, 2013). Unfortunately, the NPP in opposition tagged them as a government that does not cares about Ghanaians (Ayamga, 2020).

But having faced with the same issue, their salaries are taxed again in E-levy (Smith K. A., 2022; Fullah a, 2022) aside the normal income tax. They are also told to: “Park” their “Cars” if they “Can’t buy fuel” (Fullah, 2022). Read “Good Governance Promotes Peace, Health and Entrepreneurship: Cost of Living Allowances Exposes Politicians” for details.


Conclusion

It is a reality that when one throws a ball at the wall it bounces back at him! The above review is not intended to create any bad picture about any political, government or politician. It is intended to point out the reality about our current democracy which is turning into “democrazy”. The earlier we learn our lessons, the better for all. So, this is review is purposely for educational purpose to help politicians and the general public to rethink about how we can do decent politics.

Anyone who does dirty politics by falsely tarnishing the image of his/her opponent’s image, is indirectly promoting the false claim that: “Politics is a dirty game”. If politics is a dirty game, politicians are the ones that make it so. This negative perception that is creating bad Image about politicians, making politics unattractive and violent; can be changed by politicians to make politics attractive, more dignifying and peaceful.

Suggestions or Recommendations

Fig. 1. A Bad Economy Wears No Party’s Colors

If nations do not have any law(s) that guide(s) them on how to go about their politics, it will forever remain the top number causes of violence globally.

  • Even amongst family members politics can be dirty, there must be laws that prohibit our politicians from over politicization of issues of national importance after elections.
  • In elections years too our politicians must be prohibited from politics of lies and deceptions. If a politician wants to play politics with any issue, then whatever he/she says must be nothing but the truth.
  • The insecurity of any citizen is an insecurity of that nation. Irrespective of one’s political affiliation, all citizens must be each other’s keeper.

For details, wait for this article entitled: “ASSESSING EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC POLITICIZATION ON QUALITY HEALTH, PEACE AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP: COVID-19 AND GHANA’S ECONOMY EXPERIENCE” which would be ready soon.

Thank you for Reading!


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A Bad Economy Wears No Party’s Colors

A Bad Economy Wears No Party’s Colors

A Bad Economy Wears No Party’s Colors

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Benjamin Pulle Niriwa

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