Prior to the 2008 general elections, we witnessed the most aggressive political advertisement in the history of Ghana. We saw adverts which painted two pictures of Ghana – pictures showing ‘Ghana now’ and ‘supposed Ghana then.’ Those adverts draw a distinction between what Ghana looked like when the NPP took over the administration of this country and what Ghana looked like after they had ruled for eight years. Those adverts were everywhere. They virtually took over all the media houses. I quite remember during the last campaign rally, all the media (TV) houses but one gave coverage to the NPP.  It was only Metro TV that covered the final campaign rally of the NDC. Even the state broadcaster showed gross bias towards the NDC which was then in opposition.

The NPP, having been in government since 2000, had thought they had achieved so much so that there was no need to engage in any vigorous campaign activities. They expected their achievements to speak for them. But who said Ghanaians vote based on issues? The NPP woke up to the reality when the elections went into run-off. It was then too late for the NPP to make amends.

The NDC has fallen into the same pitfall of complacency. Their adverts are all over the media showcasing what they have achieved since taking power in 2008. Their propagandists are also on radio and TV doing the same bidding. It’s good to tell people what you’ve achieved but that can’t do any magic for votes otherwise the NPP most probably wouldn’t have lost the elections in 2008!

One would’ve thought political parties might by now have come to terms with the fact that Ghanaians don’t vote on issues. Voting in Ghana has over the years been based on ethnicity, affinity for political party and the personality involved. And complacency and abuse of power doesn’t win an election either.

There’s another form of the complacency having to do with state security apparatus. For a while now the BNI has been in the news for not pleasant reasons. Strangely enough, it’s not new. The same things happening now for which reason there has been so much public outcry, actually happened under the NPP government. I’m not, by this reference, attempting to justify any wrong doing. What is so worrying about the conduct of some of our state security services is the manner in which they blatantly disregard rule of law. Anyone who has been very observant may have noticed most of these state security services have been found to have engaged in much more recklessness during an election year. This is what we must be worried about as people! The impunity is simply just too bad!

These conducts do not only embarrass the government but it paints a very negative picture of it. As a result the most unfortunate thing is that in all of these it’s always the president who takes the larger portion of the blame. And it doesn’t really matter who the president is or the political party he belongs.

But for heaven’s sake; why arrest someone for taking pictures of party branded vehicles? Are those vehicles not going to be used in public for the purposes of campaigning? What’s the secret about the vehicles? Has the guy broken any law for that matter? I mean…I simply can’t understand this! All these things only feed into public perception that a party in government resort to all manner of tactics to hang on to power.

Whereas it’s a choice for a political party to be complacent, it’s however not good for our state security services to want to please a sitting government. Governments will certainly come and go but those institutions would remain forever. That’s why they must carve a good image for themselves. They must not allow government to subject them to manipulation.


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