Vote buying has once again raised its ugly head in Ghanaian politics some 6 months to the elections. The New Patriotic Party has been caught up in the web with videos, pictures, and audio all pointing to the fact that vote-buying played a role in the victories of many of the elected parliamentary candidates for the 2020 elections.
Corruption Watch has released its damming findings which showed that the deputy MASLOC CEO in the person of Hajia Abibata Shani Mahama Zakaria used MASLOC money to allegedly induce delegates in the wake of preparations for the NPP primaries for the Yendi Constituency.
She found nothing wrong with her actions. Her determination to win the primaries compelled her to use state resources at her disposal for her personal gain which is not only unethical but a conflict of interest and corruption.
Money, machinery, bags of fertilizers were used to obscured objective decisions of the delegates who themselves were corrupt.
This political corruption, abuse of office for personal gains, electoral impropriety are all issues that the 1992 constitution frowns on.
To blame the giver and allow the receiver to go unabashed is unfair. The delegates who made choices and decided who to represent the NPP as a parliamentary candidate made their choices based on what they got in return from each candidate and not whether the elected parliamentary candidate is the best for the constituencies.
This is a sad development and a clear indication that our politics has been monetized instead of being based on policies, programs, and vision for our contingencies and the nation.
The just ended NPP primaries where the higher bidder wins the election and nearly all contesting candidates gave the delegates some form of compensation to lure them to vote for them.
This practice should be of worry to every true Ghanaian who wants the best politicians with Ghana at heart to represent them in parliament. Figures released by Corruption watch show that at least each candidate who won spent between GHS500,000 and GHS1.5 million to secure the sole ticket for the presidential elections in December 2020. Where did they get all these resources from?
The National Democratic Congress, can not pretend to be saints when it comes to the monetization and vote-buying because similar things happened during their primaries.
The party in power, the NPP had some of its candidates elected using state money, policies, and programs under their leadership to influence their constituency delegates to vote for them. This is wrong given that individuals can dare to use state resources for individual gains.
This high level of conflict of interest was practiced with impunity. One can imagine what will happen when Ghana goes into election 2020 proper.
If our would-be parliamentarians will go out gun blazing to buy votes and induce delegates then, there must be some sweet honey under the table if you become a member of parliament.
The opportunities that such a position gives them, the potential returns if elected the MP are great enough to compel them to through all they have into the primaries.
But in the end, the right person may not win or would have won using unfair means and so denies the electorate the right representative in parliament.
Ghana’s political environment needs sincere people who have the nation at heart rather than their selfish interest and poetical ambition aimed at enriching themselves and given peanuts to the masses. Let the electorates punish every politician who induces them with money than our politics will be demonetized but if the citizens are corrupt and the candidates are corrupt, our nation is going nowhere better.