The seeming efforts made towards development as a country (Ghana) over the last three decades and counting give reason to question the character, integrity, and principles of most of our political leaders as well as the political system in place (as at the time of this paper).

The pursuit of political expediency at the expense of national development, which refers to situations where political leaders prioritize short-term gains or benefits that serve their own interests or the interests of their party over the long-term progress and growth of the nation as a whole, has become a chronic social canker eating deeply into the fiber of our very being as a country.

Politicians with dubious character have been masquerading as so-called leaders with massive deficit in integrity, transparency, and good conscience, a reason why we see the kind of economic, social, and political stagnation and retrogression that continue to fester.

However, many of these political leaders decide to play the ostrich game and also adopt willful blindness and turn to the Ghanaian populace as if they do not know why the country is at where it is.

In fact, the state of any economy is the sharp reflection of the character of the leadership of that particular state and this could not have been truer than it already is by any stretch of the argument.
When political expediency takes precedence over national development, there is a conflict of interests between what is beneficial for the country in the long run and what is advantageous for the political leaders in the short term. This conflict arises when leaders prioritize winning elections, consolidating power, or securing personal gains over making decisions that would benefit the nation as a whole.

The pursuit of political expediency at the expense of national development has made Ghana become a ‘soft state’ with grave deficiencies in legislation and good policies that could better the lots of citizens.

In such a social laxity and licentiousness spread to all social and economic strata, it is only those who have economic, social and political power or at least proximity to power who exploit fully the lack of social discipline in the environment. This therefore pleases the elite stratum that holds power in this country (Ghana) and is not interested in a radical reform of a society in which it has a privileged position.

Many of the issues that various governments have one way or the other attempted to solve have lived with the people over three decades and politicians keep dilly dallying on the solutions to them. It is as if the home of the devil is in Africa and in this case, GHANA.

• When you have government appointees and cabinet ministers stealing and causing financial loss to the state without any retribution or prosecution for that matter, then there is no aim at national development.

• When a whole political administration fails miserably at fighting ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) which is killing many people and destroying properties, an activity that further threatens the existence of humanity and the soul of the state, then you should realize that no one is interested in seeing the country developed.

• When people lose their lives including children in an elections and justice is denied, then you should realize that the country is on the verge of collapse.

• When the future of the country is used as collateral for loans used for personal gains by state authorities, then you should know that the country is sitting on a time bomb.

• When state officials decide to make profit out of the misery of the people and the sorry state of the country, then you should know the kind of ‘forces’ parading as leaders entrusted with power to rule.

• Amidst the chaos, even self-serving clergymen have taken advantage of the situation and are also enriching themselves by aligning with the corruption enterprise.

These and many other instances would get you thinking and questioning yourself: so where did we go wrong?

Well, in my estimation, we went wrong the moment we placed wrong people in positions they’re not supposed to be and giving them power and authority that wreaked-havoc in the lives of ordinary Ghanaians.
No wonder the country lacks a national development plan for effective governance.

So what has been their (politicians) strategy and master plan?

Well, it’s apparent that the stultification of the system is engineered for a purpose.

The end game is to enslave the masses and keep them in abject poverty that will ultimately guarantee their loyalty to them.

Another plan is to ensure that the young people are focused on unimportant things and are always occupied with chasing their daily bread so that they are unable to pay critical attention to the things that matters the most in the country and subject the ruling elite to scrutiny and fierce accountability.

Think about why after six decades of independence, Ghana is still struggling to achieve the basic necessities in life as a country. (Poor road network, poor healthcare, poor education, poor housing policies, obnoxious taxation, poor sanitary conditions, among others).

Think about the campaign messages of the various political parties. Why do they always use basic developments and assurance of achieving the basic needs of life as bait for votes? And yet they fail to do so when elected. Have you thought of why?
Well, it is because when they solve the basic problems of life’s necessities of the average Ghanaian, then they run out of campaign messages and enticement strategy. Hence, the reason why the ruling elites are not interested in solving the problems to allow the citizens to live good and quality life as people with dignity.

One must note that, when there is political will, problems get solved.
So the fact that Ghana is still running in circles in the provision of basic needs as a country demonstrates the absence of a sincere political will.

There is a reason why Ghana, as a country finds herself at where she is now. The pursuit of political expediency at the expense of national development reflects a shortsighted approach to governance that impedes a country’s overall progress and prosperity. It underscores the importance of leadership that prioritizes the long-term interests of the nation over immediate political gains. It is crucial for political leaders to strike a balance between short-term political considerations and the long-term interests of the nation. Effective governance requires making decisions that not only satisfy immediate political needs but also contribute to sustainable development and the well-being of future generations.

The writer Bright Anderson