POLITICS IS A GAME WITH RULES

POLITICS IS A GAME WITH RULES
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Wow! I don’t even know where to begin this piece. For the first time, I’m starting a piece without a title. I find it very strange that after 28 years of the 4th Republican constitution, most Ghanaians are yet to appreciate the fact that politics is a game. Hmm!

My dear reader, boxing is an individual sport. Football or soccer is a team sport. Another example of a team sport is hockey. But whether an individual or team sport, there are supporters. Thus we have people that supported Azumah Nelson or Sulley Shittu. People support Hearts of Oak or Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Manchester United or Arsenal.

Crest of Accra Hearts of Oak

The moment the whistle or bell goes for friendly hostilities to begin, all niceties are put aside and the combatants go at each other. The supporters play their part by cheering on their man or team.

Every game has its unique atmosphere and the atmosphere is sparked by actions of the players. In a game of football, a dribble, scissor or bicycle kick could bring the game alive.

The atmosphere created at a football match is similar to that at a political rally. Most political rallies have a touch of carnival. For the carnival atmosphere to come to the fore, however, the main actors (speakers) must be able to pull the crowd along. At a political rally, drumming, singing or dancing also energises the atmosphere. A good orator, who knows how to choose his words well, can wow a rally and bring the crowd to its feet.

We live in an interesting world full of trials.  In order to overcome the trials, one needs to understand one’s environs. Indeed, in whatever enterprise we find ourselves, if we don’t have an understanding of the rules and regulations governing it, we are doomed.

When the bell or whistle goes to end a fight or match, all hostilities end. If a boxer throws a blow after the bell, it doesn’t count and no player shoots a ball into the net after the whistle is gone for it would not count.

At the end of a game or match, we witness something interesting as the players who had been kicking themselves all over the field for 90 minutes, embrace and even exchange jerseys. My brother, if you don’t understand the world you live in, you are lost!

My dear sister,  if two combatants in a ring go at each other with blows for 12 grueling rounds with a view to knock the opponent down but would embrace and congratulate each other at the end of the fight, how would you view fans or supporters who after the match-up go fighting and hurting each other?

The Ghanaian colours, Red, Gold and Green with the famous Black Star in the centre.

I felt very sad when i heard of reports of NPP supporters attacking members of the NDC. When you see the video taken of thugs jubilating who attacked and vandalised a lady and her family in their car, then, you know something is very wrong.

Attacks by activists of the NPP in Damongo who vandalised the offices of NADMO and SADA, should be condemned. Where are the police when all this is going on? Where are the party leaders to call their supporters to order?

We are practicing a multi-party democracy. The constitution allows for the Freedom of Association which gives everyone the right to join a party of his or her choice. To win political power to rule, a party has to contest election. The Electoral Commission is the arbiter in the elections who whistles for campaigning and elections to start and end after which results are declared by the Commissioner who is the Returning Officer.

Before the Electoral Commissioner announced the elections results,  I saw Asiedu Nketiah aka General Mosquito,  of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) shake hands with and sat by Peter Mac Manu, acting Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the conference room of the EC.

Before the conduct of the polls and indeed prior to the declaration of the winner, insinuations had come from different corner against the Commissioner but knowing the rules, she went about her job efficiently. I must confess I felt so proud as I watched the beautiful lady eloquently declare the results. By playing according to the rules, she has silenced all her detractors.

Charlotte Osei, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission

If you understand the rules governing the game and you play accordingly, things go smoothly. It’s when there’s a dearth of understanding that you will have Peter Mac Manu attempt to usurp the EC’s job. The fact that in a game of football a player handles the ball does not make it a foul until the referee blows the whistle. This is a fundamental rule!

The West African Examination Council has a maxim that goes thus: Understanding the instructions is part of the examination.

Every politician knows that he or she will at one time or the other be involved in an election. Every politician has to appreciate the fact that when they contest an election, they could either win or lose. They also have to appreciate that they have to be gracious in defeat as exhibited by President John Mahama and magnanimous in victory as exhibited by Donald Trump.

Victory is sweet but if you don’t let go after a victory, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth and your actions could lead to a lot of grief later. We learnt a long time ago that coming events cast their shadow. I believe it was wrong of the president elect to have mentioned the names of certain journalists for credit. It’s rather the time to win everyone to the fold.

One cardinal rule of the game is the fact that nobody comes to power of their own but because of the will of the people. If the interest of the people is not served, the people will just take their power back. Ask the NDC and they will tell you!

Politics is a game. It’s not just a game, but one with rules. You know, most people regard boxing as a brutal game but adherents refer to it as the sweet science of self defence. That is to say, one should be able to defend himself in order to engage in the sport. The same goes for politics. In as much as everybody follows the rules and plays fairly, it will not end in strife.

Just get to a political rally and see the joy on the faces of party members as their leaders address them or when their party song is played. How can a game that gives so much joy result in strife as occurred in Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and what is now playing out in the Gambia? Let’s play the game of politics according to the rules.

 

NB: Congratulations Fuseini Issa on winning the Okaikoi North Seat for the New Patriotic Party. What is a dream if it’s not actualized? You’ve made us very proud. Salute!

Fuseini Issa, MP-elect for Okaikoi North


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Charlotte Osei

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