A hilarious joke I once read in a newspaper when I was in High School exposes the barometer with which people measure politicians. The joke says a farmer was going about his normal duties when he suddenly heard a loud bang.
He ran to find out what the noise was all about. Only to be met with a bizarre spectacle, a mini bus has somersaulted and its occupants numbering about fifteen were lying lifeless on the ground. He was soon to learn that the men were politicians.
Days after, the mayor and some cops visited the farmer to interrogate him. He gave a vivid account of what happened and even showed them the graves where he buried the men. The mayor wasn’t enthused and asked the farmer if he was sure all the men were actually dead before he proceeded with the burial. The farmer retorted, “Well some of them said they were alive, but you know politicians and their lies. I did not believe them so I went ahead and buried them all.”
This joke underlines the benchmark of public mentality about politicians. Politicians all over have attained notoriety for corruption and various degrees of heinous crime.
In Africa, many consider politics as the shortest and quickest way to make money. One cluster of belief says being a pastor is the most lucrative venture than politics but that will be the topic for another day. Africa is the poorest continent on earth, largely blamable on corruptible practices perpetuated by people put in the helms of affairs.
Last a year, a Minister of State in Ghana was relieved of her post because she was caught on tape revealing the amount of money she will “steal” before quitting politics. In 2012, the World Bank estimated $40 billion dollars is siphoned out of developing countries through corruption every single year. DR Congo, Nigeria, Burundi and Chad statistically are amongst the most corrupt countries in the world.
To discuss this subject into perspective lets examine what politics is and why everyone wants to be associated with it.
The word politics comes from the Greek word “polis”, meaning the state or community as a whole. Politics could also be defined as a power struggle between those in influential positions.
Before a president is sworn into office he has swear by the Bible or any other religious book in most countries to defend and uphold the trust vested in him. But it has proved to be a mere formality. He is expected as per his job description, to formulate measures which when implemented, would create a better society, than one which is already present. But what do we see?
Soon after taking office, as selfish as they are, they start looting and embezzling state funds and acquire lots of wealth secretly. Then cunningly they get the support from as many groups and individuals as possible by providing tempting solutions to conflicts that they themselves have created in a society and thus are retained in power, through fair or foul means.
Many consults deity and voodoos for charms and powers to enable them come to power in Africa. Yet, the same politicians will be in various churches to solicit help from men of God. These pastors, through their own greed and hypocrisy will endorse them and beseech all and sundry to pray and assist them to realize their objectives.
To majority of people, there is nothing like a good politician. The late president of Ghana, Professor Fiifi Atta Mills was often held in high esteem and bestowed with the accolades because of the kind of demeanour he demonstrated as a politician. However majority of his critics said he was a hypocrite and a corrupt person, just like the tag all politicians wear.
George Orwell used his famous novel, ‘Animal farm’ published in 1945 to make mockery of politicians and their bad behaviour. Though his work was influenced by Russian Revolution, the book has gotten a universal acceptance because of its relevance to similar situations presently. And even now, many politicians mirror the personalities of the characters in the novel- the barbaric and undemocratic way of governance.
Ghana’s president Mahama’s government has been described by many as the worse ever. Jerry John Rawlings, ex-president of Ghana and founder of the NDC, has also in the past lampooned lots of decisions by erstwhile governments. He himself has been criticized by political commentators for his unwarranted coup d’états and bad policies that has ‘taken the country back.’ All these great men of high repute with their working team are supposedly Christians. They pay huge tithes and use the Bible as their source of guidance. Yet they their utterances and behaviour do not depict true Christians.
I’m not trying to be in anyway judgmental, but by and large, politicians’ way of life and modus operandi leave much to be desired, making you wonder whether they will be counted among the sheep when the final day comes.
Maxims like ‘politics is a dirty game’ should even tell well meaning Christians who really understand the concept of Christianity to refrain from anything that has to do with politics.
I am yet to come across any politician who did not resort to any form of deviant behavior in attaining that enviable status. If you want to be fair and guided by principles, you are shoved and relegated to the background.
So I am asking once again. ‘Will politicians go to heaven?’ I want to know, my cherished readers.