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POETRY SHORT STORIES

THERE IS PRESSURE EVERYWHERE (Corona Series, Episode 9)

I know I’m an aspiring politician, but sometimes I need some consideration. I feel people in my constituency are selfish, unfeeling and inconsiderate. This is because they are using the fact that I want to be their Member of Parliament to demand things they need with their hard work and sweat. Do I blame them? Sometimes not; who won’t latch on freebies and shed sweats? But then again I sometimes blame them. This culture of “give what we want to win” must be uprooted from our system. I believe it is the root of all the woes of under-development in our country. I really wanted to be a good parliamentarian and help solve the problems of my constituency but I now find myself between a rock and a hard place.
In 2016, my people made me think I’d won even before the elections. I gave my life savings to those who came to ask for their children’s school fees, money for the funerals of their loved ones, money for their health care etc. At least, I personally gave out to more than 100 people, those who got help through my publicity advisor, uncountable. Wherever I went –
Honourable is here! Ei onie oooo!
She is our MP o!
The woman among women! Ɔbaa Hemaa! Our abled rep!
If we don’t vote for you we’re stupid!
Some went as far as making their cloths into red carpets for me to step on, but after we counted the ballot, I had only three votes. I mean single 3! I voted for myself, my husband swears he voted for me and my son also said he voted for me. Herrr, most Ghanaian voters are wicked! I had never felt the sharp knives of betrayal in my whole life like I felt at that point. A politician friend of mine told me to keep on keeping on and that politics needs those with tough skins. He introduced me to some of his friends who agreed to help fund me. All I needed to do was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to give them contracts when I win. I thought long and hard about it. In the end, I had no choice but to agree because I wanted to safeguard my future. And the kind of money I needed to win the race, no upright person had it. The shameless people still come to my house to demand for things. And although I still hurt, I give them what they need. Now, I have on top of that footsoldiers who bleed me dry. I was struggling even before the Corona Virus started destabilizing states, imagine my now.
Now my house is the permanent resident of many people with their many children. I wondered why they won’t direct it to the incumbent’s house. Then I was told some take from me and go there to take from him too. I even heard some families divide themselves into four to have representatives at the houses of all aspirants, the incumbent inclusive. So I am in a competition to please and if I don’t win, I won’t get the seat. That means I’ve to give more than the others do. My kitchen cooks more than one bag of rice everyday, so imagine my budget for feeding in just a month! What I fear most is this virus. What if I contract it with all these people lurking in and around my house each day? My husband has a weak immune system, so I’m afraid. Still, I can’t find a good way of telling them to back off. I’ve been told I have to always endure and act according to the wishes of the people. For a people who want to get out of poverty, why don’t they give chances to their politicians to be scrupulous? Why must they always heap debts on us before we get into the offices their mandate recruit us to to work for them? Bosses sucking workers dry before making them security details of their big monies! The world blames African Leaders for being corrupt never thinking of the reasons we are. The problem we have is that the mandate of the people is not cheap, or to better put, not affordable. To afford it, you need to owe a debt even the offices your aspire to can’t help you pay, so what do you do?
Look around you and see, there are very qualified people in Africa who can lead. But the moment a great one steps into politics, the process turns them into helpless corrupt politicians, manipulated by their debts. Because schools, chiefs, churches, mosques, other institutions, communities right to individuals, ask for expensive favours. The problem lies with the citizenry. Until they themselves rectify it and vote for competent people and not those who’ll give them what they need, they’ll never get the flawless institutions and subways they see abroad. But how can they when even primary school elections are characterized by gifts, promises unfeasible, character assassination to mention but few? Politicians are the ones citizens recruit and pay, but we here are bullied into giving our souls and tasked with sharing monies meant for development to our recruiters and funders. Yes, if I borrow to give the masses, the office will have to pay. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re not given potent power, we’re given powerless power. Well, the important thing is that I am thinking this and not sharing this. I can’t risk a Vicky Hammer on my character.
So I’m waiting it out, hoping my gestures this time will help me win the seat. But facts remain clear that I’ll be a toothless politician, body on seat, power with my sponsors. But I dare not blurt this out for fear of landing in destructive news. And yes, the media is scarier. There are those you need to pay to put dents on the effective ones, those are the most horrible leaches ever. That’s why I hate listening to news. But everywhere you turn, it’s news, news and news!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © April 23, 2020. Photo Credit: Google Pics

By amoafowaa

Just a simple Ghanaian trying to find the best in our society. I may be fun, I may be interesting, I may be funny, I may even be foolish or intelligent, but it is all based on the mood in which you find yourself. I believe our minds make us who we are. Know that, pain, no matter its 'unbearability', is transient. Unburden or delight yourself for a while in my writings please. And all corrections, advice and opinions are welcome. Know that you are the king, queen or royal on this blog. :)

2 replies on “THERE IS PRESSURE EVERYWHERE (Corona Series, Episode 9)”

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