Many are the students- visionary and people centered as the may be, who fail to serve their generation in leadership positions simply because they lack the wherewithal to run high budget campaigns.
As is characteristic of most aspirants, they suddenly keep up appearances that ordinarily a normal student only interested in academic fortunes may not bother much about.
Talk about the trendiest African printed shirts from leading brands, expensive watches, exotic and erotic perfumes, expensive Brazilian or Peruvian hair in the case of the ladies with well manicured nails, costly electronic gadgets etc.
This does not go without banners one would think is only affordable for huge multi-nationals, hand bills of the highest quality with professional photographs elegantly displaying their expensive suits, watches and I am sure they would want their perfumes to be smelt even from the posters.
The branding experts in Ghana can clap for themselves. The many seminars on first impressions definitely didn’t go down the drain.
But at what cost?
Well, the cost of running a campaign has always been a subject of interest for journalists and the ordinary electorates often raising reasonable suspension. The response often is “my friends and loved ones who believe in my vision donated money to help fund my campaign”.
Perhaps the high expectation of students of their aspirants is a push factor that compels most aspirants to go beyond their means to impress. Some even go as far as demanding money from aspirants before they cast their votes fro them.
The resultant effect is that most of these aspirants end up on their kneels before powerful politicians who often are more than willing to give out money to help fund the campaign of burgeoning politicians. The reasons for this are not far from reach. Aside having them for personal assistants, they buy their allegiance, they influence their decisions, they use them to either to make the seating government unpopular or to gag the opposition while the interest of those whose interest they swear an oath to protect are long forgotten.
Do students demand too much from aspirants? Should aspirants seek funding from politicians and businessmen alike? Should they disclose their sources? Can that help check the interest they serve at a given point while in office? Should austerity be the way forward or should extravaganza remain the order of the day?
Clearly this is not an exhaustive narrative of the whole issue.
Share your thoughts/experiences with me and do make time to join my panel tomorrow on Campus Exclusive on Radio Univers105.7fm from 7:30am to 9:30am as we discuss this and many other issues that confront the student front in Ghana.