Come 21st April, 2016, the electorate of the University of Ghana will be casting their votes for their most preferred SRC Executive ‘Hopefuls’ for the various portfolios of the SRC. This new batch of executives will be expected to lead the Council, Local NUGS, the G.A and the entire student populace for the 2016/2017 academic year.
Rumors and paper based evidence from national journalists all over the country have proved that some political parties of the nation are [unculturally] participating in some SRC Elections by providing funds, student-based political supports and other necessary amenities to the SRC Executive portfolio aspirants. It is loudly whispered that each party constructively selects its aspirant based on criteria known to God-knows-who, and supports him/her to victory. If it becomes so, the party will then have an indirect ‘ruler ship’ of that institution for the said academic year. This is all done out of the light of view of the entire student populace. It is not supposed to be so.
SRC Elections are meant for the students, from the students and by the students. All sources of funds, advertisements, strategies et cetera for the campaigns are supposed to come from the minds, pockets and brains of the Hopefuls. This cannot but serve as an effective means of testing the competence and effectiveness of the Hopefuls for the portfolios being aspired for. One is not supposed to, meant to, or even aspire to align him/herself to any organization, institution or whatsoever in order to gain these strategies and funds, so to give such organization an upper hand of competition [against other organizations of similar essence] during the said year of leadership/position. If even organizations are not culturally and morally* allowed, how much more political parties of the country? It is barbaric.
The SRC Elections is an intertwined student affair to measure the individual competence of students, and not a national affair to see which party has the upper hand in an institution for a said year. It is not supposed to be so. This is supposed to be an actually “FREE AND FAIR’’ election between Hopefuls, without any organizational or political alignment. It might be Free, but it is definitely not Fair. It only spells out the incompetence, moral downrightness and unfairness of the said aspirants for that position. It is not fair, nor just. It goes against the Coat of Arms by which we are adjudged as a country – Freedom and Justice. It might be Free, but it is not Just. It is unconstitutional and must be condemned by all means: by the student electorate, authorities, political parties and even the hopefuls themselves. It is not done.
What about the individuals who are aspiring on the constitutional, cultural and generally accepted means: on neutral grounds? What about the most competent and morally upright Hopefuls who refused the alignment and decided to aspire based on their own competence and God? What is expected to happen to them? Are they expected to lose, just like that? What about the Free and Fairness of the election, the constitution and the judiciary by which they stand by? Are they just expected to fail? No, not at all. This only serves a constitutional pothole and a lack of constitution enforcements on the various campuses in the country. We are to stand for the rights of these ones, as well.
Infringement of Fundamental Human Rights do not only occur in poverty-prone areas, under-developed schools and unethical work places; but also in higher corporate institutions, TERTIARY SRC ELECTIONS and ministerial bodies. This, is a typical engagement of the infringement of the Free and Fair political rights of the Hopefuls for SRC Elections. This is a barbaric act – aligning oneself to a political party in order to win a student election – and should be condemned in our hearts on the individual level, in our minds on the tertiary level and in our state as a nation as a whole. This practice should be stopped, and it should be stopped at the shortest possible time.
Even so, the Hopefuls who get themselves aligned do not always win: there is always a loser. Getting yourself aligned to a political party does not guarantee or authenticate your winning of a student-body election: it is only immaturity and lack of accurate political analysis that will give a Hopeful the foresight that ‘Alignment Guarantees Victory’. This is false, and never true. Although there might be ‘blind’ strongholds of personnel following a Hopeful because of his/her political affiliation, there is a better majority of sensible, wise and hailed-in individuals that support hopefuls because of their competence, vision, foresight and policies. This is the bracket of the larger electorate: not politically ambitious individuals. Political alignment only tends to tarnish the image of the Hopeful in the long run, and not to literally benefit him/her in the short run. It is a long-term vision being deliberated, not a short term victory [of 1 year in office] being talked about. Your life is too long to make 1 year in office as an SRC Executive, tarnish your image. As you grow, you build yourself up – by positive and influential means, not by gambling the dice of Success. Success is not a gamble. You grow it, grow with it; work it, and work with it. There is no good shortcut to Success. These actions are short, unidentified and uncultural routes to success. They are not dependable, neither should they be. Political alignment is not a haven to Electoral victory, and it should not be.
The SRC Elections, are once again, for students who find it wise and reasonable to stay neutral in the face of the electorate. The SRC is not a political institution. It is a non-partisan council meant for the general good of all the students on the campuses; regardless of their political affiliations or perceptions. If a single political party takes charge of this council, what does it mean to the student body? It will not only catalyze the discriminatory effects of known partisan students, but also affect the balanced distribution of the SRC funds to their due courses. A partisan SRC is what Politically Aligned (and yes, incompetent) SRC Executive portfolio aspirants are vying for; and it is not adequate for the healthy development of the SRC, and the entire student-body as a whole. If you want to be politically aligned, peacefully and gracefully join TEIN or TESCON and all the RECOGNIZED student-political congresses on campus (I will support your decision). If you do not want to be aligned, do not be aligned. You do not contest the elections under the abridged umbrella of political powers. The SRC does not belong to TEIN or TESCON; it belongs to the student body. The student body is neutral. If you wish to go for such a position, stay neutral. That is why it is the highest position on the campus. It is not for alignment, but for ‘neutralists’: so they benefit all the student body, EQUALLY.
H.E Prosper Dzitse, immediate past NUGS President, tells his story of the struggles he had to pass through before becoming President. He was not politically aligned; he was, and is still neutral. Yet still he won. What about all those who were aligned by then? Even though this happens at the national level (which is very sad); a neutral individual was still able to win. Why? Because of the competence, abilities, foresight and vision. He won because he was the most fit for the position; not because any political party helped him to. He deserved it, and he won. This is *just an SRC Election. It is very possible to stay neutral and still win. We do not need political parties in office; we need individuals with straight minds in office to make good the statutes of the council, the general assembly and the student body at large. We need Competence in office.
It does not matter whether a student sought for the alignment, or the party sought for the alignment. What matters is there should not be alignment, at all. We should seek and win the elections for who we are, not for any alignment of any sort. We know and we should express who we are.
Just as we do not vote for political reasons, so we should not vote for one because of ‘religious’, tribalism or any other discriminatory reasons as well. All these factors do not count in the competence of the individual in office. They might just as well be loud silences expressed in their acts. We do not and should not vote because of such reasons, but because of the persona of the individual at stake. This is the only way to make the SRC independent, and a better body for all students. This is the way forward.
It is my candid position expressed on this matter of the political-alignment of student-body leaders in the country. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion and position – but in all truth, the truth shall always stand. God Bless the sanctity of our SRC Elections; God bless our SRC; God Bless our Tertiary Institutions; God Bless our Homeland, Ghana.
*As at the time of writing this article, the writer does not know any Hopeful, Current or Past Executive to be ‘Politically-Aligned’. This is written mainly based on facts and evidence gathered by the writer.
**The usage of the SRC logos of some various tertiary institutions does not in anyway inculcate them into the said matter; but meant to generally reflect all the tertiary institutions in the country.
Hopeful: An aspirant for any of the portfolios of the SRC.
Morally: Signifying to the moral standards set by the Ghanaian society in relation to matters.
Just: Where ‘Just’ does not in anyway degrade or deface the Supremacy of the SRC, its Elections or defame the Executives in Power.