Opinion: You’ll know them by their fruits


“Hypocrisy is the audacity to preach integrity from a den of corruption” – (Wes Fesler, American Sports Coach)

Ghana’s Fourth Republic has birthed three types of politicians and the public is well advised to learn how to identify and distinguish them. For a person who identifies as a Christian your failure to discern and distinguish between the three types of Ghanaian politicians implies that you may to revisit your Sunday School Bible studies and commit to memory and recite as a Bible memory verse, Matthew 7:15-16.

The adage “all politicians are the same” no longer holds true and at best is a misnomer that should be discarded from public political discourse. We currently have three distinct types of politicians in Ghana based on their moral turpitude and expressed conscientious behavior:

  1. Conscientious politician – this type of politician is usually a principled person, who is ethically minded, and conscionable and strives to align his/her moral compass with their personal and social values and brings this to bare on the conduct of politics. Usually this type of politician will err on the side of caution, and will not brazenly peddle lies in an unhinged manner and is less likely to indulge in misdemeanors and corrupt or criminal acts.
  2. Unconscientious politician – this type of politician is naturally unprincipled, devious and not ethically minded and has the innate capacity to intermittently switch on and off his/her moral compass, and does not align their personal and social values to political conduct. For this type of politician peddling brazen lies is second nature to them, and they will not hesitate to indulge in acts of skullduggery, corruption and crime for self-aggrandizement, self-preservation or to pursue inordinate self-interests.
  3. “Trojan Horse” politician – this type of politician is a hideous character with a split-personality and is usually 2-Faced, who wears a façade that bares the resemblance of an intellectual, or an academic, or a religious cleric (religious leader) etc. The “Trojan Horse” politician is usually an unknown person who suddenly bursts onto the public scene holding him/herself out as a renowned leadership or governance expert, a motivational speaker, a religious leader usually a Christian religious leader, a generational thinker, renowned lawyer or human rights advocate. This type of politician may be a person associated with a public or private university, a Think Tank or Civil Society Organisation (CSO), an adhoc Social or Political Pressure group, a Traditional Ruler, a prominent Church of mainstream orthodox Christian persuasion, or Pentecostal or Charismatic Christian or Faith/Religious Ministry.

You rarely see a “Trojan Horse” politician wearing apparel branded in partisan colors. According to proponents of the Cultural Dimensions Theory, Ghanaian societal culture as explained by the “Seven Dimensions of Culture” depicts Ghanaian society to hold in high reverence and respect, a person’s social status, social title, and position on the social ladder. Ghanaians therefore give more prominence to a person’s social status than they give to a person’s personal achievements and lifetime personal accomplishments. The “Trojan Horse” politician exploits this feature of Ghanaian societal cultural value on the Cultural Dimension scale of “Achievement versus Ascription” where “Ascription” culture is exhibited and exploited to deceptively use their social status and social title for partisan political activism and parochial political gains.

Outside the world of politics the “Trojan Politician” usually wears a benign apolitical mask in public and typically carries a prefix of Doctor (Dr.), Professor (Prof.), Reverend (Rev.), Prophet, Bishop, Archbishop or Justice affixed before his/her name and boldly inscribed/imprinted on business calling card.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” – (Matthew 7:15)

Have you wondered why under the Fourth Republic whenever the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is the governing political party there is an upsurge of public speakers and public speaking engagements, seminars and colloquiums on leadership and good governance, with such clichés that gain traction as headline news on mainstream news media?

  1. Winner takes all not good for Ghana’s democracy
  2. Review of 1992 Constitutions (constitutional review)
  3. Review the excessive powers of the President and the Executive arm of Government especially on political appointments etc.
  4. Nepotism, family and friends
  5. Value for money in public contracts etc.

Whenever the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is however the governing political party such public speakers disappear and these topics and issues rarely capture the attention of mainstream news media. Indeed the speakers and experts who hitherto hijacked the news media during NDC regimes suddenly disappear or lose their voices and refuse to comment on such issues and topics on leadership and good governance.

“Honesty in politics is the result of strength; hypocrisy is the result of weakness” – (Vladimir Lenin, Russian Politician)

Under NDC regimes the President usually acting on the advice of the Council of State limits presidential political appointments in Public Sector Institutions and Public Corporations to only the appointment of Board Directors (Board members) and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs). Under the current Nana Akufo-Addo presidency such political appointments have been expanded to include appointments to the positions such as Special Assistants, Communications Directors, Special Advisor to CEO, and plethora of duplicitous sounding official job positions and job titles. Worse still many family members and relatives of the president, Nana Akufo-Addo have been appointed to occupy strategic ministerial appointments and appointments in the upper echelons of public corporations.

Ghana is a hypocritical society and the earlier we come to terms and cure the politics of double standards the better it will be for the country.

The litmus test and signs to identify and establish who is a political hypocrite are as follows:

  1. Whenever the person speaks, lies are peddled
  2. Whenever the person promises, the promises are broken
  3. Whenever the person invites you to trust and try “him”, he betrays your trust

“It is not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true” – (Henry Kissinger – American Diplomat and Politician)

Fellow Ghanaians you may be familiar with the Conscientious and Unconscientious type of Ghanaian politician, but as they say in pidgin English, for the “Trojan Horse” type of politician, please “shine your eyes”; because “once bitten, twice shy”.

Also for the “Elephant in the room” that “quacks like a duck and walks like a duck but is not a duck” the elephant could be a hypocrite and your understanding of Matthew 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits” will help you repent and become born again!

By Opanin Archimedes Owusu-Ababio C/o Cocoa Shed: Suro-nipa Nkwanta, Eastern Region

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