INFLUENCE: Politics, Governance, Otabil and Citizenship
Every nation or society wants to enjoy peace and development to improve their living condition through politics, the art or science of governing, especially the governing of apolitical entity, such as a nation, and the administration and control of its internal and external affairs.
Politics is about governance, not about political parties; and governance is about bringing positive change in the lives of people and to the physical environment. Governance goes beyond putting up infrastructures though that is important. Governing a nation is not solely about what politicians do, but what every citizen does as part of team to bring peace and development in a nation or organization. Governance, and for that matter, governing a nation is a team work. Like a game of football, there are different positions with peculiar roles that have to be filled and played by various competent professionals in different fields of work in the nation for maximum productivity and achievement of national goals.
In Ghana, unfortunately politics has been taken for what political parties do, whilst governance has been limited to what a political party in power does. With this erroneous understanding, the citizens become toddlers to be fed by the political party in power as their parent. The political party in power as a parent is responsible for providing everything the citizens as toddlers need. This philosophy leads to a situation where the citizens become irresponsible to their self-governance, expecting the political party in power to do everything for the development of the nation. In other instance, the citizens blame the political parties for their woes instead of everyone taking responsibility and blame for the state of the nation. This happens because politicians are happy playing the role of parents to the citizens as toddlers. They therefore refuse to involve the citizens in the governance of the nation.
There are seven spheres or pillars of influence in governing a nation, which require competent leaders with character as change makers in those respective areas as depicted in the diagram below.
Each of these seven spheres of influence requires peculiar roles and responsibilities for efficient functioning of the state as a whole. A deficiency in any of these areas will affect the whole system of governance of the nation with its associated problems and challenges. In other words, each of these areas has their peculiar business to do for the nation to advance.
- For instance, those in education sphere are required to equip the citizens with the right knowledge, skills and attitude or mindset to be able to live and work to solve problems as change in agents in all other spheres of influence. If this sphere of influence fails to produce people with character and competence for leadership, corruption and mediocrity reign.
- Those in the government sphere of influence area responsible to enact and implement policies to regulate and ensure order in the country. No country can develop in an environment of disorder. If this is not properly done, the nation becomes lawless and disorganized.
- Parents in the Family sphere of influence have the primary role of teaching their children with ethical values while providing for their basic needs until they transition into adulthood.
- Those in the business sphere of influence have to do ethical and profitable trade, whilst truthfully paying their taxes as a revenue source for the socio-economic development of the country.
- Those in media sphere of influence have to accurately and ethically inform and education the public through the various media platforms under their jurisdiction.
- The Religion & Culture sphere of influence are responsible for teaching and equipping people with godly values and understanding for them to know when the earth began, why we came here, what we are to do whilst here and where will be doing after death in order to ensure peaceful living and co-existence.
- A nation without arts and entertainment will be a boring nation. Those in the Arts & Entertainment are responsible for informing, entertaining and inspiring change positively through music, poetry, paintings and dance among others to ensure aesthetic appreciation of life and culture.
As said earlier, governance is about how everyone can be involved in contributing to the wellbeing of a nation or organization. Everybody is need! Everybody’s effort is required for good governance. We cannot let others sit on the fence to complain and blame those I the game. Everybody needs to become a Change Maker, a leader, an agent of change, an influence in their field of work in the nation even as they make income and impact. When everyone’s hands are on deck for national transformation, governance becomes better and easier.
Pastor Mensa Otabil is not against the fact that infrastructural developments are not important, but I believe he was drawing our attention to the fact that there is more we can do together as a nation than rejoicing over tarred roads and physical structures. In the news item about his utterances, he emphasized that his call for a change is not about taking governance from the hand of one political party and giving it to another, but a call for total change in the nation, where everyone and every entity play their respective roles accordingly. Dr. Mensa Otabil is calling for the involvement of everyone in bringing peace and development into the nation. He wants everyone to become an influence in any of the seven spheres of influence in society for rapid socio-economic development of the nation Ghana.
Governing a nation is not the sole responsibility of politicians in power, but the total involvement and commitment of every citizen. It even begins with self-governance, government of oneself for personal productivity before governing of other people and organizations or nations. Governing a nation is team work! Get involved! Find your place of influence and be a Change Maker in whatever field you find yourself! Together we can transform this nation.