I have said it, many times without number, that when it comes to politics let’s keep to our lanes. That way we can maintain our friendship. I do so always because I know what politics can do to relationships if not properly handled.
I also keep saying so because I believe that in politics selling the positives of your preferred candidate should form 90% of your campaign strategy. Then highlighting the weakness, note weakness not insults, of your opponent should form 5%, then the other 5% you use for some amount of mischief or rather ways and means.
I have been in active party political activities for a good part of my life until I went to work in the bank. Of course in the bank you can’t get the time to combine party politics with the work. I started politics early in my student days, where I managed to register as a voter in 1969 even though I was a minor then. So minors registering to vote didn’t start today except that in my case no one bused me to go and register. It was my own passion for politics that early.
I still have my 1969 picture voter ID card (yes picture ID) which was laminated with the colours of the Ghana flag. I would’ve put it out here but if I did it may become evidence to be used against me for registering as a minor. Especially by someone who may be in a different political lane. So you see we went backwards when we started again in 1992 with voter IDs without pictures. Anyway.
Those from Bole District can find out from my age mates or even some older ones, they will tell you my political role in the constituency in the past even as a young man. Back in 1969 we had only 140 MPs so the constituencies were really large ones. Bole District then was together with Damongo as West Gonja Constituency.
Let me add this for you to check. In 1979 and 1981 Bole District was one of the few places soldiers never beat or whipped anyone publicly and I was the one who made sure that didn’t happen. How I did that, as a Student and Youth Task Force Coordinator, is a strategy I will write another day.
At the time we left Bole District in 1982 back to campus my name was a household one. Yes, let me raise my wings small after all that forms part of the 90% positive political strategy. Bole District then included the present day Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district so it was no small matter.
So my friends when I talk about politics I know what I’m saying. I have avoided active politics now because a lot of people don’t know the 90-5-5 principle of Zak. These days they go all out 100% with insults and lies laced with plenty money – Kudi, Ligdi. It is for this reason I’m writing this article today. I’m struggling to keep to keep it brief albeit with difficulties.
However somethings are there I must say because they will help me make my point the way I intend. I have done so many things in politics and even written political rally speeches before. I used to do so with a friend who’s now a chief in the Upper West Region. I have also really had the opportunity to whisper things into the ears of big big men which has changed some things in politics so I’m not a novice in politics.
Therefore when I try to go political here with my advice I expect my friends to take me seriously. I don’t tolerate people who come to my wall and don’t want to play by my 90-5-5 rule or play them upside down against my interest. Now here is why I’m on this long talk. I posted this statement below on my Facebook wall:
“You can’t buy or legislate credibility. You have to work for it. JM is credible; there’s evidence of his work to show for it”.
Then this my friend came with this comment:
“And there is also abundant evidence of incredibility or? Hahahaha”.
Then I responded with this reply:
“This is what I know which I want to use to sell my candidate. If discrediting him is what will sell your candidate you’re free to do so on your wall”.
This engagement of ideas as quoted above is not anything to worry about so much. However if I don’t state my position clearly and forcefully, next time he may open up with insults or other things meant to cause more damage or discredit to my candidate and hence my interest on my own wall.
Such an extreme situation will not be acceptable to me so I don’t have to wait till then. Better to stop it before it gets to that point because my counter reaction under such circumstances may negatively affect our friendship which I would want to avoid. Generally I will want as much as possible not to lose any of my friends here and especially not old time friends like the one under reference.
Now I have taken my time to put some flesh on my often stated position that when it comes to politics, keep your lane and let me keep mine. If you stray into my lane go back quickly or continue with caution as that may be a slippery lane and too narrow to contain two of us. Since its my lane you’re likely to be judge guilty in the end with its consequences.
The above in total somehow is the way I see politics. At least that keeps it clean to a greater extent and a way to maintain our friendship. Let me end here by saying that since politics has become a means of employment or livelihood for some people they will do all they can to achieve political power.
Some of us see it as a means to serve our people but since the political atmosphere has been fouled with lies, insults and cheating by these do and die people, some of us prefer to play it safe by doing so along the touchlines hence my own typical approach. I’m done.
Have a great weekend.
By Zakariah Ahmed SakaraThe Pensioner.