Ghana is now a prey of Politics. Everything in the country is politicized. In a world brimmed with democracy, we still need the signature of a politician before students are admitted into tertiary institutions. Job opportunities are reserved for friends and relatives of a politician. How can someone who is not a friend of a politician, neither a relative secure a job even with capability?

One of the fibres, Ghanaians hold dear to their body is franchise. In Ghana, the constitution permits citizens who are 18 years and above to exercise their rights to vote. We elect leaders of the nation such as the commander in chief of the armed forces, members of the legislature concurrently every four years. The question is do these aspirants have the potential to handle their respective positions?

Apparently, the young and the aged aspire for various political seats in the political discourse. This somehow becomes intricating when voting for a candidate to exercise a leadership role and to contribute immensely to national development. Do we give the opportunity to the aged or the proficient?

Aspirants invest much money into their political activities in the quest to gain power. Sometimes, extra miles of making promises that are always unfulfilled.
Seemingly, one thing that always associates with elections in the country is influence. Which sometimes leads to violence.
Normally, Election is to be a peaceful one whether bye or general but what we see daily is violence after the other. Violence in elections has been incessant till date.

Such incident happened at Ayawaso West Wuogon when they had their bye election on 31st January, 2019. The election was turbulent which resulted in injuries of people at the polling stations.

People believe that their decision to select a candidate be persuaded. Some vote based on the benefits they derive from such people. According to them, it is sometimes money, presents and other incentives.

Reminiscing on how far we have come in National development as a nation is a nightmare.

It is another year to give candidates we think they deem fit the power to handle the affairs of the state. I ask, who do you think will help in National development?
What do you consider before voting for candidate? Some electorates shared their thoughts with me.

In an interview with one of the electorates, Ransford Dorgbor, who is also a student of the University of Media, Arts and Communication. He mentioned that he considers both age and proficiency prior to voting. To him, he believes the two things work together to foster national development in the country.

“It is actually a blend of both. You can not side with one. I prefer someone who is matured and maturity comes with age. This is part of the reasons the laws of Ghana determine when to start working and the age at which people can retire.
You are obliged to retire at age 60 because your brain will be tired by then and might not function effectively ” he said.

He also added that the physical outlook of a candidate is very crucial in voting.
“Is the person strong enough? Physically, mentally, is the person fit enough to handle such portfolio?” He quizzed.

Speaking with another electorate, Magida Owusu, she stated that the aged do not perform well in their tenure of office.

“The old is always weak. Hence, cannot perform to our satisfaction. Even if the person does well in the state affairs, it will not meet our expectations. I will go for the someone with proficiency even if the person is young. Since the individual has the ability to work well, I believe national development can be achieved in its pinnacle” she emphasized.

Hubert Obeng is a tutor and an electorate. According to him, it is the proficiency of the candidate that matters most in voting, not the age.

“Age does not matter. Per my observation, whenever the aged contend for elections and they are voted for, they do not deliver.

This is the reason I do not consider the person’s age but the competency of the candidate. I sometimes regard their policies as well. Are they achievable? ” He questioned.

People have poured their thoughts. What do you also say?

At this crucial hour, do we need someone whom, we think should be old enough or the proficient candidate is pertinent in achieving the development we need?

Having observed the political arena for sometime now, I believe that a candidate with the proficiency, even when young must be chosen over the aged. If we really want to attain the development we need in all sectors, then someone who is beyond average must be considered. I urge all electorates to discern before the selection of candidate as we go to the polls soon.

Feature by Francisca Nanaba Amoako