Mr Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, a flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says the seeming lack of confidence in democracy occasioned by the conduct of the political class is “a dangerous development”.
Mr Agyapong said the practice where people went for political office with the aim of amassing wealth at the expense of the masses had gradually weaned the people’s confidence in democratic rule.
Speaking on a news programme monitored by the Ghana News Agency, he said the leadership of the country must accept responsibility for the situation and work towards restoring confidence in the political system.
“We have progressively damaged the confidence that people have in democracy and that is a very dangerous development because leaders after leaders or governments after governments have not satisfied the Ghanaian people.
“So we have to engage the people in a very productive way…we are not happy where we are,” Mr Agyepong said.
While condemning the practice of vote-buying that has characterised the country’s electoral system, he called on political parties to institute reforms that could discourage aspirants from dispensing money to the electorate for votes.
“Let’s talk to the electorate not to mortgage their future. Your Future is not for sale. We should look at quality leadership and people who have the country at heart.
“We are virtually poisoning the political base and that is what worries me,” Mr Agyepong said.
He urged young people not to lose confidence in the country, rather support and participate in the political process and help to improve the system.
Mr Agyepong said governance and development issues that had bedevilled the country could not be blamed on the Constitution but on bad leadership.
He bemoaned what he described as the lack of patriotism and readiness to serve among the political class and the people at large, saying: “We need the kind of leaders that are prepared to take difficult decisions and so that all of us will be doing what is right; putting our country first before everything.”
“The Constitution for me is not the problem, but the way we lead our country; the values that we have and the fact that our moral fibre has become decadent in this country over the last 30-40 years.
“Political leadership should look at the collective, look at what to do for the betterment of our country because we have become very populist people and sometimes we say things just to play to the gallery,” Mr Agyepong said.