Feature Article of Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Columnist: Abdul-Hameed, Abdul-Salam
GSalam Writer | Twitter, Facebook, Google+
Long live Ghana.. Long live Africa.
God bless Ghana.. God bless Africa.
Ghanaians have once again made themselves, as well as the entire African continent proud. The people of Ghana have made a significant addition to their history of peace making.
At last, the December 7 of 2012 elections has come to be a matter of yesterday. What is more noteworthy is that, it was extremely successful, considering the circumstances, in which it was held. But the most important is that, everyone has come together, to a common decision; Ghana is above all.
Regardless of whom you voted for, you have, certainly, given your voice to the one you deemed to be the right person to lead the country forward, from your point of view.
Every Ghanaian is a winner in this historical exercise. You are the winner, so long that you did not abuse your right to vote. You are the winner so long as you did not vote blindly; neither on ethnical basis, nor for personal interest. You are the winner so long as you did not double vote or cheat. You are the winner, so long as you believe that Mother Ghana is above all, and all must bow before the flag of Ghana.
As I write these lines, I take off the hat, stand straight and firm, to salute all the presidential candidates, namely, Mr John Dramani Mahama of the NDC, Mr Henry Herbert Lartey of the GCPP, Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the NPP, Mr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the PPP, Mr Akwasi Addai Odike of the UFP, Mr Hassan Ayariga of the PNC, Mr Michael Abu Sakara Foster of the CPP and the Independent candidate Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.
I commend them, for reacting positively and accepting the final declaration of the Electoral Commission (EC) with a high level of maturity, and above all; moral responsibility, and setting another example for Ghanaians, to look through it, up at our politicians, with full of respect and to develop a sense of belong to Mother Ghana.
All Ghanaians will continue to learn the same lesson from the presidential candidates who lost in this elections, which they on the other hand, have learnt from our late President, Professor John Atta Mills, that: We are one united people despite our diversity in political views sometimes, and that, with our diversity in political views, we hold to the flag of Ghana with one strong hand.
With that, we, Ghanaians will continue to enjoy and reap the fruits of peace. As long as we continue to enjoy that peace, we are set to remain as an exemplary people to big nations in Africa and beyond.
That being said, peace alone, doesn't set countries to stabilization. People don't eat peace. I am pointing to the need of prosperity alongside peace, for a better Ghana.
There is a lot of effort needed to be put in, to lift Ghana up, out of poverty. If no serious action is taken to corner the poverty we are living in, in Ghana, a day will come that peaceful election like which has just made us more proud today will be a matter of the past.
In order to achieve that, corruption must be 'beheaded', once and for all.
Due to corruption, the ordinary Ghanaian has to fight or raise his or her voice in order to get access to basic rights. Due to corruption, legal rights are illegal in Ghana. Here I'm talking from the street’s (ground) perspective, not from the office’s.
Ghana is rich with natural resources, be it mineral resources, agricultural resources and our most recent recovered resource, which is oil. Ghana should be like any other oil producing country whose people benefit from its resources and not like other wealthy countries which allow its people to live and die as beggars, due bad administration and corruption.
Ghanaians are not expecting the impossible. We are asking for something achievable. That is; to be treated like human beings, at least, in our own homeland.
Let me give a small example: A civil servant, at the airport should be trained (not say educated) to know that s/he is serving the country through the service s/he provides to travellers and visitors, and that, s/he is paid to do that. Therefore, no bribery, no begging should be seen done at the ports and checkpoints by our custom officers.
One won’t believe that the electricity black out which we started to witness since we were born is still on-going, till date, in the 21 century. 20 years ago, there was no mobile telephony, internet nor computers in Ghana. That was when frequent black-out existed. Today that, these inventions have become our daily necessity in Ghana, why then our electricity infrastructure is not developing?
Ghanaians are not asking for Ghana to become like countries in the likes Singapore, in terms of technological advancement, which may be costly in many ways. Ghanaians rather look forward to see Ghana being transformed to be like Malaysia, when it comes to advancement in terms of infrastructure, education, and even technology.
I'm thinking out loud.. I believe our leaders, when they travel abroad, for state visits or for their informal holidays, they land in modern mega airports. What are the lessons they learn upon landing, seeing and experiencing such kind of convenient airports. I don't think they switch off, then.
The last time I left Kotoka International Airport, 2010, its look and furnish didn't look much different from the one I knew, the first time 1998. Over the 12 years period, Ghanaians have voted in and out 3 different governments over 4 different presidential elections.
Changing governments just to get the same results in terms of economy and basic infrastructure costs a lot of natural resources.
Why can't we do it, while others are doing it? What is our education system all about? Does education have to be curbed to Ministry of Education alone? Does education have to be in classrooms alone? What is our media doing?
I would like to appeal the President-Elect, His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama, and the next presidents of Ghana to come in the future, as well as their respective cabinets, ministers, and helpers, to put Ghana at heart, to think about the well-being of Ghanaians before they think of what they get in return, as long as they choose to take political posts.
Kindly let our access to true democracy be meaningful, and not equal to waste of the time of the Ghanaian people, and most importantly, waste of natural resources of Ghana.
To President John Dramani Mahama, I would like to say:
Sir, congratulations! for winning the trust of the Ghanaian people.
Sir, Ghanaians have learnt a great lesson from the late Professor Mills and Mr Nana Akufo Addo alike. That great lesson is 'sportsmanship' in politics. Sir, please let Ghanaians and future presidents of Ghana learn unforgettable greater lesson from you, Sir. That lesson can be called 'True patriotism bundled with Good leadership'.
The people of Ghana are peaceful. The people of Ghana are patriotic and anti-corruption. The former statement is true and our political leaders are good examples that reflect that. The latter statement, however, is incorrect, until our leaders prove otherwise.
Long live Ghana.. Long live Africa. God bless Ghana.. God bless Africa.