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Feature Article of Thursday, 6 December 2012

Columnist: Baba, Abdul R F

2012: A Year of Reckoning

As the year wraps up to a close, realities unfold. Our country has faced yet some of the devastating moments in modern times. A series of reality tests have exposed how inadequately equipped we are as a nation. As I write this article my heart is frail into the depths of despair and disappointments.
July 2012, we lost our President due a health related cause which our health institutions were not able to cure. Four months later, we will lose another prominent figure, our former Vice President as a result of a health related cause; another discredit to our health care system. In the same month of November, a shopping mall collapsed in our nation’s capital, in which at least nine people lost their lives and about 75 injuries recorded. In the same month of November, a 207 bus collided with a metro bus claiming at about 33 lives at Kogni on the Tamale-Bolga road. These are just a few of things that have occurred in real time, they are not assumptions or stories; they are simply not politics.
Our country’s state of condition is in limbo; we cannot continue doing ourselves such disservice. It is about time, we realized that after 55 years of “supposed” independence, we still are deprived of the full joy and glory of such independence. This denial is rather a self-inflicted one. Our thoughts become our realities. We have failed as a nation to equip ourselves for times like this year’s reckoning. Until we can learn to see with the mind's eye, life shall always remain mysterious to us as the normal eye is short-sighted. We need to start making decisions that will have lasting impacts on our society.
Awudu Baba is a teenage student who performed extremely exceptional in his WASSCE exams. He had ambitions to pursue medicine in Ghana but was unfortunately denied his wish and was rather forced to read computer engineering. His case is an example of how we shrink interest and dim passion. If Awudu’s wish became fulfilled, his becoming a medical doctor someday would have helped add up to our pool of qualified health practitioners reducing the deficit. No wonder why so many qualified Ghanaian Doctors and other professionals whom after having received their trainings abroad choose to stay and labor at the expense of our country’s health and other needs. Before our late President passed, he used to make visits to hospitals abroad including one in New York, USA for treatments. When our former Vice President’s condition became critical, preparations were being made to fly him out for treatment. What would my mom, a petty trader in the Tamale market do, God forbid, if she ever finds herself a similar situation? Will she be given the privilege to be flown out of Tamale to Korle-Bu in Accra and possibly abroad for treatment? What is in store for the ordinary Ghanaian?
A rescue team to come from Israel? Why? When are we ever going be able to do things on our own for our own good? Do you think these generous people (Israel) who saw a humanitarian need and extended a hand from another continent while Ghanaian lives were being hurt and lost will always be there to save us on our rainy days? A whole nation without an equipped rescue team on standby for happenings like the Melcom building collapse; simply unprecedented! The Northern part of Ghana, especially Tamale has seen a massive growth in population over the years but unfortunately our infrastructural developments have unmatched the soaring population. The Tamale-Bolga road that has been used years ago has not seen any expansions in real time.
Yet a most daring test of our maturity and civility mocks in the face come Dec. 7. This is a time to assess how matured and civilized we are as a people towards one another; our respect for human rights. A time has come for a nation to test the mutual understanding among its people. Ghana is all we have, so it means that we must protect it. It was once robbed by the colonial master whose relationship with us during his reign has caused us a lot of agony. Our current mental state being of dependent on others can be directly linked to our past’s happenings. We have seen what the consequences have been. Suffice to say, I urge all Ghanaians to be very deep in their thought about our country’s future. There is a Ghana because we exist; our existence is made possible because of the peace we share and enjoy as a nation. As you go out there to choose who to lead our country into the potential it can be, I encourage you to desist from any form of violence or misunderstanding. We have to be mindful that those we are voting to lead us can’t solve our problems for us, they are only representing us. The ultimate solace to our problems will come from us, our hard work and prayer.
So my fellow Ghanaians, it is not worth losing your life or taking someone else’s because of our political misunderstanding. In fact, we have a lot to do, we must put that energy and time we dedicate to cheer our parties to work as a unit and push our nation forward. Let us have a moment of thought: do you think either Nana Addo’s or John Mahama’s son will risk his life to cheer his support or engage in a fight in order to defend his father’s party? Whoever becomes the President after the election, would have realized his dream. In life we all need to have dreams; your die-hard support which you exhibit to the extent of risking your life is helping the political aspirants realize their dreams. What is your dream? Your life is worth more than a political party. Greatness is in all of us, and not some of us. Every one of us has a calling. My fellow Ghanaians and Africans, the time has come for us to answer to our callings. The world is filled with so many problems, just starting from our own society we often have power outages, poor internet connections, and poor health care systems, poor farming practices, and so on. What we should be doing is engage our time and focus into understanding these problems that tease us every day and devise ideas that will help solve our daily problems. Politics will not grow our food for us, it won’t cure our sick, it won’t fix our electricity problem nor will it provide us with better internet services. It is us; we are the drives of our lives. We will be the ones changing our society. A clear example is what one of us, Mr. Patrick Awuah has done by building Ashesi University College that has risen to become one of the finest learning institutions in Africa.
I want to believe that we can better engage our time to solve the problems we face each day. I want to believe that we can produce the Bill Gates, the Michael Dell, and Mark Zukerberg, of Africa just to mention a few. These are people whose contributions have made profound impacts in life including that of Africa. During the US elections, supporters did not abandon their jobs or engage in fights. Just because our choice of whom we endorse to lead us may vary, does not mean that we should fight one another. I pray our nation will continue to enjoy the peace and stability that has been present. The world is watching; let us prove that we are both matured civilized by have a peaceful and successful election come December 7. May God continue to bless our nation!

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