Feature Article of Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Columnist: Togobo, Theophilus Fui
"And, as I pointed out... from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. We must realize that from now on we are no longer a colony but free and independent people.
But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work. That new Africa is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all the black man is capable of managing his own affairs."
~Kwame Nkrumah (6th March 1957)
Please pause and reflect on these powerful words!!
If Ghana were a human being, she should have been thinking about retirement and its aftermath. Fellow Ghanaians, what are celebrating today?
This question stems from the fact that nothing seems to be working in this country.
During the days of Nkrumah cars were assembled in Ghana and they have been compared to the makes of Toyota. Our graduates, in those days, have been competitive worldwide. Our industries have been operational those days.
Fifty years down the lane, what do we see?
Most Ghanaians cannot afford three quality nutritional meals a day, graduate unemployment has taken a nosedive, the educational system is in disarray (let alone being competitive enough to match those from the developed countries), our health system is near collapse, governance has been disgracefully reduced to the supremacy of the political party in power, mediocrity has become the yardstick of measuring productivity.
Our political ‘leaders’, people who are supposed to lead the political discourse have become so irresponsible in their utterances, parochial interests, personal aggrandizement, greed and corruption hold sway.
Ghana is fifty-five years yet the problems of Ghana keep on compounding as a result of our leaders being clueless and refusing to see beyond their noses. I must reiterate quite unequivocally that the problems of Ghana are not beyond us. My question then is; are we celebrating the corruption that has pervaded all spheres of the Ghanaian life to the extent that:
Firstly, the divestitures of state-owned industries are embedded in secrecy. When one goes into the annals of history, one would realize that instead of constructing industries, our political leaders deem it pragmatic enough to instead sell the existing state-owned companies to foreigners and their cronies. Notable cases that come to mind are Nsawam Canaries, Obuasi Goldfieds. Public officials have been allegedly bribed in the divestiture of Ghana Cement to the giant Norwegian cement company Scancom during the Rawlings Regime and most recently the sale of Ghana Telecom (GT) to Vodafone UK under the auspices of Mr. John Kuffour.
The seat of government allegedly has become the haven of corruption where kickbacks have been received under the erstwhile Kuffour Administration. And more recently, allegations are emerging of that there is a mafia within the Osu Castle under the current administration.
Misplaced policies and priorities hold sway over prudent policies in the interest of Ghana. We pay judgment debts to cronies and party faithful instead of channeling our resources into viable ventures. Hence the political leadership end up defrauding the state in the process.
we have allowed mediocrity to be the yardstick of measuring productivity. The most despicable concern to me, as a budding researcher cum educationist, is Mahama Ayariga allegedly proposing using $44 million dollars to buy Atlas for the educational sector. Meanwhile, we can use at most $25million dollars to connect the whole educational sector to the internet/cyberspace /information. Is it that as a country we don’t know the value of the internet or the political leadership has been overwhelmed by the 21st century technology that they have resorted to these dreadful anti-development policies?
Maybe a working jaunt to Seychelles Island, instead of embarking on expensive voyages to Europe and the United States of America all in the name of holidays would help them have a rethink. Need I ask what our Yale, Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard trained leaders learn at these reputable institutions? Or they are simply overwhelmed by the problems? Are these what we are celebrating?
It is an undeniable fact that Malaysia, Singapore and India engage in corruption but they equally put their money to good use. Here, what do we see? Absolutely nothingwill change any moment soon if we don't change "OUR ATTITUDES AND OUR MINDS"
I must repeat in no ambiguous terms that PATRIOTISM SHOULD NOT BE MISCONSTRUED for an event. Doing so is simply sheer hypocrisy.
Also, let's bear in mind that patriotism is not a day's activity. Nationalism, as I understand it, is the devotion and loyalty an individual or a group of people within a nation or a state have for their country. God Bless
Theophilus Fui Togobo Member, Mell Meaning Ghanaians Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com