Feature Article of Saturday, 15 September 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
''''Continue To Take Its Citizens For Granted
By Kofi Thompson
Today I visited an LP gas selling point just before the bridge across the Densu River, as one heads towards Panbros. I simply couldn't resist the urge to observe and interact with some of those waiting to be served there.
With their LP gas cylinders in a queue of cylinders all waiting to be filled up, what struck me most, was the patience of their owners - and their stoical acceptance of the situation.
Lucky to find a supply point that still had LP gas available for sale, they waited patiently for their cylinders to be filled up - just like the drivers queueing in their taxis and mini pick-ups: all awaiting their turn to be served.
With a people full of such forbearance to rule, it is no wonder that despite their inability to make our nation prosperous for all its citizens, over the decades since President Nkrumah's overthrow, successive batches of Ghana's ruling elites have been tolerated by ordinary Ghanaians for so long.
In many an African nation-state, such as Nigeria, for example, the frequent power outages we are now experiencing, and the nationwide shortage of LP gas - though not the actual fault of the regime now in power in Ghana, one admits - might probably trigger riots.
That is why those who lead our nation - at any given point in time - must ensure that the public are always kept appraised of the facts, when emergency situations conspire to make life unbearable for the ordinary people of Ghana.
Take the current power crisis for example, dear reader. How many Ghanaians are aware that damage caused by a dropped ship anchor, halted the flow of gas from Nigeria through the West African gas pipeline - on which most of Ghana's thermal power plants depend on to produce electricity?
Our leaders must always ensure that such situations are explained clearly and promptly to the citizenry. Yes, Ghanaians are indeed a patient lot - but those who rule them must not continue to take them for granted. There is only so much people in any given society can tolerate.
Was that not the selfsame mistake the Zine El Abidine Ben Alis, Hosni Mubaraks and Muammar Gaddafis of a bygone age in North Africa made, I ask, dear reader? A word to the wise...
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