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Feature Article of Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Columnist: Twumasi, Patrick

A Letter for Posterity. Part 1

This piece is going to run as series for God willing a long while. The motive is to educate generations’ unborn and younger generation about this great nation Ghana, our culture, diversities, love for our nation and the fashion and arts. This project will run on the firm and ardent belief of the Roman poet and historian, Titus Antonio Cicero, who once said, “To live and never know what transpired before you were born is to forever remain a child” The younger generation will find every reason to submit to and love their mother land, Ghana. They will also appreciate the efforts of their predecessors. Generations of this great and famous country Ghana will come to appreciate that, a life of scholarship is a life of service to God and country.

The target for this series is the younger generation and the unborn. The belief is we are living our lives in the present which will be the past for a generation unborn. Hence, there is the need to chronicle in a well seamless manner the present and the past with accuracy and balance that; posterity will come to appreciate the resilience of their fore bearers. In the defense of the sovereignty of Ghana many men and women have shed their blood; it is time for you too not to die a little, but whole to preserve the dignity of the nation, Ghana. For it takes millions of men and women to work till their hands are raw, as well as tones of sweat to build a nation, but it will take one stupid fool to destroy everything that has come about in centuries. So be prepared to defend your nation, because this is where your immeasurable freedom can be guaranteed. And so, arise Ghana youth for your country. The nation demands your devotion. Let us all unite and uphold…

Let’s start with a bit of our past. Ghana your beloved country gained independence on Wednesday 6th March, 1957. Indeed it was the first in the sub-Sahara Africa. Our fore fathers had to fight a colonial master, the British. It was all shoulders behind the wheel of colonialism to push them out. Remember, Africa belong to the African, and Ghana to the Ghanaian, so is Britain to the British. It took life and blood to achieve this enviable success. Enviable, because South Africa attained independence in 1994 after years of painful struggle against white minority rule, it was indeed a long walk to freedom. Imagine, the South African first black President, Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba spent 27 long years in prison custody. So was Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, he was in incarceration when he won an elected post. He was the first to enter the office of the President. It seems to be a litany of drip of real blood on the road towards freedom. What can you do for your country, not what can my country do for me, think about it. If you cannot add to the gains of the nation don’t take from it.

Ghana has the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) as the foremost political party founded on the 4th August, 1944. This party had the gathering of what you will call the greatest sons of the land. They were nick named, the Big Six, which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was one of them and he later became the Leader of Government Business and President. These sons of the soil were, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Joseph Boakye Kyeretwei Danquah and Obetsebi Lamptey. Edward Akuffo-Addo, Arko Adjei and …, are the rest of them. Dr. Nkrumah later on broke ranks with the UGCC to form the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) on Tuesday 12th June, 1949 at Saltpond, in the Central Region. The appellation, “Osagyefo” was conferred on him for his bravery in the lead towards freedom. One day we will talk about how Ghana, colonized by the British was given her freedom but the United States of America (USA) also once ruled by same took their independence. Given is not same as taken. Are you surprised that USA was also colonized? Yes they were, but that country broke free and defined their destiny. For instance, the British is orthodox while the American is charismatic, the British has the pound sterling, the America dollar, and the like. Why not Ghana?

On the 1st July, 1960 Ghana became a republic, advancing in the international community of democratic nations. This set Ghana on a promising pedestal to succeed. However, on Thursday 24th February, 1966, Ghana took a revulsive, repulsive and destructive turn towards the altar of self-sacrifice. The elected government of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown through a coup d’état. This single thoughtless decision stalled Ghana’s development by all indications and judgments. This has left Ghana still searching for the right rhythm and tune to restart the development steam which those nation wrecks took away from the sail of the country in 1966. Coups of this nature has rocked Ghana and taken a chunk of the number of years of our independence. The ballot box gives power or places the power to choose leaders in the hands of the people. But, coup d’état affords the supposed leader to place the cat before the horse, self-appointment. You wake up one morning to hear a hoarse voice on your radio announcing to you that, “I am Mr. A or B, I have suspended the constitution, parliament is dissolved and all political activities ceases” Self-imposed leader. This used to take place on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) radio. It was the only mass medium as compared to today.

Instances of such as mentioned above have affected Ghana’s development. There have been successful coup d’états and abortive ones as such. Nonetheless, Ghana has witnessed five coups. There was the 1966 coup that overthrew the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP). Ghana resumed multi-party democracy in 1969, but in 1972 there was the resumption of the appetite for coup, which lasted till the early 1981. However, soon after the swearing-in of the elected government of the late Dr. Hilla Liman (Hilla Li-who), another coup rocked the nation again. The chief perpetrator is still alive the rest have passed on to the land of our silent fathers. This lasted nineteen years, until the year 1992 brought back the good old days of constitutional rule; the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana. And in 1993, Ghana officially ushered in multi-party democracy again. We have come quite a long and odious way.

Do you believe in the people choosing their leaders or having aggregate members of the society impose themselves on the community?

*Patrick Twumasi*

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