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@58, How independent
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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Columnist: The National Forum

@58, How independent



Ghana turned 58 last Friday, March 6, 2015. Of the 58years, we have overthrown our Constitution three times thus we are operating under the Fourth Republican Constitution. Strangely, we have had four coup d'etats instead of three.

The fourth one which did not in fact overthrow a constitution and was supposed to end all military interventions in our civil life or was so purported by its greatest beneficiary (Jerry John Rawlings), is the June 4, 1979 counter coup.

At age 10 in 1967, March 6, we had a buoyant national airline – Ghana Airways; we had a relative fleeting shipping line – BlackStar Line; Our Trade Fair site showcased Made in Ghana goods including matches, radio sets, television sets, fabric, nyankonton powder; we had our own Ghana Telecom; We had Tarkwa gold refinery 90% completed; we had atomic city exploring alternative energy sources; we had jobs in excess for our graduates from O'levels up; Our State Farms were still functional; Healthcare was prime on the agenda; we were still the pride of the black race and truly the lodestar of Africa. On and on the list can go to include the many State Companies from Housing to everything industry knew then.

Today, we have no shipping line. We have no airline. Ghana Telecom is now VODAFONE. We are in energy crisis without a sign in sight of resolution. Our graduates from universities are struggling to secure 'survival' jobs. We cannot feed ourselves and import basics foods like plantain and tomatoes from neighbouring Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso respectively. Housing is so much a problem that we are having third generational street homeless children.

Our nation's leadership is nearing comatose. The presiding leadership is in trouble of self-inflicted agonies. The leadership without presiding is also either failing to offer any hope of an imminent change or it is not showing up at all. So in the despair, the masses are challenged to spark something. A spark, which if not guided can lead to all manner of situations including an unguarded careless revolution which most often can be chaotic and disastrous.

What are the chances available to the good people of Ghana who are so dissatisfied with themselves and their leadership? TNF asks and hazards a guess. The answer lies in the simple fact of renewal of faith and ways. We must not give up on choosing leaders because some leader(s) had/have been a disappointment. We must not lose faith in party politics or democracy because some party(ies) have led as astray and squandered the opportunity offered them. There are good people just as there exist bad persons. Our task is to keep looking and searching for the good people amongst us to lead.

We need to sound warnings to erring leaders instead of shouting sycophancy. We must be sincere and honest with our consciences. No one outside determines what is right or wrong but our conscience. Our conscience is that which separate us from animals.

At 58, we cannot be too proud of maintaining just political independence. We cannot also kill ourselves of falling short one way or the other. What we can do which we at TNF suggest we must do is to pick the pieces together and bury the past, ugly as it may be.

Let sing one song with our different voices including the discordant ones. And together appreciate that we are Ghanaians first and foremost before our ethnicity, religions, or social standing. Ghana is for us all. WE ARE GHANA – THE LODESTAR OF AFRICA!

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