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Opinions of Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Columnist: Amponsah, Frank

A two fold albatross: Patrotism amd Political Parties

1957 and 1992 marked important and unprecedented events in our national history as a nation. The former year (1957) saw the birth and unearthing of a nation that will serve as a beacon of hope for future african states. While the latter unveiled a legitimate constitution, which would remain a candid document whose ambient the three systems of government will continue to function appropriately, subject to future amendments.

Indeed as the British handed independence to Ghana, numerous opportunites and challenges laid ahead. And the sense of devotion and loyalty to the new state was significantly on the rise and became an enblem worn on the heart of almost every Ghanaian. In fact nationalism permeated through every facet of the new Ghanaian society vis a vis culture, education, national polity etc. As the new state (Ghana) began to mature and garner momentum on the international scene, distortions and punctures in the form of coup d'etats and economic misnagement maligned our national polity. And with it, numerous side effects, which still touches on the bearings of our very own diverse cultures and politics. Consequently, being nationalistic or having a sense of devotion to the motherland began to dwindle and till today it is increasingly disappearing gradually into oblivion.

The national pledge and anthem are no more taken seriously when recited at the assembly grounds in schools. Hence, it is not surprising that products from our educational institutions in various parts of the society cannot recite them correctly or better still do not know the true meaning of these virtues (the pledge and anthem), which made our predecessors sacrifice a lot for our motherland. In fact our national flags have somehow been ostracised to certain places in our country and some flown only at events. As a result the actual sense of the flag and its embodiment in our national history and body politics is also fading away.

In all this, a vacuum is being created for the future generations of the motherland. And in real terms, it begun when the defining pillars were overlooked for what has become an alternative source of survival for both practioners and participants. Political parties: NDC, NPP, CPP etc now wield a huge quantum of influence on our national politics. The now Ghana sees certain quarters of our society sing from the same hallelujah theme tune of politics, where the small and great, weak and strong, poor and rich have come to acknowledge that politics in our motherland is a venture of making money. Indeed, nationalism has become a background shadow, such that although people recognise it is lurking behind the scenes, it cannot be accepted at the expense of politics and its accompanying fruits.

Distinguishing between one's devotion and loyalty to the nation and the extent a political party wields its power has now become an albatross. And this is hanging around the necks of many Ghanaians who see themselves to be truly natioanlistic and at the same time either participate or practise politics vigorously in their respective parties. Evidence suggests that a vast majority in this category are actually patrotic to their parties than the motherland. A few are in the minority, when it comes to deciphering what is good for our nation and the ills of its economy. Party politics being played on the national front has clouded the true sense of devotion to Ghana, and as such the sense of nationalism is no more indicated vehemently in our media.

The albatross is positioning the country to a state of anomaly, where although people recognise the value of putting Ghana first yet still, they elevate their individual political parties above the nation. Political parties are now becoming very powerful and wield more influence than the country. In observing the so call developed countries, one can see that the true sense of being a citizen of a country say Germany, France, USA etc is promoted not only on specific days, at events or ceremonies. In fact for one to naturalise the individual is somewhat indoctrinated to enhance and elevate the true sense of being a citizen of that particular nation he so wish to adopt. Politicians and political parties exist and toe certain line of operating so as not to endanger the pillars and core of the nation. In effect, no political party is bigger or has an ambition of exerting its influence on the country and its citizenry. And it is this national pride that embolden them to lay functioning systems that facilitate the efficient running of their economies.

The vicious cycle in our body politics will continue without an arrest until all Ghanaians begin to put Ghana first than any individual political party. Afterall, Ghana was born before all the political parties in existence today.