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Opinions of Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Columnist: Oduro, E. K.

For the lack of the middle class, Ghana perishes

We've been hearing of how fast our continent and for that matter ghana is rapidly developing in all sectors of human endeavors. Private banks keep sprouting up on every corner of our land, businesses are booming and the yearn for middle class amenities is greater now than ever. This is all great news if it meant anything to the majority of we the people.

Ghana is without a doubt is at a promising moment in our infant life. We have an opportunity to harness our most relevant resource to turn around our fortunes. This is not the newly discovered oil nor our precious minerals. This resource is the youth. The human energy. I had always advocated for a very vigorous youth involvement in the Ghanian politic. I had the believe that, the immediate post independence generation with all their wisdom and faults, did the best they could. They were set in their ways which made it really hard for the nation to venture into new and untested waters. Ever since the demise of Kwame Nkrumah, the nation has lacked any charismatic leader with Rawlings been an exception. We have continuously been led by people with the longest resumes and degrees yet lack the common sense needed to harness the people to embark on responsible and patriotic duties.

The idea of middle class is highly relative. However, the underlying argument for middle class remains the same. Ability to cater for your family and comfortably save for a rainy day. Our leaders have no such vision of bringing a good chunk of us into this class. They prefer us being for ever subjects as they squander every dime in the nations coffers. I am totally sickened by the affairs of our nation right now. I am still baffled by the lack of accountability in our current government. The youth in this administration are just perpetuating the old ways of governance. How can a young minister lose 200million Cedis and no real investigation conducted. How did he come to be in possession of such an amount? The hubris and arrogance of such shady characters is never punished and hence become the status quo. In Ghana, to be rich, join politics and your household is set for eternity. The gap between the rich and the poor is so wide that it's impossible to make it to the top. Why is the nation still arguing daily over these wrongful government debt settlements with no one in prison. Evidently most of the culprits involved are still in positions of power. These individuals were intricately involved in these dealings where they willfully caused the nation some huge amounts of money. From lawyers, judges to some ministers, heads gotta roll. It's just justice.

We take pride in the meager developments across ghana. But then, travel across most villages and you can't help but notice the stark difference between the haves and the really have nots. I never expect every Ghanaian to be rich. What I expect is an equal opportunity given to every one. We have over the decades shown a democratic spirit that kept us from constantly choosing constitutional rule over autocracy. Almost six decades after independence, ghana is still grappling with constant electricity outages, malaria and unbelievable unemployment rates. We have worked hard enough to put democracy on a firmer footing. The most deleterious aspect of our governance is the sad notion that elected leaders are so better than us. The idea is for them to serve us but we see the opposite. The moment elections are over, these guys encapsulate themselves into cocoons. They ignore the harsh realities facing the populace. Our so called leaders lack any imagination. They lack the curiosity to propose bold and new ideas.

Sooner or later, the poor amongst us are gonna rise up. I'm not calling for an arms uprising though a revolution though forced accountability won't be such a bad idea. What we need is the likes of Martin Amidus. Not liars and propaganda pushing idiots like the Okudzetos. At some point, people are gonna get fed up been fooled and might resolve to some real violent measures. Successful democracy requires far more than mere political transitions. It requires an electorate that uses its franchise to demand performance from its government and a vibrant society. Ghanaian leaders, keep fooling yourselves into believing how great of a job you doing. The people will wake up from their slumber sooner than you think. Ask Muammar Ghaddafi. That day is definitely approaching.

E.k. Oduro New York

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