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Opinions of Sunday, 13 May 2007

Columnist: Asiedu-Young, Bellinia

Ghana@50 And Beyond, And Arthur Kennedy

THREADING ON SOFT GROUND

At 50, our nation can be compared to a toddler who is still attempting to master the art of standing on both feet. In this infantile stage, Ghana still needs to be treated with a kid’s glove. We have missed many turns, and so many have been stepped on in the course of the 50 years as a result of irresponsible guardianship and ill-advised wanton and illegal interference in the administration of our country.

An apology of some sort or confirmation of mistakes by those who know better would have been warranted. Nevertheless, we will still move on, with or without the proper acknowledgements from those who WE BELIEVE have failed us. The popular adage, letting “bygones be bygones” should be our watchword, and yet we should learn from the mistakes and not simply pretend that they did not happen. For, in order to succeed, we must open our minds and move on, and if anyone is taking these things for granted, they should rather take a serious look again.

And, if we are to resolve that “sleeping dogs must lie”, then let us refer to our history as still alive and standing as a tree which will never die, and set the record straight that for the 50 years, we have been led to the point of near collapse without the proper infrastructure and enough industries that will sustain a nation. Why then do we want to follow the old traditions and unnecessary bureaucracy that did nothing for us? Why should we accept without asking questions the remotest possibility that anyone could be holding a monopoly over our young democracy?

A MOVE TOWARDS A NEW GHANA Let’s take proper stock of what we have done and move Ghana into the 21st century. In our quest for a responsible leadership, the key issues should be economic growth and how we take care of the Ghanaian citizenry. We must start putting a strong case across that government is there to protect and uphold us and when they let us down, we feel it badly. To succeed, the government must allow at the national table all those who are willing to participate to help identify our pitfalls and find ways to improve our situation. We must select for our next government a leader who will allow a complete participation of all Ghanaians in the nation building process and who will be brave enough to put in place the proper checks and balances that will detect unethical behaviour that destroys our economic networks before they become a problem.

A DESPERATE SITUATION Until we build those industries and improve sanitation and improve tourism, and so on and so forth, our country which cannot come out with a budget without an approval of a loan or grant from a superpower will continue to depend largely on its Diaspora people. How can we sit down unconcerned and allow this to continue? What would happen to us when the next generation of Ghanaians abroad (our offspring) who do not have an equally binding attachment to our homeland are unable to live up to the same financial expectations? They will not be able to sustain Ghana – they have a different reality.

I can now even understand why people sometimes write into cyberspace to vent their frustrations, it’s a free for all, and it seems to be the best avenue. I wish though we would tone it down a bit and not defame others in the process. And while we do that, we have to beware of those who use divisive tactics to undervalue our civil liberties. Ethnocentricity is the greatest threat facing Ghana today and all well-meaning civilized Ghanaians must resist it.

MAKING CONCESSIONS All Ghanaians must endeavour to be one another’s keeper and advocate for access to good schools, better health services, clean water, electricity, and help create the kind of infrastructure that will encourage job creation. It has become necessary that our rich in the society take care of our poor, if we do not, no one will. We need a more inclusive society that embraces everyone. We must bridge the gap between the rich and poor, the north and the south, by tapping our natural and human potential to its maximum. No one should be made to feel left out.

It is true that our whole society is rife with weaknesses from top to bottom, and I don’t blame those who say it will be difficult for any politician to break down the barriers of corruption. After all, others have tried and failed to stop this social canker, but this is where Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy comes in. For the first time, we have a leader who is coming with a different vision and a different message. What is different about Dr. Kennedy’s vision is his approach, and his plan for transparency for implementing effective checks and balances by way of continuous supervision of institutions, and a measurement of performance in a way that promotes greater accountability.

There is the need to move people in their numbers to have faith and support Dr. Kennedy. We have to lift Ghana out of this sinking doldrums once and for all so we can leave a better legacy for the future.

At 50, my wish is that Ghana embraces change. Let us drop from our national vocabulary words that denote violence and imply the option is force. We have to be able to criticize our affiliates and opponents alike when they are wrong without being made to feel we are against them. The people of Ghana deserve better! We cannot let them down.

After you have finished reading this article, I will urge you to do one of the 4 things below:

Endorse Arthur Kennedy as your candidate, by visiting his website www.arthurkkennedy.com and making a contribution today. Click on the comments section below and make your constructive comment. Do both 1 and 2 above. Of course you may disregard this article because you just don’t care either way if Ghana keeps repeating the same mistakes.

I conclude by leaving you with these insightful words, “The old order must change and yield place to the new, lest one good custom should corrupt the world”. Let this message stay with you until next time. Thank you.

Bellinia Asiedu-Young
Richmond Hill, Ontario


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