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Opinions of Sunday, 4 September 2011

Columnist: Abdallah, Tijani Kassim

Ghanaian Attitude Needs a Reform

Tijani Kassim Abdallah, the author

Anytime I listen to radio, People seem to be expressing certain desire as to how Ghana should go in terms of development. Yet as a people, we do not embolden our convictions to do things that will drive us there. I get worried about this phenomenon and I know this would engage the attention of every serious Ghanaian who is passionate about Ghana, particularly when an Irish friend asked why there is so much talk in principle and in practice we do otherwise. This is very disturbing.

While in all these, my imagination triggers these compelling questions.
1. Who checks the people who dump garbage everywhere on our streets and in gutters with impunity?
2. Who checks the Security Man who abandons his duties for his parochial gains?
3. Who checks the Carpenter who has an albatross responsibilities but yet deny the innocent customer of the truth?
4. Who checks the Tailors and Seamstress who promise customers of finished of work tomorrow and when you leave he dump it somewhere?
5. Who actually checks the Cobbler who promises the customer of Work–In–Progress? I know there are lots running through your mind.
Just last week, I had a confrontation with a well dressed gentleman who was standing with a white lady along the Legon–Madina road. Subsequently, the white lady inebriated sachet water and asked the gentleman of an incinerator and to my surprise, the gentleman vigorously took the sachet and threw it along the road in the full glance of everybody without regret. In my quest to cite him of indiscipline, he said “spare me, why do I pay tax? Are you the one to change Ghana? Nkrumah koraa is dead, Afrifa is gone, Busia”. The rest I could not write about because it is unprintable.
I have noticed that people deliberately do things in this country that even foreigners would restrain from doing so, which in my judgment causes a lot of damage to the image of the country and we need to be conscious about it.
Off late, it is becoming more of a habit when you see people responding to natures call along our beaches, gutters, in between structures, uncompleted buildings and so on regardless of the health implications posed to them and the innocent others.
Again, it is very important to acknowledge that as creatures of habit, we train ourselves to do things but it does warrant us to do negatives. We need to get a positive attitude towards our country. I am saying this because, if you travel outside Ghana, you will notice a lot of goodwill outside for this country. On the African continent many feel Ghana with so much happiness; they uphold Ghana in high esteem. A friend of mine travel to US and according to him, any where he went and they realize he is a Ghanaian; he is given a preferential treatment and job opportunities. Clearly, this means that Ghanaians are respected for our profile in unity and democratic maturation. We should celebrate that.
Furthermore, the attitude of attributing every burden on government without any conscious effort from it citizenry, I think it is rather Ghana first and we need to have more goodwill in Ghana for one another irrespective of our tribes, our political affiliations. Ghana is our heritage. The Pull–Him–Down syndrome is becoming too bad and too negative in Ghana; I think we should make Ghana first ahead of everything.

How do we manage our mindset and do things better?
First, we must establish ethical values. Our public life in times of morality must synchronize with our private lives. For instance you don’t have to throw garbage everywhere and ascribe the responsibilities to the local government with the excuse that I pay Tax.
Second, I think we do not need any policing or monitoring team for our attitude, Ghanaians themselves need to cultivate the habit of self leadership and do things ourselves.
Third, we must posses a sense of ownership and put Ghana first. That is to say, we must be passionate about what we do in our professions. For instance, if you are a Teacher, Nurse, Carpenter, Cobbler, Doctor, etc you must be diligent in the discharge of your duty.
Fourth, we must acknowledge the fact that everybody is entitled to his/her opinion and nobody should assume the monopoly of facts.
Consistent with these provisions, I pledge that, if we all brighten the corner we find ourselves, eventually the whole country would be brightened.
May God Bless Us All.

Author: Tijani Kassim Abdallah/