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Opinions of Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

Ghanaians, Are We TRUE To Our National Anthem?

I sat down early this morning and I was wondering but come on Ghana, we have a brilliant national anthem but why is it that we are only interested in rhyming the lyrics without paying the scantest regard for those words. In the national Anthem we collectively make a request to the omnipotent and omnipresent God to bless our home land Ghana. We see in the Bible the number of times the Israelites had to go to Egypt anytime there was famine in their land. We also know in the Bible that God promised Isaac not to go Egypt in one of the numerous famines but to stay in Philistine and sow, and the Bible says he harvested bountifully that year.God Blessed his homeland.

In Ghana, God has since 1957 blessed our homeland Ghana. God has blessed us with abundant natural resources such as fertile land, streams and rivers running through all the land to water the land and make them productive, ocean stretching from Aflao to Axim and beyond in the Ivory Coast border, forest, minerals such as bauxite, manganese, diamonds (unfortunately CAST the British company had plundered all), iron ore, gold ore and recently Oil. He has given us able bodied men and women that can be developed in skills to be masters of these abundant resources.We have abundant supply of human resources in the form of manpower. Our God has been true to his promise and answered our pledge and request to bless our homeland, Ghana.We are loved by all the nations of the world just because we love:PEACE.

We said:” *He should make our nation great and strong”* and truly, we have a Ghana that is great and strong. We did not ask God to make us strong in terms of physical strength only but also let us live in harmony with one another that is peaceful co-existence, be free of deadly illnesses and diseases and great in the sense we would be capable of standing against any forces that are alien to our well-being and existence. We should be able to use his resources to make in roads in the fields of science and technology, medicine, physics and be capable of providing for our citizens all they need to live a healthy, long and prosperous life. A great and strong nation is the one which has a common goal and objective and the people are willing to work at it with love, peace and understanding without anybody trying to break that harmony by relating to them according to their ethnic background. They are coupled together as a nation and nobody can divide them

We asked God to make us: *Bold to defend forever the cause of Freedom and of right. *And it is here that my difficulty arises. Yes our history tells us that we have had bold people in the past that stood up when there was the need to be bold to defend the cause of freedom and of right. Yaa Asantewaah stood up against the British imperialist colonial rule when they had taken the Asante King,Prempeh the first to Seychelles in 1896 when men were drinking and sat unconcerned. We have Ex-servicemen who mobilised themselves in 1947 to march to the Osu Castle(Christiansburg Castle) to petition the British Colonial rulers to grant Ghana independence, bold men like:Sergeant Cornelius Frederick Adjetey, Private Odartey Lamptey and Corporal Attipoe but their death speeded up the independence of Ghana. Men like General Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifah who single headedly defended the cause of freedom and of right and resisted the UNIGOV ideal of Kutu Acheampong, men like Alorga Akatapoli,Baah Achamfuor,Atiemo,the Boaky Djans who would rise up against the misadventure of the SMC1, SMC2 regimes and in a way released Rawlings from military detention to become a head of state.

Are we bold to resist the excesses of the politics being unfolded in Ghana today? Are we bold enough to tell the Ghanaian Parliamentarian to spend their time in parliament to make laws for our homeland instead of travelling from one FM station to another churning out lies, falsehood, character assassination, propaganda etc.? Are we bold to confront the Ghanaian Policemen and women to concentrate on their civil duties of protecting lives and property instead of colluding with criminals to loot our nation? Are we bold to tell the policeman to check the state of vehicles that ply our roads instead of them asking drivers to “Do something”? Are we bold to tell the Army and Immigration officials that their national function and responsibility is to protect the sovereignty of Ghana instead of allowing smugglers to loot our gold, timber, cola, cocoa, oil across the borders? Are we waiting for God to come down from heaven to do that for us? How sad!

In the next line we continue to bother God to: *Fill our hearts with true humility, make us cherish fearless honesty*. Yes in a way the Ghanaian is very humble and it is admirable and that is where it ends. Pastor Mensah Otabil preached this sermon entitled “Be a lamb and a Lion”. According to him being a lamb is like being humble and he contends, that alone is not enough, you need to be a lamb and a lion. He says being a lion is to be as bold as the lion, all the attributes of a lion such as fearless, strong, powerful, and great in battle, ability to lie low when waiting to pounce on a prey and the Lion never gives up until it has achieved its goal, the tenacity and agility. Are we? Hasn’t God answered that too or we are still waiting? 54 years, we are still waiting for somebody to come and tell us that building houses in inner cities we need services like: roads, sewage, toilets, water and shopping malls. Are we honest? How many, out of the population of 25million people in that country can be trusted when you enter into agreement with them, that they will uphold or honour their part of the agreement? Are we honest to the country called Ghana? Do we in all sincerity perform our duties which we are paid to do? Are we honest to protect national property? Don’t we plunder them under the pretext it is government property? “Onyame nhu yen mmobo” How much do we contribute to the national income in the form of output anytime we rise up in the day to go to work? Do we pay our taxes? How about our airports and the harbours are they places that generate income for the state or for the personnel the state had employed there to help generate national income? Are we cherishing: Fearless honesty? Can we put our lives on that?

I really like this line: “*And help us resist OPPRESSOR’S RULE, with all our will and might for evermore”.*

Pre independence or properly put, before independence we all targeted our colonial master the British as the oppressor and as you have all seen the exploits of the leaders who stood up against them until our independence. Come independence in 1957, the oppressor is no longer the British; the difficult part is that this time they are many. On the one side we have what they call First World, they are developed, they have control over the world resources so they are rich and powerful and they are in the West, that is the capitalist, who decide what the resources in the soil of Ghana should be used for and they determine the volume, guantity to exploit, where they would be sold and lastly how much they should be sold for.

On the other side is the newly educated and ambitious Ghanaian who unfortunately, did not have the necessary facilities post independence to acquire the same skill, education and knowledge as the departed colonial master so had to travel or follow the “master” to their homeland to acquire this much needed expertise. In overseas, they were indoctrinated into believing anything good comes from the West that is the UK and Europe. There is power in indoctrination and the psychologists in the west perfected it very well.

In the West they learned that it was an offence to be educated in the United Kingdom or the United States and return to Ghana and allow your national interest, your customs and culture, your pride as a nation, that is your traditions supersede your “masters’”. Therefore, though they have assumed responsibilities for our civil service, our police service, our armed forces and all the public entities they were controlled and manipulated by the master. They said it was not wise to set up factories, let us take all your agricultural produce to the West and add value in the form of finished products and bring it back to you at a higher price and just as Fela said:Zoombie would say, yes sir master.

The neo-colonialists, Dr Kwame Nkrumah warned us against. In Ghana today, the oppressor is the president who has lien over all the resources of Ghana and how he makes his allocation. If he is fair and not oppressive, the allocation would be made to benefit all the 25 million people in the country equally but when it is MY PARTY THAT WON ME THE ELECTION FIRST, then there you find your oppressor. Your average oppressor is the minister of state who fails to carry our projects the national budget has allocated funds for; the civil servant who will demand money before they do their work; the police officer who uses his police uniform to extort money from the victim before he enters a case of crime being reported; the army officer who uses his gun to threaten and torment the lives of the very citizens whose sovereignty he is trained to guard; the MP who would never come back to the constituency to check on those who elected him to find out what they want or need; the MP who fails to attend parliamentary sittings; the MP who starts buying salt and chamber pots when it is 3year 9 months into another elections for the party executives in his constituency; the assemblymen and women who will use the districts resources to build houses for themselves and all those in position of trust like the Border Guards, Immigration, Revenue Collectors who have their own invoices and receipts;and all Ghanaian who allow their CONSCIENCE to be bought with money so that what would have been done to benefit the entire 25 million Ghanaians would not be done.

Fellow Ghanaian, are you resisting the oppressor and if your answer is yes, then God says so be it. The oppressor is no longer those who colonised us 400 years ago but the Ghanaian standing next to you who finds it difficult to accept that you are excelling in life. The “pull him downs” those who can’t take it when you are successful. At times your success pains him more than a wound on his body. Resist those who make you sleep on empty stomachs, those who deny you the opportunity to be educated, opportunity to have toilet facilities in your homes, good roads, railways, harbours, running hospitals, hygienic drinking water etc. God’s help has always been available but because of one thing or the other, Ghanaians have failed to utilise it.

I like our national anthem so let us study it and live by it. What a Great Nation we shall become if we went by our national anthem.

Source: Kofi Owusu-Ansah