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Opinions of Friday, 6 March 2020

Columnist: Emmanuel Graham Nyameke, Contributor

63rd Independence Day message from Nana Addo leaked before he delivered it

Ghana is sick and tired of stubborn citizens who evades taxes.

Ghana is 63 after independence but still in-dependence because a good number of citizens have made it the point not to pay taxes. Many private workers as well as business men and women are always doing everything possible to avoid taxes. It is the same men and women who don’t pay their taxes that complain of lack of developmental projects in their areas. Every society depends greatly on taxes for any developmental projects.

The USA and the UK are where they are today because their citizens and in fact every individual living on their land do well to pay their taxes. The good Rabbi when asked in the book for Christians whether they were to pay tax or not commanded his audience to pay their taxes in the following words: “it is good to pay taxes…. And give what belongs to the government to him.” If the good Rabbi of the New Testament ordered his audience to pay taxes, then it is obliged on every Christian living in this country to pay their taxes. A country filled with Christians who hold in high esteem the payment of tithes to pastors but forgo their duties to the country, their mother land. On this day of our celebration of our independence, we are called upon to honorably pay our taxes. I however thank you who are paying your taxes. Thank you.

As we celebrate our 63rd Independence Day, I your first gentleman of the land will want you to know that Ghana is sick and tired of corrupt officers. Corruption on our land has been institutionalized. This is evident in a situation where an officer who is in charge of a position will tell a vulnerable person searching for employment to pay a certain sum of amount before employment will be given. Suppose that person payed an amount lower than expected, the officer comes in, “you know what, I am not the only one who will take all the money, I have to pay various officers too who will be involved in granting you the employment opportunity. Ha! Ghana is sick and tired of this nonsense. There are indeed officers in the corruption institute. It looks like they are firm because they have built a good defend mechanism to enable their institution stay even when heavy storms rage against it.

To you my dear cabinet ministers it has come to my desk how deeply you have wounded the nation by your corrupt ways. I have been notified on your use of the public offices for your advantages. How you use your offices to pave way for your family members and friends into offices they do not qualify. I am again aware of your use of office hours to write recommendation letters for people in order that they got opportunities when they did not deserve it. I have again been made aware of your use of the nation’s properties including the cars for your private use. I must in a word make you understand that “the offices you occupy is not to be used to build Islands for your families.” The offices you occupy is one of service. Ghana is sick and tired of these your awkward attitudes. I must however say thank you to the good men among you who have the nation at heart.

63 years on and Ghana continues to witness bad policies. If the nation is not growing as it should, it is because over the years and mine, we have made wrong policies that have brought the nation where she is now. We fail in these policies because they are not policies mostly of the country but party policies. How can a whole nation independent of itself having a goal for her cherished members rely on policies made by a kind of political parties. Won’t it be the parties’ aims that will be achieved instead of the nation’s? It’s about time Ghana had a long term national policies for a period of fifty years and beyond. This policy should be drawn by stakeholders of the nation. It is the nation’s policies that are to guide political parties who rise to power and not their “individual opinions for the country”. Till now, all political parties rule Ghana with their individual political opinions which in most cases are not good policies. Ghana is sick and tired of all these and I call on you and me to begin this change.

As this year is an election year, I ask that we all conduct ourselves well. We are not violent people, we cherish peace. You and I need the peace we have long ago enjoyed. Do not let political parties buy your conscience with gifts forcing you to make a decision you will regret in future. Remember, four years is still a longer way to go, and so do not exchange it for a four days satisfaction.

Before I take my seat, I would like to present a gift to my dear people of this land. Henceforth all gutters are going to be covered. This is our bit to control and prevent malaria. All gutters on every street is going to be covered. We are sick and tired of breathing in polluted air. Doctors association of Ghana have yearly reported on how citizens die as a result of that and we are not going to take that any longer.

I promise you on this day of our 63rd Independence Day celebration, a nation free from all colonial dictatorship, a nation desirable to be lived in. God bless our fathers and mothers and God bless our homeland Ghana. Happy Independence Day to you all.

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