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Opinions of Thursday, 24 July 2014

Columnist: Manaf, Alhassan Tairou

The better Ghana of yesterday

Good old days. Gone were the days when the masses, the market women, business men and women et cetera in our society chanted the highly spirited slogan of the Convention Peoples Party. Forward ever, backwards never was all that the people knew, and so was its reflection in their life as the political party they rallied behind transformed Ghana into an industrial hub and a self sufficient economy in the south of the Sahara. Ghana was indeed a great force to reckon with and a beckon of hope to Africa and any despondent nation politically and economically. This was a government built on the potent ideals of the illustrious son of the continent, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah,popularly referred to as "Nkrumahism".

Ghana was not a heaven under Nkrumah, but it was a country in which making a good living and living a decent life wasn't a headache. It was a moment when every Ghanaian radiated with confidence and pride in their general approach to life, business and service to nation. Indeed, that was what you should expect from citizenries whose leader has walked his talk in all aspects of his dealings with the people. We can't capture all of Nkrumah's achievements in this piece, but the biggest legacy Nkrumah left for us as a nation and a continent is that: THE BLACK MAN IS CAPABLE OF MANAGING HIS OWN AFFAIRS AND THAT,THE AFRICAN IS NOT INFERIOR TO ANY RACE! This was the philosophy which made him untoward to other leaders of his time. It therefore came as no surprise to billions when Nkrumah was voted as the greatest African of the millennium by BBC.

As Nkrumah rightly put it, "you can't please a Ghanaian". The traitors were not pleased with the " BETTER GHANA" Nkrumah was giving Ghanians. For them, till they get the opportunity to govern or rule, they know no bounds in using all means evil to thwart the destiny of this nation, hence the series of terrorist attacks on his life and government and his eventual Coup d'état on 24th February, 1966. It is no doubt many believe that dark day marked the eve of our backward march as a nation.

After Nkrumah's overthrow, political parties which were organized on tribal lines and those that had no message nor vision for the people had a merry making day. We also had avalanche of corrupt and evil military regimes adding to our woes.come create,loot and share was their message. Some equated themselves to prophets of God, and in the final analysis Ghanians saw their true colours. From one military regime to the other , one civilian rule after the other, Ghana keeps walking down the precipice of a failed state.

Gone were those days in Osagyefo's era when political appointments or leadership was a significant privilege for one to selflessly serve and die for the nation. Unfortunately in our time, politics and governance has been given a different orientation. And that is not so difficult to identify as it is so glaring and, in fact , we feel it in our situations and conditions. Political parties are covertly organized on the evil lines of greed and corruption,which informs how they govern when they win power.

As a people, we pay less attention to how political parties organize themselves to win elections. They spend extravagantly, employ the services of their fanatics, serial callers and foot soldiers etc. to do all the bad and evil to materialize their agenda. When they win power,they run the governance of the country as if they are organizing a political campaign, Occupying every orifice of government and institutions with comedians, bootlickers, sycophants and square pegs in round holes. It is all about party loyalty over competence.

For the past two months, the country has been hit by series of demonstrations and strike actions from both the main opposition New Patriotic Party, non political party groups, workers etc. all in protestation of the level of the hardship, hopelessness and apparent loss of direction in the economy. Virtually, everyone in the country is complaining about the harsh conditions imposed on them by leadership.Our economy is afflicted by series of injuries from the falling value of the cedi, fall in the prices of our major export earners like cocoa, energy crisis , increment in utility tariffs amidst the poor service, huge public debt and expenditure against poor revenue mobilization mainly on salaries of public workers through the infamous Single Spine Salary structure, which many economics pundits have identified as a key contributor to our economic woes, increased penchant for import commodities, rise in the prices of goods and services with stagnant salaries, stinking issues of corruption etc. In my candid opinion, our current challenges date back to successive governments, and we are today suffering the cumulative effect.

What is the way forward? Obviously, we must overhaul our entire system of governance by adopting a system that minimizes the partisan approach to handling issues which are strictly of national interest. By now, it should be so obvious to all that partisanship doesn't run a government. And we can't achieve that without eschewing that "winner takes all" syndrome we have swallowed. Ghana as a country must define its interest . We must identify and define our priorities as a nation within the framework of a national development plan steered by a competent and visionary National Development Planning Commission. Strong state institutions like parliament and judiciary must be strengthened and well resourced to dispassionately execute their mandate in the general interest of the good people of this country etc.

Let's think beyond self, and have the interest of Ghana at heart and MOTHER GHANA SHALL SURELY WORK AGAIN! Leadership must have the political testosterone to take those strong decisions which will put our mother land on the map of economic sovereignty.

BY ALHASSAN TAIROU MANAF
Email:professormaita@yahoo.com
Mobile:0549687509