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Opinions of Thursday, 14 July 2016

Columnist: Adumoa Sam

Only Ghanaians can change Ghana not politicians

I love this quotes by our great leader Dr Kwame Nkrumah which says that, "Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge - a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?

http://www.azquotes.com/author/10844-Kwame_Nkrumah (27/03/2016)

Dr Nkrumah was referring to Ghanaians and not politicians in the above quote. Knowing very well that change can only come from the collective action of the people. He said heavy is the accountability and yet dignified and splendid test for Ghanaians and the African in general. The question here is whether we as Ghanaians can comfortably say that we have that courage to dream, to believe, to dare, to do, to envision, to fight to work and to achieve. The answer is yes to the last item (TO ACHIEVE) but no to most of the question above.

Every Ghanaian want to accomplish a lot within the shortest possible time irrespective of the source of their income. Young men and women complete university with only few things in their psyche:

1. to secure a good job,

2. to get married,

3. to buy a 4x4 or a small car,

4. to build a dream house,

5. to affiliate themselves to a political party,

6. to be family heads,

7 to be chairpersons during occasions in the church. The list is endless. This is what we called the dream of the Modern Ghanaian. This is in fact not the type of dream Dr Nkrumah was talking about. These sort of dreams breeds corruption, greed, egocentricity, selfishness, detestation etc.

Ghanaian have become so ravenous and self-centred. The modern Ghanaian only thinks about himself or herself. The modern Ghanaian always want his brother, his uncle, his father, his sister to pave an easy way for him/her to start the thorny journey in life.

The modern Ghanaian does not want to achieve anything on merit. This has been the root of our problems. Due to favouritism and nepotism we continue to put square pegs in round holes, electing people into power based on the amount of money they can give us, on tribal connections, as a way of saying thank you for payment of our wards/brothers/sisters hospital/ school fees etc. After we have sold our conscience we then turn around to insult them as being liars, incompetent, wicked etc. When will all this stop my people?

There is so much impiety and gluttony in Ghana and Africa in general. Everyone takes advantage of the work he/she has been employed to do. The policeman collect bribes from those who commit crime against the law and let them off the hook, Head teachers takes bribes from prospective parents before giving admission to their wards, teachers don't want to cover the school syllabus in class for fear that the student will not attend extra classes to beef up their pockets, doctors diverting patients from public hospitals/clinics to their private clinics for treatment in order to get extra income, fraud in our land administration, pastors no longer break bread together with their church members but instead steal from them by putting fear in them, contractors don't do what they have been contracted to do, drivers mate stealing changes from their passengers, taxi drivers stealing and cheating their owners, public servants taking bribes from members of the public before offering them the necessary public service, custom officials undervaluing goods so that part of the duty will be diverted into their pockets, immigration officials extorting money from passengers in our various port of entry, laboratory technicians taking bribes from patients before giving them their lab reports, nurses accepting bribes from families before taking good care of their patients, people go to work and leave their work places in order to go and pay their bills, visit families or friend or to the hairdresser whiles others are waiting for their services, people paying bribes before their salaries are released, pensioners having to agree to part with almost 50% of their pension in order for their pension to be processed, bank cashiers stealing from their customers, pharmacies selling fake drugs in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the sick. The list is endless. All the above corrupt and greedy activities are being perpetuated by ordinary Ghanaians and not politicians. Yet we turn around and insult every politician that he or she is corrupt.

The Ghanaian problem is greater than any political party. And I can say today that no politician can transform the fortunes of our dear nation without the total transformation of the mindset of the modern Ghanaian. Let no one make a mistake to think that either NPP or NDC is our problem.

The problem is we the people of Ghana. How can a handful of politicians change the fortune of the state? We are almost 30million and we think some few thousands of politicians can change our fortune? That is very sad. In some jurisdiction, politicians come and go and the lives of the citizens will not be at risk.

It is only in Ghana and Africa in general that we think that if ones party is not in power then it will not be well with him/her because he/she won't have the chance to steal from government coffers or have certain favours they used to have. This is very wrong and the sooner we change as a people and begin to think about our nation as the only nation we have the better.

There are so many Ghanaian who have build houses and bought cars after being in employment only a few years. Some parents have used them to challenged other members of the family without first asking them about their sources of income. So many Ghanaians take bribes and survive on money from bribery and corruption and yet no one from the family dare to ask about their source of income. This is where the corruption starts.

People go to the bank with fertiliser bags full of cash and not even the bank is interested in their source of income. People by cars which their salary cannot afford even if they save money for 10years without spending a penny out of their salaries yet no one dare to ask them about their source of income.

What we are good at is to accuse our political heads as being corrupt knowing very well that we are more corrupt than those we are accusing of being corrupt. I am by any means saying that every Ghanaian is greedy and corrupt, but the bad nuts far outweighs the good ones, hence the reason for our current state of the nation.

Can anyone reading this article today tell me that he or she has ever challenged a family member of being corrupt in his ways before? When our families benefits from corrupt practices, it is fine, but when the politician does the same then it is bad. This is hypocrisy and we have to change our ways if we truly want any leader to succeed in Ghana. Never lie to yourself that any politician can change our country if we as a people cannot change our mindset.

No African president is his own man. Let no one fool you to believe that any leader in Africa is his own man. People contribute to the party for the leader to be elected. So the leader will never be his own man. He will be manipulated by the powers that be. Politicians in Africa are business men. They are not and will never be true politicians.

They come to power to amass enough wealth that they can use to return to power after 8years. They don't think about you and I. All they think about is themselves, their families, their concubines, their old school mates, their church leaders, their juju men and their extended families.

The only time they think about you and I is six months to the next presidential and parliamentary elections. This is my reason for saying that neither Mahama nor Akufo Addo cannot change our dear nation.

Only Ghanaians can change Ghana. This can only happen when we try our best to be patriotic and love our dear nation more than ourselves. And this will only happen in 100 years time.

Author Adumoa Sam Lincolnshire UK