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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Columnist: Adu-Gyamfi, Kwaku

Shut up, Stop whining and Get A life!!

WHEN WAS THE LAST time you voted on the issues that are important to the nation or voted because you understood what was at stake? When was the last time you did the right things for your nation when no one was watching you?
When was the last time you took an action to fix a problem instead of whining and complaining? Don’t lie about this one! Expressing an opinion is one thing, being actively involved is another. There is no doubt on my mind that we’re in this mess because we want to be in it.
The recent political and socio- economic downturns we’re experiencing in Ghana have revealed Ghanaians’ arrogance ,laziness and sense of entitlement syndrome .Nope, I’m not just talking about the politicians and the people in the Parliament House---the majority of Ghanaians are just whiners .
Folks, there is enough blame to go around in Ghana. If you don’t believe me look around your neighborhood, work place, and your roads. Spend thirty minutes in our hospitals or with the community leaderships, the service providers, government’s employees,( especially those at Tema harbor) and other leaders in our society. Talk to our young generation for thirty minutes and find out its goals and aspirations. Do you want more? Nope, you don’t . And, please don’t get me started. I’m not in the mood—at least, not today!
The point I’m trying to make is that voting is good, if it counts and can make a difference in our lives and communities. But, if it doesn’t, we all need to get up and protest; with letters, emails, signs, marches, petitions, articles, or whatever else it takes to have our voices heard loudly and clearly in the Parliament House and beyond the borders of Ghana.
In fact, Ghanaians (me included) should have been on the door steps of the Parliament House , Jubilee House and all the Big Houses in Ghana, demanding that our voices should be heard loud and clear, on national issues; before any policy is implemented .But,we’re so corrupt and lazy to do anything about our political and socio-economic situations or conditions.
We want a better government, but we don’t want it enough to get off our big, fat and lazy, butts and do something about it. We want better road network but we don’t want do the right things that can guarantee us that.
You have to remember your vote alone doesn’t mean a thing. It won’t guarantee you a better life for your family and the nation. So if you believe your vote still counts and can change the equation in Ghana for you and your family then I have a bridge to sell you---very cheap!!
You don’t fix things by complaining and whining .You don’t change things by bitching and watching from the sidelines. You have to be actively involved at some point. Voting is the smallest way possible to get involved…….but there is more to our problems than that. Your actions and behavior should reflect on your beliefs and concerns for your country and communities.
Yes, the mess we’re in economically and politically is not President Mahama’s fault. The polluted river bodies we see across the landscape have nothing to do with Mr. Mahama.The Pot-hole ,self-appointed- road contractors we see on our accident -prone roads on weekends are not the President ‘s making. The illegal logging operations been carried out across the land are not his fault. The poor medical care we’re experiencing is not the result of something the president did or didn’t do for us.
Do you want to know who is to blame? No, you probably don’t. All along you think it’s someone’s fault, don’t you? You think that because you disagree with everything that is being done, everything that has happened ,everything that has led to your slumming socio-economic prospects….that it has everything to do with ‘others’(or our lousy politicians)but not YOU. Hard to accept, huh? Of course, it is!
But, everyone of us has to take a piece of why –Ghana- is -bleeding profoundly .No one wants to make the sacrifice…No Ghanaian of this generation and below wants to step up and take ownership of the dirty work that it takes to keep things moving forward. Absolutely no one wants to do what it’s required of the citizens of every great nation in history, do in order to see the socio-economic ‘promised land’. We want our rising income, our dual income families, our new cars, our fancy homes at East Legon, our designer clothes, fried rice and the latest technology gadgets without a sweat….We never accepted the fact that sacrifice is part of the process of growth and prosperity.
We never accepted the fact that a country like ours requires wealth (savings) by manufacturing goods and providing services that solve international consumers’ problems. We never accepted the fact that there is no much money in exporting raw materials like gold. We never accepted the fact that mining common salt will give us more dividend than other farm products we export. We never accepted the fact that a country full of consumers has no future. We never accepted the fact that instead of polluting our big rivers, we could have turned them into small dams to generate power and canals for transportation and farming.
We never accepted the fact that, we’re covertly handling down a deprived country to the next generation with no remorse. But, we will be the first to bitch when things don’t go our way. Our Mps are allegedly corrupt but we’re busy praying for the health of the cedi because it’s going down against other currencies, instead of thinking critically and doing the right things.
And now, the Tema Motorway is on its way down while we’re struggling to put a bandage on it. What a joke!
We’re religiously consuming chemically saturated imported foods, but wonder why our blood pressure is in the stratosphere and the population’s diabetic rate is soaring. Can we afford the price of the medication?
We’re consuming and embracing every imported culture and life-style, yet we wonder why our youths are druggies ,out of joint, and wearing sagging pants on their asses. Oh yes, I know, it’s easy for the mean-spirited and hard-hearted citizens to sit and complain yet they’re unwilling to play any role to change the situation and equation on the ground---at least, in their small world.
We spend more than half of our time in churches waiting and praying for miracles ,yet we forget that our iniquities are too many for God to hear us for decades …so get over it; all you whiny ,self-righteous ,morally bankrupt ,sense of entitlement syndrome individuals who wear the little power you possess on your shoulders.
We have made a big mess….voting or not voting….we’re borrowing like there’s no tomorrow and making a big bill our kids can’t pay. We’re destroying the environment with impunity; just for our selfish interest and worry about the cedi’s exchange rate. What’s going on people?
We continue to push blame where we desire, but it surprises me we don’t require the entire establishment (and us the voters included) to take responsibility .
Rather than dwelling on self-defeating prophecy of depending on our politicians to solve all of our problems, we should focus on initiatives as well as steps we individuals can take toward a future that is both sustainable and attainable for this generation and beyond. For in your hands,(more than in the politicians’ hands) will rest the final success or failure of our course or destiny. So please don’t blow this opportunity up.
Am –I loud enough? Oh heck,Tweaa! You haven’t seen anything yet!
Until next time, stay strong; be blessed, educated and informed.

From Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi (voice of Reason)
Asuom, Kwaebibrim district.
The author is a social commentator and a founder of The Adu-Gyamfi Foundation for Disadvantaged Youth.