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Opinions of Thursday, 23 February 2017


Status quo or reformation?

By: Ahumah Ocansey

Ghana is ripe for change; it is overripe for revolu…, sorry, I mean to say reformation. Is the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, ready for that? Is he bristling with impatience to effect changes? Is he tremulous with pent-up energy to discharge in his work? Is he elated with a new vision for Ghana? Can he infect us with his spirit? Shall we be agog with the prospects of prosperity, rapid development, beauty, morality and decent environment?

Summarily, I am asking whether President Akufo-Addo would continue with the old ways of doing things, keeping the status quo, or whether he would champion a reformation in Ghana and step up the nation to a higher notch? Is he and his ministers ready to receive, adopt and execute the teeming ideas on change and progress that are bombarding the skulls of Ghanaians? Or he thinks his government has it all.

The work we have to do in this nation is immense. The state of our habitations are deplorable and shameful for such a nation. Positive changes are progressing so slowly, while negative ones are spreading very fast. Governments have come and gone since 1966, but the quality of life is deteriorating, in spite of some physical developments that are, nonetheless, commendable.

Skill of governance

Beyond the attitudinal change required in the Ghanaian, what is fundamental to the change we desire is that of the skill of governance. Reformation will compel scrutiny of the system of governance in the country, and, among other things, a critical look at all the sectors that make up the nation, to wit local government, revenue generation, education, constitutionalism, Parliament, industrialisation and so on.

In all these major sectors of the nation, there are grievous failings and non-functional modes of working. There are incalculable financial losses to the nation as well. There are prodigious wastage of materials, man-hours and opportunities. The cumulative impact of the several lapses in the management of the nation by us has resulted in the nation lagging behind our own expectations of development and progress.

One simple illustration. It appears to me local government has somewhat failed in this nation. Is it because it would have been wiser and preferable for chief executives of our towns and cities to be elected, instead of being appointed? When we elect the mayors of our cities and towns, they would have to deliver on their promises and ambition for the cities, and that, I think, would accelerate the development of our cities and towns.

Accra and Tema are good examples of cities that have been badly managed since 1966. So that in talking of reformation, we shall have to look at all these administrative systems we have in place and replace them, where necessary, with newer and more efficient ones. Is this the focus of President Akufo-Addo? Or he has never thought of these.


Reformation also goes with restoration; that is to say, existing structures that are useful and necessary, but which have fallen into desuetude, must be retooled, revamped, reengineered and revitalised. An excellent example is Tema township.

Ever since Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966, no government has improved it. Currently, it is in a state of disrepair. Even the prestigious Tema motorway suffers from neglect! And such is the story of so many other things.

Restoration affects everything that has been abandoned to rot. Inasmuch as we Ghanaians have voted for change, we must be seen to be practical in the decisions we take to change things for the better.

The desired reformation will be thorough when it starts from the transformation of the consciousness of Ghanaians. Do Ghanaians have self-esteem? Self-worth? Self-respect? If we do, it will show in our reverence for the nation.

However, the filthy environment bespeaks anything than reverence for Ghana, so that if we talk of change, then the mind is what must be affected to be zealous for quality change in attitude, language and right standards of doing things.

For example, the previous government designated the first Saturday of each month as National Sanitation Day. Are Ghanaians observing it? And would the new government enforce it, or leave it in abeyance?

I could go on and write volumes of what we should be doing right in Ghana, but that won’t do. Fundamentally, we the citizens should appreciate and enforce the common sense that is required of us in doing things.

Why should a Ghanaian open the volume of his radio or sound system so loud as to be a veritable nuisance to neighbours and the general public? Someone should stop that noise! Why should a church be established in a residential area not meant for such a facility, and be allowed to disturb everybody and make sleep and rest impossible? Someone should go to court and stop that nuisance!

All this is to say that reformation cannot proceed from the President and the government alone; it must also generate from us. We must stop the undesirable things we do against ourselves, and we must let it be costly to whoever indulges in them.

Finally, if the President is reform conscious, he must rise above partisanship and be seen as a national leader.

A governing party is there for the nation, and that must be stressed for Ghanaians to know. The President must encourage Ghanaians to express their opinions on as many things as possible, and whichever idea is good and doable, must be adopted and executed to signal to the nation that we all matter in changing and developing Ghana.

Candidly, the status quo has not delivered the expected good things for the nation. We voted for change, and change we must! Let’s see it! And let’s live it!