Feature Article of Friday, 30 March 2012

Columnist: Damoah, Nana Awere

Don’t They Feel Ashamed?

By Nana Awere

When our politicians visit abroad, don't they feel
ashamed when they see/experience the facilities that they fail to roll out for
the benefit of their citizens back home?
When they visit museums abroad, the latest being
President Mills' visit to the Arlington memorial cemetery, don't they feel
ashamed knowing there is no proper museum in Ghana?
Don't they feel ashamed when they see pothole-free,
wide, good roads with properly functioning traffic lights?
Aren't they ashamed when they see efficient and
effective train and bus systems for metro mass transport?
Don't they feel ashamed when our international
airport looks like a bus terminal in another country?
Aren't they ashamed at how illiterate our
university students are, and how literate their elementary pupils are?
Don't they feel ashamed when they experience
uninterrupted power supply?
Don't they feel ashamed when they see buildings and
other structures properly planned?
Don't they feel ashamed that their major
contribution to education consists essentially of debates on the number of
schools under trees before, during and after their respective terms of office?
Don't they feel ashamed that jobless, hungry, party
supporters follow them at rallies sometimes for pittance?
Don’t they feel ashamed when they are met by crowds
of unemployed cheering supporters when they return from trips abroad?
When they take their families to Disneyland, Disney
World, and Great Adventures, don't they feel ashamed they don't have a single
properly designed and built amusement park for our children?
Don't they feel ashamed when they visit industries
over there, knowing the raw materials that fuel them come from our own backyard
at outrageously low prices because we fail to add value to them?
Don't they feel ashamed when they are the ones that
have studied and lived in West and yet allow indiscriminate deforestation in
Ghana and yet wonder why we are experiencing climatic change? Don't they know the
ill-effects of poor drainage (annual floods and it's attendant loss of
Don't they feel ashamed when they don't see a
single open drain or gutter?
Don't they feel ashamed when they visit monuments
named after prominent people in those countries and then return home to pass by
a stinking Nkrumah Circle?
Don't they feel ashamed that party foot soldiers
are stake holders and hold developments to ransom, when they participate in
party activities on invitation?
Don't they feel ashamed when they are given
accurate addresses (house number, block name, street name, geographic
positioning) when they travel, yet they have to use gutters, kiosks, plantain
sellers and children palying football to direct people to their homes in Ghana?
Don't they feel ashamed when they go abroad and are
able to travel between states easily with well planned rail and bus systems yet
back home we don't have a good enough system so we have to spend hours in
traffic bringing down productive hours costing the country a great deal of
production time and money?
Don't they bow their heads in shame that leaders
from more prosperous economies live on comparatively more modest budgets? And
that some of their ministers go to work in public trains?
Don't they feel ashamed that public health
facilities are 'jammed' and in Korle Bu maternity especially most ceasarian
operations are in QUEUE with priority given to 'FIRST TIME BIRTHERS' and
patients have to carry own beddings to wards?
Don't they feel ashamed when people who attend
party rallies abroad are genuine card-carrying members whiles they bask in the
glory of being cheered on by 5-Ghana-cedi-plus-free-party-T-shirt -hired
Don't they feel ashamed when they superintendent
over the deteriorating educational system in Ghana yet send their wards to
schools abroad?
Don't they feel ashamed when decent accommodation
is a dream for millions in Ghana, yet is basic in the countries they travel to?
(Even Cuba has better housing that Ghana)
Don't they feel ashamed when a slight drizzle
causes flooding at home, yet it rains heavier for days without flooding in
other countries?
Don't they feel ashamed that children who have to
be in school or at home relaxing have to dangerously sell in traffic?
Don’t they feel ashamed of the lack of an effective
emergency response system (causing avoidable deaths) when help is just a phone
call away in those countries they visit?
Don’t they feel ashamed when the national anthem is
sang in the nations they visit and everyone is on their feet with hands on
chest/breast solemnly yet when they come back their own ministers don’t know
the lines to our national anthem and folks especially the youth would rather be
facebooking than singing the national anthem. Where did the nationalism Nkrumah
and co fight for? Where is the nationalism Sergeant Adjetey and others die for?
Don’t our leaders have any shame?
Do they feel proud of what they see
when they get back home after trips abroad?
[With contributions from Akwasi Yiadom,
Abubakar Ibrahim, Jonathan Agyeman, Henrietta Hammond-Boadu, Francis Kennedy
Ocloo, Efo Kwamiga, Kwame Gyan, Kojo Akoto Boateng, Fanny Awuye, Kola Nut]