THE PASSIVE GHANAIAN: THE NEED FOR A FOCUS GROUP
There are so many issues that Ghanaians need to recognize, and address! The real issue confronting Ghana is that, Ghanaians only talk! We only complain, and after a few days, the issue dies! Ghanaians need to start asking the right questions!
Is there anything like transparency and accountability in Ghana?
In the past year, several issues have surfaced. Each has been met with public outcry and debate. Like the Woyome saga, Ghanaians talked endlessly, and at the moment, a greater percentage of the populace has lost interest in this issue, completely! We have given up! Yes, the Ghanaian gives up too easily! Like so many other equally important, we have given up, and allowed them to go! We allow things to go bad! Instead of salvaging, we give up! This very attitude is applicable to our approach to life; passiveness! Yes, this country is made up of passive Ghanaians! We only tell ourselves that nothing can be done when confronted with a problem, and then surrender! We console ourselves by saying that what matters is for us to survive daily, and so, accepted mediocrity! And so, it is the reign of mediocrity! Consequently, people go unpunished for any offense! Our leaders go scot-free without any accountability because Ghanaians have accepted mediocrity! The passive Ghanaian!
How often do our sectional, district, regional, or national leaders organize forums to educate citizens on the progress being made on projects? Have we ever received any form of education on revenue generation in our various localities, and how these monies are being disbursed? Are our opinions sought on national policies and projects? As citizens, do we demand periodic reports or updates on on-going projects? Do we show any interest at all? As always, we only pass by! As a taxpayer, have you ever demanded a breakdown on how your taxes are used? We often hear stories of mismanagement of taxes and other revenues; have you ever demanded for any account? We pay taxes, but never bother to enquire how these taxes are used! We never ask the right questions! That is the Ghanaian, passive as always!Several projects lay abandoned and no leader has taken responsibility! Several loans have been solicited, and till date, no proper account has been given! We are only told of the amount involved, and the specific project for which it is to be used! And that ends everything! What about the other relevant details; the actual breakdown for each project? What about information on the actual terms and agreements for these loans or grants? We should be given more information on how the country is expected to repay these loans! There is always a price to be paid! Of course, the Ghanaian is only interested in the structure! If indeed, we want to address the issues of transparency and accountability in this nation, as our leaders so-call it, more information, is needed, other than the usual execution and commissioning dates respectively! Our leaders should be held accountable! But can accountability be ensured when citizens are passive?
Passiveness is not a positive attitude! It hinders growth and development! Let us ask the right questions, and demand answers! The keyword is demand! We must make demands, and ensure that those demands are met! There are so many on-going projects that most of us have no clue of! Of these, the requisite information is not made public, and if made, woefully inconclusive! We need more information, other than the usual talk of a grant, and the usual contract sum! We should be given a detailed progress report in line with expenditure so that we can take proper stock! We need to be pro-active especially about issues affecting this nation!
In the past, focus groups have been formed, with the sole aim of securing the interest of Ghanaians. Along the line however, and rather disappointingly, these groups have turned political! They have been compromised! As soon as money exchanges hands, the vision is lost! For this nation to progress, we need a group that is completely non-partisan! In order to fully and adequately monitor a government, the group must not compromise on the truth! This group should be made of us all, Ghanaians! The group should probe all governmental issues, policies, projects to ensure transparency, accountability, commitment, and execution! Only Ghanaians, can solve the problems, confronting this nation but for that to happen, we need impartial people; Ghanaians with a common agenda of securing the common interest of this nation!
Let us desist from the politics of electing leaders to do as they please! Just as Ghanaians have the duty of voting, the leaders have an equal responsibility of putting into action, the mandate of Ghanaians! For that to be effective, there should be a monitoring system! This should be by all Ghanaians! Let us learn to show interest in the things around us! In our localities, let us ask questions, and demand answers! Ghana is your property! Ghana needs active citizens!
Anna Esi Hanson (firstname.lastname@example.org), Takoradi.