Ghanaians: Reorientation we need

Feature Article Ghanaians: Reorientation we need
APR 29, 2021 LISTEN

Can I pride myself as a Ghanaian someday to come? Can I embrace my homeland with joy and happiness in the years ahead? Is the future of our dear nation bright? I am of the certainty that some of us Ghanaians may have at a point in time had these thoughts.

The recognition as the ‘gateway to Africa’ gives us pride. But as a gateway, we ought to portray a good image that will glorify Africa and Africans and doing so is a responsibility on both leaders and citizens. The ills in our country are not the fault of any other but our very own mentality and the acceptance of certain ill practices as standard and norm of our everyday life. From authorities to ordinary citizens, few may be an exception.

Talk of sanitation, environmental cleanliness is the most efficient method of healthy living. However, some Ghanaians' attitude toward the environment remains a problem. Their attitude suggests as if as though the most daunting task is ensuring proper health and sanitation.

Even the educated, are culpable. It's embarrassing to see some streets and road sidewalks in Accra, Ghana's capital, in such disarray, with garbage sacks strewn over the place. This attitudinal backwardness is an albatross to the country’s development and a stain on its pride as the gateway to Africa.

I watched with dismay when a woman recounted that to her amazement of seeing the Chinese especially easily getting their visa’s renewed and extended at the Ghana immigration office, she approached an immigration officer to inquire why only for her to be told: "their money is good". This means they are able o pay huge tips, bribes, whatever u may want to call it. Well, that may be her experience, but this is actually a conundrum that permeates most of our public institutions. Personal interest precedes a duty to the state. The greediness of some personnel in our public institutions is so appalling that they would wish to even sell the country for their selfish good if only it is within their power.

Lands are being sold to multiple people out of greediness. People are being maimed, pecuniary resources and precious lives are being lost due to these events borne by untruthfulness and dishonesty. Then something strikes me, oh, the “worship me attitude” as I prefer to term it.

The condition necessitated by this outlook is devastating and unhelpful. We have attached respect and lordship to wealth such that we believe having in excess makes us lords over others. As such, we interpret every opportunity as means to amass wealth.

A canker ravaging every sphere of service of our nation. The selfishness of some of us is so egregious that it is more or less like a taboo to bring to the same pedestal the ones at the bottom because after all, in doing so, they will seize to pay homage and sing appellations unto us. There also lie the ones who think if I am not getting or having this, then my fellow also should not. I term them as the "pull-down gangs".

For the indiscipline on our roads, the least said the better. The environment of the country is being depleted by illegal mining affectionately called ‘galamsey' without a thought of posterity in mind. Maybe, after all, the perpetrators are close or have links with authority and their gains may somewhat benefit them so they cannot be touched or stopped.

Then the attitude of Ghanaians towards work comes to mind. With dismay and anguish, one can observe the general attitude of apathy and lukewarmness toward work, especially workers in the public sector, that leaves much to be desired. This attitude of unbridled apathy, unpunctuality, indiscipline and lack of professionalism towards productivity hobbles development and very unhelpful especially in this present time of striving to position Ghana beyond aid.

Inasmuch as government must ensure the creation of jobs, attitudinal change towards work as citizens are also paramount. However, with Ghana having more than 50% underemployment as noted by the world bank in 2020, Government ought to look at the exigencies of our dispensation and utilized the full skills of Ghanaians while setting up appropriate wages that commensurate their skills.

Most countries have people living in extreme poverty, but not every country has a high and sustained economic growth and the potential to eradicate any of the extreme poverty among its population. As such, Ghana is at a crossroads, and it must now consider whether to stick with the model of government that enriches the wealthiest while doing little to help the poor.

Lifting millions of people out of extreme poverty is a political choice for a nation like Ghana, and until the right choices are made by our leaders to put Ghana above party interest and work towards bringing people out of poverty, then we should not be surprised to see children as young as 12-15 years wanting to kill for money rituals. Very unfortunate!

Moreover, while we may agree that the quality of life in the informal settlement is awful, various housing projects have been abandoned and left to rot with different justification always raised by whoever is in power. The slum in Accra alone is an indictment of the culture of negligence, corruption, and misappropriation in our governance space as a country.

A lot more can be said, but a mind ready for change just needs an awakening to make a difference. We need to re-orient ourselves as people. We need to be transformed by renewing our minds. we ought to develop a mindset that will move Ghana forward, and as the gateway to Africa, usher the continent into a new narrative. We are the future of Ghana and we ought to make it work.