Fri, 17 Feb 2023 Feature Article

Excuse me compatriots, do you really love your country Ghana?

Excuse me compatriots, do you really love your country Ghana?

Ghana, as a matter of fact, has been losing billions of cedis since regaining independence from the British on 6th March 1957 to some remorseless and obdurate public servants through dubious deals but nothing meaningful is done to bring the impenitent perpetrators to book.

Unfortunately, year after year, the Auditor General’s report would uncover some damning bribery and corruption scandals such as the infamous Bus Branding, the Brazil World Cup, SUBA, SADA, GYEEDA, NCA, MASLOC, SSNIT, Air Bus, Brazilian Aircraft, Ford Expedition vehicle, amongst others.

Nevertheless, the successive governments more often than not turn a blind eye to the unpardonable scandals and the suspects would get away with murder.

Ghana, in fact, is lagging behind mainly due to the persistent lack of care by the successive administrations since regaining independence from the British on 6th March 1957.

There is absolutely nothing wrong for anybody to claim birth right to patriotism. However, patriotism is not a mere rhetoric, for we can only show our patriotism through our actions and inactions.

That is by showing our affection and solicitude towards our country in whatever we do as real patriots.

Regrettably, some people would hypocritically hide behind patriotism and then turn around to perpetrate all sorts of unpatriotic deeds against the country they claim to cherish so much.

If those politicians and other public servants aren’t heartless and unpatriotic, how can they conspire and create loot and share funds which could benefit the poor and disadvantaged Ghanaians?

Where is the public servants much-touted patriotism when they keep squandering funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through dubious deals?

The Founding Fathers’ of Ghana, so to speak, were true patriots whose blood and toil won for us the desired independence in 1957.

But as to whether the vast majority of Ghanaians have regained their economic and fundamental freedoms and the inalienable human rights following Ghana’s independence some sixty-six years ago, is a million dollar question that would be opened to different interpretations.

It seems to me that the hard work put in by the Founding Fathers’ for our freedom has been in vain. I bet, the founding fathers’ are mourning their beloved Ghana in their graves. How unfortunate?

It is extremely troubling that after nearly sixty-six years of independence, Ghana continues to lag behind the rest of the pack.

Isn’t it pathetic that we have abundant natural resources, and yet we have to heavily rely on taxes and loans for survival?

I have always held a contrary view to those who contend somewhat spuriously that it is hackneyed and unconscionable for anyone to suggest that although we started life with the likes of South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, we are happy to secure loans and other assistance from them.

Ghana’s independence, I must sadly admit though, will remain meaningless, so long as we continue to elect leaders who take delight in foreign influences, guidance and control.

Dearest reader, let me venture to stress somewhat painfully that we have not weaned ourselves from the developed countries.

If this is not the case, why is it that we continue to seek policy guidance from IMF?

If we are self-reliant, why do we constantly carry our begging bowl round seeking alms?

If we are independent minded, why do we have to import common contractors from China to build our basic infrastructure?

If we were that capable and foresighted, why do we consistently import foreign football coaches?

Our leaders, regrettably, more often than not, measure their accomplishments according to the amount of loans they manage to secure from the same countries we started life with. How pathetic?

I do not want to be seen as a pathetic doomsayer, but so long as we continue to elect the dreadful economic managers (like those who can keep Ghanaians in darkness for well over five years, can drag an economic growth of 14% to a meagre 3.4% and single digit inflation to double digit) to take charge of affairs, Ghana may not see any meaningful development in our lifetime.

So long as we continue to elect leaders that are myopic, visionless, and only count their achievements with how much loan they are able to secure, and the number of schools they are able to remove from “under trees”, Ghana may sink deeper and deeper into the mire.

I bet, so long as we have leaders that have no foresight, corrupt, greedy and incompetent; I dare state that Ghana may never advance meaningfully in our lifetime.

Independence, so to speak, refers to self-reliance, so, if we chose to depend largely on other countries for survival, then our independence will somehow remain “meaningless”.

I would dare stress that in similitude to George Orwell’s animal farm narrative, Ghana’s independence has largely benefited, and continues to benefit only a few-the greedy and corrupt politicians and other public servants.

It is an illustrative case of “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

In sum, I dare state that so long as the elites among the ‘four legs animals’ are refusing to think outside the box, displaying existential selfishness, lacking patriotism and solicitude, and revoltingly looking down upon the ‘four legs downtrodden, Ghana may never develop meaningfully in our lifetime.

K. Badu, UK.
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