01.03.2024 Feature Article

Where is the Evidence of Our Independence?

Where is the Evidence of Our Independence?
01.03.2024 LISTEN

At the old polo grounds, Accra, on 6th March, 1957, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of our country boldly declared, “ At long last, the battle has ended and thus Ghana, your beloved country is free forever.’’ Upon the declaration of those words on that day, amidst the cheering and chanting of the thousands of Ghanaians who had gathered there, our country was heralded into a new chapter. We were not entirely free because we were still under the control of the monarch of England, until 1st July, 1960, when we finally became a sovereign nation, completely free to manage our own affairs.

We began to take our own destiny into our hands and write our own story to prove to our colonisers and the rest of the world that the black man is also capable, if given the chance, to manage his own affairs.

With a fresh start, full of hopes and optimism, Kwame Nkrumah, with the help of his appointees, set our nation on the path of industrialisation. With the quantum of resources at our disposal, Nkrumah was poised to transforming Ghana from primarily an agrarian society to a more industrialised one. Unfortunately, Nkrumah’s dreams were truncated due to the 24th February 1966,coup d’etat which was orchestrated by some western powers and executed by gullible self-seeking Ghanaian accomplices.

Inasmuch as there have been hiccups in our post- independence life as a nation, there is also no qualms that, we have performed woefully in our quest to building a happy and prosperous nation.

What does independence really mean? As a country, our liberation from colonialism means that, we have the liberty to control and utilize our resources to benefit every Ghanaian. We had our destiny in our hands. Sadly, past and present governments, both civilian and military, have been sheepishly playing the game of musical chairs with the governance of our nation. There have not been any clear-cut and consistent economic and developmental ideologies in place to drive our country to an enviable plain. We have been largely dependent on subsistence agriculture, taxation and the exportation of natural resources as our primary sources of income.

This has apparently rendered our country economically impoverish after 67 years of independence. Where is actually the proof of our freedom? It can now be stated that, our development problems is as a result of the lack of competent, selfless and committed leaders who have the boldness and the courage to implement policies without being afraid of losing their political office. Secondly, there is the existence of capable leaders who have consciously adopted the lootocratic system of leadership. They try all means to get into office for self-aggrandizement.

I find it very difficult to comprehend why as at now, most school children does not have decent classroom structures, furniture, modern teaching and learning logistics: textbooks, computers, just to mention a few. Why do we still have ‘schools under trees’ when we have abundant sand, stones and timber? What is the need for teachers and students all over Ghana to stand in the scorching sun for hours and take turns to march to commemorate our independence day when their basic needs(modern teaching and learning materials, furniture, books, portable water, etc cannot be provided?

Why is our road network, especially those in the farming communities in a deplorable condition? Why are our hospitals lacking bed and other equipment? Why do Ghanaians, including our leaders, travel abroad to seek medical care when the services and the equipment needed cannot be obtained here in Ghana, even after sixty-seven years of independence.

Where then is the evidence of our independence?

Independence means more than merely being free to fly our own flag and to play our national anthem.

Why can’t we produce enough food to feed ourselves, process and export the rest to get money, but keep going to our slave masters for financial assistance? Why have we failed to add value to our gold, diamond, manganese etc but sell them cheaply to the colonial master and later spend huge amount of money to import their finished products?

Why is a foreigner drilling our oil for us and taking the lions share? Why are the people who toil day and night; farmers, teachers, nurses, doctors, and other public servants given meagre salaries which does not sustain them throughout a month yet our leaders pay themselves fat salaries and enjoy mouth-watering allowances. Why should the average public servant pay rent, transport, utilities out of their meagre salary when our leaders enjoy them for free?

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, an anti-colonial nationalist, first and longest serving Prime Minister of India once said, “Freedom is not a mere matter of political decision or new constitution. It is of the mind and heart and if the mind narrows itself and is befogged and the heart is full of bitterness and hatred, then freedom is absent”.

Why have we become slaves in our own motherland?

To conclude, it is evidentially clear that, since July, 1960, when we completely extricated ourselves from the strings of our colonisers and fully took charge of our nation, we have succeeded in proving to our colonial masters and the rest of the world, that we cannot rule and manage our own country as envisaged by Kwame Nkrumah. Until we design educational curricula that can equip learners with vocational and employable skills to reduce the unemployment ratio, produce and process food and other raw materials to feed ourselves and industries, design and implement policies that can help in generating revenue in order to avoid the overdependence on foreign nations for financial assistance, improve the conditions of service of the Ghanaian worker in order to minimize corruption and external migration, build enough modern infrastructure; schools, hospitals, roads, dams etc and take decisions for ourselves, our independence will continue to be nothing but a sham because, Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana now, is firmly in the grip of neo-colonialism; indirectly controlled and manipulated by the forces of imperialism through our own politicians.

Quoting the words of Mr.Kosi Kedem, former MP for Hohoe South, in the Ghanaian Times on 3rd March, 2023, “Under the oppression and the machinations of Ghanaian leaders, Ghana has surrendered its sovereignty, independence, economy, natural resources, way of life and governance to the neo-colonist masters” So I ask again, where is the evidence of our independence?

Written by: Prince Kwadwo Adofo
Email: [email protected]