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05.08.2013 Feature Article

Ghana’s Problems Transcend Politics! Curbing The Erosion Of Good Morals

Ghana’s Problems Transcend Politics! Curbing The Erosion Of Good Morals
LISTEN AUG 5, 2013

As things stand, it is instinctive to blame politics for Ghana's problems. On account of how some of the politicians behave, this is not unusual. Yet politics is too easy a target for political 'axe-grinders' and distracters who are hell-bent on mischief. Even though Ghana's potential is undoubted, some would rather a 'free-for-all' to carry on as if there's no tomorrow. This in its caprice of selfishness, greed and disregard for authority is an obstacle to progress. The result is a society that is steadily buckling under the erosion of good morals and in danger of grinding to a halt.

Whereas culture was once a formidable institution in its intimation of sound values for the citizenry, it is hardly the case today. Like most things, it has divested into a 'cash and carry' enclave where everything comes with a price tag. Outside influences are not without hands in the blame. The result is the bone of contention and bitter 'fall-outs' that are eating into Ghana's societal fabric. In this climate, those who strive to remain incorruptible have a real battle on their hands. This is 'caution in the wind' for what appears to be well-founded calls for democracy to reflect the nation's culture.

Ghana, today, is a 'Mecca' for religious charlatans and opportunists whose only advent is to milk their flock out of every 'pesewa'. Elsewhere, it is equally as painful watching those who can least afford being preyed upon by the daily routine of bribery, conniving and scheming. When investors join the body of those bemoaning the shortage of people willing to make sacrifices for the nation's sake, Ghana's problems appear to be spiralling rather than decreasing. Morally, how does the goodwill of Ghanaians fair in a climate that looks like a 'Ghallywood' remake of 'Get Rich or Die Tryin'?

From the outside, Ghana does not win any 'props' from accounts of women having to cower to sexual demands just to get a job. When these violations are laughed-off as 'standard practice' or unspoken norms, it questions what fifty-six years of independence have achieved. This is not how a civilised nation functions let alone one proclaimed to be the 'Black Star of Africa'. Although there are laws to deal with such violations, these seem to be useless. Not surprising, the attitudes behind such male-led bigotry are often archaic and cloaked in backwardness.

Whereas a responsible media apparatus is a priceless asset in a democracy, aspects of Ghana's defy words. Somehow, it is expected that this mishmash of information, scandalous reportage and political mischief will serve as the basis of healthy reflections or moral evaluations. The uproar to President John Mahama's critique of the media seems ominous given the muted response to other statespersons hammering the same point. Laziness may be a factor but on account of the garbage that the media continues to churn out, sinister motives cannot be ruled out.

Ghanaians, nevertheless, can do better when it comes to their fundamental obligations. The country's roads are a frightening and often satirical display of lawlessness, mayhem and disregard for human life. Away from this, people will casually bypass planning permission to erect haphazard building structures and then cry foul when ordered to pull these down. This type of short-termism and recklessness eventually ends up costing the nation. Are these wanton acts and disregard for the rights of others always down to politics? This article does not think so.

Looking at communities besieged by illegal mining, for example, consciences are barely troubled by the pollution of vital water bodies and environs, criminality, senseless killings and intimidation of the local population. No amount of joblessness, lack of opportunity or political inaction can justify such machinations.

Where would Ghana be if everyone took this approach? Worst, those engaged in this evil venture are unnerved by the problems that they are storing up for future generations. Is this really happening in the same Ghana where forests, rivers and lagoons, for example, are revered as being sacred?

Economic hardship does not licence nation wrecking in any form whatsoever. Politically, it is deceitful for any political faction to suggest that the country is only viable under their watch. Moreover, this is damaging in its endorsement of immorality and dispiriting of nationhood. Taking stock of the situation lies with an all-out effort to build an equal society that does not demoralise, disengage or disfranchise.

Anything other than this will only worsen Ghana's problems. Morally, the answer lies in putting enough on everyone's table which is not impossible for a country with huge resource capabilities.

Critically, Ghana is not short of honest, committed and good-willed people as well as the political will to make things happen. This, however, requires a framework of values, ethical codes and working structures that are aligned with building the nation.

Democracy must stamp out the politics of 'winning at all costs' and its nuance of contempt for state authority, division, greed, corruption and so on. A better Ghana means a train of thought with moral ownership of its problems, opportunities and prosperity. Every Ghanaian, not just the politicians, has to approach this preamble with clean hands to see the difference.

Richmond Quarshie
Richmond Quarshie, © 2013

The author has 17 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: RichmondQuarshie

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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