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04.02.2017 Feature Article

Really, Celebrating Ghana At 60, What For Pres. Akufo-Addo?

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“How would you like Ghana's 60th anniversary marked? For me, it is about national consciousness. About our values, integrity, patriotism and how to unleash our creative energies, i.e. time to reflect and realign. No wastage, please” (Jefferson Sackey, Member of the 30-Member Planning Committee).

Baloney!
What values, integrity, patriotism and creative energies is this clueless man of a scarecrow talking about?

Granted, his specific comment about national consciousness is the dumbest thing we heard thus far regarding why celebrating Ghana’s sixtieth independence anniversary is justifiable.

It is the dumbest thing to say because Ghana has never enjoyed any period of national consciousness before and after the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah, the world’s “Africa’s Man of the Millennium.”

As a matter of fact the apogee of national consciousness coincided with the progressive politics of Nkrumah.

Out post-1966 politics has merely been about political stupidity for the most part.

Thus we have not been able to recover fully since we lost our national consciousness in 1966, owing to the CIA-funded putschism that usurped our national consciousness for good.

National consciousness is serious business and for this reason, and this reason alone, it completely ignores the childlike frivolity and intellectual, philosophical unseriousness of public figures such as Jefferson Sackey.

And then the day after the independence anniversary celebrations Ghanaians go back again to their unpatriotic ways, their old ways of doing things—that is, destroying a nation others worked so hard building. This is not national consciousness!

Importantly, building a strong system of national consciousness is a process, a long, tortuous and painful one, of course, one that also requires a dedicated critical mass led and represented by great men and women with a powerful vision of patriotic consciousness, like Nkrumah, to bring about.

But, unfortunately, our largely Eurocentric education and rising materialism have no room for African-centered critical consciousness, patriotism, and political selflessness, the likes we witnessed in Harriet Tubman, Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Amilcar Cabral, Steve Biko and a few others.

National consciousness is when a country enjoys tactical and strategic supremacy in comparative advantage and pragmatic nationalism.

National consciousness is not when our leaders grossly mismanage and plunder the public purse while children continue to study under trees, while open defecation runs the length and breadth of the country making Ghana the seventh dirtiest in the world, while our technocrats and the ruling class care little about improving the networks of unmotorable roads, and while the country dedicates less resources to maintaining its dilapidated infrastructure.

In fact national consciousness is when we drive the engine of social progress, and we have been able to build a formidable economy based on the concept of export-oriented industrialization, where we add value to raw materials; where we provide employment to our millions of unemployed, idling citizens; where create, loot and share” and other forms of public corruption is curtailed to the barest minimum; where accountability and transparency and probity reign supreme in the Ghanaian body politic; where we invest in ideas to improve the economic and material and spiritual well-being of the masses as well as to develop the country; and where we successfully renegotiate contracts and deals on our natural resources in order to retrieve what rightfully belongs us.

That is not all, however.
Closing loopholes that allow taxes and other revenues to disappear into private pockets, foreign and local, and providing better public services to our citizens irrespective of regional and political affiliation are worth the public interest and pursuing.

The country and its economy are in bad shape, according to Akufo-Addo and his New Patriotic Party (NPP), yet the same country whose public purse we are consistently told is dry suddenly has enough money in it to adequately provide for Ghana’s sixtieth independence anniversary celebrations.

It therefore does not make any sense to celebrate in a house that is on fire. That is to say, a house on fire is not worth celebrating in for any reason other than that this house is actually not on fire.

It does not even matter whether or not the 30-member panning committee works on a pro-bono basis.

What we do know in fact is that this anniversary celebrations is merely another means to formalize and entrench the so-called “create, loot and share,” mostly to benefit campaign financiers and to enrich cronies.

Indeed crony capitalism, mediocrity, open-defecation democracy and political stupidity have come to stay!

Ghana is not at 60! Actually it is at a standstill, negative 60!

President Kalyppo Plagiarizer should watch out! Hear him:

“The celebration of our 60th anniversary should be modest, it should take into account our financial circumstances, but it also should be elegant and appropriate; we should live in a good feeling about ourselves.

Look at him, that dated politician!
Rather, we need to build elegant and appropriate brick-and-mortar classrooms for under-tree-studying children so that they “should live in a good feeling about themselves.”

In other words, these under-tree-studying children should be living “in a good feeling about themselves” where brick-and-mortar classrooms shield them from the frigid authoritarianism of the elements.

What if our parliament and the Golden Jubilee House (“Flagstaff House”) were under-tree structures?

Time to reflect? Time to realign? Unleash our creative energies? No wastage, please!

Baloney! Political stupidity at its apogee!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: WHAT JEFFERSON SACKEY, AKUFO-ADDO AND THE NEW ADMINISTRATION CAN LEARN FROM FRANTZ FANON

“National consciousness, instead of being the all-embracing crystallization of the innermost hopes of the whole people, instead of being the immediate and most obvious result of the mobilization of the people, will be in any case only an empty shell, a crude and fragile travesty of what it might have been.

“The faults that we find in it are quite sufficient explanation of the facility with which, when dealing with young and independent nations, the nation is passed over for the race, and the tribe is preferred to the state.

“These are the cracks in the edifice which show the process of retrogression that is so harmful and prejudicial to national effort and national unity.

“We shall see that such retrograde steps with all the weaknesses and serious dangers that they entail are the historical result of the incapacity of the national middle class to rationalize popular action, that is to say their incapacity to see into the reasons for that action.”

CONCLUDING REMARKS
We need to move away from wanton dissipation of public funds toward a more sagacious use of our limited resources. Wasteful spending and misapplication, misallocation of public funds have done us more harm than good. Most significantly, money and resources yet to be earmarked for this year’s independence anniversary celebrations constitute an excellent instance of wasteful spending given the current unhealthy state of the national and global economy.

Regrettably these wasteful celebrations offer a golden opportunity for Akufo-Addo and his friends (and the NPP) to recoup their campaign investments through the backdoor. Some of those who stand to benefit from this may include some of the persons in the 30-member planning committee, who think they can somehow throw dust into the masses’ eyes, with their false claim of accepting to work pro-bono on behalf of the government. The naivety of Ghanaians is killing the country.

Even so Akufo-Addo has a lot to learn from the model example of Tanzania’s John Magufuli when it comes to the strategy of prioritizing national objectives and goals by cutting down on wasteful spending. Akufo-Addo needs to do this in order to put Ghana’s open-defecation democracy in check.

SOURCES
Ghanaweb. [email protected] Is About National Consciousness—Jefferson Sackey.

Frantz Fanon. “The Wretched of the Earth” (Chapter 3: “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness”).

Francis Kwarteng
Francis Kwarteng, © 2017

The author has 580 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: franciskwarteng

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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