A Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Ransford Gyampo says politicians should be blamed for the dwindling spirit of patriotism in Ghanaians.
According to him, politicians over the years have failed to live exemplary lives to motivate Ghanaians to cling to the tenets of patriotism.
“In the fight for independence, Kwame Nkrumah succeeded in whipping up patriotic feeling among the nationalist fighters. How did he do it? He associated himself with ordinary people and demonstrated to them that he was championing their course. But so far, I think the political leaders that have in Ghana demonstrate more to us that they are selfish, self-seeking, self-perpetuating and they are self-aggrandizing cabals. If you have leaders with these features then obviously it become difficult for the people to be inculcated in them the spirit of patriotism,” he said on Eyewitness News on Friday.
Dr. Gyampo made the remark on the back of former President John Mahama 's lamentation that patriotism, which in the past was a dominant trait among Ghanaians has become deficient in recent times.
“…Nationalism and patriotism have become very deficient in Ghana today. Absolutely nobody thinks about the country first; we all think about ourselves first, our families second, our parties third, maybe, our communities fourth and Ghana comes a distant fifth or sixth or even tenth,” he said at a lecture to open the National Democratic Congress' Institute of Social Democracy at the party's headquarters in Accra on Friday.
While agreeing with the former President, Dr. Gyampo said another way of boosting nationalism and patriotism in Ghanaians is to equip the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with the necessary logistics and funds to discharge its role effectively.
“…We know that there is deficient civic education in Ghana. Go to NCCE, they will tell you that they don't have money. And that has been the refrain since they were formed in 1992. NCCE always does not have money to inculcate into people patriotism and political leaders are also not doing much to help deal with this particular situation because the more they inculcate this spirit of patriotism in people, the more they also enlighten them on civic rights.”
“And the more they become enlightened, the more they become empowered and politicians do not also want an empowered citizenry so they will continue to suffocate the NCCE,” he added.