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Opinion | Nov 24, 2017

Attitudinal Overhauling A Must For Ghana’s Development

Reorientation of the mentality of the citizenry can assist Ghana as a nation to even overtake America and UK in terms of development, according to the vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. I agree with the veep on this assertion but overtaking with bad drivers and vehicles in poor conditions on bad roads can be threatening and suicidal.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his independence speech indicated this same point “ ... from now on, today we must change our attitudes and our minds.” He again said we as black people are capable of managing our own affairs.

Successive governments in Ghana either military or democratic, in one way or the other claimed to seek for the betterment of the nation and at a point asked for attitudinal change to achieve the long awaited development. It is no wonder that Dr. Bawumia also asked for change of mind and think of possibility during his address on the 18th congregation of the University of Development Studies (UDS) some few days ago.

What has happened to all these calls made by such state men and women, have they been fruitful? It seems every government that comes to power has good intentions and wants to achieve some development but why do they fail and at times leaves office in a worse state than they came to meet the nation?

Dr. Nkrumah once said “freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. They claim it as their own and none can keep from them.” Let me paraphrase it to read as “development is nothing that can be bestowed on an individual as a gift; you work towards it, claim it and none can keep it from you.”

The point I want to make to you is that we are our own problem. You and I are the cause of the under development in our country. Yea, from the president to the vice president, parliamentarians to ministers of state, directors to the mangers, clerks to cleaners in the offices, the businessman to the vendor on the street, the clergy to congregation, we are all inclusive. We are responsible in the delay or the breakdown of the nation’s development.

In a nation where we have accepted corruption and made it part of us and any looter of state coffers hides behind a political flag to escape prosecution, where state looters cry out loudly of political witch hunting and institutions have failed to work. State institutions that were to speak and act on behalf of the ordinary man are now toothless or being manipulated by political parties. You touch a party foot soldier who offends the law and see your faith the next day as a civil servant.

This is a nation where elders in society, knowledgeable people and technocrats are afraid to give advice or criticise constructively for fear of them being aligned to party A or B. They are now dumb, deaf and blind to the rots happening; let me think of my family and myself is what they say. In such a nation, how do we overtake America or UK, is it feasible?

The Methuselah’s in the various state institutions, those affected with “this is how is done here syndrome” and will sabotage any new person who attempts to bring change either to push him or her into ditch or cause a transfer for the change maker, these are the people who are filled in most of the state institutions offices. They have been there for ages and form a cartel to face any minister or director who dares to try a change, to block leakages and seal some gabs; you incur their wrath and they will definitely set you up. It is all over in the state owned institutions and most ministers and chief executives have been victims. How long will a minister be at one ministry? Hmmmm looting and stealing by ‘mebaa ha akye’ [MBA] squad all the time yet fingers are pointed to government, you and I are part of such people. We need attitudinal change period!

A nation where becoming politician is to steal from the state coffers to the disadvantage of the taxpayer. A way to amass wealth than to serve, to dictate and manipulate the existing institutions to act in their favour, to create laws with loop holes to allow them to create, loot and share, how do we overtake? Where insulting of elders has been normalised all in the name of politics and indiscipline is on the rise. Civil servants see their work as for government, will not go to work on time, will be the first to leave, misuse assets of state, and will be the first to join protestors in asking for salary increase.

In a nation where citizens are not law abiding, will litter anywhere but will complain of bad sanitation. People in charge of revenue collection are pocketing most of collection, where law enforcers are the worst offenders, the judiciary is nothing to talk about, the legislature are only interested in passing laws that will increase their remunerations without seeing factions but in developmental issues there is always a split. In a state where religious body cannot preach behavioural change, because most of them are extorting money in their ‘small paradise’ overtaking others in development is shaky.

National development is a collective responsibility and until we all decide to change our attitude and mindset to play our respective roles, it will still remain a mirage. Let us remember that we are citizens and must be responsible than to be called spectators. God bless our homeland Ghana.

By: Jonas Owusu Ohemeng
Development Communicator
Inspirational speaker
Security Analyst.

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Jonas Owusu Ohemeng
Jonas Owusu Ohemeng, © 2017

This author has authored 8 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: JonasOwusuOhemeng

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