On this day Sixty Three (63) years ago, Ghana the first in Sub Saharan Africa gained her independence from colonial rule. Thus, Ghana your beloved country is free forever as acclaimed by the Osagyefo on that momentous day.
Sixty-three (63) years down the line, so many questions beg for answers. Are we indeed free? Is the black man capable of managing his own affairs? Those are for another day.
Back to the substantive issue for today, consistently for sixty-three (63) years, with the exception of pockets of military regimes that chipped in here and there, Ghana has been marking her independence day with grand durbars, a lot of funfairs and overly hyped achievements.
Inasmuch as I like the idea of rotating the independence day celebration. Especially as it aligns with the principles of decentralization enshrined in Chapter 20 of the 1992 Constitution, it's reasonable and fair to rotate the celebration.
The rotation also awakens the nationalistic feelings and sense of belongingness in many people. This can translate into patriotism for the benefit of the nation.
The above notwithstanding, is the use of state's meagre resources to organize this funfair on a yearly basis worth it is salt at all? I read that this year's theme is, 'consolidating our gains.' Really? Gains? What gains are we consolidating? Freedom without development?
In my opinion, I'm strongly of the view that independence day celebration in the manner it's currently done, is a smack in our faces. We can't continue to tickle ourselves and laugh. In effect, we don't have anything to celebrate. After all, when the lizard of the homestead does things not known of its kind, it will be mistaken for the one in the bush.
Am I opposed to the celebration of independence day? No. I'm only against the style we have chosen. Instead of wasting state's meagre resources on repeatedly celebrating freedom which we gained six decades ago and mediocrity after gaining that freedom; why can't independence day be an avenue to raise funds to pursue projects dear to the forward movement of the nation? Why can't we come out and engage in a clean up exercise to rid our streets of the rubbish that engulf us? At least that can help realize the president's wishful thinking of making Accra the cleanest city in Africa.
Let's emulate Tanzania's Pombe Magufuli's steps of cancelling Tanzania's independence day because a few people had cholera. Let's one day also say because of the carnage on our roads or because students sit under trees and on stones or even the bare floor to study or because double track has come to ruin the beauty of FSHS, we will cancel independence day celebration and instead, channel resources meant for that showmanship to tackle one of those problems.
Each year, independence day should be dedicated to any national problem and by the next independence day, that problem should have been resolved. That's how we make progress. We don't make progress by repeating the same cycle.
Let those who have ears that listen and hearts that love Ghana listen and do things that will bring prosperity to all. Happy birthday, my Ghana, your Ghana, our Ghana. May God bless Ghana and make her not only great and strong but also make us set our priorities right. I love Ghana.