“At long last, the battle has ended! And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is free forever!” These were the words of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to Ghanaians on the evening of 6th March 1957 when he delivered the first independence speech in the history of Ghana. Our forefathers fought tirelessly to grant us the independence that we enjoy today. They gave up themselves for this cause, in which I believe many lost their lives, in freeing our country from foreign rule and imperialism. Dr Nkrumah noted the difficulties, imprisonments, hardships and suffering they went through but thanked the Almighty God that he has brought us to the end of our troubles today.
Indeed the people of Ghana agree with our founding fathers and give thanks to the Almighty God for seeing us through 63 years as an independent nation. Today 6th March 2020 marked our 63rd birthday as a Nation. The theme for the 63rd Independence Day is “Consolidating Our Gains”. As a nation, we have made great strides to make our nation great and strong. Since independence, successive governments have contributed tremendously in the area of health, education, agriculture, political stability, and infrastructure, just to mention a few.
During birthdays, we take stock of our lives, plan for the years ahead, and make resolutions. As a young Ghanaian, I decided to for the first time, read Dr Nkrumah’s independence day speech. As I read, I came to understand the zeal, passion, love, commitment and philosophy of our founding fathers. 63 years down the line, I believe that Dr Nkrumah’s speech still speaks to Ghanaians.
He stated, “And as I pointed out… I made it quite clear that from now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people.
If Ghana were to be a person, He would have been in retirement by now. The big question is, have our minds and attitudes changed? What legacy are we leaving for future generations? With the way we are living as Ghanaians, will future generations be proud of us?
One such attitude we have to change from is bribery and corruption. This is killing our nation. It has become the norm. Some public officials ask for bribes to do things they are supposed to do. Some even call it ‘motivation’. Corruption is everywhere. It is as if it is in our DNA. Politics in is now a means to amass wealth. People get into politics and within a few years live affluently. The political few live lavishly while the majority of Ghanaians suffer. Every year, the country loses millions of Ghana Cedis to corruption.
The fifth and sixth lines of the first stanza of our National anthem reads, ‘ Fill our hearts with true humility. Make us cherish fearless honesty. This is enshrined boldly in our National Anthem. If Ghanaians live by these principles, things will change for the better. If we are honest as a people, there is no way, bribery and corruption will be a norm.
We have made progress but there is still more to be done. To reshape our destiny as a nation, it behoves on us as a people to listen to the admonishment of our founding fathers, lives by the principles in our National Anthem, changes our attitudes and make Ghana a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world.
Frimpong Manso Cobbina
National Service Person
GBC Radio Central