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31.03.2020 Article

Ghana - Past Experiences, Today’s Lessons

By George-Maclean Adzidaglo
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The world indeed is a global village filled with so much misery. We have failed to understand the dynamics of nature because we have beclouded our minds with worldly things and wickedness, and self-centeredness has become the order of the day.

As a little boy growing up in my small town in the Volta Region of Ghana, I heard about a lot of bad things our leaders did which resulted in Coup d’état, revolutions and all kinds of inhuman activities which led to successive overthrow of governments. This was not only peculiar to my motherland Ghana but with many other countries in Africa.

The first question that comes to my mind while thinking about the past is what lessons have we learned from those days as most of the countries under military governance are now reverting to democratic rules? We have heard of our leaders steal our monies and transfer them to foreign accounts. Our leaders refuse to improve or invest heavily in our educational institutions because they have stolen enough to give their children quality education in schools abroad, so apparently, why should they care? Our national wealth is spent privately by our leaders and their privileged children, in the UK, the USA, Canada, Dubai, Switzerland, et al.

Despite all the mineral resources that our motherland is endowed with, our leaders failed woefully to invest in the health sector and upgrading our hospitals. Today, with all the wealth we hear that we have, we are unable to provide quality healthcare. Again, they do not care, because taxpayers’ money is readily available to airlift them to foreign countries for better healthcare delivery.

The second question that bugs my mind is, what happens to those who do not have access to the taxpayer’s money to enable them airlift themselves for better healthcare delivery and quality education? Ghana has become a country where everything is politicized and opportunities are created and given depending on the political party one belongs to and which political party is in power.

My heart bleeds every time I wake up to see our leaders who are supposed to be thinking and taking excellent decisions on our behalf, on television, engaging in arguments which in the long run bring no benefit to the country, but for a select few who we have given the privilege to be in authority.

Under the Imposition of Restriction Act, 202 (Act 1012) our President acted within his power to pronounce LOCKDOWN, violation of which will occasion penalty well defined in the Act. It brings me to my next question: Why the imposition of restriction Act? Was it necessary?

The answer is simple. We woke up one day to the update that there is an outbreak of a virus called CORONAVIRUS in Chinese province of Wuhan. Little did we know that the said virus could travel and affect people all over the world, not excluding our beloved country Ghana. Out of that outbreak, most countries in the world are affected, with staggering death rates, even in the so called superpower countries of the world.

The world was not prepared for such a pandemic as the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described it, our brothers and sisters especially those in Europe began to return home, and this eventually imported the virus into our country. This forced His Excellency the President to act looking at the number of affected persons and number of death recorded so far.

As I write this piece, Ghana has close its borders, seaports and airports. Those who were able to enter the country before the closure are quarantined awaiting testing. Ghana is not the only country that has closed its borders. Other countries have done same, and it would be difficult for anyone to enter those countries. This is where my biggest concern or question is: We failed to develop our own. Our healthcare facilities in the country are not up to those in developed countries where our leaders normally run to for medical care. Their monies are locked up in those countries as nobody can cross the border and enter those countries now. If they fall sick under this lockdown, are they ready to share or attend our medical facilities which is unusual about them?

I think God is teaching our leaders some important lessons. We need to desist from the politics of self-centeredness. Successive governments fail to continue the work of their predecessors which has brought us to where we are today, with so much avoidable loss.

Projects and infrastructures that Kwame Nkrumah started before his death are still incomplete because we failed to buy into his ideology. This is the same story with J. J. Rawlings, J. A. Kuffour, J. E. Attah-Mills and J. Mahama. Currently, a lot of work start before J. Mahama lost the 2016 Presidential elections, are still standing incomplete. Even those he completed and could not commission before he left office have almost become white elephants.

What lessons are we learning from this Coronavirus saga? I urge our leaders to have the country at heart and shun the personal and parochial interest which currently drive their decisions and actions. I am urging those seeking political offices to make it a point of duty, to take up any pending developmental project started by their predecessors and complete same for the glory of our motherland.

Long live Ghana
Stay safe
Adhere to all the precautionary measures
By George-Maclean Adzi

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