“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”- Mahatma Gandhi. In other words, “you must be the change you wish to see in our country, Ghana.”
I am neither too young nor old but over the years, I have been hearing the clergies, monarchs, traditional leaders, politicians, civil servants, governmental and non-governmental organizations alongside other associations and organisations sing one chorus; “HOW GHANA WILL BE A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL OF US TO LIVE IN.”
With amazing statements and phrases from our leaders like “Better Ghana Agenda, Ghana First, Ghana Will Work Again, One People One Ghana, A United Ghana, Ghana Beyond Aid, Ghana Mpuntuo, Ghana Nkoso, Ghana B3yeyie” and many other ones, they wish to inspire, motivate and encourage all citizens of our country for one common goal.
If this goal is achieved, all Ghanaians will be proud of our nationality.
I have learned that after our independence, particularly from the fourth republic onward, governments upon governments have launched uncountable programs and policies in order to make our country a better place to be.
Some of these notable ones are “Better Ghana Agenda” launched by the late former President H.E. John E.A. Mills led administration in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“Ghana Beyond Aid” cannot be overlooked, recently launched by H.E. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, the current President of our land.
I have also identified clergies launch numerous campaigns in order to facilitate the developmental agendas in our country.
Notable ones include “Being a steward in my generation” by the Pentecostal Council of Ghana, “Who we are” by the Great Commission Movement of Ghana (GCMG), “Environmental care campaign” by the Church of Pentecost and Assemblies of God – Ghana.
Our dear Muslims cannot be forgotten due to the several peace campaigns and programs they have launched in this country for peaceful coexistence.
As a true patriotic citizen of our land, I am asking a simple question today, “AFTER ALL THESE NUMEROUS CATCHWORDS AND INITIATIVES, HOW IS GHANA STILL REMAINING AS IT IS AND SEEM TO BE RETROGRESSING AS COMPARED TO EARLIER TIMES OF OUR INDEPENDENCE?”
Various heart-breaking events and happenings in our nation have triggered this question, and these issues are not farfetched.
Poor sanitation has become a canker in our everyday lives causing countless floods and outbreaks of diseases even in the urban areas.
Most of our roads are in poor conditions resulting in fatal accidents and raising death rate in our country.
The poor electricity system can never be ruled out. “Dumsor” has become a great burden on us; increasing crime rates, collapsing businesses and causing other mishaps.
I cannot play deaf ears to our poor healthcare and facilities; our health facilities are sicker than the people that are being admitted there.
Past and present governments have appeared to provide inadequate and the required logistics for effective and efficient services.
While some nurses and officials in the hospitals will be busy using their phones and accessing social media, innocent souls will be dying.
Our education system has also become a conundrum. We have left the spirit of patriotism, traditional antecedents and core values of our country behind and engrossed ourselves in western culture all in the name of modernisation and civilisation.
The poor economic growth rate in our country has led to increasing levels of poverty and other social vices.
It is up to us to form preventive measures to curb corruption in Ghana. Once we have dealt with corruption, Ghana will surely work.
Running to I.M.F. and other international bodies and countries for financial support and loans will be reduced to the barest minimum.
The government can then construct projects and unleash its policies.
Security matters can never be underestimated in this piece. There have been many factors serving as threats to our state and population including conflicts, xenophobic violence, terror threats, religious extremisms, sectarian violence, and the popular, political vigilantism.
Increasing youth unemployment is another great source of a series of social and in extension political problems our country faces.
Unemployment is an indicator of several possible malfunctions as far as public policies or the very structure of a society and an economy are concerned. The relatively high rates of criminal activities and the consistent state failure which increases the risk of national security can remarkably be attributed to the high youth unemployment, simply put “youth unemployment is a ticking time bomb.”
It now appears to be perilously close to an explosion. Some politicians employ some of these unemployed youths to establish various political vigilantes for their personal and political benefits forgetting future consequences.
Another activity that has also received a lot of attention and discussion is illegal mining popularly referred to as “galamsey”.
This is causing a lot of problems to the environment, agriculture, habitats, and livelihood.
The concern has been that, if these illegal mining activities are allowed to continue, it will eventually have dire consequences on our communities and sustenance of livelihood.
Though “galamsey” affects many facets of lives in our county, one area its impact is felt most is our water bodies.
The extent to which water bodies have been polluted exerts significant pressure on individuals who depend on them as sources of drinking water.
“Galamsey” does not only pollute our waters but also leave death traps for miners themselves and other individuals.
The answer to the question posed earlier above in this piece is simple. This is what this influential article is going to address.
Does ghana need anything new?
more than a decade of my life, I have searched to see if Ghana needs something new for her to be able to function well and I found none.
- Ghana does not need any new strong personalities for her to become strong again.
- Ghana does not need any new regions, metropolitans, municipals, districts, constituencies, electoral areas for her to become big again.
- Ghana does not need any new institution under health, security, education, sanitation, roads, electricity, mining, water, and other institutions to enable her to function again.
- Ghana does not need any new civil society organizations, political parties or any other association for her voice to be heard.
- Ghana does not need any new clergies, monarchs, traditional leaders for her to be able to teach her people its traditions and preach the good news to them.
As Obama rightly said when he visited this country for the first time, we do not need “strong men but strong institutions”.
I Kwadwo Ebenezer Nyamekye (KEN) a.k.a Pastoral, a social activist and President of the Patriotic Movement of Ghana (PAFMOG) sought to find out the Genesis of “my country, Ghana’s problem”.
I found out that the only thing Ghana needs for now is none of the seven statements above but “A POSITIVE ATTITUDINAL CHANGE” that will affirmate national development in our country.
Ability is what you can do. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
What then is a positive attitudinal change?
Attitude is a complex mental state involving beliefs, feelings, values, and dispositions to act in certain ways. Attitude in simple terms refers to how someone behaves towards something.
All living creatures are custom built for change. At any point, age, stage or level of life we need to experience change.
Change on the other hand also means an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another.
Positive attitudinal changes are the right or socially accepted beliefs and behaviours of other people or the environment; they are subject to change by social influences as well by the individual’s motivation to maintain cognitive consistency when cognitive dissonance occurs.
There is a saying, our biggest enemy is ourselves. The courage to accept change is subject to our own mental power, the more we resist, the bigger the problem becomes.
Change is perpetual, it is inevitable, if you do not positively change or innovate, be it in business or whatsoever you do, the results will be as the same old ones.
Ghana’s biggest enemy is not politicians, clergies, monarchs, opinion leaders or any individual or its location on the globe.
It is the bad attitude her people demonstrate towards her. While the “spirit of patriotism” has become the anthem for the ordinary Ghanaian, the so-called big men or leaders are being corrupt, irresponsible, selfish, greedy and unpatriotic. The only thing that comes to my mind is “Ghana is in a state of despondency”, another article I will release soon.
I will cry for my nation until I see its citizens changing their attitude towards her by putting on the spirit of patriotism to serve diligently.
Since creation, a lot of people have shed their blood, energy and resources to save lives and countries.
The big six in our country’s history can never be forgotten for the toil of their blood for our independence from colonization.
Nana Yaa Asantewaa, King Agorkoli, Tohazie, Obrumankoma and other traditional leaders fought with their blood to save our OLD GHANA EMPIRE.
The instances can go on and on, “all in the name of patriotism”.
“Y3n ara asaaseni, 3y3abo)denden ma y3n. Mogya a nananomhwiegunyade to h) ma y3n, aduru me ne wo nso so, s3 y3b3y3 bi atoa so” translated in English as “This is our own native land, what a priceless heritage. Acquired with the blood our ancestors shed for us, it is now our turn to continue what our ancestors started.”
Indeed, it is our turn; if we cannot continue what our ancestor started, we must protect what they left behind.
Patriotism means love for one’s country and willingness to sacrifice for it, in other words, considering your nation above your personal needs.
Through patriotism, one is convinced that Ghana is superior to all other countries. “And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives and pray unto the Lord for it; For in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” – Jeremiah 29:7.
John F. Kennedy foresaw it and said, “Never think of what your country will do to help you but think of what you can do to help your country.” But what do we see in our country?
Be an agent of the change you wish to see in our country.
For the change you want to see in our country to manifest, be an agent for that in your own small way. Once you change, Ghana will automatically change.
Running away from your problems without making the necessary changes will eventually see you facing the same situation in a different scenario. We must change ourselves, that is, our thoughts, our bad perception towards government properties, our fraudulent ways in obtaining positions, our ill wishes we have against our country, and several others.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you cannot change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou.
My heart continues to hurt when I see people blindly following political parties and leaders for various positions.
Some do so not because the person is competent but because they are affiliated tribally, religiously, politically and based on other insignificant perceptions that does not promote national development.
These ideologies and practices must be repugned. It is time we changed our vote pattern in selecting our leaders, Ghana and its development must be our utmost priority.
One fascinating lesson in life is the leaders of history and how they shaped the world.Great leaders of history do not usually follow where the path lead, instead they go where there is no path and leave a trail.
Once you have personally changed from your worst attitude towards Ghana, then you can be an agent of change.
You must be skilled in implementing change since there will be some problems associated with it.
You have to recognise that our world changes daily and because of the rapid discontinuities, you must be ahead to encourage change and growth and to show the way to bring it about.
Ghana will continue to be as it is today or get worse than what we see today if we do not change our bad attitudes towards her.
With positive attitudinal change, Ghana will surely work again, I have that conviction. It all starts with us. Ghana is my religion and I will do all that I can in my own small way to change what I believe must be changed. It all starts with you and me, then Ghana will follow.
Better ghana agenda and ghana beyond aid are achievable.
After 62 years of independence, 6th march escapes no one. It reminds us of the apposite occasion of the pronouncement of the freedom which we long hungered for as a nation from our colonial masters.
I say, kudos to our forebearers who with an effective co-operation saw to it that our nation will be in an independent statehood. This is an ever-timely accomplishment.
Despite certain laudable contributions to our nation by various regimens, it is more momentous than ever in the face of a world situation in which we are declining in nation-building.
62 years after independence, we must all reflect on what has been achieved so far and the impediments that stand in the way of our future actions.
There are numerous causes for this paradoxical condition in which there is abundance of resources, yet scarcity of development lives next to each other.
Just to mention a few, meagre investment in education, technology, agriculture, health and other public sectors done by our leader in government have led this nation into economic stagnation, high poverty rate and dependence on foreign aid (these foreign donors in return influence affairs of the state with their policies).
The country’s citizenry must also be enlightened that with rights come responsibilities. Not voting during elections, evading taxes, contravening laws and disloyalty on the part of citizens, these among other attitudes inhibit the progress or our nation.
These words suggest the fight against incompetent governance and unhealthy citizenry actions to promote nation building and fully guarantee the quality of our standard of living.
62 years later, we must rediscover the true meaning of independence, starting from our homes, where a sense of consensus and sharing is born, to government, where sovereignty and supremacy are lodged in human hands.
In conclusion, better Ghana Agenda, Ghana beyond aid and other initiatives rolled out in our country are all achievable.
If we all realise the need for the government and citizens to reflect and rediscover the true meaning of independence for nation building; through faithfulness and loyalty and not only excellence but also an attitude of true patriotism expressed in genuine esteem as envisioned by our forefathers, Ghana will surely come back to life.
By Kwadwo Ebenezer Nyamekye (KEN)
Kwadwo Ebenezer Nyamekye is a social activist and president of the Patriotic Front Movement of Ghana (PAFMOG)