Ghana rose from a tumultuous embrace of a new wave of freedom on March 6, 1957, with the proclamation of independence to chart her own course.
The proclamation was done in unison by Ghana’s freedom fighters or doyen of Ghana politics best known as the BIG SIX who ran battles with our colonial masters.
Like a new-born baby, Ghana had to be nurtured to maturity to take care of her own fortunes and to face the challenges that went in tandem with reconstruction and development. Manpower development became a prime focus, beginning with education, construction of roads, school buildings and hospitals or health facilities as well as the provision of water and electricity.
Right from the beginning, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah laid down a vision and mission to lift Ghana out of want and poverty and to bring it at par with the developed nations of the world.
The monument of the Nkrumah-led government are still visible for all to see, thanks to the courage of this visionary leader whose administration was terminated in February 1966 through a military coup d’état. The rest is still history as the trajectory to development was painfully curtailed.
Lots of arguments have been advanced with regard to the propriety or otherwise of military interventions in Ghana’s politics. There also allegations of foreign interferences in our national politics to disrupt our national development process.
Luckily and happily, Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, who stormed the political scene to engage in “house cleaning” to instill discipline into a society that was tottering towards decay, greed, moral turpitude, and grandiose corruption, bowed out to pave the way for a return to partisan politics.
The 1992 constitution restored this country to party politics and democracy, with the two main political parties, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) dominating elections till now.
This is acceptable judging from the fact that most African countries have gone through military-civilian interludes of power sharing.
Whatever generated this alternating process or sudden interruption of governance between the military and civilian administrations have been justified one way or the other.
In spite of these challenges, various governments have made strenuous efforts at improving the quality of life of Ghanaians.
Apart from swallowing the bitter pill of the International Monetary Fund, we have walked through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative, Public Sector Reform programme and other packages to ensure a good working relationship between the public sector and the private sector (PPP). These will keep on multiplying with time if no concrete solutions are found for the country’s development process.
Looking back at our national development, however, there appears to be lack of uniformity and fairness in the sharing of social amenities and projects. While some communities have benefitted more from reliable electricity, potable water and good roads, others have suffered from total neglect no matter their contribution to the national coffers.
With the onset of the rainy season, all the bad and un-motorable roads in this country would be exposed after being subjected to dust powder in the dry season. It is no wonder some chiefs and their communities are threatening to boycott elections unless their roads are fixed.
Another unpleasant concomitant of party politics of our time is the recourse to intemperate language and abusive utterances of some politicians aspiring to power against their political opponents instead of raising sound, reasonable and logical arguments to support their points.
One wonders what tradition we are bequeathing to our children if our aspiring politicians resort to lies, half-truths and intemperate language as if these alone can guarantee them electoral victory.
As our politicians mount their platforms, they must tell us more about their manifestoes rather than embark on a fruitless trip of insults and baseless propaganda.
Ghanaians as a whole must be the better judges for persons capable of delivering them from want and suffering rather than electing persons who delight in splashing money on them.
There are capable persons in the ruling party, opposition and lesser parties who deserve the people’s mandate but who may not be well endowed to carry their manifesto to the people. A case in point is our women who are gradually worming themselves into partisan politics and who must be encouraged to go farther than they are doing now.
The decision to ban vigilantism in our national politics is wholly welcome to ensure that no-one in this year’s election is bullied or compelled to resort to dirty acts.
Ghana faces numerous challenges with the advent of the Internet and all the good and bad things that accompany it. Our youth face daunting moral challenges that could disrupt their livelihoods and deprive them of the joy and benefits of principled lifestyles.
Diseases are rampant and as the world strives to contain the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19,
Ghana must consider funding and strengthening our national research and scientific institutions to empower them to carry out their mandate.
The fact is it is dangerous to keep depending on foreign assistance that often goes with conditionalities, whether overt or covert.
True independence goes with self esteem and our ability to satisfy our needs, and we must cherish it.