As a social commentator, it is indeed interesting and amazing the kind of responses I receive from readers! Apart from a few well-meaning Ghanaians, the response from a vast majority has always been disappointing! I have been called all sorts of names; demeaning indeed but that would not discourage me!

As it stands now, a vast majority of Ghanaians are in denial! We are unwilling to admit that things are going bad! For each wrong in our society, people accepted it by forging one excuse after the other, as a defense!

If indeed Ghanaians would want to move forward by starting afresh, we need to start from the drawing board! We need to go back in order to move forward!

Our national anthem says it all! ?God bless our homeland Ghana, and make our nation great and strong, bold to defend forever?.? Most Ghanaians have forgotten in entirety, the words of our national anthem! Those words are a summary of our history, and a lasting reminder to all of us! In our anthem, all are expected to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana! Our national pledge is an oath by all to the nation! ?I promise on my honour, to be faithful and loyal to Ghana, my motherland?.?

How do we achieve any of these? From our actions and inactions each day, we stray! How do we defend the good name of Ghana? Is it through bribery and corruption? Is it through embezzlements and misappropriation of funds? Is it through tribalism and nepotism? Is it through laziness? Is it through lawlessness and chaos? Is it through lies? Is it through murder? Or is it through robbery?

This country goes soliciting for loans for any project, however small, when our national resources are being squandered! Revenues keep disappearing from our national coffers! People have turned themselves into banks and are helping themselves to our monies, without any fear or shame! Of course no one would question them! On one would punish them! What do we expect? Who punishes who, when all are involved? Who criticizes who, when all are guilty?

On our streets, roam the careless drivers, who have complete disregard for any road sign or signal! They speed off, and no one complains; at most, they get a warning, after bribing law enforcement officers! Our streets have become minimarkets overnight to the patronage of all! We complain about traffic build up and filth in our cities, when in truth, we are culpable! We patronize street hawkers, and keep littering and yet complain afterwards! In the end, we send in a taskforce, who only capitalize on the moment for their own interest! They take bribes, and look the other way!

Children are raped, and rather disappointingly, the Ghanaian is eager to resolve the issue at home! People are murdered, and in the end, the perpetrators go scot-free when money is exchanged! Everything favours the highest bidder!

At our workplaces absolute unproductiveness reigns and yet, we complain about delays in services when we fall victim! We squander funding for projects, but complain about inadequacy and unavailability of infrastructure or logistics! We go about exploiting other children, while our children are given maximum protection, but complain about child exploitation, illiteracy, and abuse! Instead of sticking to the queue, we choose the shortcuts, but later complain when we experience bottlenecks elsewhere! What hypocrisy!

We want preferential treatment, and yet complain when others receive it! We are guilty of tribalism, nepotism, and favouritism but only complain when we fall victim! We complain about inflation, and yet seize the least opportunity to manipulate prices of goods and services! We hoard, and yet complain about shortages! We refuse to pay for goods and services, and yet complain about inconsistency in delivery! We offer bribes, and yet complain about bribery! We accept wrong! Indeed, we celebrate it by calling it a smart move! Of course, the smart ones never get caught! A person is only a thief when caught! Innocent until proven guilty! And so, the thieves keep roaming our streets, whiles their trade blossoms!

We are corrupt, but complain about corruption! Corruption is no mere word! Corruption is not a name! Corruption is an activity! It is an action! It takes place in several ways, it takes several forms! As always, we point accusing fingers at others, while we make excuses for ourselves! For this, Ghana suffers! For this, Ghana is underdeveloped! For this, all suffer! If truly this country is to tackle the issue of corruption, it must start from us all! Putting an end to corruption needs a collective effort! It should be holistic!

Down with tribalism! Down with nepotism and favouritism! Down with absenteeism! No to lawlessness! No to bribery! We all need a renewal of mind! We need a change in ideology! This country needs citizens with a common agenda of promoting the growth of this nation through fairness, lawfulness, peace, hard work, dedication, selflessness, and unity! That would be the surest means to a remodeled Ghana! It begins with you!

Anna Esi Hanson (nnhanson2@yahoo.com), Takoradi.

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