The development prospects of every country is crucial in shaping lives and transforming destinies. In most advanced countries, development is an everyday thing. It reflects directly in the very lives of the citizenry. Life is better out there than Ghana. Ghanaians are overwhelmed with the least freebies a government provides whereas they could demand some more. So I quiz “if a father buys food for the child, is it news”?
I haven’t entertained political discourse all my life because of the tendency of corrupting critical thinkers. Ghana continues to dwell on past glories. This piece of mine isn’t backed by politics. Instead, it’s supported by a desire to see my beloved country progresses. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory is being used as reference point when talking about development of this country. When will this ever change? I’m of the conviction that, had it not been Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, there wouldn’t have been the Motorway. Believe it or not. What will our current crop of leaders be remembered for? Is it ‘Mahama afa or Nana ye winner’?
Leaders have come and gone, yet Ghana continues to crawl on her belly. With the emergence of democracy, corruption continues to be a greater force to reckon with. Reading history on Coup d’état in Ghana, I found some portions quite intriguing. The book taught me a lot on happenings from 1966, 1979 and 1981. Even though, some families were negatively affected by the uprising. Others also enjoyed the fun of it, so to speak. It was more of the usual obey before complain. To an extent, there was discipline. You dare not litter the street. You fear to siphon the country’s resources.
However, it’s no more the case today. We fight corruption with corruption. Will this canker be fought and eliminated completely from the shores of this country? It’s either PDA saga, Airbus saga, or any other saga you can think of. More often than not, nothing is done to bring perpetrators to book especially when their government is in power. The best they do is to indicate to cohorts to step down. So I’m tempted to ask again ‘is resignation a panacea to allegations of corruption and bribery in the country’? Some leaders aren’t proactive enough. I don’t blame them either because of where they find themselves. You can’t possibly leave fish with cats and expect it to remain the same.
Ever since the motorway was opened to traffic in November 1965 by our first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, it has stood the test of time. As a visionary leader, he thought outside the box. As a result of his ingenuity, we all continue to ply the stretch. What has changed? Does that mean our current crop of leaders can’t replicate the efforts of some of our founding fathers?
Travel abroad and see the pace at which development happens. One is tempted to think that our leaders are not equal to the task of governance. Just recently, as I drove past the principal streets of Accra at night, I came across five sane women sleep under traffic lights and under bridges. I wept. Only one thought came to mind; Are our leaders humane at all? Majority were hawkers. So after their usual activity, they are compelled to catch some sleep only at the mercy of traffic lights and under bridges since they don’t have any place of abode. These women sleep there together with their kids. Rapists, Ritualists, Kidnappers and thieves could equally take advantage of their situation. Who cares for their plight of the vulnerable in Ghana?
The numerous V8 we procure for our leaders are good but is it expedient considering the number of innocent Ghanaians who are jobless and homeless? Some ministers who go to jail for causing financial loss to the state, only return to enjoy their ill-gotten wealth. This is because during, before and after their jail term, the stolen monies are channeled into various profitable ventures.
In a 1975 book, Victor T. Le Vine wrote that “bribery, theft and embezzlement arose from reversion to a traditional winner-takes-all attitude in which power and family relationship prevailed over the rule of law”. To an extent, his definition fits our Ghanaian setting today.
Ghana is over 60years but she continues to have numerous schools under trees. Undoubtedly, Ghana is now a pensioner. Almost all our roads have pot holes. Talk less of lack of mechanisms to revamp our educational and agricultural sectors. Is agriculture still the backbone of Ghana’s economy or corruption is?
I bleed for my nation because even during our efforts to combat Covid-19, some Ministers and MP’S refused to wear masks. This happened during the build up to the general elections. Now our figures bloat and they tend to instigate the security agencies to deal with recalcitrant citizens who refuse to the wear mask. Really? Posterity will judge. Hear this; Plato – Charmides, once said “He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it”.
So I say, when will Ghana develop?
The author, Stephen Bernard Donkor won the African Journalists for Economic Opportunity Training (AJEOT-2018) Best Story of the Year and a GIJ Student.
Writer’s email: [email protected]