Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Are All Guilty

Ghana is a nation bedeviled by plentiful problems. It is very common for Ghanaian masses to blameworthiness their leaders as the cause of the nation’s woes, little did they ponder to reflect on their contribution to the genesis of these problems.

I believe Ghana is not a poor nation; but is a nation poorly managed by its leaders and the ordinary citizens.

The greatest problem facing Ghana today is corruption that has became a deep-seated menace in the minds of Ghanaians; it has even become a way of life to most Ghanaians from top government officials, politicians down to the lowest ranking civil servant.

Most of the corruption by top government official is perpetrated with the collaboration of a junior cashier who raises a bogus cheque and receives a paltry amount from the loot; oblivious of the fact that by that collaboration, he has denied his child access to quality education or good health care for his family members and his community at large.

The masses are also the greatest collaborators of politicians in election rigging, snatching of ballot boxes and thuggery during political campaigns and elections.

A party delegate may be bribed to impose an incompetent candidate on the electorate or rigged an indolent legislator into office wittingly or unwittingly doing a great disservice to his community and his nation at large. Where elections are rigged the masses destroy and burn government buildings and properties in protest.

The masses are the ones that kill and destroy each others’ property during civil disturbances on trivial reasons. It doesn’t matter to them that they have lived in the same neighborhood for a long time; as far as there is a religious or ethnic difference between them, because they don’t seem to believe that they share the same humanity with one another.

Ghanaians generally do not like obeying rules and regulations; they perceive most laws as punitive. That is why most motorists will not wear seat belts while driving. They don’t view those laws as safety measures to safeguard their lives; but just something to make them uncomfortable.

The negative behaviors of our leaders are reflections of the general behaviour of our society; because the leaders have emerged from the larger Ghanaian society.
Our society teaches our children to respect only wealth and affluence; hence we don’t value honesty and transparency in our daily activities. Teachers and parents now even collaborate with students to cheat during examinations.

Having emerged from this type of background, do we then expect our leaders to behave differently from the larger Ghanaian society?

Ghanaian leaders have mismanaged the resources of the nation to the extent that the country cannot provide essential services like pipe borne water, electricity, education and effective health care delivery to its citizens.

The leaders continuously siphon money from the treasury because they know that their wealth and affluence determines the respect they earn from the society; it may even earn them chieftaincy titles from their communities or even an honorary degree from a university. They can sponsor their children’s education in expensive foreign schools, maintain their generators at home and afford to pay for their health care in foreign hospitals.

If truth must be told, Ghanaians are all guilty; both the leaders and the ordinary citizens, because they have all contributed to the genesis of these problems.

It is high time we realize that we have been doing great disservice to our nation. We should collectively change our attitudes and choose the path of progress instead of retardation.

I believe we can change the way our country is governed by collectively embracing honesty, hard work, patriotism, transparency and respect for rule of law as our values rather than respect for wealth and affluence.

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