Far before the declaration of our independence, our forbearers had already conceived the picture of the Ghana they desired for themselves and for future generations— the Ghana we deserve. They saw that Ghana as a more free and prosperous place. A place where every citizen has the opportunity to realize his/ her full potential. A Ghana held together by ideals and shared vision, and not by bloodline, tribe, or party. They pictured a Ghana where you can start your own business without paying a bribe. A Ghana that is financially independent and more just. A Ghana that is more generous, more empathic and more dedicated to contributing to the knowledge economy rather than being a perpetual receiver. A Ghana where effort is rewarded. However, they understood that to transform the picture into a reality, they had a dear price to pay. Yet, they were willing to, and eventually paid the price with their scarce resources and sometimes lives. They did it because they understood that no price was too costly for their freedom and the future of the generations to be born later. They set the pace for our advancement in technology, education, health, security and governance.
Much time has passed since our independence, and our nation has seen several governments. These governments—past and present— have put in blood, sweat and tears to get us the Ghana we deserve, and have made strides in their efforts. Yet, it is plainly clear that there is still a gap between the Ghana we deserve and that we live in. How…how can we close the gap between the Ghana we deserve and that we live in? This is a mighty task not only for the politician but also for the apolitical. Not only for our leaders but also for every citizen. For what a citizen does is as important as what government does.
In many ears, this would sound absurd: let us commend our politicians for their service to our nation. For they have lived above the cynicism that drives many abled men away from involving in politics, to contribute toward nation building. They have shown courage in taking up the daunting task of leadership. Even though, we the masses do not just need any type of leadership. We need ethical leadership. The type of leadership that motivates and inspires citizens to reach greater heights, not the type that thrives on the needs and fears of the people. It when we recognize the contribution of our politicians to our nation that we can challenge them to transform this country completely into the one we deserve.
Every day gives a reason to citizens to deepen their belief that politics is a business, not a mission. Last night, I heard this fifteen-year-old girl ask her friend “are you a politician or lying runs in your veins.’’ People do not just hold these beliefs out of the vacuum; they are premised on several events. By Bringing his promises and practices into closer alignment, and delivering on those promises, the politician will regain the trust of the people, trust that is the most vital gift leaders can get from citizens. The narrative will change if they narrow the gap between the politics we need and the politics they play: politics where premium is put on wining arguments, not providing solutions. The politician will create the Ghana we deserve if he lives beyond his personal or party interests for our common good. If he feels diminished for seeing a suffering citizen. If our present and future political heads welcome all plausible ideas regardless of the source, they can create the Ghana we want. Unlike some past governments, if the present and future governments confront problems instead of glossing over them and passing them to future generations, they can build the Ghana we deserve. Political heads should always flank themselves by people who speak to power, and not by people who flatter. Fear not the opponent who attacks you, but rather the friend who flatters. For Sycophants have made nations perish and have pulled down governments by giving false hopes.
‘‘…We must change our attitudes and our minds. We must realize that from now on we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people,’’ those were the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his Independence Day speech. I draw two things from this: that we the downtrodden should no more allow politicians to patent our minds; and that we should question the wisdom of government policies. Because we are free people. We are free to write our own future and to pursue it. Therefore, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum—NPP or NDC— you should put country first before party. Let us see each other beyond our backgrounds; vote beyond our backgrounds. This way, we can achieve the common vision we share. Our unity and development remains a mighty task for the citizens and their leaders. Thus, citizens should help their leaders by setting high tones for them and holding them accountable. Citizens in public offices should discharge their duties, as they will do in their private offices. How we manage our private funds is as important as how we should manage public funds. Let us concentrate on the things that unite us and not those that pull us apart. Together we will build the Ghana we deserve.
Source: Abdulrahim Newton