I have for some time watched with amazement and also critically observed the revolutionary changes that have occurred in my country over the years. Though I am not as old as Methuselah, with objective analytical lenses, nuggets of wisdom and discernment, I am able to tell a story about my country.
Well known in international and world history as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonial rule, and also very known for its dozens of natural and human resources, she was on the world stage and all eyes were fixed on her. She started well with her economic, political and socio-cultural transformation agenda for her citizenry.
This made her receive many rounds of applause and standing ovation from her audience who were very happy to watch her play that important role. Few years down the line, her ship which carried the African continent with the African dream and heritage began to sink when she was only halfway through her journey to the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey.
This is the genesis of the downfall of this woman. Today, she seems to have lost relevance and the respect she commanded, and has eventually been moved out of the stage, and she has perished with her African liberation and African unity dream. All her contemporaries then, have gone past her, and now, everything about her has changed, and things are not the same anymore.
Sincerely speaking, the political, economic and social systems and structures in Ghana are broken beyond repairs. Leadership at all levels seems to have failed us, and everything has come to a standstill. Citizens have been enslaved in the land and country of their birth by their own countrymen who are privileged to command political and economic powers.
Corruption has festered and pestered all spheres of our lives as a people and a country and has fortified our livers. There is no venom in corruption anymore, and almost everyone in the country subscribes to it in every undertaking.
A new lexicon of “whom you know” has been coined and a Ghanaian meaning has been given to the word “Protocol.” Young adults and graduates with vitalities, requisite skills and having merits are denied job opportunities. Automatic reservations of employment opportunities are made for families and friends of some “big men.”
Merit, skills, and relevance have been relegated to the background in terms of job application and employment opportunities most especially in the public sector. If one is not close to the people in high authority at government ministries, departments and agencies, then at times you should close your minds to being offered a job which you qualify for by all standards. If not, one must be ready to grease the palm of authorities with a colossal sum of money. In the case of young ladies who are desperately looking for jobs, they are left with no options than to sleep their way through with their superiors before landing a job with even a meager remuneration. This has never been the system we’ve known in times past. Indeed, things are not the same anymore.
We pride ourselves as the best country with the best and finest laws, but lack of effective implementation of these laws has made the citizenry and country lawless people and country. Here in Ghana, our laws literally serve the same purposes as ornamental plants used for decorating our environments. Our beautiful laws only bite the poor and vulnerable in society, but the rich and those with power, influence, access, resources and exposure have been insulated against the laws. Political leadership has now turned into an exploitative and profiteering enterprise where those entrusted with power at all levels only aim at robbing the country and milking it dry. It seems like our leaders are mainly elected to manage the constitution and deliver long speeches at events and speak jaw-dropping English language and rest in their cozy offices.
Public accountability is a missing lexicon in our political and governance dictionary, and it has created space for the men in suits to create loot and share the national cake among themselves and their cronies, and deposit their ill-gotten wealth in offshore accounts at the expense of their subjects on whose mandate they got elected to those leadership positions without any accountability. Our system shields our leaders from the very problems we elect them to solve. Our body politics is now the preserve of the rich, and the political ecosystem has been made dirty such that insults, acrimonies, falsehood and propaganda have characterized the political space which has made it unattractive and a no-go-area for some well-meaning citizens to involve themselves.
Truth and integrity have lost their honorable place in our body politics. This is making our leaders lie under oath, break political vows and also fail to honor campaign promises. This is not the country that our fathers envisaged and toiled for. Things are not the same anymore.
All of us are at fault and are to be blamed for the mess that has been created in our political, economic and socio-cultural systems. We all compromise on the truth for our personal interest. We all pretend to hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil when the devil is right in our backyard. No brotherly love and communal living exist among us anymore. No respect for authority and leadership.
Trust is lost, hatred and anger have filled the hearts and minds of all our countrymen. We cannot bequeath this country in its current state to future generations. Things are not the same anymore, and we ought to change for the better of our country.
But in my distress, I still have a glimmer of hope that, our golden days are ahead of us, and not behind us, and with attitudinal and psychological change, we will collectively succeed in transforming and making our country the best place to live.
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