Boat In Turkey
There is this beautiful Ghanaian proverb which can literarily be interpreted to this effect: “A newly hatched chick that survives will not lack the opportunity to grow feathers.” It means “when there is life, there exists hope.”
Fifty-a couple of years ago (6 March 1957 to be precise), Ghana made political history in tropical Africa. On that day, the Gold Coast became Ghana. How did it happen? At exactly midnight that night, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, flanked by some ambitious comrades of his, mounted a podium in the old Polo ground inside the city of Accra and proclaimed:
“At long last, the battle has ended; and Ghana our beloved country is provided for free for ever.”
The visionary Nkrumah then created a seemingly harmless statement which proved to help make him the African man in the 20th Century. He declared, “The Independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is actually linked with the total liberation from the African Continent.”
Yes, you should tell the real story of the Independence of Ghana in order that our kids, their children, along with their children’s children will know just how Ghana was a nation of “Freedom and Justice.” At that time Dr Nkrumah made that legendary declaration, no more than eight from 53 countries in Africa knew what independence was. In West Africa, all the 16 countries were clamped inside the jaws of Colonialism. As for South Africa, she was deep inside the throat of any hateful and horrible creature called “Apartheid.”
Ghana’s independence was not granted to our forefathers over a silver platter. Quite simply, our forefathers did not eat for their fill, drink, booze and went to bed and started snoring then someone went and called them to get their independence. Not at all! As a matter of fact, the independence struggle failed to start on the 6th March 1957 when that celebrated proclamation was developed.
If Osagyefo Dr Nkrumah talked from the end of a battle, we should ask ourselves what kind of a battle he was alluding to. Again, it must be borne in mind it had not been only Dr Nkrumah who single-handedly fought for Ghana’s independence. But he was the locomotive or even the vanguard indeed! It is therefore imperative that at any time we celebrate the independence anniversary of this blessed land called Ghana, other equally important national heroes must be accorded the recognition they deserve.
As an example, homage must be paid to war veterans like Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey who were gunned down like common criminals on 28 February, 1948 at the Christiansburg, Accra. What crime did they commit? They were only planning to present a petition towards the Colonial Governor of the Gold Coast. These were only fighting for ex gratia awards once they was in war front for years.
It had been their blood that galvanised the momentum and served as catalyst for the legendary BIG SIX to choose the gold -the INDEPENDENCE. The BIG SIX included Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr J.B.Danquah, Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey, Mr. Ofori Atta, Mr. Akufo-Addo and Mr. Ako-Adjei. They were collected and dumped in jails across the country; were they armed robbers? These are some of the greatest national heroes we must pay homage to whenever we celebrate the independence anniversary of Ghana. For this reason our National Pledge reminds us partly: “…I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for people through the blood and toil of our fathers; I pledge myself in all points to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana.”
Today, while we celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Ghana on the theme: “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development,” the very least we can do would be to renew the promise as well as the pledge to the father and mother Ghana.
Aside from the historical and political significance of the independence, what can one say concerning the economic achievements of Ghana since independence? Even the political journey of the nation since independence is not all rosy at all. For the uncountable military coup d’états of the 60s, 70s and early 80s had dealt some deadly blows to democratic governance from the nation.
Fortunately, however, since the getting into being from the fourth Republican Constitution of 1992, which had been ushered in through the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on January 7, 1993, Ghana has been enjoying change of government through democratic elections instead of military coup d’états. This trend of affairs is commendable.
Just last year, 2008, the first time in her own 52 numerous years of nationhood, Ghana scored high democratic marks among nations in Africa if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) another democratically elected Government successfully completed its constitutionally mandated term of eight years and handed up to NDC again. The advantage of this culture of “moko aya ne moko aba”( let someone opt for someone to come)is progressive for the growth of Ghana.
It really is against this backdrop the theme for this year’s anniversary celebration “Unity and Peace: Pillars for National Development” is most appropriate. It is common knowledge that without peace and unity, no meaningful development can occur, not only on the national level but in the District and Regional levels as well. This explains why the people of Ghana must pat themselves on the back for that just-ended peaceful general elections.
Since the elections are over, there is the necessity for the nation to set all political games behind it and concentrate on national development agenda in unity. First, the leadership in the nation itself has to be seen to be curious about peace and unity for national development. Selfishness, partisanship, greed and corruption has to be reduced towards the barest minimum or even eradicated entirely.
There should not be peace and unity if political leaders are seen to be curious about their very own welfare towards the neglect of a lot of the those who elected them into office. The current hullaballoo about proposed ex-gratia awards for ex-Presidents, Members of Parliament as well as other public holders is actually a typical illustration of how political leadership can create disunity and disharmony one of the populace leading to agitation and unrest rather than unity and peace for national development. It is actually gratifying to note that H.E. President J.E.A.Mills is making efforts to use constitutional way to review the whole saga of ex-gratia awards. If it is not done you will see no peace and unity and you will see no national development.
Ghana is not a poor country naturally. It is actually common place that Ghana is certainly a blessed land endowed with all sorts of resources including gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, timber, arable land, rivers, good rain fall patterns and abundant sun shine all year long. But Ghana is endemic with poverty. After 52 many years of independence, if the nation’s natural resources had been effectively and efficiently managed, should a Ghanaian child head to bed without having a meal? After 52 numerous years of independence, should any Ghanaian child be denied basic education? Something might have gone amiss!
Besides natural resources, Ghana is equally endowed with human resources. She is blessed with the best brains in Africa if not in the entire world. One can cite the immediate past UN Secretary-General Busumuru Kofi Annan and others in international bodies to symbolise the human resource base of the nation. These are generally just a couple of explanations why Ghana may have done much better than she has been doing to date after 52 numerous years of nationhood in terms of socio-economic, political and cultural prosperity.
Now one can speculate that a solid foundation has become laid for the economic take-off the nation across board. Various sectors from the economy including Agriculture, Education, Health, Transportation, Communications, Investment, Tourism, Foreign Policies, Sports yet others seem to be in a better shape today compared to they were before independence. For instance, the Capitation Grant, National Medical Insurance Scheme and also the School Feeding Programme and possess created chance for some school-going children to be in school and stay given at least one meal a day free of charge. The new government can improve upon what is in position for national development.
The National Health Insurance Scheme comes to stay, however, there is more room for improvement. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is gradually but steadily taking roots in society. Ghana is on the Information Super High Way from the Government of Ghana Portal. Ghana features a comprehensive ICT Policy already in place. The National Portal has to be revamped to really make it a real electronic gateway inside the true sense E-Government.
The earlier Government started establishing what is referred to as Community Information Centres (CICs) in the 230 electoral constituencies through the entire country. This can be a viable strategy that concretely helps to ensure that ICTs are taken even closer to rural people who are in majority in the country. It really is hoped the newest administration continue with this particular project and kcifhh it better for national development. Again, the invention of oil in commercial quantity through the 50th anniversary celebration of Ghana was very opportune for this particular blessed nation, just to mention but a few.