Let me start by saying that I love Ghana. Nothing I say here today is going to change my love for this peculiarly “free” country. It is 1st July, Republic Day, which by due convention has become one of the many holidays my beloved countrymen look forward to every calendar year. For this year, this holiday took me by surprise. Simply because I only made a 7-day countdown for it. Yea yea, keep judging me secretly in your heads. Let’s pretend I am the only one who enjoys a day off the routine wake at 5am. But the truth still stands that we as Ghanaians love our holidays.
For the sake of those confused why we even celebrate Republic day, let me give a brief account of this holiday. Independent Ghana came of age proper on 1st July 1960. The Queen of England’s Governor General finally said goodbye to us, packed his bags and baggage and went home. So I am surprised that people acted surprised when they left the EU. Yes! Britain has been exiting since 1960. It is their thing. They are scared of commitment for the long haul. Your typical what I would have to call a “playboy-country.”
Now back to the history lesson. It was a solemn moment for the politics of colonization which had then run over a century with us. The old (if there are any reading) should recall this particular event effortlessly. Our republican status confirmed our common name of Ghana, which cuts across the fragments of names by which we were known in pre-independent days. We have ever since been trying to make the name a name to cherish. After all, the name Gold Coast and the name Ghana have the same meaning as a gold-rich country. It is of the very self-same Ghana the Songster sang ‘Ghana the Land of Freedom.
Now I am afraid the sword of freedom we carved our escape with has become the same sword we are stabbing ourselves with. We have unknowingly substituted the word for “no accountability.” Wantonly galavanting the surface of this God-green earthed nation in total disorderliness. In short, we do what we want because the worst that could happen will be public vilification. And since “Insults don’t stick to a man,” we have learnt to live with ourselves.
This is not open fire on our politicians but to everyone. Even if we admit or not we all do it. Anytime we sell ourselves short of what we deserve as citizens for some whimsical excuse of gratification, we disappoint our republican status. You may think you don’t play a part but you do. We have come to accept certain traits as norms. We have found a way to replace corruption with gratitude. And since it is rude to reject a gift, we complete the corruption cycle. Where some like to take it in goats and yams, others prefer them in second hand Ford cars to sway decisions. (I didn’t mention any names)
We have replaced the word democracy for “loose talk” backed by no action. It is clear that no one really has the power except the one at the helm of affairs of our power system. If not for this great nation, I did not know that a court ruling could be ignored with no repercussions. Other than more loose talk from the opposition which we brand as politics, there is no reprimand.
It does not end there. We also have those individuals who choose to provide policemen with extra income in exchange for not “wasting” their time. We have those who only bloat invoices. Then those who just misappropriate intended funds for specific purposes. Not forgetting those who do illegal connections only because they feel cheated by utility companies. Also, there is a section that seeks no financial gains. They only go to work late, check their Facebook and Whatsapp within every five minutes , spend at least three hours at lunch and leave before 4:30pm. There are the “family-and -friends” nepotists who believe “Adze w) fie aa oye.” And the list continues.
If you haven’t rendered any of these acts, you have most definitely been a beneficiary. If on the other hand, you are spotless as Volta Region without cats, then kudos and continue with the good work. This post is not to openly throw the weight of our imperfection around. This is just a wake-up call to the fact that we are slowly backdating the development of Ghana as a nation. We are losing our resources, wasting a section and looting what is left of it. As it is proverbially said, ” A goat rubs itself against the wall thinking it is making the wall dirty while unknowing to it, it only scrapes off its hair.
On the brighter side, it is a beautiful day. The radiance of the sun’s gentle morning rays beaming through my windows upon my face instantly reminds me that once there is life there is hope. There is hope for a future where humanism precedes the desires of our individual selves. There is hope for a better Ghana and there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Spend time with family and loved ones today. Make merry but most importantly, make memories that will last while one thing remains in your minds, that Monday approaches soon. Have yourselves a Happy 56th Republic Day.