“If John Mahama is saying there is a lack of patriotism among the citizenry, I agree with him but he himself may have contributed to the problem. How did he demonstrate to the ordinary people that he is willing to die for Ghana? I’m not sure….” says Prof. Ransford Gyampo, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana.
Prof. Gyampo was reacting to former President John Mahama comment on the lack of patriotism among Ghanaians.
He said in as much as he agrees with the former President, he as a former leader of the country also contributed to the current situation.
Former President John Mahama at a lecture to open the National Democratic Congress’ Institute of Social Democracy at the party’s headquarters in Accra on Friday indicated that there is a lack of patriotism among Ghanaians. He said Ghanaians now think of themselves and their families more than the country.
“…Nationalism and patriotism have become very deficient in Ghana today. Absolutely nobody thinks about the country first; we all think about ourselves first, our families second, our parties third, maybe, our communities fourth and Ghana comes a distant fifth or sixth or even tenth’’ he said.
Speaking in an interview on Citi FM’s eyewitness news, Friday, Prof. Gyampo said for patriotism to come back into the country, leaders need to live exemplary lives however “so far the leaders we have had in the country after Dr Kwame Nkrumah have not demonstrated that they themselves are patriotic”.
“If you have a country where there is serious deficit in terms of civic education; where political leaders have not demonstrated essential leadership; where they have not demonstrated that they are prepared to die a little for Ghana. If you live in a country where leaders are always milking the nation dry and they are always thinking about taking their own pound of flesh and not wanting to die a little for the nation then the citizenry do not also become patriotic because they learn from the leaders… The political leaders themselves know what they have to do…the political leaders we have seen in Ghana demonstrate to us that they are selfish, self-seeking, self-perpetuating and self-aggrandising…if you have leaders who have these features, it becomes difficult to instil patriotism,” he said.
Apart from living exemplary lives, leaders also need to fund the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for them to do more of civic education because as it stands now, they are under-resourced, he said.
“…patriotism is infused through civic education, political socialisation and essentially exemplary leadership".