Opinions Thu, 10 Jul 2014
We just celebrated another Republic Day. This was our 54th and while we are growing old, we are clearly not growing up— Koraa!!!Here is some of the evidence:
• In order to transfer money from Ghana to Brazil for the use of our players during the World Cup, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 2014, we chartered a plane, filled it with fuel and flew it all the way from Ghana to Brazil when we could have wired the money through a bank, had government officials in Brazil pick the money up and drive it to the players, thus saving us the cost of chartering the plane, fuel cost, landing fees etc!!! Ironically, while our players were threatening a boycott, some Brazilian players had taken pay-cuts in their contracts to move to the English Premier League a year ago as a way of bolstering their chances of playing for Brazil. Do we have a little problem with patriotism sometimes?
• We live in a nation where girls have limited educational opportunity, are married off too young, get pregnant too early, are underemployed as adults, are sometimes forced to prostitute themselves in order to live and have limited property rights as adults and what the government wants to give girls is — SANITARY PADS???
Seriously, was this a Freudian slip by a government dominated by men who are too interested in activities and things associated with women as sex objects?
• Last year, we wasted months on an election petition that would have been resolved in a couple of weeks by many other countries which are more serious about governance and development priorities. In the process, we trampled hallowed provisions on contempt proceedings and saw judges showing decidedly non-judicial temperaments. By the way, how much did that case cost Ghanaians?
• Before the 2012 elections, with ROPAL unimplemented; with prisoners worried about delayed cases and gross injustices in the courts leading to long and wrongful imprisonment for the innocent, our Supreme Court and our government decided that the most urgent problem of our prisoners was – THE RIGHT TO VOTE—and started trying to help them vote in prison even while the injustices continued. Tweaaa!!!
• In 2012, when a sitting President died in circumstances that were, to say the least cloudy and in law clearly in need of a CORONER’S INQUEST, there was a glaring conspiracy of silence and we never had a chance to learn from the mistakes and systemic problems whose solutions would have saved thousands of lives in the future.
• We hear daily lectures about fighting corruption even while confessions by Senior Parliamentarians that Parliament is corrupt are ignored and the Sole Commissioner for Judgment Debt uncovers outrage after outrage on judgment debt and nothing gets done. There is more but you get the picture by now.
This is a broken country.
We have a government that has abandoned governance and an opposition party that is more interested in fighting itself than in fighting for power.
George Bernard Shaw once said “It is hard to contemplate the condition of the masses without desiring revolution.” Looking at the state of Ghana, I can understand why many supported June 4th.
We need a serious, non-violent revolution that will bring into our nation, new institutions, new beginnings, new men and women, new attitudes and new ways of doing things.
Things must change. This cannot be the nation that Danquah named and Nkrumah helped to establish.
Let us move forward—together.
Columnist: Arthur Kobina Kennedy