Ghana's hopeless 65th Independence Day Celebration and Akufo Addo's distortion of history

Ghana Flag 10 file photo: The Ghana Flag

Thu, 10 Mar 2022 Source: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem

Fellow Ghanaians, when I read that government could not afford funds to sponsor the Independence day celebration I threw my hands in the sky in despair. It has become certain that under President Akufo Addo, the country has virtually become to look like one “giant toilet bowl ready to be flushed” as our "Wahala" and sufferings thicken and stiffen.

Today, there's that sudden silent realization of irredeemable leadership failure due to untold corruption. There’s a deep-seated corruption in this rather “Never Patriotic Party” (NPP). And nobody seems to have any chance of surviving this catastrophic failure except the sit-tight politicians in the current government!

Our elders say those who have no dogs should learn to hunt with goats. Whether goats are the right hunting animals is another thing. For those who can’t play “food is ready politics” and sycophancy, there’s no hope.

I hear the president says we would crash anybody who attempts a coup in this country. Yes. We will always do. But let the president be rested assured that no intelligent soldier would overthrow a mess like his government. A coup will actually serve as a relief to him but we want him to suffer the consequences of his unprecedented economic mismanagement. And we are ready to protect his decaying and decomposing government.

Fellow Ghanaians, imagine a baby boy who at the tender age of one year old has been sent to school with the goal of becoming an engineer. Suppose he began school with his colleagues. Then sixty-five years later at an old age this school boy's peers have become consummated and celebrated engineers with world-class Interchanges and bridges built under their belt. However, this baby boy is no longer a boy but he is still in primary school at age 65. Let’s face it, which motivational speaker can encourage him not to lose hope that he has not failed flat in life?!

And if it took his colleagues fifty or more years to become the dream engineers they are today, when shall this boy catch up with his peers. In the next 1000 years? How?

This is the situation of Ghana today.

Fellow Ghanaians, it is another independence day celebration, and we have come out once again to celebrate the heroism of those who in their attempt to lay building blocks of development for our dear country instead, laid brick and foundation of corruption that becomes albatross around our necks; a foundation that generally appears to be a generational curse: a recurring decimal of corrupt leadership.

Is it not mind-boggling and shameful, that 65 years after Independence we are still using the same gong-gong beaters and drums we used to celebrate the first independence day in 1957 without any technological changes and improvement in this era of science and technology?

What have we been able to achieve since independence, and are we proud of it?

Independence day is supposed to be a day we should be accessing ourselves as a people to determine the losses and gains in terms of economic growth, technological savviness, among others that we have been able to achieve over the years.

Disappointingly, however, the narrative has always been the same: shifting of blame and repetition of what the colonial masters did to us. What we ourselves have been able to achieve is rather embarrassing: the same Choreography we danced 65 years ago is what we still perform with the same musical instruments. No change in sophistication. Nothing.

Methinks this is one major reason why our leadership always exhibits dereliction of responsibility and duty. They have always tried to divert attention from the real challenges facing the country due to what their own incompetent handling of our affairs has caused us over the last 65 years.

We demanded freedom because we believed we could manage our own affairs better than those who came because of the 4Gs: Gold, Glory and God and Government, or what other historians coin as 4Cs: Christianity and Commerce, Civilization and Colonization.

I was shocked when president Akufo Addo out of desperation to escape the real issues confronting Ghanaians referred to Wesley Girls' Senior High School as the first Senior Secondary school in the country and was founded in 1836. Really?

The Wesleyan mission according to Boateng came to the Gold Coast in 1835 with the Bible Band formed by William De Graft. And the Boys' high school was founded before the Girls'.

Whether the Mfantsipim school was the first secondary school or Wesley Girls’ secondary school, it is obvious that in a patriarchal society, cursory glance must dictate to anyone that boys must have had education before their girl's counterparts whose place was initially consigned to only two rooms: the kitchen, and the “other room”.

But you see, I don't blame His Excellency for this revision of the history of Wesleyan missionaries. His case is a financial "post-concussion syndrome". He has run the economy aground and tries every possible way to shift blame and divert attention. So he has found it convenient to find a corner-cutting way of escaping the real challenges of the people on occasions like the Independence day celebration. And in so doing, His Excellency plunges himself into the cobwebs of historical blunder if Boateng is right.

On page 12 of his academic research titled "Early Christian Missions in West Africa: Implications for Rethinking the Great Commission" Isaac Boeheng posits that the Wesleyan mission founded the Wesley High School that later became Mfantsipim School in 1876 than in 1884, the Wesley Girls' High School was also founded. As such, the Mfantsipim School - Wesley High School - was the first secondary school established in Ghana.

Hence, the Wesley Girls' High school was not established forty years earlier before the Mfantsipim school as the president captured it.

Indeed, the Website of Wesley Girls’ High School also has it that the school was established in 1836. While I believe it could have been a typographical error on the part of the school (Wesley Girls’ senior high school), it exposes the president’s lack of attention to detail. He follows the bandwagon. Something that goes a long way to explaining why his presidency remains a portage of mess in the fourth republic today.

Call it a presidential goof. Who's to blame?

In as much as the handlers of the president are to blame for this miscarriage of historical account, not Wesley Girls’ senior high school authorities, if Isaac Boateng got it wrong, leadership crisis has been the chief cause of such blunders!

I do agree that closer attention paid to the "Ghanaian condition" of leadership crisis reveals a staggering reality that seems to have more to do with the style of governance in Ghana than lack of personnel. “Stomach leadership” which breeds dishonesty coupled with the politics of "kill them, if you can't find them poison their footsteps" have been the twin evils that have joined hands to destroy us as a country.

Be that as it may, since independence, the business of governance has never gone this bad as what we are experiencing today under President Nana Addo Danqua Akufo Addo. Mismanagement and bad governance under his stewardship as president have been legendary. A reason why there's a crying need for his resignation as president; a reason why there’s a shouting need for a new government.

If you pay attention to the activities of the current government, you can easily realize that, for president Akufo Addo and his men of seemingly conscienceless public officials, governance is all about beautiful THEMES and bigger titles however meaningless and unachievable they may be. Useless themes and mantras they have never resisted the temptation to dazzle us within their budget statements in the last five years.

Economic growth or prosperity in Ghana under the New Patriotic Party, NPP, has been reduced to “mantras” that are pleasing to the ear but displeasing and uncomfortable to the stomach; they really can't put food on our tables.

After the mouthwatering and sugarcoated unachievable (or at least unsustainable) campaign promises, that embryonic government of President Akufo Addo served Ghanaians with the so-called "Sowing the Seeds for Growth and Jobs". And this was in the 2017 budget statement.

Apparently, the brand-new government was sowing seeds of development for Ghana as if until Akufo Addo came to power nothing of governmental business was happening in the 24 years of the country's fourth Republic democracy.

In 2018 another beautiful theme was fabricated that sounded like the final panacea for the rotting conditions of Ghanaians the government’s incompetent approach plunged them into. It was the "Putting Ghana Back to Work" was what Hon. Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister for Finance, birthed.

It was obvious, despite the minority in parliament having accused those budgets as fraudulent, the government still drummed home the point of maintaining those “economic jingles”.

Anybody who had been following these fraudulent mantras of the government could perchance think Ghana was finally out of economic stagnation and doldrums.

Furthermore, the 2019 budget statement was later presented with a theme that was fundamentally scandalizing. It was simply dubbed "A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity". Meanwhile, there were no jobs, no prosperity, and no growth!

Just for fraud.

At this point, clean-minded Ghanaians could tell clearly that what the New Patriotic Party sought to do was to play to the gallery and downplay the intelligence of Ghanaians. Unfortunately, the majority of unsuspecting Ghanaians bought into that bogus narrative.

It might not have appeared so strange as fiction to any observer because Nelson Mandela of South Africa had also used one term as president to write his name in the sands of time that made him a global citizen, icon, and social engineer. So, likely many Ghanaians might have thought president Akufo Addo wanted it the Mandela way.

But the final scam came in the final year of the first term of President Akufo Addo, in 2020 when that budget was christened "Consolidating the gains for growth, jobs, and prosperity for all."

Thus, president Akufo Addo and his men had sowed the seeds, put Ghana back to work, built a stronger economy for jobs and prosperity, and consolidated all these gains for growth in 2020.

Fellow Ghanaians, how could such an economy, within the twinkling of an eye, be razed to the ground and collapsed all of a sudden like a bubble at a prink of a pandemic that was still on its way?

The economy was mostly likely not fixed in the first place. Rather, it was used as a vehicle to cart our commonwealth into private pockets of political vultures of this government.

Fellow Ghanaians, it is heart-shattering to note that this has been our country’s condition since independence even though it has reached a different but disturbing crescendo of mismanagement under Akufo Addo.

Do you remember the boy sent with colleagues to read engineering who is now a man but still in Primary school?

At Independence 65 years ago, countries like India, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Dubai, etc. were Ghana’s peers. In fact, Ghana was ahead of many of these countries in terms of economic development and prosperity. But the same cannot say of our motherland that celebrated its independence with pomp and pageantry as the first Sub Saharan to have lowered the Union Jack 65 years down the line.

While we blame ourselves for the leadership diarrhea, those who presented themselves to be entrusted with the collective well-being and to guard and act as custodians of our commonwealth must take chunkiest of the blame.

Nevertheless, the unpardonably excruciating agony in Ghana’s case is that those who have opened up this can of evil and Pandora's box of bad governance do not even want to accept the blame. They do not want to own up that they were really not up to the task when they availed and unveiled themselves to lead the country.

Like any concerned Ghanaian will envisage, Ghana has never descended into the abyss of gutter governance like this.

And when I read that the presidency announced a lack of cash to support the celebration of Independence Day one question popped up in my mind: would there come a day government can’t pay all workers?

Your guess as the answer is as accurate as mind if we allow very corrupt individuals at the helm of our affairs.

Ghana shall survive this political and official burglary.

Long Live Ghana.

Columnist: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem