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Opinions Fri, 6 Jul 2012

Ghana: A Republic State or a Banana Republic?

Asks Joe Kingsley Eyiah, Toronto-Canada

”Leaders who last do not merely react to their culture and situations; they base their leadership on timeless and universal principles. They remain relevant because they marry cultural context to timeless TRUTH!-Principle-Centered Leadership

July 1 is an important day in the history of Ghana (my motherland) as well as that of Canada (my new country of abode). Ghana became a republic state on July 1, 1960, three years after attaining her independence from Britain. Canada became independent from British rule on July 1, 1867 after her Confederation. A republic country like Ghana has a president as her head of state. A Republic has a government which elected representatives have supreme power!

Canada has a prime minister as her head of the federal government and the Queen of England as her head of state. The Queen is represented by an appointed Governor-General in Canada. Thus, Canada is not a republic state but Ghana by her political status is! The daunting question as we (Ghanaians) celebrate July 1 as Republic Day is: Is Ghana a true Republic State or fast becoming a Banana Republic?

The recent unbridled political tongues exhibited by members of the ruling party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and those of the main opposition party, National Patriotic Party (NPP) coupled with mismanaged economy as well as ‘failed’ educational system are gradually but surely rendering our dear country, Ghana unstable! For example, recent ethnic tensions in some parts of the country are said to the results of unfortunate utterances by some politicians who should know better! Also, a recent report in the Forbes Magazine (renowned business magazine) classifies Ghana among the world’s ten worst economies. It says in part, “Ghana is a typical example of the world’s worst-managed economies: it’s a country that shouldn’t be poor, but it is. The West African nation’s gross domestic product per capital fell 9% last year to $621, ranking it 154th out of 184 countries tracked by the international Monetary Fund, below resource-impoverished Haiti.” Though the economies around the world are going through hard times, governments with prudent management are making living bearable for their people at least!

On the education front, the system in Ghana has experienced instability from the NDC government to the NPP government, and back to the present NDC government. This instability caused by antagonizing political ideologies of the two main political parties in the country is doing a great harm to students in particular, and to the people of Ghana in general! One cannot forget the Senior High School (former SSS) saga tangoed between the NDC and the NPP whenever each party took over the governance of the country. Students are made the sacrificial lamb in their ‘political show-man-ship’!

It would be unthinkable for me or any right-minded person to conclude or even assume that politicians seek the mandate of the electorate to go into governance to run down their countries! However, it is obvious that some politicians elected to power by their actions or inactions run down their countries. Most of them are not principled, fair, committed, selfless, ‘matured’ and vision oriented! Are the elected representatives in Ghana by their privilege of leadership over the years turning the country into a banana republic?

Columnist: Eyiah, Joe Kingsley