79
Opinions Mon, 1 May 2006

It?s Morning In Ghana

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, the world will look at your beautiful country, and see her as the only oasis of true peace and stability in a sub-region infested with war and chaos. This morning, you can proudly tell your inquiring friends that your country ? the Republic of Ghana ? has never had a civil war, has never had any inter-religious riots, and that it is safe in your country to walk on the streets at 2am. Aren?t you proud to be a Ghanaian?

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, millions of your African brothers and sisters will look up to your country as their beacon of light and hope, and will be inspired for a brighter future as they rebuild their own countries. They will use your country as a yardstick in building a true democratic and a progressive State for themselves. This morning, your country?s opinion is invaluable and well-respected in the International Community. The international community will have no fear in entrusting reputable institutions like the United Nations, ECOWAS, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization, etc to the leadership of your fellow Ghanaian citizens.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, your country?s democracy is stronger than it has ever before been. More Ghanaians are able to express themselves, criticize policy, and even insult elected leaders without any fear of reprisals. This morning, our media professionals will speak or publish without any fear of being criminalized, jailed, given ?identification haircuts?, or ?shit-bombed? for the exercising of their democratic and inalienable right to free speech.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, thousands of Ghanaians can hit the streets in protest or demonstration against the Administration without any lives being lost, or fear of being accosted by a violent counter-demonstration. This morning, our fellow citizens, who are exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate, have no cause to fear that their own police officers, who they pay through their taxes, will join forces with illegal revolutionary organs riding on horses to whip them as they demonstrate against their government.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, brothers and sisters will mend fences, and will forgive each other for past wrongs and atrocities; brothers and sisters will remember that blood is thicker than water, and will not let any ?stranger? continue to divide them by inciting them against each other. This morning, the prospect of a long-lasting peace in Dagbon is better than ever before. Your Dagomba brothers and sisters will make true their first President?s words: ?The Blackman is capable of managing his own affairs?, by solving their own problems without recourse to the international community. This morning, you will work to prove to the whole world that in your country, even when there is a huge problem, you sit at the table to talk about it and not kill each other (as is done in other countries); you will work to prove to the whole world that your country is made up of civilized citizens who cherish peace and dialogue.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, the leader of your country is a man who respects you, your opinion, and your being. Your leader will not shout or raise his voice at you; will not insult or use opprobrious epithets on you; will not physically assault you, slap you around; will not call for your legitimate livelihood to be clamped down on by the State just because you disagree with him. This morning your President will speak and will not pitch one group against the other; your President will speak and will call for ?fellow feeling?; your president will speak and will call for reconciliation and forgiveness of past atrocities. Aren?t you proud of yourself for electing a God-fearing leader?

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, your country is governed by the Rule of Law, and allegations without substance are not enough to cast a fellow citizen into jail or to execute people by firing-squad. This morning, those who have broken the law of your land or have been alleged to have committed an illegality will enjoy the benefits of civilization, including Due Process of the Law. This morning your people will prove to the whole world that in Ghana human life is held in high esteem and even allegations of corruption are not enough to execute or murder another human being; that your country belongs to the comity of civilized and progressive nations who do not murder human beings because of their corrupt behaviors, but allow them to go through the painstaking process of the rule of law.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, you will choose to pray, worship, sing, glorify, or choose to not worship and have no fear of breaking any law or putting your very life in jeopardy. This morning, you can count Christians, Moslems, Traditionalists, Atheists, etc amongst your friends, because you are from a pluralistic society where the basis of peaceful co-existence and friendship is that a person is a human being and not based on their tribe, faith or religion.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, your security services ? the police and military ? are more professional and ethical in their ways than ever before. This morning, you will run into a military officer without feeling nervous or anxious about any sudden infliction of atrocities on you. You?ll converse with them in mutual respect.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, six hundred thousand (600,000) Ghanaian children who may have otherwise being roaming up and down your streets ? adding to the illiteracy rate ? are now in school preparing for a brighter future because your government has guaranteed and is implementing a Free Compulsory Basic Universal Education (FCUBE) program. This morning, your country is fulfilling its obligation to its future leaders by insuring a brighter future for them through the provision of a free basic education

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, malnutrition which has been reported to be the primary cause of death for about 40,000 infants every single year is being fought with your government?s implementation of the School Feeding Program. Two hundred thousand (200,000) future leaders of Ghana, in your primary schools in select districts, will be offered a free nutritious meal at school to supplement their nutritional status. This morning, your country, will work to eventually expand this program to provide one square meal to every single Ghanaian kid in their schools.

It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, your country can spend more money in the provision of social amenities and engage in infrastructural development as its debts have been forgiven. This morning, you can proudly say that your $6 billion external debts have been written off; that your economy is growing at a rate of about 6%; that inflation rate is about 9.9% from 52% in 2000; that your country?s foreign exchange reserve is at $1.6 Billion, up from $200 Million that you were left with in 2000; that your cedis can hold its own against other international currencies; that the job prospects for your country is better than it has ever before been; that in spite of escalating crude oil prices your economy is standing firm like the Rock of Gibraltar. It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, the leader of the most powerful country on earth can tell you that your beloved Ghana was selected to receive special U.S. aid through the Millennium Challenge Account because his country is so confident in your President?s leadership. He will tell you that his $500 million grant to your country to help fight poverty is "a statement of our [the American people?s] respect, and it's a statement of our appreciation for somebody who is willing to invest in his people, is willing to fight corruption, who is willing to help a market economy grow" ? President Bush. This morning, 3 million Ghanaians will wake up to a brighter future as they?ll be helped to escape the curse of poverty with assistance from the Millennium Challenge Account. It?s morning again in Ghana. Today, your country chooses its leaders by the exercising of ?kokromoti power? (the power of the thumb) in a free and fair elections and not through the barrel of the gun. Today, your people have as their motto: ?Cedant Arma Togae? ? ?Arms should be in subordination to the professional gown? or ?military power must yield to civilian power?. This morning, your people will reject threats of violence, hooliganism, chaos, and mayhem, because they are a proud, noble, and peaceful people. Aren?t you so proud of your people?

It?s morning again in Ghana and under the leadership of President Kufuor and the NPP Party, your ?country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than? 6 years ago? Why would we want to hand back over the country to the same group of people who for almost half of our nationhood* ruled the country with an iron fist and left our economy and our institutions of state in shambles only for us to now be crawling out of?

*By the time they left office in January 2001 Ghana was 44 years old. And of these 44 years they had ruled for 20. Not even Dr. Kwame Nkrumah ruled for that long!

NB: This article was inspired by a Reagan ad ?It?s Morning in America? written and narrated by Hal Riney.

Comments? Email the author at: ato_kwame@yahoo.com



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Kwamena, Ato