Listen to fix the country campaigners

Fixthecountry Logo.png FixTheCountry campaigners clashed with the police at thee High Court

Sun, 6 Jun 2021 Source: Kit Yawson

There is a simmering undercurrent of politics in Ghana having been taken to a level that needs rethinking. We follow our parties blindly when it suits us. And we chastise others who criticise our party in government rather than advising our own party in government to delve into issues of national importance by honouring the provisions contained in their own Manifesto that brought their party into power for 4 (four) years.

There is nothing happening today that has never happened before in our Fourth Republic. In 1995, life was unbearably tough, abject poverty was staring us in our faces, aside enduring peaks, and troughs in the “Rawlings-Chain” era. Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back with the government’s introduction of additional tax known as Value Added Tax (VAT). This extra tax heightened the peoples’ frustrations thus leading to a frenzy of fixation and the bull had to be tackled by the horns, irrespective.

That was the time when a group of people mustered the courage to lead the masses to embark on demonstrations to vent their anger at the government against the VAT that was one too many for the burdened Ghanaian. Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo (now President) and colleagues, Dr.Charles Wireko Brobbey (Politician); Mr. Kwesi Pratt Journalist); Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe (Politician) and Mr. Kweku Baako jr (Journalist) embarked on “Ku Me Preko” or (“Kill Me Beforehand”) demonstrations involving 100,000 people spread across Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi to get the NDC government to improve the living conditions of the people as opposed to making life more wretched for many. The government could not stop the demonstrations then.

Today in June 2021, 26 (twenty-six) years on, we now have an NPP government, headed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo as the President under whose administration, a group of people are charging the government to “Fix the country Ghana” for reasons of extreme hardships facing majority of the people in the country. Organizers of Fix the country Ghana were not granted the permit to embark on their demonstrations. The Police Service explained that under existing Covid-19 pandemic it would be unhelpful to grant permission for the demonstrations.

We speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still, you people do not accept our testimony. John 3: 11

The hardened NPP membership see nothing wrong in our society. To them, things are being blown out of proportions. They believe that proponents and advocates of “Fix the Country Ghana” campaign are instigated by the NDC, or other political parties. But they must realize that not all Ghanaians are entirely stupid and that everyone in the country has their own mind and a say in our national affairs. Things are getting to a boiling point whereby “Fix the country Ghana” calls are coming into prominence these days. They will never go away anytime soon until a compromise is reached with the people who are complaining.

We must not forget that under ex-President Mahama’s last NDC administration, NPP activists formed “Let My Vote Count” and “Unemployed Graduates Association” which groups held demonstrations and campaigned vigorously for fairness, until the 2016 general elections which contributed massively to NDC losing power to NPP because NDC struggled and could not answer the calls of the masses to let their votes count. Similarly, NPP backed Unemployed Graduates Association’s calls for jobs were not answered and the voters were disappointed. Moving on, NPP government has also not completely honoured all the promises contained in their 2016 manifesto.

Today, the masses are holding the government by the scruff of the neck to fix the country, ostensibly, by honouring the 2016 manifesto promises that would have improved the living conditions of the people. History looks set to repeating itself, but Ghana must not be a battleground for just NPP and NDC. There are other political parties waiting in the wings, i.e., Progressive People’s Party, Convention People’s Party, People’s National Convention, Ghana Union Movement, National Democratic Party and others.

At 64 years of age, Ghana should have matured enough as a country, to have overcome most of our worst challenges. Instead, we have, to all intent and purposes, almost willingly settled for no improvement in our quality of lives. Some things are not right.

In effect, it behoves on the government to listen to the cries of the people who are literally, de facto employers of our government, calling for our country to be fixed. NPP’s 2016 manifesto was very attractive and uplifting and so they were accordingly voted into power. The least we expected was that all the promises would not be delivered by June 2021. During the 2016 political campaigns, NPP promised, among other things in their Manifesto, other attractive assurances as follows:

• One District, One Factory

• One District $1 million US dollars

• One Village, One Dam

• Railway line from Takoradi to Paga and others

For a group of people, therefore, to sing the hallelujahs of “Fix the Country Ghana” must inform our government that some things are not right and that they need to be addressed before they get out of hand. Some of the challenges in our society today include the following:

Galamsey, illegal mining, prospecting for gold in most parts of the country that have led to our farmlands being destroyed and polluted our water bodies. Most of our rivers have been polluted and both humans and animals drink from the polluted streams. Humans can seek medical attention when they contact diseases from effects of the polluted waters. But animals cannot. They continue drinking from the streams until they die in silence and despair. However, we must bear in mind that our God has charged us humans to be responsible for all animals in the air, under the seas and on the ground. Psalm 8.

It is alleged that pregnant woman in parts of the country who drink and bathe in Galamsey polluted waters are now giving birth to babies with serious deformities. I pray that the Ministry of Health can confirm and act on this allegation if proven to be correct.

Bad Roads nationwide have led to numerous road accidents, thousands of our own citizens over the past decades. Ironically, all motorists in Ghana pay road taxes and toll charges to ply their motor vehicles on the roads for which, over time, billions of cedis have been paid to the government, ostensibly, to repair and maintain our roads. Driving through the towns and villages throughout the country one thing is a common spectacle and that is, there are several potholes that have developed into manholes. But the Government takes no action although we have a Ministry for Roads and Transport.

“Fix the Country Ghana” proponents have brought important issues to the forethoughts of all Ghanaians. Whether the premise of the movement is instigated by political considerations, is not the issue. Our government must take the criticisms straight on the chin and work hard to address our concerns.

Unemployment is a great problem for the youth who have no support from any other source except bleak future ahead of them. Most of these youths are easily pushed into indulging in any other acts that could bring incomes to their households including indulgence in armed robbery or illegal mining (Galamsey) except to indulge in diabolical acts including armed robbery and other vices. Let our police service open their records and we shall not be surprised to find that there are unemployed graduate “armed robbers” therein. One can only secure employment if they know someone who knows someone.

In hindsight, by June 2021 we would have expected NPP government to have delivered all the 2016 manifesto promises but they have not. I hope I am proven wrong. In short, for all the noise being made by “Fix the Country Ghana” campaigners, delivery of the 2016 manifesto assurances would have led to creation of several thousands of jobs for the people but that has not happened.

Turkish playwright, novelist and thinker Mehmet Murat Ildan wisely said and on quote: “If your government keep making big mistakes and in return you keep supporting your government, then you are the biggest mistake for your country. Do not confuse government with country. Loyalty to government is not patriotism. Patriotism is loyalty to country”.

Our government and its officials, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, District Chief Executives, Metropolitan Chief Executives, Assembly men and women, Heads of State institutions and politicians of the ruling government, together with their families are perfectly comfortable in their privileged positions because they are not affected by the serious and harsh challenges facing the ordinary Ghanaian. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.

In conclusion, I must be brutally frank to aver that it has become a habit for Ghanaian political parties to present extremely attractive but undeliverable manifesto promises to impress upon voters to cast their votes for them. Once they win elections, they under-deliver on those promises and no one questions them about their failure to deliver al the promises because there is no legislation to hold our governments to account for undelivered promises. promises.

Columnist: Kit Yawson