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IS THIS WHAT WE BARGAINED FOR? (Ghana: Independence and after)

Reflex Eco Group – Ghana News

By Akwasi Agyeman-Dua (Local Journalist & Media and Advocacy Advisor)

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

COLONIALISM COULD’NT GO on forever. It definitely had to fall elsewhere and in Africa. The old order always changes giving place to new. Ghana’s independence heralded ‘the wind of change’ that swept through Africa and brought independence in the 1960’s to many more African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and others. In Ghana, two political statements which gained prominence among others during the struggle were, “Self-government now” and “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things shall be added unto it”. The records have not proved us right on the second score, I believe.

The fight against colonialism started long before Kwame Nkrumah joined it and ultimately took over the mantle of leadership and helped the country to attain independence on March 6, 1957. The hopes and aspirations of the people had been great and strong over the years. Earlier freedom fighters had included J.E. Casely Hayford, Mensah Sarbah, J.B. Danquah, some chiefs and intelligentsia.

Fifty-six years after independence, it is very appropriate to review the last fifty years and to try to forecast the next fifty years. As has been noted, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. Added to this could be the Biblical passage which says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Like all nations and groups of people on planet Earth, Ghana and Ghanaians have had their fair share of tribulations and triumphs, high points and low points.

One would have expected that the numerous changes of governments could lead to greater development for Ghana. After all what haven’t politicians with their mouths and soldiers with their guns, promised my dear countrymen and women? Has the struggle for self-government been worth-while?

National anthems, coat of arms, mottos and slogans are all ways and means of conditioning people’s minds to a set of core values which can help galvanize them into responsible action. Ghana at independence in 1957 chose as its motto, “Freedom and Justice”. Two very strong words. Who ever suggested them must be found, congratulated and honoured. It seems the name of the person was not put on record for historical purposes.

Ghana and Ghanaians don’t have the luxury of time like some developed nations have had over the years. Beside it is known that some nations have tried to develop within a relatively shorter time. There are examples in Asia and Southern America. We also currently have the benefit of improved science and technology which can help us catch up on development. Much time and resources have been wasted in Ghana and Africa which have contributed to our current state of affairs. This shameful situation must end.

We need a new Ghanaian with renewed values and attitudes. The new Ghanaian who would think more about the general good rather than parochial, selfish interests. We must not let the sacrifices of our forbears and that of patriotic compatriots, dead or alive, be in vain. Let us see the true meaning of the country’s motto of Freedom and Justice. Freedom we seem to have had in abundance. Let’s now see true Justice in every sphere of our national life. Let’s have Law and Order. Let the Rule of Law and Love prevail. With God, ‘we can truly make our nation great and strong’, as captured in the words of Ghana’s national anthem.

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