Ghana's military band salute President John Dramani Mahama during Ghana's 59 Independence Day celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, capital of Ghana, March 6, 2016. British colony Gold Coast declared her independence on March 6, 1957 and renamed herself Ghana. (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)
Ghana's military band salute President John Dramani Mahama during Ghana's 59 Independence Day celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, capital of Ghana, March 6, 2016. British colony Gold Coast declared her independence on March 6, 1957 and renamed herself Ghana. (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)

Ghana is 59 years independent. Thus, we have been our own masters for 59 years? This is good. 59 years ago, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stood and proclaimed that ‘Ghana, our beloved country is free forever.’ It was a great day of promise, hope and enthusiasm.

Ghana's military band salute President John Dramani Mahama during Ghana's 59 Independence Day celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, capital of Ghana, March 6, 2016. British colony Gold Coast declared her independence on March 6, 1957 and renamed herself Ghana. (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)
Ghana’s military band salute President John Dramani Mahama during Ghana’s 59 Independence Day celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, capital of Ghana, March 6, 2016. British colony Gold Coast declared her independence on March 6, 1957 and renamed herself Ghana. (Xinhua/Lin Xiaowei)

All across the nation, last Sunday, pupils, students and security forces marched to commemorate the day. Some endured till the end, others collapsed and others died even before the day. Our independence was attained by some people losing their lives for it. Today, we are losing lives celebrating it.

The question The Enquirer is asking is whether it is worth the money, time, lives and energy celebrating our independence the way it is currently done? Are we really acting independent for which reason we need to celebrate? 59 years ago, we said we were capable of managing our own destiny and economy.

Despite being independent, we are on a World Bank economic recovery program. 59 years ago, we said we will use our own currency. But most of our local businesses are charging in dollars and many people, including our leaders, prefer to use the dollar and not our cedi.

For us, it doesn’t make sense if we truly mean what is independent and we are 59 years and we don’t seem to have any idea how to really solve the problems of our people. It doesn’t make any economic sense that 59 years on, some children in some parts of the country cannot get good drinking water, cannot sit under a roof to study, cannot access basic health care or cannot live their dreams because of a mosquito bite.

It really doesn’t make sense. As an independent nation, we are in charge of ourselves; we know what our needs are and we must solve these needs by our own means and stop still trooping to the Western nations, the IMF and World Bank for economic bailouts.

True independence is where the leadership and the citizenry of a country truly accept the responsibility of their destiny, doing their best possible to solve their own problems and collectively create better lives themselves, their children and their children’s children and the generation yet unborn.

In this country, we see a leadership pretending to lead and a citizenry pretending to be led. We see politicians sucking the very lifeblood of the people and they are hailed for doing so. We see a lot of ‘uncommon sense’ in state policies and projects.

How independent are we when the hearts and minds of our leaders are so chained to corruption and greed? How independent are we when the people who should speak up against the injustices of our systems refuse to do so for the fear of being tagged partisan? How independent are we when we prefer and promote foreign businesses and their products to the neglect of our own?

How independent are we when we spend our taxes on unnecessary ‘party coloured’ policies for our selfish interests? How independent are we when we keep running around the world begging for loans and grants that end up in the pockets of some greedy few?

We all have a role to play in making  our  nation great and strong, a truly independent one. Let’s all contribute our little quota to making Ghana great again.

Ooh yes, we can make it; we strongly believe in the potential of this country. There is hope for us but hope, they say, is not a strategy. We must get to work for the hope to materialise. Let’s challenge ourselves to be an agent of change. Let’s be truly independent Ghanaians and rise up to make our nation great and strong!

Source: The Enquirer

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