Our political history proves that during electioneering campaigns the chief strategy of the various political parties has been to awash our minds with gloom and doom.
Our campaigns have become growth medium for fear; instilling into our mind-sets doom and gloom, overlain with the subtle spirit of antagonism and negativity which undermines our joy and sabotage our gratitude and sense of appreciation.
Rather than let peace, security and hope dictate our thoughts we are inundated with fear and dread of the future. We pile up resentment and hatred towards one another as if that is the logic by which we come by good governance.
However, it is only the immature who assumes fear can be a tool for nation building or positive change. It only takes a little gloom and doom for people not to take you seriously.
If we said, even though we live in perilous times, the best is yet to come, We will not be burying our heads in the sand. By choosing to be hopeful and more energetic we will be setting for our children and youth , a future worth living for.
Since 1982 – 83, when the nation experienced it worst economic melt down, we have observed it grow from strength to strength.
Tired, after long treks to and from work; hungry because there was famine and drought, lacking all things due to shortages, rationing all things including , tissue papers, and traveling in articulated trucks due to poor roads and lack of vehicles, Ghanaians in the 80s waded in the dark- dumso- without being boisterous and profane; without threatening to burn the country down, or attacking political opponents.
Our parents paid our fees even when the nation reeled under Structural adjustment programs and stringent economic recovery programs. Death was not advertised as an option for our young men and women at that time.
What we did was to hope and be positive about the future. We did not let temporal facts cloud our understanding of eternal truth, that we were resilient , and the God of the fathers would help pull us through.
Decades ago we had no oil and gas, Cote d’ivoire and Nigeria had . Those were rollicking times for these countries. Back here the crunch on foreign exchange was hefty; we queued for hours on end, to get fuel into our vehicles.
We did not resent or hate each other because there was scarcity. Rather, we hoped and sort ingenious ways to cope. We came out better, to the admiration of the world.
And so why so much resentment now? Why is a section of our people, particularly some of our young men and women so bitter? Rather than tell the story of the 80’s we are overwhelmed by scathing diatribes in all media. Most of the young people wander through life desultory under the influence.
Those who came through the eighties cannot honestly say our current situation is so unbearable. We don't come into great wealth without aspiring; without hope dictating our thoughts. We cannot do it without hard work. Even if we did, it will be without the true sense of enjoyment.
We are not hopeless.
As we approach the elections we have to think carefully about the mood we set in the country.
Have we a good enough understanding of our strengths, values and interests?
Whiles we claim to have the wand to wave the nation into prosperity, and the niche to splurge the nation's wealth, what we have successfully done over the period, is to set a halo of poverty around the nation and dressed it in disastrous rags for the dung heap. It doesn't look pretty anymore. But poverty for me is the absence of a viable progressive option or alternative.
Poverty takes people’s eyes off the potential and focuses on debilitation, thus lowering them into the survival mode.
It makes it difficult for people who have embraced it to think that life is worth living. It fosters ignorance and hypes mediocrity.
Blaming others then becomes the commonest devise to diffuse personal responsibility and self accountability. Blaming others becomes the risk to our security.
This is where I offer the challenge to our leaders to lead; to offer leadership that transforms mindset to look out for what is best and not necessarily the cheapest. Quality, they say cost less, on the long run.
How do people come to Poverty?
Poor stewardship is the key cause of poverty.
The simple question is, over the years which political party have funded national development through their own coffers?
How many of them have taken the time to measure out what our national assets are, and set out plans to build on what they come to meet, without prejudice to their predecessors? How come that we have such numerous abandoned projects all over the Country?
The subtle but dangerous campaign messages and slogans sharpened through professional involvement at the media level, sometimes with the injection by desperate and inimical minds, to lean the nation towards undercutting itself through violence and boisterous attitudes is not the way to go.
What do we expect? If we picture the country as if it were a dilapidated barn, swaying, heaving, and finally awaiting its collapse within the next months, it surely would be disconcerting.
Ironically, some of the people who wish to rule are leaving no stone unturned , not because they have the nation so much at heart. What they desire the most, is the opportunity to preside over the distribution of the nation’s wealth.
Most Ghanaians however, know the differences and commonalities of the major Parties which had presided over the affairs of this country.
It's about Ghana
Often, because we think our concern must be to get people to consider their choice of the opponent as effete ( disapprovingly weak; without the power that it once had) , we forget that our primary responsibility to the nation, whether we are in power or not, is to convey the achievements and self respect of the nation to the world every day.
Because we want to undervalue others by running them down we begin by setting them in bad light and keeping them there. So that, whoever thinks of going to the polls to vote for them would feel he or she has poorly chosen.
We need to create a new atmosphere going forward. One based on a new mind set, new thinking. All of us -including politicians- need to sacrifice a bit of our comfort to build the infrastructure needed for the acceleration of national development.
We need a crowbar to dislodge the settled cement of bitterness, hatred , and resentment for our nation to move on.
Source: Rt. Rev. Dr Nana Anyani-Boadum
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