As usual on every 6th March which Ghanaians mark as “Independence Day”, the president gives a long speech, school children march and stand under the scorching sun till they dehydrate and collapse, declarations of being proud Ghanaians are made and everyone goes back to being unpatriotic, selfish and corrupt. This year’s speech by the President was almost as uninspiring as the ones before.
The general consensus amongst the population is that at 61 we have nothing to celebrate and should instead be ashamed of ourselves for mismanaging our affairs since our colonial masters handed us our so-called independence. We are called on to be proud of our motherland and all of that crap. But the sad truth is that there has been little to admire about Ghana let alone be proud of for a long time now.
The only thing we could say about ourselves without shame was that we enjoyed an enviable peace that is lacking in many African countries and in other parts of the world. But recently even this “peace” is nothing to write home about as citizens are getting killed and terrorized by armed robbers in broad daylight, Hollywood style. Ghana is no longer safe.
Our homes are unsafe, our streets are unsafe, our places of work are unsafe, and the police service stands by helplessly and rants about being inadequate while we lose our lives and properties to criminals. And all our president does is gallivant from country to country and even go and promise to fight terrorism in the US while armed robbers are going on sprees in his own backyard. It is a wonder he found time out of his very busy international schedule to bless us with his plenty English.
A lot of Ghanaians were expecting the President to address the spate of rampant daylight robberies and killings in the country and he didn’t disappoint. However, merely condemning the act and making promises doesn’t prevent the next robbery from happening. The fact that he talked about what he “will” do instead of what he “has” done to salvage the situation only goes to prove that nothing is being done as yet.
He made it clear that “no miscreant will have the space to terrorize citizens and generate a sense of insecurity in our country.” Adding that, the police “have the primary responsibility of maintaining peace and keeping law and order in our society, and, in exceptional cases, with the backing of the armed forces. The government is doing, and will do whatever it takes to enable the police discharge their duties effectively. We are providing the means for them to modernize their equipment and learn modern methods of policing, and the numbers will be rapidly increased to match our growing population, and sophistication and audacity of the criminals.”
“We should not forget that the police need the help and support of the community to be able to do their work. We dare not lose our reputation as a haven of peace and security. I urge you all to join in making sure there is no hiding place in our midst for those who would disturb our peace. For my part, I will do whatever is necessary, within the confines of the constitution and the laws of the land, to ensure the peace of our country.”
We hope these are not just ramblings to appease Ghanaians. Till we are able to sleep with our windows open and conduct our business without fear of getting mugged, we will take these words for exactly what they are; words. Without any action, we will continue to live in fear and panic and soon there would be absolutely nothing to love about this once peaceful country.