The first shots in Sub-Saharan Africa against corruption and all forms of bad governance have been fired. Several years after the Arab uprising though. The despot president who once grandiosely referred to himself as “Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor President”, former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, was run out of Banjul, Gambia, in January last year. Another despot, Robert Mugabe (former president of Zimbabwe) was also forced out last year by the people he took for granted for so long. The other scandalous and corrupt former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, who also took his people for granted has finally been given the boot by his own party. In all these cases these corrupt leaders were allowed to remain in power for far too long. There appears to be a pattern here. Why does it take so long for the citizens to get rid of their corrupt leaders? And why did this come several years after the Arab Spring? These are serious questions for another day but for now as they say ‘better late than never’.
Corruption has become entrenched in all spheres of government in most African countries and it’s about time the citizens address this cancer through the democratic structures they already have. Africa already has its fair share of challenges – low economic growth, poverty, high unemployment rate; all the result of incompetence and corrupt governments.
The lessons here are clear for all Ghanaians to see and learn from. We shouldn’t wait any longer than is necessary to say ‘enough is enough’ if our government takes us for granted. My fellow country men and women wake up and smell the coffee. As our fellow Africans, the Nigerians, would say “Shine your eyes”.
For those who get into power only to enrich themselves and their cronies and mismanage the economy instead of serving the people who elected them, be warned! As they say in pidgin English “We no go sit down make them cheat us everyday”. The first president of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, once said “Ghanaians are not timid people as has been suggested in the foreign press. Far from it. They may be slow to anger and may take time to organise and act. But once they are ready they strike and strike hard. It pays no one to tamper with Ghanaian freedom and dignity”. Corrupt governments who take their citizens for granted take heed. It should serve as a warning to all governments across the continent of Africa. A word to the wise is enough.
With the Independence Day anniversary fast approaching and with not much development and progress to show for all these years we need to take stock and do things differently. Let’s use the Independence Day anniversary (6th March) to contemplate and find solutions to our mostly self inflicted numerous problems to better ourselves and make our nation more prosperous rather than waste any money and time on any Independence Day anniversary celebrations.
Happy Independence Day Anniversary Ogyakrom!
Citizen Paa Joe
(A concerned citizen & a good governance advocate)