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Founders’ Day: Lessons from Ghana’s tragic heroes

4th August was made Founders’ Day by President Nana Akufo-Addo when he was inaugurated in 2017. Even that is not devoid of controversy as citizens struggle over whether our nation has a founder or founders.

Regardless of one’s position, one thing many if not most citizens admit is that this is not the great Ghana we dream of.

Too many Ghanaians are living like refugees in their own country. Millions are enduring acidic poverty in the abundance of wealth and opportunities that only a few are enjoying.

This is not the Ghana our ancestors and forefathers dreamt of. It cannot be the Ghana we desire to live in. Certainly, not the Ghana we would love to bequeath to future generations.

Where do we start to redefine our path out of this squalor? What should we do?

As a people, we should have the courage to uncover and discuss openly the most sensitive issues of our past, our present and our future with a collective desire to work in unison to redefine our path out of our unpleasant destination.

Otherwise, we may not be able to confront our fears, cure our inadequacies and tear apart the inhibiting boundaries that held our ancestors away from the promised land.

I keep saying that we need to know and appreciate where we are from with insight to know why we are here.

We have to carefully diagnose why great brains like the Nkrumah’s, Danquahs, Gbedemahs, Busias and many others could not work together to actualise the dreams and aspirations of the millions who excitedly applauded their efforts on the day of independence.

And, we have to do all that we could to say and mean “NEVER AGAIN”; never again should we allow the things that denied our forefathers their dreams and aspirations to do the same to us. Never should we permit the ills and evils that killed them leaving a young Ghana orphan in her teenage years in the political wilderness to hold us back. Never again.

It deeply hurts my soul that we are allowing what stopped our forefathers to stop us.

The greed.

The selfishness.

The mistrust.

The ill-suspicion.

The animosity.

The unforgiveness.

The arrogance in power.

And, all the banes to our collective growth trap us in perpetual dehumanizing deprivation.

We have more than enough resources to build a prosperously beautiful nation for all of us, not just a few; a nation in which, where one comes from, who gave birth to him or her, the party he or she belongs to, one’s religious background or ethnicity doesn’t matter than their innate potentialities and how well they are prepared to take opportunities to develop themselves, our communities and our nation.

Painfully, our ancestors could not win independence together; they won dominion status while hanging apart. And, more painfully they could not work together to build the beautiful nation they could have constructed.

If they who were intellectual giants with great visions could fall on the slippery path they thoughtlessly paved into the future, then, we cannot continue on the same slippery dark path unhurt and unscathed.

The good thing is that we can learn from what happened to our tragic heroes and heroines to heal ourselves of the ailments we inherited from them by consciously reuniting with a higher being than ourselves.

By making our collective good the pivot of our engagements and by committing ourselves to the ageless values of selflessness, honesty, justice and fairness, patriotism, love for one another and humility in public service, we can do all the great things our fathers couldn’t do.

This is where to start from. Then, from here, we together commence the reform agenda to redefine our democracy to make it functional and fit for purpose.

As things stand now, our democracy is nothing beyond rituals of regular elections between which, we prepare for the next amidst controversies and acrimonious discourses.

What we need more urgently now are generational leaders who genuinely think far beyond the next election; transformational leaders to create us a new path out of this stinking mud of acrimonious and vindictive politics our nation has been stuck in for decades.

If you are one of them, step forward. Do not deny our dear nation yourself. Ghana breathlessly needs you.

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh

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