To me Ghana, is broken and it will take a total change in our attitudes to bring Ghana to where we all want it to be. Nobody will be left out. Nobody…. The man who cleans the streets. The fuel attendant who pumps fuel into our cars. The cook who cooks our food in our favorite restaurants. The bar attendant who checks us out. The immigration officer who is the first person you meet at our nation’s borders. The construction worker who is in the sweltering heat charged to fix that particular pothole. The tax revenue collector who collects taxes on behalf of our government. The military man who took an oath to defend and protect all the citizens of Ghana especially in times of foreign aggression. The teacher who spends about 8 hours every day with our children. The mason who builds our houses and the by- day- laborer who assists him. The watchman who watches over us when we are fast asleep or on travels . The maid who washes our clothes. The police, a core branch of the executive arm, charged with the protection of life and property and maintain the peace ; in a country largely beleaguered by poverty, lack of basic amenities, tribal divisions, political party affiliations, existential differences, nepotism etc. The political party chairman/DCE/MCE who steers his/her party’s agenda in his or her localities/districts/municipalities. And above all, it will take a president who is ready to change the status quo and to set an appropriate tone at the top.
In any institution or organization ( private, public, govtal) the silent force that drives people to the accomplishment and or the furtherance of its strategic mission is the “tone at the top”. The tone at the top largely reflects on the people in the bottom of any organization or institution. It directs their actions/ activities/ energies towards the accomplishment of the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. Good tone engenders a positive buy-in and or behavior from people at the lower strata. Oh you bet.. a bad tone leads to the contrary. Governments are no exceptions. A president and his agents must be ready to set a tone that will cascade downstream. For me, l don’t like that preposition –AT. I like “FROM”. In other words, the tone FROM the top of any government will determine how its institutions and or branches conduct their businesses within the boundaries of probity, accountability, transparency.
How do people perceive the tone? The people at the bottom begin to rationalize- “ Oh if they are chopping it funyafunya at the top why can’t me who live in this small town or village also chop some too?”, “ If they are stealing to buy their V8s why can’t l also steal to buy just a bicycle?” “ Nope. I am not going to turn a blind eye because my boss is a man of integrity and respect. I will do the right thing because of my boss”.
The problem with Ghana is that many people are eager to hold political office but their desires are not leavened with selflessness and love for country and its people.
Let me end with a simple question. Why can’t you also be Anas in your own small way?