In a move to ensure Ghanaians empirically learn from their leaders, Dr. Samuel O. Doku has called on leaders in Ghana not to tell their citizenry to be patriotic, but they must show them how to be patriotic and lead by example.
Doku sounded the call of the need for Ghanaian leaders to exude a spirit of patriotism during a meeting with the Ambassador and his senior staff at the Embassy earlier in the week. The meeting was necessitated to enable senior staff at the Embassy to react to accusations of indifference to Ghanaian Americans in the issuance of visas.
During deliberations, information officer at the Embassy, Jojo Bruce Quansah was visibly troubled because he felt many Ghanaians don’t evict the needed love of country in the spirit of President John F. Kennedy’s immortal words by not asking what their country can do for them, but what they can do for their country.
To that end, Doku wondered if leaders in Ghana also embrace the patriotic spirit Kennedy epitomized and profoundly think about the welfare of the people they govern to ensure they don’t make life uncomfortable for the people. One such discomfort is in the area of gas prices where the price of gas is higher in Ghana than in the United States. The regular hike in gas prices is unconscionable to many Ghanaians.
Quansah, then, observed that loop holes in Ghana’s tax laws allow many corporations and small businesses to escape from paying their fair share of taxes. “As a result, the onus of tax responsibility falls on poor civil servants,” he opined.
Quansah’s revelation compelled Ambassador Joseph Henry Smith to echo President Barack Obama’s call to African leaders to build enduring institutional structures to promote social justice, equality, equitable economic distribution, anti-tribalism, and anti-corruption practices to bring about probity and accountability. Smith was of the view that after creating such structures, men of integrity must be put in charge to run the institutions.
Smith also analogized American democracy with African democracy and noted: “Many people try to compare democracy in Africa to that of America, but we must realize that democracy in America is over 200 years old while many democracies in Africa, especially Ghana, are barely 60 years old. Even with the American system, there are flaws, so let’s be patient with Africa.”
Ambassador Smith was of the view that partisan politics, for the most part, acts as a cataract in the eyes of many, and as a result, some politicians become oblivious to the good work of governments they don’t support. He then called for the dismantling of party slogans immediately after elections so that the people can focus on working together in the spirit of one nation for all.
The need for Ghanaian leaders to illustrate their patriotism to Ghanaians has become more critical than ever now in the recent exposure of some judges as being an integral part of the problematic bribe-collecting nuisance in Ghanaian society.
Therefore, regarding patriotism, the overriding concern among many Ghanaians now is, “Don’t tell us; show us.”