“60 Years of Problem Finding” by Nuerkey Narh

The entire Ghanaian community, from its inception has re-echoed it’s underdevelopment to all and sundry, even to the unborn generations. Not to rub it in, but, we are all aware that we are far behind satisfactory standards when it comes to infrastructure, education, healthcare, the economy – safe to say, every  aspect of Ghanaian life. Traces of this fact are found in daily conversations on the news (I’ve heard a few) and in the welfare messages we bid each other when we meet in the streets. The point is, we are all well informed that the state is far behind in terms of development. Although internet services are advanced and fleet cars roam our streets, some communities lack potable water, decent school structures, healthcare centres, not to talk of electricity. Sadly, in this day and age, people have to travel many miles to access healthcare services. And God bless our hearts, if they happen to catch a fever in the middle of the night, then pray their hearts not to give up on them because with death-trap roads and no vehicles plying their roads except on market days, I refuse to imagine what happens next. If anyone is in denial of these assertions, I invite the person to find a village on our maps called Upper Dede, you will marvel.


In a regular arrangement, after identifying the problem, the next stage is finding a lasting solution to the problem. Yes, as rightly stated in the preceding sentence, this happens in regular communities. In Ghana this takes a different procedure. It begins with, identifying the problem, accepting the problem and living with it for a few years, realising the problem still exists, finding a culprit and finally, persecuting the government for the problem.  I knew it had become an abnormality when in 2015 a terrible calamity occurred on June 3 and instead of finding a way to prevent another such occurrence, people were more concerned with under whose administration certain allocations had been made and who was responsible for maintaining structures illegally put up in waterways and blocking drainage areas. Quite recently I heard a man complain of the choked gutters in our cities and I wondered, is there a man called Government dumping rubbish in the gutters? I’m not here to cut anybody some slack, but I recall that a few years back, a certain mayor of Accra was lambasted for ordering the demolition of settlements illegally put up that were blocking waterways. 


If there’s something to commend Ghanaians on, it would be the fact that they are great analysts. If there’s a second thing to come as close to that, it would be criticising people. Hold your breath for no new incident to occur because, everyone has an opinion on the subject, having made ourselves accusers and judges of people’s actions and prompt executioners of our sentences of condemnation. The one thing that we won’t do, is to take the blame, worse, to take the fall, worst, to take it upon ourselves to solve the problem. It is always the government’s business. Someone’s goods are not being sold out because they are old and dirty looking and she’s not even smiling to invite people to her and it’s the government fault. Let’s take my friend Kweku, for instance. Kweku has put up five big unoccupied mansions in his village, how he managed to transport the necessary resources to put up these structures, only Heaven can reward him for that. But you must know that there are no schools in Kweku’s village. The children in his family house have to walk to the next two villages to access the nearest school, which has aluminium sheets for walls. Yet, Kweku would actively engage in a debate on the radio, criticising the government and pointing out how ineffective it is; its inability to provide educational structures and sad enough, he would be comfortably served coffee while he engaged in this debate. Tetteh stands by unconcerned while his neighbours are disposing of the waste in the big gutter at the other end of the town, and when the rains fall and flood his home, he blames the Government for the floods. I mean, your party doesn’t have to be in power before you help create a better Ghana!


These days, we’ve stepped up our game; we deserve an applause – we introduced a more encompassing word, “The State”. People would say, “the State should do this”, “the State failed to do that”. Have we stopped to ask, who is the State? I dare to answer. We are the State. We are the Government. You and I. Just us. There is no he or she, and there’s definitely not an it. We’re on our own. There’s no superhero in our story. No other Messiah – He already came. We are our own superheroes and I dare say, our own Messiahs.


Never have I heard someone say Akuffo-Addo’s Ghana, Mahama’s Ghana, Rawlings’ Ghana, Kuffuor’s Ghana or Atta-Mills’ Ghana. I never even heard of Nkrumah’s Ghana and he got us to put his name on the calendar. Maybe that’s because it’s not one person’s Ghana. It’s our Ghana and we are all equally responsible for making it a better place for us to live. When will we stop pointing fingers at others? When will we stop shifting the blame? Until when do we have to emphasize the supposed ineffectiveness of our leaders? It goes without saying, that, 1957 was a long time ago and we’re pretty much around the same place we started.


The tragedy is not that things are not broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again. We weren’t born into a perfect world, but, we can surely leave the world better than we found it. Take a step towards solving the problems in your society. In harmony with the saying that goes, See a pin and pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck; see a pin and let it lie – you’ll need that pin before you die, where you see a crook, make an effort to straighten it out.  Make the difference yourself. You deserve to be celebrated too.  You’re armed with the tools. You could start anywhere. I suggest you start with yourself. Start thinking positive. We are Ghana.


 It has been 60 long years of problem finding. Shall we now move to the solutions?





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