Ghana over the years has largely been faced with issues of maintenance. The citizenry has been indoctrinated to wait on government every single time to maintain national assets. Unfortunately, most Ghanaians do not pay heed to the English proverb that says “a stitch in time saves nine”.
Undoubtedly, maintenance of national properties is the job of government; but we must remember the Gettysburg Address of the American lawyer and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865, Abraham Lincoln. On November 19, 1863 he said: “That these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”. Every single Ghanaian makes up the government of Ghana.
Dr. Ephraim Amu, a renowned Ghanaian music composer, musicologist and teacher who composed several musical pieces, including ‘Yen Ara Asase Ni’, the nationally-acclaimed patriotic song in his all-time popular work, the Yen Ara Asase Ni piece, admonished Ghanaians to uphold the country and all national assets as lares and penates (home and household goods).
The third to fifth lines of the first stanza read: “Adu me ne wo nso so se, yebeye bi atoa so. Nimdeetraso kotokrane ne apesemenkomenya. Adi yen bra mu dem ama yen asase ho do atomu se. In English, these lines translate as: “It is now our turn to continue what our ancestors started. Pride, cheating and selfishness have scarred our character and diminished our affection for our land. Ignoring this national call will only create difficulties and great inconvenience for the next generation and the others to come.
The second stanza of the patriotic song further reads: “Asoomere ne obu pa yonko yiye di pe daa Ahofama ntetekwaam ma nnipa biara yiye de Enonom n’ede asomdwee ne nkoso pa bre oman”. – which means “Hard work and respect for one another is what we need. Selflessness and compassion for one another will bring peace and prosperity to our nation”.
Kandifo Institute – as a youth-oriented think-tank that extols, advocates, and in a very practical way influences policies that facilitate and sustain conservatism as a guided ideology of preference and promotes a development path that is traditionally based on an organic conception of society in respect to the belief that society is a living organism comprising closely connected, interdependent members – admonishes all Ghanaians, including those in authority to the least member of the country, to practice maintenance culture.
Ghana is proud to be the first West African country and second African country to have a four-tier interchange. The massive project includes development of the 6.5-kilometre Awoshie to Pokuase road; an exchange at the convergence of ACP intersection to Awoshie to Nsawam route; two pedestrian bridges; two kilometres of Nsawam road-widening; drainage, street lighting; and the construction of twelve (12) kilometres of town roads.
The Pokuase Interchange, which was commissioned by the president on July 9, 2021, cost US$94million – of which US$83million was secured from the African Development Bank and US$11million was taken care of by the government of Ghana. This means that Ghanaian taxpayers invested US$11million into the newly commissioned interchange. Although the president admonished the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure maintenance of the facility, this is a national call to all Ghanaians.
The citizenry must desist from putting up various banners, posters and flyers which deface the facility. Also, hawkers should not take over the interchange. These negative actions destroy the beauty of the facility.
As the president appealed for users of the facility, especially drivers, to comply with the various road safety measures put in place for safe use of the facility, we must all contribute our quota as Ghanaians to protect the public purse. The Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Members of Parliament, the various District and Municipal Executives and all others in authority must always remember that they are Ghanaians, and must therefore abide by the oaths sworn during their induction into office.
If Ghanaians realise that monies which could have been used for developmental agendas across the country are usually wasted on maintaining facilities, then Ghanaians will contribute our little quotas to bring about sustainable national development.
Kandifo Institute commends the government of Ghana for the Pokuase Interchange, and hopes that this facility will last for its stipulated period. Individuals and government as a whole must do our best to keep the interchange neat and functioning, void of any potholes which could have been fixed within the shortest possible time, or poor street-lighting systems.
The ministry and all other national executives in charge of the facility must protect the interchange at all costs. As citizens, let us all play our part in maintaining our national assets in order to pass them on as heirlooms for generations yet to come.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make it great and strong.
The writer is the Executive Director, Kandifo Institute. He can be reached on [email protected]