The country is bereft of leaders who are committed to nation building since the overthrow of its first president, Dr Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, a former ambassador of Ghana to Serbia, has said.
According to him, development of the nation begins by putting the relevant structures in place, hence any leader that does not make it a priority to put the right structures in place does not have the development of the nation at heart.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday September 21 in connection with the Founder’s Day celebration, Dr Tamakloe said: “If you want to build a nation and you don’t put structures in place then you are wasting everybody’s time. Kwame Nkrumah…did on transportation, the set-up of the motorway. Look at the rate of commercial businesses between Tema and Accra at the moment – the motorway has become the busiest road we have in Ghana today. If this had not been put in place, just imagine how chaotic transportation would have been in Ghana.
“…The harbour you see is the work of Kwame Nkrumah. People must understand certain things: any leader who believes in setting structures, that leader must be supported because without structures you can’t build a nation. The Adomi bridge is the work of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, so if we have leaders along the long the line who had set up structures [Ghana would have been better developed by now].
He also mentioned ex-President Jerry Rawlings, who he said had also put up structures during his reign, including the University for Development Studies (UDS).
“So if we have leaders who have not been able to put up structures that will help in national development, then we have to think about it carefully because all over the world you have structures being put together by leaders and that is what they used to build their nation,” he added.
Asked what accounted for the difference between now and then, he answered: “A lot has changed because we don’t have leaders who really believe in nation building. That is why I kept on saying that if you have a leader now who is putting up structures, then that leader is interested in nation-building and that leader must be revered by any citizen of the land because when I am talking about structures I am talking about school buildings, hospitals, bridges, roads. These [are] what you need to move a nation forward because with these you can build a nation.
“…We started on the same vein with Malaysia but look at where Malaysia is today. So, those leaders we had and maybe we still have them now who are interested in putting up structures are people we must respect because it’s only the structures that can let you know that a country is moving forward, not traders around. Traders don’t build a nation, they have their role they play, but if you are just going to allow traders alone, you can’t build a nation.
Further asked if he had identified any of Ghana’s leaders in the fourth republic, apart from Jerry Rawlings, who had shown that “forward-looking” quality like Dr Nkrumah to put up structures like hospitals and schools, he said: “Of course, it is crystal clear – you can see what Mahama is doing now. I think it is clear.
“Those of us who were born and bred in Accra here can testify to certain things. I know exactly when KA Gbedemah, Nkrumah’s finance minister, broke a sword for Kwame Nkrumah Circle to be made years ago, when I was a kid. I knew exactly when Gbedemah was on a tractor to have that little place constructed. Go there now and see what is there now.
“Let’s come to Ridge Hospital. I know Ridge Hospital very well when I was a kid. Look at the structure there now. Go to Tema Harbour, this is the work of J.A. Kufuor. These are people who can leave something that will help in nation building, that is what I mean by structures. Kufuor, and I think Rawlings, also played a big role in the harbour expansion and recently Mahama has come to cap it off. This is what we want, not a situation where somebody starts something and then there will be a whole lot of ‘pull him back’ attitude sort of problem.”
Source: radioxyzonline.com/ with additional files from Ghana/Class