Ghanaians have for years and under different governments expressed through demonstrations the strong desire for change that will deliver better living standards for all.
A national discourse on “fix the country” got to higher heights with a demonstration in the nation's capital, Accra, last week.
Some few weeks ago, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also staged a protest, demanding better living conditions.
Both demonstrations ended peacefully, unlike previous ones that ended with some casualties and, in some instances, fatalities. This is a growing sign of democratic maturity.
The past few months have seen this country engage in discussions that can easily become brilliant national mantras — "Fix the country”/"Fix your attitude".
Whichever way one looks at the two demands, both are correct and meritorious. In short, while the ruling political class has the onerous responsibility to fix the country, the citizenry must equally be responsible enough to fix their attitudes.
The fact still remains that no nation can sustain its development agenda without working hard at these two brilliant demands — “Fix the country”/"Fix your attitude".
But first, who begins the task to fix the country? Does it begin with the political class or political elections? How do we elect our leaders into political office, and for that matter entrust the affairs of state in their care to take critical development decisions on our behalf?
For me, the right or wrong choices we make in electing our leaders can go a long way to impact positively or negatively on our desire to fix our country.
That is why political election choices cannot be toyed with and must be taken very seriously as responsible citizens determined to discharge our civic obligations to national service and development.
For this reason, fixing ourselves can definitely not only be about the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the NDC or any political party but all of us inclusive, as good citizens of the land getting involved to fix the numerous development challenges facing the nation.
If it really begins with how we elect our political leaders, then this will also mean that in and from our little corners we must all endeavour to push and create opportunities to help accelerate national development efforts.
Yes, I agree that a major responsibility is for elected political office holders to implement development policies that will enhance living standards. For instance, they must see to it that our roads are fixed, potable water is provided, there is sufficiency in energy and food, educational and healthcare services are accessible.
Our political leaders must also give priority to tackling unemployment and poverty reduction to ensure improvements in living standards for all as well as ensure public safety and security, among others .
Anything short of the ruling political architecture placing premium on achieving these deliverables to the satisfaction of majority of the people they are elected to serve will bring about needless tension and agitation.
But beyond this, is the realistic expectation of the citizen and the role they play in ensuring that the country is fixed. That is the more reason advocates of “fix your attitude” are also not wrong — they have a good point in there too.
Fix the country/fix your attitude must, therefore, be a legitimate demand for democratic accountability, good governance and better living standards for all, which requires a shared responsibility and an all-hands-on-deck approach.
That is the challenge facing us as a people and a country.
Meeting the national mantra involves all of us — politicians, faith-based leaders, traditional rulers, members of academia, professional bodies, including the media, nurses, doctors, and the citizenry at large.
Until we fix our attitude wherever we find ourselves, fixing the nation will be a one-step-forward-two-steps-backward thing.
It will not be a wise move to always look at the government to fix everything.
What is our attitude towards cleanliness, good sanitation habits, open defecation?
All over the country, there are negatives attitudes, including indiscipline, littering, poor sanitary habits, not obeying driving and traffic rules, robbery and corruption.
The whole idea is for everybody in his or her little corner to push to do the little things that matter for development to take place.
We can all help raise development standards without insulting others. We can state our case and expectations, without spewing lies and hatred. We all expect much from the government, but the government also expects that we the citizenry to do our bit.
After all, when Ghana develops, we shall all be happy.
Holding leaders accountable
Together let's hold our leaders accountable, but in decency, with respect, wisdom and appropriateness, devoid of insults and lies.
The country must not be divided over these two legitimate demands. Our politics cannot and must not become acrimonious, and unproductive because of these two demands.
Fanatical partisan politicking or viewpoints must give way to the national interest.