As I walk on the street to school, I heard these school children recite what we all know as “The Pledge”. And these paragraphs got my attention and also got me thinking which says “I promise on my honor to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland” and also “And I pledge myself in all things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana so help me God.
I still remember that faithful morning on May 29, 2017 when a very sensitive video was circulating on social media and was also the topic for discussion for all the media houses across the country. This was about an Officer with the 5th Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Arm Forces Captain Maxwell Adams Mahama who was lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region at dawn.
Therefore I asked myself why should an Army Officer Captain Maxwell Adams Mahama who has sworn and pledge to protect his people rather be lynched by his own people. Do we just recite the pledge as a people and don’t do what it requires of us? Or we recite the pledge because we are to do so?
According to an Uncle of the Late Captain Mahama he says “A man who decides to save his nation has to die in war, and not murdered by the very citizens that he swore an oath to protect and defend against both external and internal aggression. For him to die in this manner challenges my citizenship.
Where is that part of the pledge that goes this way? “To be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland”. How faithful our forefathers recited this national pledge with truthfulness and sincerity. We as a new generation are into the business of I cannot be my neighbor’s keeper, we are not faithful and loyal to our country but rather we seek for each other’s downfall. Bribery and corruption is what we are faithful to because of our own selfish interest. The vulnerable in the society has to suffer because the people who are to be their voices have been silenced due to the fear of been suppressed by the so called “big people” in society.
Are we thought to recite the pledge by heart or by head? Seems to me that “the chew, past and forget” syndrome has finally found its way into our pledge recital. Gone were those days where teachers on duty will punish the whole school for the carelessness with which they recited the pledge. This very teachers had time to explain every single line of the pledge to their student and that created a certain desire to be more than ready to die for this wonder Ghana we see today. How many teachers now, do have that time to explain to their students what the line in the pledge means?
The very heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fore fathers are nowhere to be found. Those who are supposed to be seen upholding the heritage won for us are rather seen destroying it. And if leadership by example is anything to go by then I tell you, subordinates will be more than ready to help leadership destroy more of the heritage won for us because leadership sees nothing wrong with it. We are at that point where our educational system and upbringing from home collapses our moral to be good citizens.
We recite the pledge for twelve years nonstop. This means from the very scratch of our education through to our lower and upper primary and senior high education are continuously and repeatedly remind ourselves of the importance of been a citizen and good citizen for that matter and not a spectator. Yet we allow this twelve years of recital go waste with our behavior. Why have we become the opposite of the very national pledge we recite? The very legacy left to us by our forefathers are the ones we are interested in destroying to preserve the ones we are creating through our selfish means while we promised for twelve years to uphold them. Hypocrisy at its best is what we are now practicing in Ghana where truth and love triumphed over all other stuffs.
We as a people can only defend the selfish name of our self-interest instead of defending the good name of mother Ghana. People are busy promoting degrading images of a nation that they had pledged to defend and still will move about with that effrontery as if nothing ever happened. There is no difference between we the “common floor members” and those we have elected into various positions to serve since we are all marching heads high in the bad practices. Slowly we rub a country of its glory and cripple its destiny of a better tomorrow for its vulnerable people. Let us not forget that a pledge to country is a pledge to God, so whatever dishonesty we do to our country surely we do to God.
Our forefathers in their fruitful thoughts carved the pledge to cover every aspect of our lives. If indeed we pledge ourselves to the service of Ghana then we will not be hiding the bad nuts but exposing them, we will not spend that which we have been given to use for the benefit of all, we will not do shady deals behind closed doors and smile as if nothing ever went wrong while it was at the expense of a whole majority. Let us look back to that beautiful reason why the pledge was written and why it was made a compulsory morning tablet for all of us from the word go and try to appreciate that reason.
Though it has all been going wrong, some citizens have still kept to that promised they made. They still keep the flame of the national pledge burning both home and abroad. As a proud Ghanaian I say am grateful to them for their effort in making sure the flame does not die out but rather keep burning even after they are gone from the surface of this earth. Their pledge to mother Ghana will still be remembered due to their wonderful and spectacular works for Ghana and humanity as a whole. Some of us will learn from their effortlessness to serve Ghana.
It is always better to be late than never. We can still gather all those broken parts and torn fabric and put them together. We all have a core role to execute and until we do so no other person from anywhere will for us. We owe it to generations yet unborn to leave them with a beautiful Ghana and not a destroyed Ghana. Do not forget that, even if you do not owe it to Ghana then surely you owe it to your own children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to make sure that the Ghana they will live in years to come is a better one than the one you lived in. Arise fellow Ghanaians to this mandate for this country demands our devotion.
WRITTEN BY: IRENE AFFUL
STUDENT JOURNALIST (GIJ)