Most often than not, Ghanaians are expected to exhibit the attitude of patriotism towards the country. According to Primoratz Igor (2009) patriotism is the spirit which stimulates the sense of obedience to law, to defend its existence, institutions and rights. A patriot can be defining as a person who loves, cherishes and defends his/her country; be it laws and or institution. Ghanaians are expected to commit themselves to nation-building by having values of discipline and good morals to help promote national unity and cohesion – the overall objective being to aid in the development of the country (Badu-Akosa, 2014).
But this has not been experienced, in that; there appear to be limited commitment and investment in the people to build that kind of patriotic attitude in them. Whatever is nourished grows and whatever is starved dies. What effort has government and civil society organizations put in place to inculcate the attitude of patriotism in its people? Patriotism is not inherent. It takes a conscious effort to build a patriotic citizen.
For instance, people are made to recite or sing patriotic songs like the “National Anthem and The Pledge” during national vetting. This has resulted in some public figures caught on the spot doing same and finding themselves in embarrassing situations in the eye of the general public. This happens because; the last time these people heard and sang these songs was when they were in the basic schools. How then do we expect them to be able to recite and sing these songs many years down the line when Ghana has done nothing about making it a part of them? Moreover, patriotism runs deeper than flag labels, bumper stickers (Badu-Akosa, 2014) and mere reciting and singing of patriotic songs. It has occurred severally that, people watched government property to spoil without taking steps to salvage it (Akapame and Weyns, 2013).
The kind of attitudes the people of Ghana are exhibiting in their various field of work, and the bribery and corruption can partly be associated to our failure to nurture patriotic citizens. People in public offices think they are doing the general public a favor. Officials amass wealth for their personal gain at the expense of the general public whiles the private sector is also exploiting labor and evasion of taxes. Their sense of patriotism and love for the country and one another has died off.
Gone are the days when we used to hear patriotic and national songs on the radios and television stations frequently. And this was really working. Songs are very powerful and it enters into the human soul.
Based on these I recommend that;
Patriotic songs should be played on both radio and television stations to build the attitude of patriotism in Ghanaians. Patriotic tunes can be used as a jingle before news casting. This will come at a cost but government has to invest in it because a patriotic citizen is an asset to the country.
Programmes should be held on the various media platforms to educate citizens in order to arouse the sense of duty towards the country in them.
The mass media should adopt as a Corporate Social Responsibility, educating and inculcating the attitude of nationalism.
Well composed national and patriotic songs should receive awards.
Founder’s day, which is the birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Independence Day, should be days set aside to teach the general public on patriotism and its relevance to the development of the country. Patriots from different sectors of the economy should be acknowledged and honored on these days.
National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and other Civil Society Organizations should intensify their educating of citizens on national issues, history of the country, life of Ghanaian Patriots and what is expected of us as citizens.
Children of school going age should not only be the target but the working population as well. The working population in one way or the other contributes to build a better Ghana and they need to be nurtured in this direction as well. Don’t think of what Ghana can do for you but what you can do for Ghana. The Ghana you make today will be the Ghana your children and children’s children will live in. Without patriotism, development and nation building cannot be achieved.
“God bless our homeland Ghana, and make Our Nation Great and Strong”.
Author: Aaron Kwasi Nartey (KNUST)