2019 in retrospect and projections into 2020

Years ago, people set goals for themselves as the clock ticked towards the New Year. As we prod into another new era, the old adage that, ‘life is lived forward but understood backwards’, comes to play. In this regard, the immediate responsibility in the New Year is to reflect on the issues of 2019. There were events of that year worth reflecting on to be able to draw lessons and make projections for 2020.
Savings and security are two sides of the same coin. We do not just do savings for huge interest but savings with security guaranteed. This has not been so for many Ghanaians who got their huge sums of money locked up in some financial institutions such as MenzGold, Gold Coast Fund Management and the like. The economic crackdown did not only render many jobless but broke down businesses and tore apart hearts and homes. While government is making efforts to restore and pay customers who fell victims to such savings, we, as Ghanaians must learn that whatever is gotten quickly also goes fast leaving us traumatised. But the onus lies on the government to insulate us from unsafe financial institutions and fraudsters.
Another event worth recalling is the passage of the Right to Information Bill and its aftermath. Journalists who act as watchdogs to the State seek and report information that can be life-threatening and damaging to our national integrity thereby ensuring the public good are yet to enjoy this right without fear. In the course of 2019, some journalists were not only intimidated, vilified but had their lives threatened. When the eyes are being blinded and mouths gauged then there is cause to worry. We should not be silent and allow our collective conscience blinded because of selfish gain.
The Ghanaian by nature is honest and hospitable. Even the politicians at a personal level are religiously honest and stand for the common good. However, we have allowed partisanship to blind us because of personal or party gain. Let us honestly reflect on how we have allowed dishonest gain to stagnate our growth and development. On comprehensive sexuality education, it is obvious the issue was not given enough national discourse devoid of politics. It will not go to rest even with the inception of 2020 because of its uncertain clarity.
Ghana as a nation should be mindful that she is obliged to protect her people from alien cultures that come to corrupt her educational environment. We cannot afford to make policies under donor funding with strings attached else we will pay dearly in the near future. There are two evils that can destroy a nation. These are either when the constitutive persons are attacked or the educational environment is poisoned. A poisoned culture directly or indirectly attacks the citizen. Let us not allow ourselves to be divided and damaged or our cultural and educational environment destroyed because of partisanship for personal gain.
The founding fathers of our great nation maintained a culture of God and we cannot afford to lose it in the name of building a secular state of prosperity that would not stand the test of time. We cannot accept anything without the consideration of history and culture. We have to honestly love our country and culture. We should continue to live by the culture of Godly life we have practised from time immemorial. We sing and pray in our national anthem for God to bless our homeland Ghana with human and natural resources. God has done so beyond belief. God has made our nation greater and stronger as a beacon of hope in Africa and her citizens have become brighter stars in all spheres of life in the world.
By true humility and honesty, politicians will respect the concept of separation of powers, ensure rule of law and make non-partisan national policies.
By Rev. Father Jonas Richmond Atarah, Catholic Priest of Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese.

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