My Social Studies Teacher, back in S.H.S usually precedes his emphasis with the phrase; “it is believed that…..” Therefore, it is believed that a nation develops appreciably in peace and stability. Of course, I or we missed the chance to ask him why Ghana had not developed even to our own satisfaction given that we are familiar with the needed condition than some on the continent.
Ghana had had peace and stability with manageable internal conflicts that practically do not threaten its stability and, essentially without any external threats of sustainable inductive instability. This means the developing indicators across the spectrum of accessibility and efficacy of educational and health delivery systems, infrastructures, and supply of electricity among others should touch the majority by now. Yet, our actual development is unsatisfactory to say the least.
What did our political leadership do with all those peaceful and stable moments without any conspicuous external threats as a nation? In lieu of cooperating efforts in their alternative tenures as ruling governments, they were rather competing unnecessarily and sometimes with traceable sabotaging efforts leading to stagnation or erosion of pervious achievements.
That is not all as gratuitous corruption and mismanagement permeates the allocation of available resources. This is how our politicians were joking in the days of peace and stability devoid of any externally sustainable threats. Now it seems we have external threats of terrorism.
Ghana is no longer beyond the belt of terrorist attack if the attacks on our closest neighbors harbor any signals for us. Technology and terrorism are now making the world a global village. It is an uncomfortable undeniable reality. In all of this, what are the real effects of terrorism on a nation?
The consequences of terrorism on a nation are manifold. They are not limited to the direct loss of human lives and destruction of properties. The main untold challenge itself is the extreme pressure it puts on a nation’s resources in their necessary readiness to contain and fight it. As the reality of terrorists’ attacks in closest neighboring nations, and perception of its possibility at home, capture the attention of both the citizenry and government beyond doubt.
The resultant effect then is the cuts, scrapping and redirecting of certain financial resource originally meant for some developmental purposes into improving security for the people. The undeniable need to improve the national security becomes the national anthem heralding almost every action of the government. An intelligentsia security that could potentially forestall an attack or responds swiftly to contain the chaotic scene as well as in tracking down the network of people actually connected for any executed attack thereafter.
Simply put, intelligence gathering underpinning security matters to confronting terrorism makes it so expensive, that, the justification for devolving other allocated financial resources into the security kitty becomes some sort of the insatiable Oliver twist. This is the intractable dilemma that, all governments have to grapple with in the fight against terrorism since September 2001 event in US that changed the world. The already developed nations are managing because they are developed.
Even then, the citizens of these Western developed nations like US, UK, France, Germany among others do complain about the negligence of other equally important sectors like the social, health, economy and education among others that equally deserve attention for improvement. Remember that this negligence is simply due to the necessary prioritization of security of the people above all else.
Now let us turn to Ghana. Clearly, in terms of development Ghana still has a long way to go in education, health, infrastructure, economy and social amenities. The financial resources that we were deploying to tackle all the above challenges now need squeezing into strengthening the security towards their preparedness against the real and perceived threats of terrorism. In other words, Ghana no longer has that serene peace and stability without any corrosive external threat.
We now have the real and perceived threats of terrorism at the door. If in the peaceful and stable environment needed for development, we have not developed appreciably, how shall we fare in the wake of an external threats known for causing the cuts in, scrapping and redistribution of some financial resources meant for other things in name of improving security?
It is time our leaders realize how they have been joking with the nation all these while and change for the better in the wake of the looming threat of terrorism. Our own political leadership attitude is troubling enough for the terrorists to double it with theirs. Is Ghana in double trouble as far as our development is concerned? Now, if Ghana must develop, we must develop with that threat at the door. That is double trouble to overcome.
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