This was a God sent opportunity as i boarded the Al Italia flight bound for the Italian capital Rome. I went through the departure formalities at Kotoka International Airport smoothly as some of the officials were just winking at me to part with some few Ghana Cedis that were left on me, but knowing me to abhor such practices i rather gave the money to the driver who drove me to the airport.
As the plane began to take off, i started imagining how Rome will look like since that was my first time flying to the Italian capital. I had read a lot about the city in books and also seen some pictures online and i was seriously prepared for the culture shock that awaited me. I was to be met at the airport by Sperroni and his sister Maria upon arrival. To cut the story short, i was in Rome for a visit and i hoped to enjoy myself with all the sights and sounds of the city.
Ok, the first thing i observed was that no immigration or airport official tried to take money from me. My passport was checked and i was made to go through and my luggage was also checked and the officials were very polite and professional. Do we have same at Kotoka International Airport? I was also told by my host that offending motorists were given tickets to pay a fine and failure to do so on time they could be hauled before the courts and heavy punishments imposed on them. What do we have in Ghana? I also observed that the streets of the city were well paved, no structures on the sidewalks, and could see policemen visible at most of the public places.
Whiles i was in Rome, i never experienced “Dumsor”. My host made it known to me that “Dumsor” will happen in the city only when there was a snowstorm and it affected the power lines. Even in such situations, those responsible worked assidiously to restore power within the shortest possible time. I also did not see piles of rubbish left on the streets as those responsible made sure such a situation does not happen. As i savoured the sights and sounds of such a magnificent and ancient city, the saying “Rome was not built in a day” came to mind. I asked myself, why cant we emulate the Romans? I also realized that institutions and systems worked effectively, authorities were accountable for what went on at their respective departments and agencies. But we see the opposite in Ghana.
In fact, Rome was not built in a day and their leaders were not reactive as we have here in Ghana. They took measures to prevent certain major occurrences that would have affected the citizens, and did not wait for the situations to get out of hand before they acted. Public officials who were found not to be doing their work were fired or they themselves resigned. But what do we have here? Under performing public officials or government ministers will rather be re assigned. #IamInRome now and thats why i am giving you this account, and also Rome was not built with deceit, corruption, cronyism, nepotism and politics of insult.
Just as i was about to bid my host goodbye and come back to Ghana, i heard a knock on my door and this jolted me from my dream. I realized it was all a dream and i was not in Rome after all. But, hey i hope and pray to visit Rome during my lifetime and observe the splendour of the city. Always say a prayer for Ghana.
Moreover, Rome was built with hard work, orderliness, steadfastness, dedication, adherence to the rule of law as no one was deemed to be above the law. Do we see same in Ghana?