The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has rolled out a series of activities to promote unity and national cohesion to protect the country’s peace.
“Ghana has made tremendous progress in democratic governance over the last two decades. Manifestations of democratic dividend in the political landscape of Ghana is reflected in the conduct of periodic elections, peaceful power alternations between the political parties.
“Respect for human rights, free media and a modicum of rule of law, in addition to this, inclusive participation in governance has been a hallmark of Ghana’s democracy,” Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, NCCE Deputy Chairman in charge of operations, told the Ghana News Agency on Friday.
Mr Akuamoah noted that while these contributed to relative political stability and economic development, existing and emerging security challenges threatened national peace and human security.
He said given these emerging threats, the NCCE had rolled out an annual “Citizenship Week,” celebration to inculcate in pupils the values of citizenship and remind them of their responsibilities and roles they could play to build a strong, vibrant, and democratic Ghana.
Mr Akuamoah said the Citizenship Week celebration served as a platform for people in leadership positions and accomplished citizens to interact and impart virtues of good citizenship to pupils across the country.
The 2021 Citizenship commemoration is on the theme: “We are one, Ghana first” is slated for Wednesday, May 26th to Wednesday, June 2nd.
The NCCE Deputy Chairman noted that existing threats include violence during and after the 2020 General Election, vigilantism, chieftaincy and ethnic clashes, and the proliferation of arms.
“These challenges threaten the very strong fabric of the Ghanaian society. Another threat to our sovereignty and national unity is the secessionist movement from the Western Togoland crusaders whose activities were recently noted in the Volta Region and along the eastern border of the country.
“One other threat to national unity is ethnocentrism. Every Ghanaian is born into an ethnic community of the country and takes pride in the rich history and cultural practices of the ethnic group,” he said.
Mr Akuamoah noted that the framers of the 1992 Constitution were aware of the positives and negatives of democratic regimes and how this could unite or polarize and divide a country and its people.
He said the framers, therefore, put in place guiding principles that were meant to continually foster and promote national unity and national cohesion, the well-being of citizens and national development.
He said the enabling guiding principles in the Preamble and other articles in the Constitution prescribed the promotion of unity that could be fostered through friendship despite the different ethnic origins or backgrounds.
“As the popular saying goes there is unity in diversity and national cohesion can ensure that as a people, we progress together in development. A particular line in the preamble establishing the power of the people as one “The Principle that all powers of Government spring from the Sovereign Will of the People.”
He said this further explained that Ghanaians were one people and united by a common destiny and agreed to be governed by democratic rule.
“In the concluding line of the Preamble, the respect of our rights must be upheld and respected by us because we are one people, living together in unity and promoting and protecting the stability of our Nation,” he said.
The NCCE Deputy Chairman noted that other “pushing” articles in the Constitution pointed to the need for national unity and cohesion.
He said several articles in the Constitution focused the attention of both the state, state actors in Government and the citizens to the need to make deliberate efforts to promote the integration of Ghanaians as one people.
“This, therefore, brings to the fore some basic principles that must drive our quest to achieve unity and national cohesion as a Nation. Foster the spirit of loyalty to Ghana; promote among the people of Ghana the culture of political tolerance.
It is also the duty of a citizen, to promote the prestige and good name of Ghana and respect the symbols of the nation to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law and to foster national unity and live in harmony with others.
Mr Akuamoah said “these call for us all to put Ghana first in everything we do and where ever we find ourselves, be it in Ghana or outside the shores of Ghana.”
“We must put the nation above everything and promote national interest. Nationalism and patriotism must be the guiding principles of a united people,” Mr Akuamoah stated.