President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on the entire citizenry to guard the country’s unity, peaceful-coexistence and the legacies of forebearers to bring back the days of rapid growth.
He stressed that Ghanaians cannot afford to allow individuals who seek to divide the country along the lines of ethnicity and religion to succeed.
President Akufo-Addo made the call during the 66th Independence Day celebration in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, yesterday. It was held on the theme, Ghana@66: “Our unity, our strength, our purpose”.
“We cannot allow those who seek to divide us along the lines of ethnicity or religion to succeed. Let us deepen the cohesion that exists amongst us, and let us wear, with pride, the badge of being called Ghanaians. There’s no better homage we can pay to the memories of all those who fought to free us from the shackles of colonialism and imperialism than to dedicate this 6th independence anniversary to working even harder for the unity, strength and purpose of dear Ghana. The greatest achievement of our independence is the fact that we have welded different ethnic entities into one nation,” the President stated.
The President said although the Gold Coast was the precursor to the country’s independence, it was a collection of disparate groups, stressing that “it was the attainment of independence that gave us our common identity as Ghanaians.”
He stressed that the forebearers were united and strengthened in realising one common purpose- the attainment of independence. According to him, the country’s forefathers were able to gain independence due to the fact that they were united in spirit and did not care about ethnicity or religion.
“It did not matter which tribe they belonged to; it did not matter which religious persuasion they subscribed to; and their standing in society certainly did not matter. They recognised the fact that colonialism did not inure to our nation’s collective benefit, and they were determined to end it. And, indeed, they did.
“The 4th Republic represents the longest period of stable constitutional governance in our history. We should be united in the goal of protecting it, for it is only its free, democratic form of governance and the intelligent management of the economy that will bring the upliftment Ghanaians want and deserve,” he indicated.
The President told Ghanaians that he was very much aware of the current difficulties confronting the country, and reaffirmed government’s commitment to working hard to resolve them.
He, however, stressed the need to also count Ghana’s blessings in how, together, government and citizens are managing the difficulties. He said “we all see the images around the world. Here in Ghana, we have not had any fuel queues, we have not suffered shortages of food and essential items, or the catastrophe of dumsor”.
“We should continue to work towards achieving food security, and modernisation of our agriculture; we should continue to work to be a value-added, industrialised economy, which no longer depends on the production and export of raw materials, but on the things we make; we should continue to work to open up all parts of our country through the construction of roads, rail, ports and airports,” he noted.
The President also disclosed that Government had deployed a number of fiscal interventions to help bring relief to Ghanaians, expressing hope that “sooner rather than later we will see significant results of relief and recovery”.
He, therefore, emphasised the need for the present generation to work to maintain the sanity of the country and ensure its progress, noting that “we should continue to work to improve accountability, efficiency and transparency in the delivery of public services.”
He said it was also important to continue with the process of digitalization, urging Ghanaians to fight the menace of illegal miming, popularly known as galamsey.
“We should continue the difficult but necessary task of ridding our environment of the menace of galamsey; and we should continue to pay our taxes, and demand that our leaders put them to good use.
“We should continue to strive to ensure that no Ghanaian child is denied access to quality education, hence the groundbreaking and transformative Free SHS policy. We should guarantee access to affordable healthcare for all in every part of the country, by continuously improving the National Health Insurance Scheme, expanding healthcare infrastructure and enhancing general health delivery,” the President noted.