Distinguished invited Guests,
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Once again, we have gathered here this morning to perform an annual national ritual- the official launch of the 56th Independence Anniversary of our beloved country, Ghana.
It is a great honour and privilege for me as a person to be given the opportunity to perform this simple but very important function on behalf of H.E. the President, John Dramani Mahama.
Ladies and gentlemen, permit me first of all to express my felicitation for the National Planning Committee members for their effort and creativity that culminated in entire programme for the anniversary programme. No task is too small and it is only through dedication that we can achieve anything as a nation.
This year's event is being held under a broad theme of: PARTNERSHIP AND INNOVATION FOR BUILDING A NEW AND BEITER GHANA.
It is my considered opinion that this theme is not only relevant but very refreshing if we recall that thought provoking statement the President made on the day of his official inauguration (7th of January 2013). On that day among other things, the President pronounced that: "not partisanship but partnership" shall be the formation in which we shall march forward in our effort at national development.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, there is an Ewe proverb which says: "The cock says even though they are fighting, they are watching each other's eye." So, you can see that two cocks can fight from morning to evening and tear each other's comb into pieces, but they will never pinch their eyes. I think we Ghanaian politicians can learn some lessons from the cocks.
On the occasion of the 56th anniversary of our beloved country, let us use the theme: "Partnership and Innovation to build a better and new Ghana" for ourselves and our children's children. After all, this is the only country we have.
As our forefathers sacrificed their lives to obtain the independence for us, we must also endeavour to do our best to leave a better nation for posterity. Again, as the theme for the occasion implies, things have changed since 56 years and there is need to inject innovation in doing things as against 50 years ago.
On that note, Mr. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank you once again for honouring our invitation for this short event. But before I take my seat, permit me to give you some of the highlights of the general programme.
As usual, the anniversary will kick off with the Wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph at the Christiansburg Crossroads Shooting incident on Thursday, 28th February at the Castle junction in the morning. We cannot celebrate an independence anniversary in this country without honouring the memory of those gallant compatriots who laid down their lives for our sake.
Then, on Saturday, 2nd March, within the frame work of cleanness is next to godliness, we shall embark on a national cleanup exercise. Ghana is our country and if we don't it, who will come and clean if for us?
Other major events will include Special What-do-you-know to inculcate the sense of patriotism in our youth. There will also be Schools Debate sessions, President's Awards for deserving school children, Re-enactment of the Declaration of Independence by the Ghana Actors Guild.
Of course we cannot do without our leading religious organization both Christians and Moselms embarking on National Thanksgiving Prayers for the nation.
Eventually the 0 Day itself will be marked on Wednesday, 6th March at the Black Star Square with a grand Parade by our Security Services and Schools. This is just the highlights and detailed programme will be distributed to you all for your perusal.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your attention.
Thank you and God bless us all!