18 February 2013

Ghana: MP Wants Valentine's Day Changed to Volu Day

Issues on the celebration of Valentine's Day were yesterday raised on the floor of Parliament for discussion, with members of the legislature holding divergent views on it.

While some wholeheartedly embraced the celebration, others too kicked against it, arguing that the celebration had not lived up to the reasons why it was adopted to be celebrated the world over.

Proponents against Valentine's Day celebration called for the substitution of this special day, much touted as Lover's Day, with the theme of volunteerism, where the youth would be engaged in various community-based works that would impact on the lives of all, especially, the poor.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Pru East, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, in contributing to a statement on the subject matter raised by the MP for Kpando, Mrs. Della Sowah, argued that Valentine's Day celebration should be substituted with Volunteerism Day (Volu Day).

This, he noted, would be an expression of love for the poor and the marginalised in society, and not parochial love.

"If we can bring back volunteerism, it will be a better expression (of love) for the poor," he noted.

To the former Deputy Minister of Energy, now is the time for the country to re-institute Volunteerism Day to enable the youth get involved in community-based projects that would impact directly on the lives of the poor.

Volunteerism occurs when people, out of their own free will and without any financial motivation, decide to engage in activities that benefit the larger society.

Another member who kicked against the celebration of Valentine's Day was the MP for Madina, Alhaji Amadu Sorogho.

In his opinion, the celebration of Valentine's Day depicts a sexual connotation, especially, among teenagers.

According to the Hon. Member, the negative outcome of the Valentine's Day celebration sometimes took years to correct, as it often resulted in teenage pregnancies.

He indicated that February 14th, currently celebrated worldwide as Valentine's Day, could be re-christened 'Chocolate Day".

He said Chocolate Day, when given prominence, would further boost sales of the locally produced chocolates.

"In my capacity as the Chairman of the Trade and Industry cCommittee, I think we must stop mentioning Valentine's Day and make it Chocolate Day, where we can produce more cocoa and eat (more) chocolate," he noted.

Alhaji Sorogho emphasised that the manner in which Valentine Day was now celebrated would continue to lead Ghana into unspeakable stories, and therefore, pleaded for a review of the celebration.

Earlier, the MP for Kpando, Mrs. Della Sowah, had lamented over how teenagers celebrated the love day, as it is popularly called, and its regrettable impact on their lives afterwards.

She grieved over the death of a teenage student who got pregnant on the day of Valentine and lost her life nine months later through child birth.

She urged that much education should be given to the youth about how Valentine's Day could be best celebrated, so as not to become a detriment to them.

Her statement also attracted contributions from some other members, including Justice Joe Appiah, who argued that reviewing the Valentine's Day to Chocolate Day would be the best for Ghanaians.

On her part, the MP for Ablekuma South, Ms. Ursula Owusu, noted that the celebration of Valentine's Day had unfortunately translated into sexual relations, and pleaded with the media to take part in redirecting the essence of the celebration.

"Reports in the media after valentine show condoms on our beaches and other public places; we need to support and encourage sex education in our schools to avoid unwanted pregnancies. They need to know that love is good, but sex should be reserved for marriage," she stressed.

ATTACHED IS A PICTURE OF Dr. Kwabena Donkor, MP for Pru East

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