7 March 2017

Ghana: President Must Be Made to Address Independence Celebrations Early


Yesterday, Ghanaians from the nook and cranny of the country stormed the Black Star Square to participate in the 60th Anniversary celebration of the nation, after gaining independence from its colonial masters in 1957.

About 15 African heads of state or their representatives, including Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Zambia President Edgar Lungu, were present to grace the occasion.

Also present were all the three living former presidents of the Republic, Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama.

As is done in Ghana every year, a colourful celebration was marked with the traditional march past and parade at the Black Star Square, where school children, security personnel and workers participated, amid pomp and pageantry.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inaugurated the Osu Castle, formerly the seat of government, which had been turned into a Presidential Museum, to become a legacy project to celebrate Ghana's national heroes.

To ensure a successful commemoration of the 60th Anniversary, the government released an amount of GHȼ10,000 to each Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly (MMDA) to facilitate activities of the celebration.

Speaking on the theme; "Mobilising for Ghana's future", President Akufo-Addo called for unity among Ghanaians as the country surges forward in development, adding Ghanaians must pride themselves in their diversity, and rise above ethnic or sectional interest.

The Chronicle congratulates the President and the good people of this great nation for the feat we have chalked. Despite all the difficulties we've been through as a nation, we have kept our peace and national cohesion intact.

We, however, believe that government, or organisers of these celebrations, must take a second look at the way they line up their programmes for such events.

The Chronicle is not satisfied with the way school children and security personnel are allowed to stand on the scorching sun for long hours, waiting for the President to come and present his address.

We have no doubts that it is one of the reasons why, in times past, we have had reports of how some school children and security personnel collapsed during such occasions.

Going forward, we suggest such programmes should be organised earlier in the day, instead of keeping our poor school children and security personnel in the agonising weather for long periods of time. The President should also be allowed to address the parade early, so that before the sun explodes into full blast, all participants would have finished their work.

We appreciate the fact that our people must be allowed to demonstrate their royalty and commitment towards their dear country, however, allowing the people to endure the heat or high temperature, in the opinion of the paper, is tantamount to punishment of the highest order.

It is worthy to note that some of the school children and the security personnel who come to march on independence days don't eat before they turn up at the venue in their smart uniforms to honour their beloved country.

If, as a nation, we cannot make arrangements to refresh them when they volunteer to march at our Independence Day celebrations, then, at least, we could do better not to leave them at the mercy of the scorching sun to drain them of whatever energy is left in them.

The Akans say, if you are unable to give to your in-law, you don't steal the little he or she has.

Let us take another look at the way we organise our independence celebrations throughout the country, so that, at the end of the day, we don't continue to record avoidable casualties.


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