A Catholic Priest, Reverend Professor John Amankwah has underscored the need for state officials who steal state monies to be imprisoned for life.
“Stealing from your nation’s treasury is like any thief invading the home of a citizen and, therefore, such people should spend the rest of their lives in prison” he stated.
Rev. Prof. Amankwah who is also an Associate Professor at the College of Mount St. Joseph Communication Studies in the United States, made the call at the graduation, speech and prize giving day ceremony of Ancilla Catholic Primary and Junior High School in Accra last Saturday.
Rev. Prof. Amankwah said failure on the part of many African leaders to lead their people to economic prosperity gave the notion that to get rich in Africa was to run a political office.
Delivering the keynote address on the theme, “Civic Education: The road to national development”, he expressed worry about how most of the nation’s infrastructures were not maintained and, therefore, deteriorated, while the national treasury was being looted.
“All the democratically elected leaders were people who spent some years in the Western world and they learnt that officials in those areas did not steal the nation’s money and stack it in foreign banks”, he stated.
With the vision to develop the country, he said, Dr Kwame Nkrumah built a lot of infrastructures which should have been maintained and continued by subsequent Presidents.
In his view, “the reason for the rapid demise of our democratic principles is because the leaders are not dedicated politicians whose sole purpose is to build this country by educating citizenry in the affairs of civil liberties.”
Emphasising on democracy, Professor Amankwah noted that democracy was not inherited but learnt and lived by constant nurturing through study, discussion and deliberation.
He insisted that democracy was to be inculcated in the mind and heart of the people.
“Democracy is both internal and external disposition lived in one’s everyday life and it must be pursued vigorously” he stated.
To involve the citizens in the exercise of democracy, he explained that it was necessary to inform the people about the processes of the democratic society so that they could critically reflect, understand and accept their responsibilities and rights accorded to their participation.
He underscored the need for the new generation to acquire knowledge, learn skills and imbibe the various traits that formed the basic and foundational principles of their character.
He added that the new generation needed to know more about the country, its history, social infrastructure and the need for individual contribution to national development.
By Salomey Appiah/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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