General News of Friday, 6 March 2015
President John Dramani Mahama has asked Ghanaians to stop what he calls “self-pity and purposeless lamentations” about the country’s failures, and rather contribute towards building a more transformed society. Delivering his speech to mark the 58th independence anniversary celebration at the Black Star Square in Accra, the President noted that inasmuch as the country is yet to achieve the desired progress, there was the need to acknowledge that some progress had been made.
The President lamented the situation where most Ghanaians appear to paint a rather bleak and hopeless picture of the country, a psyche he believes doesn’t fortify the citizenry to contribute their quota willingly and efficiently towards nation building.
He said inasmuch as it was appropriate for a country to remind itself of the failures in order not to repeat them, it was also important to talk about its successes in order to be encouraged to improve upon them.
“It is known that all individuals and nations that have achieved greatness have celebrated both their success and their failures. Their successes so that they can build on them, and their failures so that they do not repeat them. 58 years in our history, we have made mistakes and we have chalked many successes. We must celebrate and enhance our successes and recognize and minimize our failures” he noted.
“I dare say that notwithstanding any mistakes we may have made, our nation today is celebrated for our strong democracy, our respect for human rights, our freedom of expression, our ethnic harmony and above all our religious tolerance. And that is why I have recently been worried about a few events that have affected the atmosphere of ethnic and religious peace that we have enjoyed. I am sure that our society has the absorbers to withstand these shocks” he noted.
Speaking largely on the theme for this year’s anniversary “Achieving Transformation through National Unity”, the President reminded all Ghanaians irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic background to harness Ghana’s reputation as a peaceful and democratic country.
He charged politicians in particular to be committed towards building a peaceful and harmonious country where all views are tolerated regardless of one’s ethnic, political or religious background.
In the ongoing debate over a perceived religious discrimination emerging in Ghana, the President noted that Government was committed to addressing the matter holistically with stakeholders such as the National Peace Council and the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE.
He however noted that government was also looking forward to the Supreme Court ruling in a case in which a private citizen has filed a suit seeking an interpretation of some provisions on religious tolerance.