Former President Jerry John Rawlings has, in a meeting with chiefs and elders from the Ejura Traditional Council, decried the manner in which Africans have allowed formal education to undermine their sacred traditional values.
He noted that ‘Formal education is to enhance enlightenment and spirituality but somehow we are allowing formal education to undermine those values.’
He added: ‘Sometimes so many of us go through education but we lack the enlightenment, the human compassion, respect and sense of dignity. That is what we need to contain the greed and selfishness and the lack of integrity that seems to be enveloping us.
‘This country would have done better if we had retained the spirit of enlightenment. In a way, I guess that is why the other democracies have survived and succeeded and are on the path of consistent development because even as they modernise, they don’t lose the essence of their humanity; but in Africa we are turning our backs on our most sacred values.’
President Rawlings made the comments when a delegation of Chiefs and elders, led by Ejura Kontihene, Nana Diasempa Antwi Obugyei II, called on him on Tuesday to formally invite him to the funeral of the late Ejurahene, Nana Sarfo Ababio, who passed away in January.
Flt Lt Rawlings recalled how the late Ejurahene used to give his government a lot of wise counsel. He called on the kingmakers to ensure that a fitting replacement is chosen to protect and continue the ideals of the departed royal.
‘It is a pity we are losing people with such values and principles. Nana’s values are essential to our survival. They are essential to our sense of dignity. Nana played a role in the strengthening and success of the 31st December Women’s Movement. I hope the elders will choose a replacement whose values will keep reminding us about the essence of what we ought to be,’ he said.
Earlier, Nana Diasempa Antwi Obugyei informed President Rawlings that they had been delegated by the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu, to formally announce the demise of their late Omanhene and invite him to attend his funeral rites.
Nana Obugyei said the late Ejurahene spoke highly of the former president and it was only fitting to invite him to his funeral.
Other members of the 20-man delegation included Nana Akua Tiwaa II, Ejura Hemaa; Nana Sarfo Kantanka Okrobofour, Akwamuhene; Member of Parliament Bamba Salisu and Mohammed Bawa Brimah, Municipal Chief Executive.
The late Ejurahene will be laid in state on Friday, August 7, with a grand durbar of chiefs and people to be held at the forecourt of the Ejurahene’s palace the following day. Nana Ejurahene will be laid to rest on Monday, August 10.
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