General News of Friday, 27 January 2017
The Vice-Chair of the 30-man Planning Committee for the Ghana @60 celebrations has defended the President’s move to organise the upcoming event.
Samuel Abu Jinapor says he fully supports Akufo-Addo’s decision to mark the anniversary because Ghana has come a long way.
Ghana has a lot to celebrate, he said, justifying the parameters set out by the President towards the big celebration.
March 6, 2017, will mark the 60th Anniversary of Ghana’s independence from British colonial rule in 1957. Despite high expectations at the time, many today feel the country has not lived up to its economic potential.
The announcement of the Committee, therefore, received a backlash on social media following the fiasco that characterised the Ghana @50 celebration under the Kufuor administration.
Critics believe the celebration is unnecessary since there is more work to be done to turn the fortunes of the nation around.
But Mr Jinapor, who dissociated himself from commenting on the Ghana @50 debacle, explained to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme Thursday that the President did not mince words about looking forward to a dignified, befitting and elegant event.
“At the same time, he [Akufo-Addo] admonished the Committee members that we should do so in modesty and mindful of the circumstance of out time,” he stated.
The Nana Akufo Addo Thursday inaugurated a 30-member Planning Committee to spearhead activities toward the nation’s 60th anniversary.
The Committee which would be chaired by Ken Amankwah has representatives from strategic state institutions including the army and police service.
President Akufo-Addo told the media at the Flagstaff House that although the “financial and economic circumstances of our country are not what we would like it to be,” the nation has achieved some milestones that are worth celebrating.
Abu Jinapor explained to Evans Mensah the celebrations will be modest and take into account the country’s financial circumstances, but it will also be “elegant and appropriate.”
With only some six weeks to pull off perhaps the most significant event on the national calendar, Mr Jinapor said the time for public service and dedication is now.
He said the Chair of the Committee, Mr Amakwah, a consummate PR personality, would find a way to package an event to make it attractive to corporate Ghana and other businesses in the diaspora.
“I am very optimistic that we would pull this off and we would do it in a way that is in line with the President’s vision and aspiration of having an elegant, dignified and benefiting of Ghana as a country.
“But it is also of importance to note that times we are in as this is not one of the best financial circumstances, and even if they were, frugality is always encouraged,” he said.
Mr Jinapor, who doubles as a Deputy Chief of Staff, said the Ghana @60 committee is looking at intelligent ways to raise funds for the event to ease the unnecessary burden on the public purse.
He believes if the event is well packaged, it could be attractive enough to draw businesses to enable the Committee to declare profits at the end of the event.