General News of Friday, 27 January 2017
President Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians that the upcoming 60th anniversary celebration in March this year, will be modest, saying the country is not in good financial standing to allow for an elaborate ceremony. The President gave the assurance when he inaugurated a 30-member committee on Thursday, to oversee the country’s Diamond Jubilee celebration.
Ghana will on 6th March 2017, celebrate its Diamond Jubilee after gaining independence from Britain in 1957. The committee, chaired by Ken Amankwa will supervise all events and planning processes leading to the celebration.
Other members of the committee include Historians, Professor Irene Odotei and Professor JH Nketiah, Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and a lawyer, Kweku Asirifi. Ghanaians have been questioning the high number of committee members for the celebration, fearing this could put pressure on the public purse.
Others also believe the event should not be celebrated in order to save the country money for other important national assignments, considering that the new government has promised to strenghten the economy and make life better for all. But President Akufo-Addo, speaking at the inauguration at the Flagstaff House, gave the strongest assurance that the celebration will be modest.
“I think all of us are in agreement that the financial and economic circumstances of our country are not what we would like it to be. We have to recognize it; we don’t have the money that we ought to have.
Therefore our celebration of this milestone should be modest. We should take into account our financial circumstances.” The President however noted that “It [the celebration] should also be elegant and appropriate; it should leave us with a good feeling about ourselves.
It’s an occasion that we all come together to celebrate our unity, no matter the diversity of our opinions, origin, belief or religion. We are all members of the Ghana project. These celebrations should enhance that sense of unity among us.”
Ghana at 50 saga
The last time a similar committee was inaugurated was in 2007 by President John Agyekum Kufour, to organize the celebration of Ghana’s 50th anniversary. It emerged after the celebration that there was a gross misappropriation of funds by the committee that operated as a secretariat.
Dr. Wereko-Brobbey and Kwadwo Okyere Mpiani, Chairman of the National Planning Committee for [email protected] in August 2010, were discharged by an Accra Fast Track High Court of charges of willfully causing financial loss to the State.
They were accused of financial malfeasance and recommended for prosecution by a 3-member committee set up by the then President John Atta-Mills to investigate the celebrations.
They pleaded not guilty and were subsequently discharged by a Court of Appeal on the grounds that the charges levelled against them were instituted in breach of their fundamental human rights.