President John Dramani Mahama has advised Ghanaians not to “slide into purposeless lamentation” and “self pity”over Ghana’s challenges as the country celebrates its 58th Independence day.
In his address during the Independence Day celebration in Accra, President Mahama acknowledged that though “more challenges remain unresolved, there is no reason for Ghanaians” to be saddened by the situation.
The economy has been facing major challenges in recent times including the worsening energy crisis, huge budget deficit among others.
The situation has forced government to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic programme to help transform the ailing economy.
The President however believes Ghana’s challenges should rather offer Ghanaians a “pivot around which we galvanise ourselves into action.”
Suit on ‘religious intolerance’
[contextly_sidebar id=”vJLQ0YaC1OYg2z8f67QU0RmuuPjjx8qV”]Commenting on the decision by a Ghanaian citizen to file a suit at the Supreme Court over the alleged discrimination of Muslims in mission schools, President Mahama said “we will all await the highest court of the land to discharge its mandate”
Ghanaian, Gershon Nii Lamptey filed a suit at the Supreme Court challenging the decision by the mission schools to compel every student including Muslims to participate in religious activities promoted by those schools.
Citing various articles of the Constitution, [17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1),(5),(6)(a),37(1) and/or 5)], Gershon Nii Lamptey said it is “unreasonable, illegitimate and/or unlawful for students attending missions schools falling under the aegis of the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to be compelled under the guise of promoting school discipline to participate in religious activities endorsed and promoted by these mission schools when such students do not share the faiths proclaimed or promoted by these mission schools.”
Both Christian and Muslim civil society groups have also expressed their dissastifaction with the debate between both parties.
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference recently defended its stance in support of the continuation of compulsory morning devotion in Catholic Schools and advised students who cannot abide by the rules to “go somewhere else”
The National Leadership of Muslims in response expressed reservations over the “uncompromising position” taken by some Christian groups and state institutions on their demand for freedom of worship in educational institutions and workplaces, saying the situation could undermine harmonious and peaceful coexistence that both parties have enjoyed all these years.
But commenting on the back and forth between both parties, President Mahama pointed out that government is “not aversed to the use of inter faith channels and dialogue to resolve any disagreement among faith groups.”
He revealed that government has called on the National Commission for Civic Education(NCCE) and the National Peace Council “to dialogue to foster an amicable understanding on how to operationalise Article 21(1) of the constitution.”
The President further advised Ghanaians not to sacrifice the Ghanaian character of ethnic and religious harmony on the altar of “political bigotry”.
“Multi party democracy is not synonymous with enmity and division. It rather offers a melting point for the exchange of ideas.”
Socio Economic Transformation
The President emphasized the need for Ghanaians to “ make a collective push” to “quicken the pace of our march towards socio economic transformation”
He said the dream of attaining socio economic transformation will be possible if Ghana “sheds the gap of division, dawn the gear of unity and achieve respect and love for each other”