President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Wednesday night, conferred Ghanaian citizenship on 126 Africans from the diaspora at a colourful ceremony at the Jubilee House.
They swore to the oath of allegiance to Ghana and pledged to abide by the laws of the country and defend its Constitution and sovereignty.
The ceremony was part of the “Year of Return Ghana 2019” campaign, an initiative of the President to mark the 400th year of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia, in the United States.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Akufo-Addo expressed excitement over their decision to be Ghanaians and urged them to abide by the laws of the land and promote the image of the nation.
“I am glad that you have decided to make Ghana your home, and thereby join several generations of Diasporans who committed their lives to us.
“Your decision to take up Ghanaian citizenship means you agree to respect and abide by the laws of Ghana and live in accordance with the tenants of our Constitution, whose reputation among the comity of nations is today high,” he said.
He told the diasporans that Ghana is a safe country where rule of law and democracy is respected.
“You are citizens of a country that is regarded as one of the most stable on the continent, a beacon of democracy, governed by the rule of law and respect for individual liberties, human rights and the principles of democratic accountability, as a result of the commendable acts and deeds of past and present generations of your fellow Ghanaians.
“I urge you to guard jealously our country’s image. It is a charge, I am confident you will uphold,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo urged them to be part of the struggle to build a Ghana Beyond Aid and appealed to them to work to ensure that that agenda became a reality.
“Simply put, I just want us to be self-confident and accept that we shall never reach the level of development we aspire to by relying on aid or external assistance no matter how generous…It is a mindset that I wish us to discard, a mindset of dependency and living on handouts.
“I am insisting that we stop believing that our deliverance would come from benefactors. And I am insisting that we take our fate in our own hands and work out what to bring us to when we do not look for food or expect charity.
“This is not an unrealistic aspiration. It is very well within our reach and I appeal to you to be fully engaged in this endeavour,” he said.
BY YAW KYEI