Don’t undermine nation’s peace, unity …President urges Ghanaians

 The President, Nana Ad­do Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has called on Ghanaians to refrain from engaging in ac­tions that will undermine the nation’s peace and unity.

He explained that peace and unity were invaluable prerequisite to achieving sustain­able development, saying, “We as citizens are all accountable for the good or bad in our country. An individual action can change a life but collaborative efforts have a positive impact on a nation”.

He further underscored the need for Gha­naians to uphold the constitution, respect the country’s symbols, traditions and heri­tage, acknowledge the sentiment of fellow countrymen and contribute constructively to the growth and wellbeing of the nation.

President Akufo-Addo made the call at the opening of the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) in Cape Coast.

One of the flagship events of the Nation­al Commission on Culture, NAFAC, was established in 1961 by the late Dr Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen, the founder and first director of the Ghana Cultural Centre, now Centre for National Culture in Kumasi.

This year’s event which also marks the 60th anniversary of NAFAC is on the theme: “Reviving patriotism, peace and unity through cultural diversity for sustain­abledevelopment.”

The week-long event would witness variety of the nation’s rich culture including cuisines from the 16 regions, music and dance, among others.

All the 16 regions are taking part in the festival.

President Akufo-Addo further asked Ghanaians to work towards patriotism, peace and unity and that, the nation’s cultur­al values such as honesty, and truthfulness, respect for the elderly, hard work, decency in labour as stipulated in the country’s Cul­tural Policy were key in the nation’s transfor­mation.

“Transformation of any society lies in the character of its people,” he stated.

He, therefore, indicated that Ghana currently needs patriotic citizens more than ever, saying, “The time has come for more selfless approaches to the discussions around our economy and other sectors of development. The time has come for us also to eschew extreme political partisanship and look into obtaining the collective success of the ordinary Ghanaian.”

He commended the National Commis­sion on Culture for keeping the festival alive till today despite all the challenges over the years and paid tribute to the cultural icons for spearheading the festival.

He explained that the arts, culture, custom and tradition defines a nation, adding, “Culture is the very foundation of society; customs and traditions tell us where we came from; the arts show us where we stand and point to where we are going.”

President Akufo-Addo said: “They pro­vide a mirror to our collective and individual souls without acknowledging culture and its due importance, we stand unable to face the rest of the world, unable to face ourselves.”

The nation’s values, beliefs and customs, he said, had been woven from the diverse backgrounds over many centuries and form the basis for the links that bind Ghanaians together.

He urged Ghanaians to preserve the cus­toms that were valuable and do away with those that cause harm, saying, “Culture as a phenomenon is not static but dynamic.”

President Akufo-Addo further explained that the culture and creative industry had a lot to offer the country in terms of revenue and explained that, it was based on it that the government was supporting the creative industry.

Government’s vision, he indicated, was in line with Africa’s Agenda 63 Policy which calls for an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics.

That, he said, called for a strong African cultural renaissance which was pre-eminent and inculcates the spirit of Pan Africanism, tapping Africa’s rich heritage and culture in ensuring that the creative arts play a major role to Africa’s growth and transformation.

The Paramount Chief of WassaAmenfi Traditional Area, Tetrete Okuamuah Sekyim II, who was the chairman for the opening ceremony, explained that, the cultural diver­sity of the nation demonstrates the unique nature of the country.

He indicated that the festival always pro­vides the platform to showcase the various aspects of the Ghanaian society which can be harnessed for the needed transformation.

The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, in her address, urged Ghanaians to remain committed to the resolve and sacrifice their individual eth­no-centric interest for the common good of Ghanaians in the transformational agenda.


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