Respect GNFS, other state institutions
One state institution that does not enjoy public respect commensurate to its efforts in nation building is the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS).
The Western Regional Fire Commander, Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) 1 Frederick Ohemeng, has complained that while firefighters work in challenging circumstances for which the public must show them sympathy, they are rather attacked both physically and verbally.
We also know of pranks played on them, which result in waste of human energies and both financial and material resources.
Meanwhile, the Service is constrained in particularly financial and material resources such as firefighting equipment because the government has not procured for it.
That means the firefighters are making do with their obsolete equipment and so must be saved some peace of mind.
It seems some people think firefighters only put out blazing fires and so when there are no such fires, then they are idling.
The fire prevention education they give is rather priceless because if the public would heed their advice, certain fires could be prevented and loss of lives, property and in some cases money avoided.
They also go to accident scenes to extricate passengers from mangled vehicles.
Besides, firefighters are able to save drowning people.
Unfortunately, in an effort to discharge these duties, some of them lose their lives.
The call by ACFO1 Ohemeng on the media to help make the public outlive some misconception about firefighters and rather value their roles and sacrifices in nation building is, therefore, appropriate and one to be heeded.
Let all media outlets in every community incorporate in their programming a slot that they would occasionally use to remind the public about the need to give the GNFS the critical support rather than attack them in any way.
We wish we can speak for individual state institutions just as we have done for the Ghana National Fire Service but that is not possible in this piece.
We therefore wish to state that the country needs institutions to help it to function as a sovereign state to protect the people in all ways for them to go about their various endeavours for their own good and that of the state.
These institutions also make it easy for the country to plan to ensure law and order to develop and meet the needs and aspirations of the people.
Think about the police, the armed forces, the courts, the electoral commission and educational institutions among others.
The public need to give all these institutions the needed respect because they exist for the public good.
It is about time detailed information of public interest relating to these institutions is incorporated into the curricula of primary, junior high and senior high schools.
We know some education about such institutions is being given.
However, we can say it is not enough because of the disrespect shown to some of them by the public and certain groups within the society.
The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) also should craft relevant messages about such institutions and disseminate them to the general public to highlight their importance and the need to give them particular regard and support.