The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, says the celebration of the country's Golden Jubilee is a major and unique opportunity for Ghanaians to unite, irrespective of their diverse ethnic and political roots.
He urged Ghanaians to use the occasion to identify the unifying force which spurred on the forebears of the nation in the struggle for the attainment of independence.
"Every Ghanaian should feel proud that this country has attained the age of 50 and that no matter what has gone wrong that sense of pride should carry us forward," he said.
Dr Wereko-Brobby told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the anniversary was not meant for his secretariat alone but the entire nation and, therefore, urged all Ghanaians to get involved individually and collectively to make the celebrations a success.
Giving an overview of the celebrations, Dr Wereko-Brobby said today is exactly 50 days to the 50th independence anniversary and in connection with that the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat would launch a programme, dubbed "Countdown from 50 to 50", which was a national countdown to Independence Day.
According to him, the programme was a major public relations and publicity exercise, during which countdown clocks would be mounted at the Independence Square in Accra, the regional capitals and television studios to count down to Independence Day, while discussing other events scheduled for the celebration.
He said the month of February had been designated "Towards Emancipation Month" and it was designed to sensitise Ghanaians to the country's journey to independence from 1901.
That assignment would be performed by A. B. Chinbuah, a lawyer and columnist of "Heroes of Our Time" in the Daily Graphic. The story would be told through lectures, media publications, television documentaries and a book.
Dr Wereko-Brobby said on February 15, 2007, there would be the "Rally Round the Flag Day" which was meant to demonstrate nationalism, patriotism and unity among the people.
He said that would mark the beginning of the climax of the countdown to the pinnacle.
He, therefore, encouraged Ghanaians to acquire national flags to be part of the event.
Dr Wereko-Brobby said the opening events of the anniversary, which were marked with Christian and Muslim services, had confirmed the President's commission that the celebration should be nation-wide and a year-long.
He, however, noted that there had been some challenges, one of which was the attitude of Ghanaians to do things at the last minute, for which reason the secretariat had to spend an awful lot of time to review proposals sent for activities.
"The transition from planning to implementation has been slowed down because of the fact that we are reviewing so many things .... My colleagues are inundated with people bringing things now because for many Ghanaians who have a last-minute mentally, this is the time to go and get something done," he remarked.
Dr Wereko-Brobby said another challenge was the accusation of low publicity of the activities of the celebrations levelled against the secretariat.
He, however, explained that at the crucial moment in the run up to Christmas when publicity was needed, a majority of the print media were on recess.
Dr Wereko-Brobby urged the media to focus on positive issues which would enhance the success of the anniversary, instead of the negative issues which would draw back progress.
Story By Kofi Yeboah