AS part of activities marking Ghana’s 50th anniversary, the Coalition of Liberal Youth (CLY), a non-governmental organisation, has organised a symposium in Accra on the theme: 'Religion, morality and the youth'.
The CLY will also organise regional seminars to educate the youth and students on the significance of Ghana’s independence.
The Executive Secretary of the CLY, Samuel Kwadwo Frimpong, advised the youth to desist from get-rich-quick attitudes, as that usually resulted into their becoming armed robbers, internet frauds and other social miscreants.
Dr. Rabiatu Ammah, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, in her delivery, said Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, inculcated traditional values of patriotism, commitment, selflessness and dedication in the youth.
Dr. Nkrumah, she said, focused extensively on the youth because he believed that they were vital resources for the country’s development.
She said General Acheampong’s regime also exposed similar principles and values through the Charter of Redemption popularly remembered as 'One Nation, One People, and One Destiny'.
Dr. Ammah noted that Acheampong’s ‘Operation Feed Yourself’ programme encouraged almost every citizen to cultivate a backyard garden and also gingered the youth to be up and doing through sports.
She said the Rawlings’ era provided another insight into the relationship between the youth and morality.
'The institution of the Workers and People’s Defence committees among others, obviously provided a platform for the ordinary person at the grassroots to participate in the affairs of the country as they were issues of concern,' she said.
She said the era tried to promote the concept of participatory democracy, which in itself, was a good thing, but nevertheless had been criticised as an era in which morality in the Ghanaian community began to sink and still struggling to come out of.
'It was a period where the youth were incited against the elderly; it was also the time for victimisation,' Dr. Ammah said.
She pointed out, however, that presently, factors like urbanisation extended family system, modernisation, information and communication technology, and lack of role models, had also contributed to the situation of moral degeneration.
The Most Rev. Robert Aboagye-Mensah, Presiding bishop, Methodist Church, Ghana, speaking on 'The role of religion in developing the youth of Ghana', observed that, democracy needs morality to flourish, and that, whether Ghana’s democracy would work or not depends on the moral upbringing of the youth.
He pointed out that, when the moral base of a country or nation is weak, that nation collapses.
'If we look at Ghana @50 and we begin to see so much moral decay in our youth, then, what would happened when Ghana turns 100?'
He was however grateful to God that, there are very strong religious bodies in the country, which continue to preach morality to the youth.