Ghanaians have been urged to focus on their responsibilities to themselves, families and the nation, as a condition for the enjoyment of their rights and privileges.
The Executive Director of Citizens Responsibilities Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr E K Woasey who made the call said: “As a nation at 50, Ghana needs to whip up more enthusiasm in the youth about their responsibilities to themselves, their families and the nation.”
“Citizens are recognised and honoured for the responsibilities they discharge to the nation but not for the rights and privileges they enjoy”, Mr Woasey told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Tuesday.
He said one's status in society was defined more by the responsibilities one discharged with excellence than by the abundance of one's privileges.
Mr Woasey said one of the novelties of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration was the introduction of the President's Special Initiatives (PSIs), most of which he noted were yet to make any significant impact on the national economy.
“For me, however, the welcome decision by the President to add the portfolio of National Orientation to the Ministry of Information deserves commendation and qualifies as the best PSI to date of his administration.”
He said this was because there was general agreement on the notion that most of Ghana's problems were attitudinal in nature, hence the need to marshal support for this bold attempt to deal with it.
Orientation he noted, must aim at the renewal of the national psyche, saying that would mean persuasion by means of education of the citizenry to embrace a new way of thinking for the desired national transformation.
Mr Woasey said results of the current orientation with regards to civic education amounted to nothing but a misplacement of emphasis as far as the two fundamental human priorities of responsibilities and rights were concerned.
“The citizenry must be sensitised first and foremost about issues of responsibility in order to render issues of rights and privileges a formality,” he said.
The reverse was, however, what appeared to be on the ground as awareness levels in the national environment about rights and privileges were so high that intermittent calls for exercise of responsible citizenship often got drowned by the popular voice of rights advocacy NGOs working effectively through the media, he added.