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16.02.2007 General News

Count Down To Ghana @ 50 Begins

Count Down To Ghana @ 50 Begins

The Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, yesterday hoisted the Ghana flag at the Independence Square to mark the official countdown towards the Ghana @ 50 celebrations.

Dubbed “Rally Round the Flag”, the ceremony, organised by the National Planning Committee of the Golden Jubilee celebrations, brought together Ministers of State, including Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, the Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Ms Gloria Akuffo, the Minister of State in charge of Aviation, and Mr Ernest Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture.

The others were Ms Oboshie Sai-Cofie, the Deputy Minister of Information and National Orientation, and Ms Elizabeth Ohene, a Minister of State at the Presidency.

Accompanied by the ministers and the designer of the Ghana Flag, Mrs Theodosia Okoh, the Vice-President hoisted the flag to serve as a clarion call to all Ghanaians to help build a prosperous nation.

Earlier, the Vice-President had inspected a guard of honour mounted by the Ghana Police Service and, in a brief remark, called on all Ghanaians to be patriotic and work for the good of the country.

He said the country belonged to all Ghanaians and, therefore, it was the duty of all to ensure that it was united in all its endeavours.

Alhaji Mahama also called on all Ghanaians to see themselves as one people and take part in the 50th anniversary celebration as such.

Later, Mrs Okoh thanked all Ghanaians for the honour bestowed on her by “rallying round the flag,” adding, “Now I know that through this flag the whole country will be united.”

Earlier, hundreds of schoolchildren had gone on a float through some of the principal streets of Accra singing patriotic songs and waving Ghana flags, which were made available to them by the [email protected] Secretariat.

Most of the dignitaries present were adorned in the national colours and everyone present, including vendors at the square, was presented with miniature flags which they waved as the national flag, and the [email protected] flag were being hoisted by the Vice-President and the Ministers of State.

The Vice-President, after the programme, took time off to shake hands with some schoolchildren and other guests.

From Kumasi, Serwah Nkyira Opoku reports that hundreds of schoolchildren from the cluster of schools in the Kumasi metropolis, together with their teachers, holding miniature national flags, gathered at the Asem Boys' School to mark the regional celebration of the flag.

The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Osei Asibey Antwi, appealed to Ghanaians to remember the heroes who fought for the freedom and independence of the country.

They should as well pay tribute to those who designed the national flag and composed the national anthem and the national pledge.

From Ho, Tim Dzamboe reports that hundreds of schoolchildren went on a march through some of the principal streets of Ho yesterday to mark the [email protected] nation-wide flag raising ceremony on the theme “Rally Round the Flag”.

The children, with their teachers, later converged on the forecourt of the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council where the Regional Minister, Mr Kofi Dzamesi, addressed them. Miniature flags were presented to them.

Mr Dzamesi said 50 years in a nation's history was a very important milestone and, therefore, called for the jubilee celebrations to be carried out in grand style.

He said some development projects initiated to commemorate the occasion included the construction of a ceremonial ground, schools, a children's park, public places of convenience, among other facilities, adding that the “Rally Round the Flag” event was aimed at giving reverence and admiration to our national flag.

“The national flag is an extremely important national symbol. It unifies a country and makes people have positive emotions about their country, to the extent that they would be prepared to die for that country,” he declared.

From Sunyani, Samuel Duodu reports that the national flag, together with the [email protected] flag, with the anniversary logo on it, was hoisted by the Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, at the forecourt of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC).

Among the dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony were a Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr Abraham Dwumah Odoom, the Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Nana Kwadwo Kwakye, the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, the Regional Police Commander, Mr Kwaku Ayesu Opare-Addo, and the acting Commander of the 3rd Garrison, Major Joseph Yekple.

Others were some traditional rulers, including the Queen of the Sunyani Traditional Area, Nana Yaa Nyamaa II, heads of departments, a cross-section of the public and schoolchildren.

In a brief address, Mr Baffour-Awuah spoke about the significance and meaning of the colours of the Ghana flag and urged Ghanaians to hold it in high esteem.

Earlier, a float was organised through some principal streets of the municipality and finally ended at the forecourt of the RCC to ignite the Golden Jubilee celebrations fever in the region.

The ceremony in Wa in the Upper West Region took an interesting dimension when majority of the school children who did not have the miniature flags started chanting, “we don't have” we don't have” when they were asked to wave their flags, reports Chris Nunoo.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, asked the schoolchildren gathered at the forecourt of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to wave their miniature flags.

But the pupils without the flags responded to the minister's request with chants of “we don't have”, “we don't have”.

However, those who had the flags waved them.

In an address, Mr Dery said he was happy about the manner in which the children responded to the call to “rally round the flag”, saying that “it portrayed how proud they are to be Ghanaians”.

He, therefore, advised the children to rededicate themselves to the country.

The regional minister took the opportunity to explain the meaning of the colours of the national flag to the schoolchildren and stressed that “you are the future leaders of this country.

Therefore, be patriotic and disciplined to be able to take over the mantle.”

Story by Rebecca Quaicoe Duho