The Upper West Regional Director of the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED), Mr Abdullah Bin Salih, has called on the youth of Ghana to readjust their thinking on the objectives of forming political parties.
He says although the choice of a political party is an individual's right, some negative traits of tribalism, nepotism and old boyism distort the true essence of the aims of setting up political parties.
He observed that the youth were often enticed to serve the selfish interests of some self-centred individuals.
Mr Bin Salih made the call at a symposium organised by the Coalition of Liberal Youth (CLY), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with Ghana @ 50 Secretariat in Wa.
The symposium, which was attended by students of the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the Saint Francis Xavier Minor Seminary, was on the theme “The Significance of Ghana's Independence: A Youth Renaissance”.
Mr Bin Salih said political leaders should be chosen based on their capacity, vision and other considerations that put the national interest above all others.
“At the unit committee, area council, district assembly and the ministerial levels, they should be critical in their choice of who is selected to lead them.
Itis not the greatest financial contributor to the party who has the best attributes of the assembly person, district chief executive or minister of state”, he added.
He said the 50th anniversary should enable Ghanaians to identify the core principles of the rule of law, “for the rulers and the ruled, the poor and the rich, the elite and the average Ghanaian”.
According to him, in order to strengthen democracy, the youth should learn about the laws, rules and the structures of the institutions responsible for managing the state.
“The youth should recollect, review and re-enact daily, the sacrifices, toils, sweat and blood of our forefathers, discipline, modesty, truthfulness, honesty, hard work, accountability, fairness, respect for humanity and unity in diversity for a successful democratic system.
“Arrogance will not do it, ethnocentrism will not do it, intolerance and hatred will not do it”, he stressed.
Mr Bin Salih noted that while Ghana's independence gave freedom and justice to everybody in the country, the core values have been compromised over the past 50 years.
He said, the youth held the key to rediscovering true democracy through the multi-party system, reliable electoral system, free and fair elections, among others.
He said to ensure that those conditions operate in Ghana, the 50th anniversary should expose the youth to the ideals of a good democratic system through symposia, open fora and the use of the media to sensitise the people.
The Dean of the Wa Campus of the UDS, Dr Daniel Baga, called for political tolerance among the youth.
He expressed happiness that the present generation of the youth in the country were free from political intolerance although this was not the case in the past.
“Your generation is free from these challenges, that is why we see you as vehicles of hope. The youth must learn to acquire knowledge, which would facilitate their growth”, he advised.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Ambrose Dery, who was chairman for the occasion, stressed the need for the youth to be more discerning and not politically ignorant in order not to be used by politicians to achieve their selfish ends.
Story by George Folley Quaye