Dr Arthur Kennedy, an aspiring Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday stated that all patriotic students of Ghana from the days of Dr Nkrumah to date, who stood against dictatorship and oppressive rule in the country, deserve to be honoured for their bravery and tenacity.
He therefore called on the government to build a monument in their honour, during this year-long celebration of the nation's 50th Independence Anniversary, with a wall inscribed with the names of all those students killed, injured, jailed or exiled in the service of the nation.
Dr Kennedy made these remarks in a lecture delivered on the topic, “the role of students in national development-past, present and the future”, as part of activities to commemorate the annual hall week celebration of Valco Hall of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), at Cape Coast.
The week-long celebration, which is scheduled from Monday March 12 to Sunday March 18 is under the theme; “attaining economic independence beyond 50 years-the role of the industrialist”.
Dr Kennedy, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Family Health Centers Incorporated, Orangeburg in the United States of America, said student leaders have a role in ensuring that the interests of majority of students were protected and not compromised for the sake of party affiliation.
He stated that it was the role of students to join political parties in their numbers to bring about the needed change with their idealism and enthusiasm, and that they must be active citizens who are eager to fulfill their destiny in “our underdeveloped society” as committed and moral agents of change.
According to him, if tens of thousands of them join the political parties, they (parties) would become more open and responsive to the public will, stressing, “go into our parties and insist in the great nation that we wish to build, so that the politics of insults and the notion that I have been here for long, will yield to the politics of vision and ideas for the betterment of all our citizens”.
He stated that students constitute a pressure group acting in unison to champion the cause of the weak and the poor.
He yearned for the day when students would protest against low wages, or the detention of new mothers and their babies because they could not pay their hospital bills.
Dr Kennedy said going on such protests “would make you an eloquent voice for the voiceless… and a role to play to lift up the poor who have sacrificed to make you realize the dream in education by going back to the villages to do general civic education and adult literacy to help people learn how to read and write.”
He urged students to be active supporters of their University and its goals when they graduate, and that in partnership with university administrators, faculty, government and business, students could turn the universities into business incubators to generate revenue to promote their welfare.
Dr Daniel Okae-Anti, Valco Hall master, who officially launched the hall's website, the first of its kind in UCC, commended Dr Kennedy for taking sometime off his tight schedule to honour their invitation to deliver the lecture.