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20.04.2007 General News

Media, individuals urged to protect the Constitution

Media, individuals urged to protect the Constitution

Professor Kofi Kumado, Director of the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA), on Thursday urged Ghanaians, especially the media to help protect the Constitution by exposing its abusers.

He said the Constitution as it stood now, could not protect itself from abuse and that it was the people that could protect it from any form of abuse either by the government or political parties.

Professor Kumado, was delivering a lecture on: "The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana and the promotion of justice and reconciliation: the way forward", at the St Peter's Regional Seminary of the Catholic Church at Pedu, in Cape Coast, to mark its seventh Theology Week.

The Week is being celebrated on the theme: "Priestly formation and the promotion of justice and reconciliation: challenges and perspectives".

Professor Kumado underscored the importance of the Constitution in the nation's democracy and urged Ghanaians to keep faith with the opening words in the preamble of the 1992 Constitution which state "in the name of Almighty God" and ensure that "indeed the fear of God and the love for fellow women and men are at the core of all that we do as a nation."

"This way, there will be justice in the nation and we will be reconciled with each other", he said, adding that justice in the context of the Constitution included fairness to neighbours, communities and the nation.

Professor Kumado commended the government for setting up the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), adding, "We have to thank God for giving the government vision to recognize that this reconciliation is a national necessity in the service of justice and reconciliation".

Prof Kumado urged Ghanaians to remind themselves of another truism in the building of a nation that justice was not just about correcting past wrongs, but also about being fair in current activities.

He said it was imperative to inculcate the spirit of tolerance, culture of democracy, patriotism and fellow feeling at all levels of society.

He said it was also important to constantly address the issues of minority rights and the rights of vulnerable groups such as children, the disabled and the non-nationals and that Ghanaians must steadfastly set their minds on the course of constitutional democracy, human rights and the observance of the rule of law.

On the administration of justice, Prof. Kumado stressed that no expense must be spared in efforts to create an independent, impartial, knowledgeable and courageous judiciary and legal profession, able to fight for and dispense justice without fear, favour, ethnic or other sectional considerations.

Reverend Father Francis Appiah-Kubi, a lecturer at the Seminary, who spoke on: "The formation of the future priest as agent of the promotion of justice and reconciliation" said reconciliation was more than co-existence and mutual minimal tolerance and that it brought peace to relationship.

He stressed that ministries of reconciliation and healing were central to the mission and that peace and justice were a prerequisite for a successful apostolate work.