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19.05.2008 General News

Why We Must Believe In Ghana

By William Yaw Owusu -
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Why we must believe in Ghana' was the striking theme of the second Ferdinand O. Ayim Memorial Lecture held in Accra last Friday.

The lecture was delivered by Nana Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer of the New Patriotic Party in memory of Mr Ayim, a journalist and Special Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City.

In his address, Nana Akufo-Addo said the country cannot become a prosperous nation if envy rather than role-modelling, continues to be the preferred option.

'We have lived in a society where we were forced to accept that the economic and social well-being of the masses could only be achieved by bringing down those who had achieved success. This history has led to a whole new generation of Ghanaians who have been afraid to succeed,' he explained.

He said: 'It is this very dislocation of the psychological fabric of our society that we need to defeat – where self-advancement does not induce the proverbial skin pain.'

He said to believe in Ghana means that people must start believing that the country has arrived from centuries of liberation struggle to a new age of liberty and liberalism.

'We should be prepared to defend, support and to serve a free Ghana; not to allow your energies to be sapped away by either the failures of the past or the challenges of today, stand up in defence of the state even if, in dissenting, you offend the temporary custodians of the state.'

Nana Akufo-Addo added: 'let us infuse more urgency into redefining our sense of national responsibility in order to make this 21st century the age that removes all doubts about our ability to manage our own affairs and more.'

He said 'let us embrace the principles of democratic accountability, the rule of law, human rights and individual liberty and freedom, which some of us instinctively believe must be the bedrock of our national development and individual prosperity.'

No society can be truly free unless its citizens feel the need to embrace both liberty and duty, he said.

'Ghanaians are forgiving, but we do not want the generosity of our hearts to be taken for granted. Actions that turn brother against brother, friend into foe, must no longer be allowed to dictate the pace of our development.'

He said if elected the next president of Ghana, he will prioritise the continuing consolidation of Ghana’s democracy, modernise the society, ensure structural transformation of the economy and participate fully in the regional and continental integration.

Nana Akufo-Addo praised the late Ayim, describing him as 'one of those who toiled selflessly for our party, our country and our common ideas without reward'.

Edward Boateng of the Global Media Alliance and member of the Ferdinand O. Ayim Foundation, described Mr Ayim as 'a passionate Ghanaian who believed in the Ghana brand.'

Mr Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association, said 'through this lecture, we are constrained to remember the painful death of Freddy. He was fair minded even when he turned political.'

Alhaji Abdul Rahman Haruna-Attah, Editor of the Accra Daily Mail, said 'Freddy was generous in the way he related with people, his work and his country.'

The well attended lecture which included present and former ministers of State, was chaired by Mrs Gifty Affenyi-Dadzie, Member of the Council of State.

Mr Ayim, who was 45, died in a motor accident in April 2006, while on his way to organise the annual Easter Paragliding Festival at Kwahu in the Eastern Region.

Following his death, a foundation was set to contribute towards the upkeep of the four children he left behind, and the lectures form part of activities to raise funds for that cause.

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