The Ninth Annual Constitution Week activities commence on April 28 to give Ghanaians an opportunity to the public to participate in discussions, debates and theatre performances to ensure
that the tenets of the 1992 Constitution become a living document for
attainment of good governance.
“The outcome of Election 2008 dictates that every Ghanaian enlarged
his or her knowledge and information base of the spirit and tenets of the
1992 Constitution for attainment of national cohesion for accelerated growth
and sustenance of democracy and constitutionalism in the country,” Mrs. Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, Deputy Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said on Friday during discussions with a delegation
of the Coalition on the Right to Information (RTI).
“There is an urgent need to create an increased and sustained interest
of all in the evolving democratic dispensation for achievement of social and political stability for national unity and development,” she said.
The RTI Coalition delegation led by Mr. Francis Ameyibor called on the
NCCE to initiate the process for adopting Access to Information as the
revolving theme for this year's Constitution Week celebration.
Mrs. Akumanyi, who welcomed the idea noted that the notion that the constitution was a document for the educated few, especially lawyers, should
be removed from the minds of Ghanaians.
She said the institution of the annual Constitution Week in 2001 was a
bid to demystify and make it comprehensible for all to appreciate their respective duties and obligation irrespective of political affiliation and ideology.
Mr Ameyibor described the NCCE as the largest and most potent civic advocacy institution whose active participation in the crusade for the passage of the RTI Bill would greatly enhance and advance public understanding of the bill.
He explained that since the aim of the RTI Bill formed part of a national and international move to stamp out corruption, “it's paramount for civic institutions to play an active role in the process leading to its promulgation through the creation of public awareness”.
He said the RTI law would entrench greater transparency and accountability in public affairs, stressing that the underlying factor in the Bill was the need to protect the safety and integrity of the State and the privacy of individuals.
Mr Ameyibor therefore debunked the notion that the Bill was a media weapon to attack public officials and expose them to public scrutiny, saying there was therefore an urgent need to intensify public education on the Bill.
He explained that the Bill dealt with two broad subject areas, the first area dealing with information held by government agencies, and the second area with general and miscellaneous matters.
Ms Florence Nakazibwe, a member of the RTI Coalition delegation, reiterated the urgent need for NCCE to play an active role in the crusade for the passage of the RTI Bill this year.
The programme of activities for this year's Annual Constitution Week celebration starts with media briefing on April 22, to be followed by the main lecture on April 28.
The role of security services in consolidating democracy would be given a boost with their involvement in the celebration through durbars for the Military, Police, Immigration, Fire, CEPS and Prison services.