PNC Secretary calls for youth re-orientation in multi-party democracy
January 13, 2011 Accra, Jan. 13, GNA - Mr Bernard Mornah, General Secretary of People's National Convention (PNC), has called for a national re-orientation for the youth to enable them better understand the dynamics of multi-party democracy in the country.
He said the frustrations and agitations of the youth could be addressed when policy measures were put in place to address their huge expectations and eliminate their aggrieved state of insecurity in the country's democratic dispensation.
Mr Mornah made the call at a symposium on the topic: "Youth and Multi-Party Democracy: The Expectations and Contributions of Political Youth Activists," at the on-going 62nd Annual New Year School and Conference in Accra on Thursday.
The five-day School and Conference is being organised by the Institute of Continuing and Distant Education (ICDE) under the broader theme: "Harnessing the Power of the Youth for Accelerated Development".
He called on the Government to pursue pragmatic educational, employment, health, security as well as socio-economic policies to minimise the current societal pressures that had resulted in adverse poverty and hunger among large sections of the underprivileged in society.
"The youth have long been marginalised, disrespected and neglected in society and are not given the opportunity to be heard, benefit or contribute meaningfully to the country's development," he said.
Mr Mornah acknowledged the positive contributions of the youth to the development of the country since independence, citing Mr J. H. Mensah, Former Senior Minister in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Administration, who at 27 years became an Economic Advisor to Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah who was in his youthful age when voted as the First President of Ghana.
However, he traced negative youth activism to the colonial era after independence, saying the youth were then encouraged to disrespect the colonial authorities and rebel against it and such action had since been inherited by generations.
Mr Mornah said the youth must be re-oriented and guided to cultivate an attitude of selfless service and devotion to the progress and development of their country.
He said in addition, they must be encouraged to project a sense of patriotism, unity and love irrespective of their political, social or ethnic backgrounds and eschew the advances of selfish political activists who would want to engage their services to perpetuate their negative political ambitions.
Mr Mornah said the current phenomena where the youth had become agents of perpetuated social violence with various intentions of pressing down for their demands through such negative activities were unacceptable and must therefore be condemned by all.
He enumerated challenges such as the poor quality of education and health, lack of job opportunities, food, affordability of proper shelter, for most of the youth leading to the phenomena of "streetism" in the nation's cities, security and adverse poverty among the wider section of the population.
Mr Mornah argued that as much as the youth in the contemporary society might be frustrated for reasons of unmet expectations, they had no legal and moral right to perpetuate any form of violence or indulge in unproductive services.
He said youth activism could also depend on the kind of leadership at a particular time and therefore their huge expectations could arise as a result of the sudden change in the lifestyle of persons voted into leadership.
Mr Mornah expressed the hope that when the youth were given opportunities and supported to play responsible roles within their respective political parties and communities, their rich potentials would be harnessed and improved upon for national development.
He cautioned political activists to desist from using the youth to project and perpetuate their negative political and selfish ambitions, saying such actions only destroyed the little orientation of a sense of nationalism, patriotism and love within Ghanaians as a people with a common destiny.
Other panelists, Mr George Lawson, Deputy General Secretary of National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Mr Yaw Buabeng, a lawyer and political activist of the New Patriotic Party, agreed that there was the need to support and encourage the youth through quality education to acquire employable and entrepreneurial skills that would enable them to secure better jobs.
They admitted that the challenges of contemporary world in the face of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) had contributed immensely to widening the gap of massive unemployment.
The panelists said the youth would be tolerant when their expectations were met and called for the institution of policy measures that would involve the youth in multi-party democracy in the country.