Ghana Tuesday celebrated its heritage as a united people with a common destiny during the 55th independence anniversary which was marked across the length and breadth of the country.
The ecstasy that surrounded the parade at the Independence Square in Accra and elsewhere in the country, during which smartly turned-out schoolchildren and officers and men of the security agencies, who also displayed the weaponry they possess to the applause and wilderment of the crowds, was expected.
As President J. E. A. Mills remarked at the ceremony, Ghana’s Independence Day should remind us that we were not only capable of managing our own affairs but also that with constant determination and hard work, we could develop without depending on others.
We believe the commemoration of such events should not be seen as mere ceremonies without any deep reflection on the past. We think that as a people, it is important that we continue to ponder over the issues that define us as a people, what we have not done right and the way forward.
Since the attainment of independence 55 years ago, we have faced several challenges on the political, economic and social fronts. But in the face of these challenges, we have exploited the opportunities to remain united, peaceful, stable and the beacon of hope on a continent bedevilled with civil strife and under-development.
Besides priding ourselves as the first country south of the Sahara to attain independence, Ghana remains the point of reference on the continent, be it on the democratic score card or economic management.
That is why we should be encouraged by these positive attributes to change certain negative attitudes which tend to tear us apart. As the President said, “The best we can do is contribute our quota to building a better Ghana, so that the coming generations will remember us for adding to the legacy of the founding fathers, not remember us for destroying their heritage.”
Since 1993, Ghana has rejected military adventurism that had stalled the progress of this country and chosen the path of democratic governance. We have no option but sustain this democratic path and peace by being tolerant and accommodating of the differences that may emerge on the political front.
We need also to adopt positive attitudes, especially at the workplace and even in our homes to help keep the country together. By believing in ourselves, we can move the country forward in the right direction.
Many of the challenges of under-development have remained with us because of our attitude to work and our handling of public assets.
We can be assured of a good future if we pursue the sustainable development paradigm, such that we pursue today’s agenda bearing in mind the needs of future generations.
It is our hope that by the 56th independence anniversary, we would all be telling better stories and leaving behind good testimonies.
We salute Ghanaians on this festive occasion.