Constitutionalism vital for the survival of democracy - NCCE
Accra, April 21, GNA - The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Wednesday said constitutionalism is vital for the survival of multi-party democracy, hence the need to defend the constitution at all cost.
Mrs Augustina Akosua Akumanyi, NCCE Deputy Chairperson who stated this, urged the media, politicians, security agencies and civil society to study and adhere to the tenets and spirit of Ghana's 1992 Constitution.
Briefing newsmen on the fourth Constitution Week celebration schedule for April 28th to May 4th, Mrs Akumanyi said the growth and sustenance of democratic governance in the country was based on the continuing efforts to ensure that the Constitution became a living document embossed on the minds and hearts of Ghanaians.
Mr Laary Bimi, NCCE Chairman reiterated that April 28 had been adopted as the commencement date for the activities because that was the date a national referendum was held to endorse the Constitution in 1992.
The week, under the theme: "National Integration Through Tolerance," is aimed at creating an increased and sustained interest and participation of all Ghanaians in the new democratic dispensation for the achievement of good governance, social and political stability for national unity and development.
It would also be use to examine individually and collectively, how they had lived by the tenets and prescriptions of the Constitution over the past 12 years of constitutional rule.
Mr Bimi said the focal point of this year's celebration is to instil in Ghanaians the essence of national integration through tolerance in an election year to ensure the sustenance of constitutionalism and democratic governance.
He said: "We need tolerance, an abundance of tolerance, as a foundation of our democracy. We need tolerance for our electoral and elective processes. We need tolerance to co-exist as a civilized people."
The NCCE Chairman said after three successful elections, "we deem it proper for this ritual to be instituted so that the Ghanaian child would grow up imbued with the faith and culture of constitutionalism as the bastion of democracy."
Mr Bimi said the NCCE would continue to create a platform for an increased and sustained interest and participation of all Ghanaians in the new democratic dispensation for the achievement of good governance, social and political stability for national unity and development.
Speaking to the GNA on potential threat to democratic governance in the country, Mr Bimi mentioned intolerance, which he said, brought about civil strife and agitation, corruption at high places, whipping up of ethnicity and ignorance of basic rights and obligations.
He also cited the media as a potential threat to democratic governance, explaining that the liberalisation of the airwaves and the repeal of the criminal libel law had given some media practitioners absolute power to pollute the political atmosphere.
"This is very dangerous for democratic governance and I urge the National Media Commission (NMC) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to monitor and guide practitioners and social commentators on the socio-political implications of their publications."
He said the Commission, in collaboration with civil society, was working hard through civic education to defuse the political tension and appealed to Journalists, social commentators and civil society to be circumspect in their pronouncements.
Mr Bimi also reiterated his call for institutionalisation of a National Constitutional Week on the national calendar. "This will be a period when the entire Ghanaian community would participate in discussions, debates, theatre performances and other activities on the Constitution to ensure that it became a living document embodied in the mind and heart for the attainment of democracy and good governance."
He called on the private and public sectors to support efforts at establishing a Constitutional Week.
The NCCE Chairman also appealed to the media to adopt pragmatic programmes, aimed at sensitising and educating the general public on the Constitution and how it affected them. 21 April 04