General News of Tuesday, 6 March 2012
President John Evans Atta Mills has said that posterity will not forgive Ghanaians if they do not work hard to safeguard what was bequeathed to them by those who fought for independence.
According to him, it was incumbent on all patriotic citizens to defend the nation and sustain the peace and serenity they have enjoyed all this while. The President was speaking during the 55th Independence Day Celebrations held at the Independence Square in Accra.
The occasion was graced by ex-President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, Vice President John Dramani Mahama, Ministers, Members of Parliament as well as ordinary citizens.
The parade which has been a constant feature of the anniversary celebrations, ended with the participation of teeming school children who proudly marched past and saluted the flag of Ghana amid cheers from the hundreds gathered.
A minute silence – at the instance of the President – was observed in memory of the 14-year-old student of the Ho Fiagbe Adventist Junior High School (JHS) who died during a rehearsal for the anniversary parade.
President Mills reiterated his commitment to a peaceful election in December but maintained that that did not only depend on the government but also on the citizenry in general.
The flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, last weekend called on the President to demonstrate beyond words his commitment to a violent-free election.
President Mills said it was a collective responsibility for all Ghanaians to commit to peace because “we have no option than to sustain [the peace of the country and] broaden the frontiers of democracy.”
“I pledge that Ghana will remain peaceful before, during and after the elections,” he said.
The President also urged the youth not to be discouraged in the face of challenges but do their utmost best to achieve their dreams and play their part in developing the nation.
He paid tribute to Ghana’s first president Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his compatriots who fought for independence for the country, saying that the torch he lit is still glowing across Africa and the world beyond.
“Edzikanfo wombo, wombo, wombo [to wit: Weldone our predecessors], President Mills declared, adding: “This is the time to celebrate the values which have sustained us over the past 55-years.”
“Our celebration will be meaningless unless it is linked with a collective resolve to move Ghana forward as a united people in pursuit of a common purpose.”