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Opinions of Thursday, 4 December 2003

Columnist: Acheampon, Eric

The Youth and National Politics

Ghana is blessed with a rich human resource of which the youth form a majority. They are the cherished treasures of every nation. Thus a nation which losses sight of this valuable resource can only be remembered as a nation that existed once upon a time.

The role of the youth in the country’s democratic development era cannot be over-emphasized. In national policies, the youth are a force to be reckoned with. Their contribution to the evolution of national politics is enormous. We the youth have become the pivot around which politicians forge all sorts of political strategies aimed at soliciting their unfailing support.

When the political atmosphere gathers momentum for national elections, the role of the youth in the various political parties becomes necessary. They keep the flames, symbols and flags of their various political parties high, chant their slogans and make the presence of their parties felt. Some are used as part of the propaganda machinery to abuse or disabuse the minds of the electorate concerning one political party or the other. This is just to ensure victory and sustain political power.

Nowadays, it is commonplace to hear the youth wing of most political parties issuing press statements and holding news conferences on matters of national concern. They are quick to discredit what is considered inappropriate to national development but seldom applaud what should be recommended.

However, in using the youth in such a manner, one must be careful not to sow seeds of discord among the future leaders. Admittedly the youth find themselves in various political endeavors but as patriotic citizens, diverse political ideologies should not make them enemies. As one people with a common destiny, the youth must strive to live in harmony to uphold the image of Ghana. We must bear in mind that there is only one Ghana, a safe haven they should be proud of. The youth should not allow themselves to be unduly instigated and manipulated by individuals or groups who seek to fulfill their selfish desires.

The youth must see it as their responsibility to ensure peaceful co-existence and avoid pronouncements that will inflame passions. In exercising one’s civic and constitutional right of freedom of speech, one must do so, devoid of bad and unacceptable language. Integrity and patriotism should be the hallmark and watchword of the youth.

The youth must learn to dissociate from divisive politics. We must demonstrate a good sense of loyalty and patriotism, putting the nation first before all other political or personal interests.


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