Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday reiterated the need for Ghanaians to restore the cherished societal values and national identity to enable Ghana to thrive as a stable and honorous nation.
He said Ghanaian values such as discipline, tolerance, patriotism, punctuality, integrity, honesty, accountability, courtesy and the rule of law among other things had been lost and, therefore, called for the restoration of those values since they were pre-requisite in re-building the nation.
He said these values were universal and central to forging unity and building strong nations and civilisation and, thus, must be made integral to the lives of the citizens.
Vice President Bawumia said this at this year’s National Dialogue organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) which formed part of Ghana’s 60th Anniversary celebration and 25 years of the Fourth Republican Constitution.
The forum was held on the theme: ‘‘Restoring the Ghanaian Identity: Our Values, Our Passion’’ which brought together traditional rulers, members of Parliament, the diplomatic corps, heads of departments, students and people from all walks of life.
The eminent panelists for the dialogue were Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, Professor of Law, Professor Steven Adei, a renowned Educationist, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, celebrated Writer and Mr K.B. Asante, Senior Statesman.
The participants dispassionately discussed the lost Ghanaian values and called for the restoration of those good values in order to engender national unity and patriotism.
The Vice President said restoring those values would give Ghanaians the hope of achieving their potentials and aspirations of economic development. He said Ghanaian culture and traditions were the foundation for achieving development, adding that the potentials of the people were not in doubt.
“Ghanaians possess the necessary building blocks needed for development including our history, culture and sense of purpose upon which successful nations are built.
“With this foundation in place, what we need to do is to re-affirm our identity and commit to a progressive set of values that will serve as the oil that keeps the wheels of development running smoothly and quickly,” he said.
Vice President Bawumia noted that Ghana at a point normalised traits such as extreme corruption, greed, dishonesty, indiscipline, disrespect, selfishness and apathy to civic responsibility, which had led to lack of self-confidence and acceptance of mediocrity.
However, he said, in the quest to reverse those negative trends, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his inaugural address, insisted that true citizens must not be mere spectators but active citizens.
Vice President Bawumia, therefore, said government was determined to re-invigorating patriotism and nationalism among Ghanaians which would lead to re-building the nation based on the right values of discipline, integrity and tolerance as well as respect for the rule of law and love for the country.
“No nation can achieve real development without the people developing clear identity and forging a common purpose based on good value system,” he said.
The Vice President, therefore, implored Ghanaians to co-operate with the NCCE in restoring good values in the society and, thus, urged Ghanaians to embrace values espoused in the National Anthem and National Pledge and eschew negative attitudes in order to make Ghana a stable and united democratic country.
He commended the Commission for the initiative that had created a platform for the nation to dialogue to strengthen the values and identity of the country.
Vice President Bawumia said due to the recognition of the crucial role the NCCE could play in getting the citizens imbued with those positive values, the Government had increased the budgetary allocation to the Commission to support its operations.
“This shows government’s commitment in supporting the Commission to execute its constitutional mandate and continue to support it to achieve its noble roles,” he said.
“Ghanaians are looking up to the Commission to restoring good values in the citizens because without these values our aspirations as a nation for socio-economic excellence will be threatened and we will never attain our potential as a people,” the Vice President said.
He tasked the Commission to ensure prudence and efficiency in the management of resources so as to achieve its objectives.
Madam Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the NCCE, said the dialogue was a significant platform as it hinged on restoring the national identity and the values that defined the people.
‘‘These values are at the core of our being, our genetic make-up, the fabric of our nation and essential for our nation building process,’’ she said.
Madam Nkrumah said there was the need for collective efforts to systematically, purposefully, and deliberately work to instill the cherished values of society in the people, especially the youth, for accelerated national development.
She acknowledged the support of the Government and asked for more resources and retooling to enable the Commission to deliver on its mandate.