An indelible mark is made in history in the life of the Upper East Region as the region has for the first time, celebrated Ghana’s annual independence anniversary outside Bolgatanga, the Regional Capital.

This comes on the background of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s historic instruction that, the country’s national parade and celebrations of its 62nd independence anniversary be held in the Northern Regional capital of Tamale. For the past 61 years, Ghana’s national capital of Accra always hosted the country’s national celebrations of its independence anniversary.

So therefore in like manner, Upper East Regional Minister, Hon. Paulina Patience Abayage also addressed a colourful parade of school children and personnel from the various security agencies at a regional parade and celebrations of the country’s independence anniversary hosted by the Bongo District on 6th March, 2019 under the theme, “Celebrating Peace and Unity”.   

The Regional Minister in her anniversary address, mentioned for emphasis and special recognition, the names of Joseph Boakye Danquah, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, William Ofori Atta, Edward Akufo-Addo, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei and Emmanuel Obtsebi-Lamptey as selfless and patriotic Ghanaian fore-bearers whose diverse efforts and sacrifices laid the very foundation for “our independence as a country”. She stated that, Ghana will forever owe un-ending gratitude to these aforementioned great men and their families for “we do not want to be a country that doesn’t honour her heroes and heroines”.

Hon. Abayage accordingly charged the Ghanaian citizenry to strive hard in their individual duties and roles in the public and civil service as well as in business adding that, those that do exceptionally well in their chosen fields will never be forgotten by posterity. She observed that “during the independence struggles, Ghana was able to surmount all the impediments because the ordinary citizens bought into the vision of the leaders and supported them whole-heartedly”. She said this then implies that, the current crop of Ghanaians ought to associate with and commit themselves to the vision of President Nana Addo, for it is only when this mutual bond is created that Ghana can achieve meaningful development and progress.

The Regional Minister also observed that Ghana’s principles of democracy, rule of law and justice for all originate from the country’s cultural beliefs as a nation. According to her, these principles which also stem from traditional African beliefs, existed long before any colonizers arrived at the country’s shores. She therefore cautioned that “any digression from these core African values will place our country in jeopardy”.

Hon. Abayage’s address also touched on the canker of indiscipline and related bad social attitudes as she appealed to parents, teachers and other critical stakeholders to join the crusade of spreading the message of honesty, tolerance, peace and harmony among families, society and the country as a whole. She said it was not enough for teachers, religious leaders and traditional leaders among other stakeholders to only preach virtues, but they must be seen to practice them and serve as good role models for children and for the community. She also charged assembly members, parents and school management committee members to visit schools at regular intervals to encourage authorities and students in their academic work.

She said after 62 years of independence, it was incumbent on Ghanaians to distant themselves from ideas, attitudes and practices that had the tendency to undo the progress that the country had made over the decades. Though she acknowledged that amidst the progress there were still a few bottlenecks, she entreated all and sundry to meet on a common ground and with commitment and oneness of purpose, find long-lasting solutions to these problems. She noted for instance that, President Nana Addo’s transformation agenda for Ghana through flagship programmes such as the one village – one dam, the free Senior High School programme, the Planting for Food and Jobs programme among other interventions, will all suffer set-backs if everyone “sits on the fence”.

Upper East Regional Director of Education, Mr. Augustine A. Ayirezang in his welcome address earlier, urged educational managers to use the school environment to promote peace and unity by involving the students and staff in decision making in the school governance system at all levels. He however called on the authorities to be fair but firm when taking decisions.

He also cautioned students against drug abuse as the practice only goes to impair their learning faculties and derail their academic careers. He warned students against unwarranted demonstrations and destruction of school property at the least provocation stressing that “being youth is not tantamount to hooliganism”.

Close to 1,230 students from 11 Primary Schools, 20 Junior High Schools and 10 Community/Public Senior High Schools participated in this year’s Upper East Regional celebration of Ghana’s independence anniversary parade. Meanwhile, five contingents composed of 30 officers each from the security agencies including the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Prisons, Ghana National Fire Service and the Air Borne Force Detachment also partook in the march past.

Source: Peter Atogewe Wedam, District Information Officer

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