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President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says it was important for the credibility of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), in the fulfillment of its mandate, that it sheds any lingering perception that it works as an appendage of any particular political party.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “Its loyalties have to be to the Constitution of the Republic and the good people of Ghana, not any party.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known yesterday in Accra when he launched the NCCE’s Inter-University Quiz Competition, aimed at testing the familiarity of students with the Constitution of the Republic.
Whilst acknowledging the contribution of the NCCE in helping Ghanaians recognize the importance of their freedoms and duties, the President noted that the Commission can still do much better, in this regard.
“Despite concerns raised in some quarters about the effectiveness of the NCCE in the discharge of its duties, with some going so far as advocating for its abolition, I am of a different opinion. I believe the NCCE continues to be relevant, and still has an important role to play in helping establish a culture of awareness in which citizens are alive to their civic responsibilities,” he said.
It is for this reason, he said, that the budgetary allocation of the NCCE has been increased to an appreciable level in this year’s Budget, explaining that “it is an indication that this government is committed to resourcing the Commission to help it in achieving its mandate, and will continue to address the logistical and financial needs of the Commission.”
Launch of competition
Describing the Constitution as a “living document,” President Akufo-Addo stressed that it “guarantees and protects our individual freedoms and human rights, and ensures that our nation is governed according to the principles of democratic accountability and the rule of law.”
The Quiz Competition, the President stated, should be more than about who emerges first or second this year, or which university ends up with the most number of victories in the future history of the competition.
“It should be about knowing why the Constitution came into force, why it provides guidelines for the functioning of the State, and, why, together, we must help ensure that the three arms of government, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, live up to their respective charters and act as checks and balances on each other to prevent abuse of power and, thereby, help secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo noted further that it is incumbent on the citizenry to know and understand the laws governing our country, and jealously guard the freedoms and liberties guaranteed them by the Constitution.
“The study of the Constitution, therefore, should not be left only to students of our various law faculties in Universities across the country, nor just to lawyers. As active citizens, we must all be interested in the fundamental law of the land, and be able to speak to issues regarding our human rights and civic responsibilities,” he urged.
President Akufo-Addo wished all the participating Universities in the competition the very best of luck, assuring that “I can assure you that I will be paying close attention to the contest from the very first round right down to its climax, and I urge the Ghanaian public to maintain a keen interest.”
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