President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cautioned those who have called into question the country’s Constitution and are demanding an amendment—wholesale or limited—to be mindful and measured in their demands.
President Akufo-Addo said despite the seemingly Constitutional challenges that confront the country’s governance, the current constitution has “provided the bedrock for the longest uninterrupted stable period of free governance in our otherwise turbulent history.”
Without prejudging the outcome of the national debate on this all-important matter, the President said in matters such as these, “it would well be an area, where the application of the classical Maxim—festina lente—would be truly appropriate.
President Akufo-Addo made the comments when he sworn into office three members of the governing body of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) on Monday.
They are Victor K. Brobbey, Deputy Chairperson, Simon Ofori Ametepey and Bright Kwabla Agbodeka who the President describes as “eminently qualified to fill those positions.”
President Akufo-Addo, however, warned that the NCCE needs to be sensitive to the demands from several quarters for amendments, wholesale or limited to the 4th Republicans Constitution.
He said despite some concerns made about the effectiveness of the NCCE in the discharge of its functions, to him, the NCCE is still relevant, especially so when some “irresponsible persons” are calling for the overthrow of the Constitutional order.
According to the President, since the Commission’s establishment some 31 years ago, the NCCE had done its part in helping Ghanaians recognise the importance of their freedoms and civic rights even though it could do much more.
The NCCE, which is a direct creation of the Constitution of the Republic, provided for in Articles 231 to 239, specifies the membership and functions of the Commission, as the foremost body responsible for the delivery of civic education to all Ghanaians and working towards sustaining the country’s democracy.
The Commission’s function, among others, is to create within the Ghanaian society, the awareness of the principles and objectives of the Constitution as the fundamental law of the people of Ghana.
It is also to educate and encourage the public to defend the Constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violations.
All the functions of the Commission, according to the President, are important but for special mentioning are “the functions set out in Article 233 clause C which reads… “to formulate for the consideration of government from time to time programmes, at the national, regional and district levels, aimed at realising the objectives of the Constitution.”
President Akufo-Addo assured the NCCE of its independence from governmental interruption and reminded the members that, they are not subjected to any governmental control as per the Constitution.
Mr Victor Brobbey, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, said they have no illusions of the task that confronts them at the NCCE.
“We have been appointed at the start of what I can describe as the political season” and the presence of politics always complicates the task of the civic educator,” he stated.
However, he assured the President and the State that, they would discharge their mandate according to the dictates of the Constitution.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD
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