The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, has urged Ghanaians to take civic education seriously and make the 1992 Constitution a working document in their everyday life.
For her, making the constitution an everyday reference document would help Ghanaians to know their rights and responsibilities as well as to demand accountability from the government and duty bearers.
Ms. Nkrumah said this when she paid a courtesy call to the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Kob Asmah, last Friday, in Accra.
The visit was to enable her to share with the paper, activities outlined for the celebration of this year’s Constitution Week and to solicit support for the national exercise, which started on April 28.
Also part of the meeting was the Deputy Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Theophilus Yartey, and the Political Editor, Mr. Albert K. Salia, while Ms. Nkrumah was accompanied the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs of the NCCE, Mrs. Joyce Afutu, and two staff of the NCCE’s Corporate Affairs Department, Mr. Kwesi Nyirenkyi, and Mr. Isaac Ampofo.
Ms. Nkrumah commended highly the newspaper brands of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), particularly the Daily Graphic and the Junior Graphic, as well as its vibrant Graphic Online news portal, for promoting insightful civic education.
She said the Daily Graphic and its sister brands had continued to be key and reliable partners to the Commission in disseminating information aimed at helping Ghanaians to understand their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
“We do not take lightly the kind of relationship or partnership we have with you,” she said and called on the Daily Graphic to continue to lead the campaign, especially its “Civic Realities Column”, in getting people to understand the importance of civic education to the national development agenda.
She said the 1992 Constitution was not designed for selected people but was meant for every citizen.
This year’s Constitution Week celebration is on the theme: “We are One, Ghana First.”
The Constitution Week was instituted in 2001 to commemorate the country’s return to constitutional rule and had since become one of the flagship programs of the NCCE.
The week-long celebration, among other things, is aimed at educating Ghanaians on the need to uphold values such as demand for accountability, respect for the rule of law and human rights, and to enhance quality citizenship among the people for effective democratic participation.
The celebration is also used to sensitize the public to the essence of national unity and peaceful coexistence with an overall objective of achieving oneness and patriotism
Ms. Nkrumah explained that understanding the Constitution would not only help people to know their civic rights, responsibilities and also demand accountability from the government and duty bearers but also empower the citizens to defend it.
She noted that every citizen had a role to play in the protection of the country’s 1992 Constitution, pointing out that the collective will of the people had helped to sustain and maintain the country’s young democracy.
“Continue to make the Constitution an everyday document,” she said, urging the media to lead the campaign in getting people to understand the country’s 1992 Constitution.
Ms. Nkrumah explained that the import of this year’s theme was to let Ghanaians know that they were all part of the sustenance of the country’s democracy and constitution.
That, she said, would make them appreciate the fact that national interest superseded every other consideration, be it ethnic, religious, or political affiliation.
The NCCE boss said it was the Commission’s aim to demystify the 1992 Constitution for every Ghanaian citizen, noting that over the years, the celebration had paid more attention to the security agencies since they provided a critical role in the protection of the country’s Constitution and democracy.
She said during the celebration, the Commission distributed a number of copies of the 1992 Constitution and organized street quizzes on the Constitution, all aimed at helping the public to understand the Constitution.
Ms Nkrumah also noted that the Commission equally used the week-long celebration to visit schools to educate schoolchildren on the importance of the Constitution.
She has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to use every means necessary to defend and protect the country’s 1992 Constitution and democracy.
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kob Asmah, lauded the NCCE for working so hard to discharge its constitutional mandated duties, notwithstanding its financial challenges.
“From afar, I see the NCCE very focused and delivering without much complaints” Mr Asmah pointed out and urged the Commission to build on the goodwill it had.
He pledged the support of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) for the celebration of the Constitution Week.
He also urged the Commission to find innovative ways to sustain the celebration of the Constitution Week throughout the year, adding that making it just a week-long celebration might be good but ultimately might not help to achieve its overall objective.
For him, it was important that Ghanaians understood the essence of the 1992 Constitution, know their rights and responsibilities so as to help them to contribute positively to the development of the county.
Mr Asmah said the flagship brands of the GCGL always had the national interest at heart and that they would continue to educate the public on the 1992 Constitution.
“We will give you all the support you need to embark on this mass education,” he said. He also commended the Commission for its work over the years, in spite of its financial challenges.
“Graphic will play its role to ensure that the Constitution Week really resonates with the people,” he assured.
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