Ahead of the December 7 general election, the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), has made a clarion call to Ghanaians to preserve the nation’s peace.
A statement issued by Mr Thomas Tanko Musah, GNAT General Secretary, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency said: “Ghana is the only country we have, no persons or entities should, therefore, be allowed to throw the country into an abyss from which we cannot easily recover”.
“We need peace to continue carrying on as one people with a common destiny.
“We need an incident-free pre-and post-general election, and the country would be the better for it!”
The statement said gradually and steadily, the country and its people were inching towards the end of the year 2020.
It noted that the year 2020 was quite significant, in that Ghanaians shall be treading another path which could either mark them out as a people uniquely known for their forbearance, understanding, tolerance and willingness to march on in unity or as a people who, for lack of these virtues, could go the way others elsewhere the sub-region and the African continent as a whole had travelled and ended up in tragedy and catastrophe.
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“As the oasis of peace in a turbulent greater environment, it should be the prayer of every well-meaning Ghanaian, that we don’t travel that path; whatever the odds may be, sanity should prevail, and we should continue to be the toast of black people everywhere the world over, post-December 7,” it said.
It stated that as a group of educators and shapers of the minds and personalities of future generations of Ghanaians, the GNAT, was a critical stakeholder in the fortunes and continued cohesive existence of their beloved motherland, Ghana and therefore, must be concerned and make its voice heard, when things were going heady in society.
It said Ghanaian parents and children were their frontline clients.
“We stand for Ghanaian children being given the right education under the required serene environment, to refine them, and enable them to compete in the greater world arena, give their best to the development of the country, as well as be relevant unto themselves and their families,” it said.
“In this vein, the country should do well to give every child the opportunity for education adapted to his/her capacity, capability, interest and needs, and make adequate provision for the growth and development of his/her physical and mental health.”
It said on the wider Ghanaian milieu, Article 41 of the 1992 Constitution, enjoins the citizenry, among others, to promote the prestige and good name of Ghana and to foster national unity and live in harmony (with each other).
Others are to respect … and … refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons (and the state) and to protect and preserve public property and combat misuse and waste of public funds and property.
The rest is to defend (the state of) Ghana … protect and safeguard the environment, that the citizenry engages in healthy discourse on all matters, using decorous and civil language, and tolerate the views of each other on all matters.
That civil society groups, religious groups, academicians, Chiefs, opinion leaders and all who matter most raise their voices when and where necessary, no matter whose ox is gored, that the police and other security agencies remain our bodies of defence and that the courts remain our vehicles of acceptable justice.
It said these were the anchors on which the state of Ghana had been existing, and we believe nobody would rock them, to their peril.
It said this was the environment in which every Ghanaian had been raised and educated.
“Thus we see Ghanaians as very decent, conscientious, refined and forward-looking. These have been our hallmarks, throughout the years. But what are we seeing and observing these days? ”
It said GNAT, sadly observes that decency seems thrown to the dogs; there was indiscipline all over the land, decorum was missing in communication and discourse in the print, electronic, and the traditional media (radio), intolerance and haughty language had taken over the airwaves, politicians were insulting and threatening mayhem; leadership of the country (the presidency), chiefs and religious leaders had not been spared either, indeed everybody was on everybody’s radar of accusation, castigation, opprobrium and condemnations, with even a practitioner of the law allegedly claiming that insulting a (the) President of Ghana was not/could not be considered an offence, as per the Criminal Code of 1960 and the 1992 constitution of Ghana; shocking, devastating!
The statement said moral turpitude was the order of the day, and there seems to be no end in sight!
It said indeed, the centre seems not to be holding, and the country and its citizens seem being held hostage and in anarchy!; adding that “Whither goeth we, Ghana?”
It said as critical stakeholders in the country’s fortunes as stated earlier, the GNAT, could not stand aloof, and watch this nefarious and sinister goings-on in the country.
“We, therefore, condemn these acts and developments in no uncertain terms, and urge a stop to them immediately, to put the country back on the road of civility, discreet and temperate language and communication, respect for offices, positions, authority and the elderly,” it said.
“In this same vein, we condemn the recent abuse of the President by some SHS final year students, as well as their dastardly acts of vandalism, attacking invigilators with stones and other offensive weapons and attempting to engage in examination malpractices.”
It said those acts were un-Ghanaian and the GNAT, does not countenance them.
“As a father-figure Union, we are happy that the President has tempered justice with mercy and directed that the 14 errant final year students should be allowed back to school to write their final exams, and in essence not being denied their education. We are indeed, grateful to him!”
It said Ghanaian Society should feel ashamed, keeping mute over happenings in the country, probably because they reflect the moral decay which had characterized it in recent years; declaring that “a big shame on all!”
“Going forward, we should be reminded, that we still have the 2020 general election ahead of us; we therefore caution all concerned – the citizenry, politicians, the political parties and persons and groups with sinister motives not to scuttle or thwart the process”.
“This is the clarion call of the GNAT, to fellow compatriots. And we hope all would listen and give all of us a chance, and a fresh, new beginning, the come the year 2021,” it said.
“We urge all to be reminded by the lyrics of the following patriotic song, and be led by it, in their daily dealings: Yen Ara Asaase Ni (This is our Own Land!)”
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