National identity key for development – Bawumia
The Vice President, Alhaji Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, has observed that no country in the world has achieved greatness without her people developing a clear identity and forging a common purpose based on good value systems.
To this end, he threw his weight behind calls for the study of civic education to be reintroduced into the country’s school curriculum.
According to Dr. Bawumia, Ghanaians had lost their identifiable values which needed to be restored.
The vice president said this yesterday at a national dialogue on restoring Ghanaian identity organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE). It was on the theme: “Restoring the Ghanaian Identity, Our Values And Our Passion.”
The programme attracted both the young and the aged.
According to the vice president, “we used to have these Ghanaian values and we somewhat lost them and we are trying to restore them… we will agree that to a large extent we have lost a lot of these values and therefore restoration is something we should definitely aim for.”
He added that having a clear identity and good values are crucial prerequisites for building and developing the country.
A retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice V.C.R.A.C. Crabbe, had earlier advised against the act where people are forced to provide gifts in exchange for a service.
He said such moves, which cannot be described as ‘gift-giving,’ constitute a corrupt practice and therefore advised against it.
According to Justice Crabbe, people should not confuse gift-giving with an act of corruption, stressing that people should be allowed to willingly give out gifts and not be forced to give gifts.
Among other speakers at the programme were Professor Stephen Adei, Professor Ama Ata Aidoo, and Mr. K.B. Asante.
For his part, retired Diplomat K.B. Asante called for the need to draw a clear boundary between gift-giving and inducement.
He said although Ghanaians show their appreciation and gratitude through gift-giving, the intent of such practices must be examined to determine its genuineness.
According to him, in instances where people willingly give gifts out of their own volition without demanding for favours, then it can be accepted as a way of expressing gratitude, saying that gift giving is part of the Ghanaian culture.
The concept of gift-giving and bribery is one of the thorny ethical issues that have sparked a number of debates in the political atmosphere of the country, but the retired diplomat believes that “if it is properly done, it shows appreciation,” but not when people use it as an opportunity to pay their way through.
“Let us try to draw a line between genuine gift-giving and giving money, so that something good may be done for you, especially against the rules,” he advised.