By Rebecca Ekpe
With the mandate to educate and encourage the public to defend the Constitution at all times, against all forms of abuse and violation, the National Commission for Civic Education, NCCE has drawn attention to the need for a collective action from the citizens to Safeguard Ghana’s democracy from existential threats.
Clearly, these threats have been magnified by environmental factors as Ghana’s neighboring countries and the Sub-Region in General have experienced some forms of political instability. Terrorist activities in the Sahel Region cannot go unmentioned.
Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo in a message to mark the 2023 Constitution Day urged Ghanaians to do everything within their means to safeguard the country’s 30-year-old democratic process. And not take it for granted that everybody in Ghana had accepted democracy as the preferred mode of governance.
“There are those who would rather have authoritarian rule, because they claim our country is underdeveloped and democracy is cumbersome, and we need to get things done in a hurry. We still have some work to do to convince such people that we are all safer under democracies,” President Akufo Addo reiterated.
The NCCE Chairperson, Kathleen Addy has also added her voice to the need to protect Ghana’s democracy.
On the GTV Breakfast Show on Monday, January 9, 2023, Madam Addy mentioned illegal Mining as a threat to Ghana’s Democracy. She said Ghana could be at war if the ‘’galamsey’’, situation is not handled properly, citing the blood diamonds situation in Liberia.
“If you remember Liberia and Sierra Leone, we have a whole concept called blood diamonds, that was illegal mining that went out of control and then warlords took territories. When the war started, it became a vicious cycle of extraction of minerals, running of ammunition, arming of civilians and para-militias and going to fight to safeguard the territories that they have carved for themselves”, she narrated.
“It is a very dangerous trajectory if we continue in this unregulated manner”, this is the real threat to Democracy, more than local government elections’’, she said.
State of the Economy
The state of the economy and economic hardship has also been identified as possessing a threat to Ghana’s Democracy.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta during a Public Hearing in Parliament apologized to Ghanaians for the state of Ghana’s economy.
” We have mobilized all efforts to enhance the lives of Ghanaians through funds approved by Parliament since we came to power’ however, since the onset of the pandemic, things did turn around….’’, according to the finance minister.
The NCCE Boss Kathleen Addy did not mince words, saying the loss of confidence in the State itself is a threat, and must be dealt with.
‘’If the democracy is not yielding the dividends they supported, then out of frustration, they might be tempted to support non-democratic means of survival or self-expression, that is a threat’’, Madam Addy posited.
She pointed to the need for a sustained discourse that would address the challenges to Ghana’s democracy by disabling the various identified threats.
More importantly, as the NCCE’s mandate is to sustain within the society the awareness of the principles and objectives of the 1992 fourth Republican Constitution as the fundamental law of the people of Ghana.