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Youth urged to eschew social vices

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The Central Region Monday observed Ghana’s 66th Independence Day celebration in glitz amidst calls on the youth to desist from indulging in social vices, that have been on the rise in the region recently.

They have been urged to rather engage in activities to promote community development and support government in its youth empowerment efforts.

They should also bear in mind that positive national values such as patriotism and discipline contributed enormously to the success of all fledgling democracies.

Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Regional Minister, making the appeal at the famous Victoria Park (Jubilee Park) where the first game of football was played in Ghana, asked the youth to always pursue productive ventures such as education, vocational training or apprenticeship to safeguard their future.

On parade, led by Major Michael Adams Mante of the 5th Infantry Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces, were a contingent of 1,500 security personnel and students drawn from seven security agencies and 20 senior high and basic schools in the Metropolis and from voluntary organisations.

“Those of you still schooling or pursuing vocations should study hard to enhance your future life,” Mrs Assan told the youth, while asking parents to support their children and groom them into responsible adults.
“The youth are the future of this country, your contribution to the development of every society cannot be overemphasized. But permit me to caution that the alarming rate at which some of our youth are involved in all manner of social vices is of great concern to all well-meaning citizens,” she said.

“Currently, our youth are involved in armed robbery, internet fraud, drug trafficking, drug abuse, occultism, kidnapping, adoption of alien cultural values and practices that are affecting our socio-economic progress.”

The anniversary, on the theme: “Our Unity, Our Strength, Our Purpose,” saw the principal streets of Cape Coast, Ghana’s first capital city, awash with beautiful national colours, most prominent on the Emintsimadze Palace’s coastal drive to the Victoria Park.

A sea of enthusiastic children took over the celebration, chanted patriotic songs and eagerly displayed their rich cultural heritage and a strong sense of patriotism.

The pupils paraded the venue in their school uniforms and national colours, whilst others perched on the hills overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean and the historic venue of the event.

Going forward, Mrs Assan asked parents to take advantage of the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme to keep their children in school to build their innate capabilities.

She said with the successful rollout of the policy, there was no excuse for any Ghanaian child to be denied education, at least up to the SHS level.

Citing her recent visit to the Republic of Korea, where she witnessed its significant progress in technical education, she urged parents to encourage their children to take up technical and vocational education and training (TVET) courses to improve the country’s skilled manpower base.

“Investing in education is the best way to fight poverty as education is the fulcrum around which the development of individuals, societies and nations revolve,” she said, adding that it must be accorded priority and investment to yield the unique fruits for sustained growth.

Touching on the essence of the Day, Mrs Assan said the sovereignty of a country brought enormous benefits to its people, and urged Ghanaians to consolidate the democratic gains by supporting democratic institutions.

She commended the dignitaries who turned up for the beautiful and unique parade and tasked all to strive toward achieving excellence to accelerate national development and avoid being complacent.

“March 6, 1957, changed the position of our continent, status and role in the world forever. Africans across the continent were subjected to centuries of inhumane treatment and subdued through the obnoxious slave trade and colonialism,” she said.

“On that fateful day, under the leadership of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, and other notable personalities, the Gold Coast, now Ghana, succeeded in breaking her chains of bondage, which was highly recognized in other parts of Africa and celebrated in the Caribbean.”

Touching on the emerging threats of radicalism across the West African sub-region, Mrs Assan urged all to cherish the country’s peace and tranquillity.

“We need to create a conducive atmosphere and workable environment to bring unity and consensus in the implementation of policies and programmes to transform the country.”

The historic city reminisced the flamboyance of the 65th Independence Anniversary held at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, last year, which featured exciting cultural displays, colourful parade, and rappelling acrobatics.

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