Ghana Is Too Partisan – UCC Law Lecturer

Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, Founding Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Cape Coast, has bemoaned the over politicisation of the country’s democracy to the detriment of nation-building and national interest.

He said irrespective of the soundness of the ruling political party’s view on a particular course of action, the opposition would not see anything good in it, whereas no matter how constructive the criticism of the opposition was, the ruling party would also not see anything good in it.

Delivering the inaugural Mfantsipim ‘Dwen Hwe Kan’ lectures at the school on Thursday, he said: ‘When politics is not simply democratic in the pursuit of national development but is partisan, it holds us back. I, therefore, suggest a transition to national development.’

Prof Bondzi-Simpson, who is an old boy of the school, was speaking on the theme, ‘Nation-Building and the National Interest: The Values Factor’.

The annual ‘Dwen Hwe Kan’ lectures have been instituted by Mfantsipim Foundation, in collaboration with the Mfantsipim School, to provide a platform for old boys to speak on topical national and global issues in the context of Mfantsipim values, creed and philosophy as defined by the founding fathers.

It is organised in two parts—the first at the school and the second in Accra—as an integral part of the Mfantsipim Flag Month celebrations, observed as an extension of the school’s Founder’s Day which falls on April 3.

Prof Bondzi-Simpson said although the country had encountered colonial disruptions, civilian totalitarianism, and military adventurism and was currently encountering partisan politics, it should not lose direction of the value-driven nationally-oriented agenda.

He said nation-building should be a conscious and constructive exercise while national interest should be a primary concern to all and stressed the need to learn from the colonial period in which the prevailing values of the citizenry were self-determination and nationalism.

National interest should not be misunderstood as government interest, he said, explaining that while government could advance national interest, it should ensure that its interest did not undermine the national interest.

He re-echoed President Barack Obama’s call for strong institutions, instead of strong men for Africa but added that the structures could not be strong if the people and country did not have values.

Prof Bondzi-Simpson said the values needed to foster a sense of nationhood in Ghanaians were to pursue the country’s best interests with premium on productive and serviceable work, public spiritedness and civic activism, and shared responsibility with people taking primary charge of themselves.

Other values, he said, were compassion requiring the Government to provide a safety net for the vulnerable without promoting laziness and a sense of dependency.

He added that the value of discipline should be emphasised because the country was currently battling indiscipline and when this was done, there would be progress and prosperity.

Joe Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Essikado- Ketan and old boy of the school, who chaired the function, said Ghana was a work in progress and stressed the need for collaboration to drive her to the desired destination.

In a welcome address, the Headmaster of the school, Mr John Ankomah Simpson, said Mfantsipim stood for the best values and called on past and current students, staff and the Mfantsipim community to uphold such values at all times.


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