ARTICLE BY: ANTHONY KWAKU AMOAH

I believe the maxim, “United we stand, divided we fall” is obviously the first thing one can expect as a topic of this caliber is rolled out for interrogation. At this time and age, when our country has made great strides in the areas of peace and democracy, it would be a bit hard to believe that someone or group of persons would want us to revisit those atrocious days.

It is clear Ghanaians now want absolute peace and development. We are observed from afar as peace-loving and tolerant people. Some even describe us as the hope for Africa. In terms of ethnic and religious tolerance, I do not think we are doing badly.

Notwithstanding some recorded cases of ethnic clashes in some parts of the country, we still live in peace and unity with one destiny. We appreciate that though we belong to diverse tribes, religions and parties, Ghana is still our homeland so the need for unity.

Our constitution has been explicit on this matter. Irrespective of one’s age, sex, economic background, cultural orientation, education, health and physical condition, the law books have mandated us to treat everybody with some respect and dignity. The rights and freedoms of citizens are being adequately protected.

Governments have tried to make education accessible to all, despite some challenges. If not for anything, accessibility to basic education has been relaxed to cater for the less privileged in society too. Whether poor or rich, northerner or southerner, Christian or Muslim, education is supposed to be universal. I trust my reader is abreast of the renowned, Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) policy.

Let’s take a casual look at our senior high and tertiary school systems. There is a boarding system where students from all walks of life are housed in an institution for education and training. I am yet to learn of any school which admits students to its boarding facility on the grounds of ethnicity. The Computerized School Selection and Placement System (CSSPS) is really deepening the spirit of oneness among students. It is, therefore, normal for say, a Fante boy, to be moved to Walewale Senior High Technical School in the Northern Region for his education.

At the universities, it is common to see students of dissimilar tribes, religions and even political parties live as friends. They can eat, learn, bath, and sleep together. I remember gaudily a kind of ionic bond which existed between me and a northern friend at the university. Life was so interesting and meaningful to us. Even after school, we still communicate. Nothing shows that we hail from different tribes.

If it were a good thing to live bigoted lives, authorities would have been posting public or civil servants to serve in their own communities. Instead, qualified workers are sent anywhere, anytime to serve mother Ghana.

On that score, I commend the National Service Scheme for also contributing to the deepening of nationalism in young graduates during their service for the country. Personally, I benefitted so much when posted to the Northern Region a couple of years ago for my service. I enjoyed every bit of life there despite some cultural variations. In fact, northern brothers and sisters are lovely and hospitable.

What benefit would this nation derive should its citizens allow for tribal, religious and partisan divisions? Let’s not forget that our country is bigger than all these considerations. For that matter, we must respect its interest first before any other thing else.

There are countless number of things we can indulge in towards promoting peace and national integration. Let’s have confidence in inter-tribal marriages and go into them. It should be easy for a Mamprusi man to marry a Ga lady. Naming of babies should not be strictly tribal. A Frafra baby could be given Ewe name. My grandfather, for instance, has this sort of identity. Though an Ewe by origin, he is known and called “Amoah”-a name embossed on we the grand children too.

To whip up the interest of nationalism in students, there must be proper restructuring of school sports, entertainment, culture and games. At the national level, these activities must be rotated very well such that every region or district will feel being a part. Schools that do Ewe Language, for instance, could be made to learn and recite poems in the Ga Language and so on. These cross-cultural demonstrations can also help forge national unity.

To be able to fight ethnocentricism, xenocentricism, nepotism and others, schools, religious bodies, politicians, civil society organisations, traditional leaders, etc., must be well positioned to rebuke promoters of these unfortunate practices.

E-mail: [email protected] 

View the original article here

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.