President Akufo-Addo has urged all senior citizens of the country to speak out boldly and criticise his government.

Referring to his inaugural speech were he called on the people of Ghana to be “citizens and not spectators”, the President said he has one more request to make of senior citizens and that is for them to offer him constructive criticisms that will help government deal with the many social vices that pose a challenge to the body politic of the country.

According to Akufo-Addo, “corruption, social and economic injustice, crime, the illegal mining menace, popularly referred to as galamsey, and the new phenomenon of vigilantism” are amongst the many social vices he is talking about.

Akufo-Addo urged the senior citizens not to fall into the well-known temptation of showering praises on sitting presidents.

“It would be equally tempting to tell me that I am the best thing that ever happened to Ghana, and it would be even more tempting to tell me to ignore my critics. I expect that, as senior citizens, you will not walk this road, but will allow the moral authority of your status to justify your interventions,” Akufo-Addo made this request when he addressed the 57th annual Republic day celebration in honour of senior citizens held at the banquet hall of the State house.

The president additionally observed that Ghana as a country has not been able to treat its senior citizens quite well. He said that “one of the best measures of a country is how it treats its older citizens”, to this end, the President says the NPP government has a comprehensive plan to ensure that all the senior citizens of the country are well taken care of.

Ghana’s Institutional challenges

President Akufo-Addo observed that there are many institutional challenges that are clearly affecting the development of the country.

“We can all say without any equivocation that the fourth Republic has seen the longest period of stable constitutional governance in our history and the benefits are showing. We have experienced in this era sustained economic growth. Freedom of Speech is now taken for granted, Parliament is making a good fist of exercising its oversight duties and the Judiciary continues to demonstrate its independence.

“Nonetheless, we are not quite there as a country, for we continue to suffer important institutional and other deficits. The economic transformation we all yearn for has still not materialized and unemployment is still widespread. Corruption in the executive continues to represent a major challenge in governance. Parliament does not have full authority over our public finances, the Judiciary is still recovering from the dramatic exposure of corruption within its ranks and is making painstaking efforts to regain the confidence of the citizenry. Our security services lack the full logistical complement and personnel required to provide adequate safeguard for the nation’s stability and security,” Akufo-Addo said.