Delivering his address at the Independence Day parade in Accra Monday, the President called on Ghanaians to be united in purpose and vision in order to achieve the objectives of the independence struggle.
“At independence, the popular slogan was to seek first the political kingdom and all other things would be added. We assumed and, indeed, we expected that rapid economic development would follow the political freedom that we achieved.
“Sadly, the economic dividend that was meant to accompany our freedom has still not materialised. Sixty years after those heady days, too many of our people continue to wallow in unacceptable poverty.
“After sixty years, we have ran out of excuses and it is time to set Ghana to rights and get our country to where it should be. The challenge before us is to build our economy and generate a prosperous, progressive and dignified life for the mass of our people. Hard work, enterprise, creativity and a consistent fight against corruption in public life would bring the transformation we seek.
“We will achieve these goals when we move and act as a united people. We must take pride in our diversity by all means, but the Ghanaian must always rise above the ethnic or sectional interest. We have a bright future and we must mobilize all our resources and all our strengths, here and in the Ghanaian Diaspora, to get to that Promised Land faster,” the president said.
He also called on Ghanaians to protect the environment.
“It is turning out to be a constant refrain, but, on a day like this, we cannot ignore the state of our environment. We are endangering the very survival of the beautiful and blessed land that our forebears bequeathed to us. The dense forests, that were home to varied trees, plants and fauna, have largely disappeared. Today, we import timber for our use, and the description of our land as a tropical forest no longer fits the reality. Our rivers and lakes are disappearing, and those that still exist are all polluted.
“It bears repeating that we do not own the land, but hold it in trust for generations yet unborn. We have a right to exploit the bounties of the earth and extract the minerals and even redirect the path of the rivers, but we do not have the right to denude the land of the plants and fauna nor poison the rivers and lakes”.