Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta has urged his Ghanaian counterpart, John Dramani Mahama to join forces to fight against terrorism on the continent.
Speaking at Ghana’s 59th Independence anniversary celebrations in Accra, President Kenyatta said terrorist attacks cannot “become the norm rather than the exception as we continue to cooperate and heighten our counter terrorism efforts.”
The Kenyan leader who said he was committed to realising the dream of a borderless Africa said terrorism is a threat to the continent’s independence and growth of its economy.
Peace and security plays a key role in the economic growth and sustainable development of both our countries and the African continent as a whole thus we must come together to defeat the enemy that is threatening our people's way of life
“Let us remind ourselves of the challenges we must confront and those we must overcome if we are to preserve the gains of our independence and the values of democracy. Peace and security plays a key role in the economic growth and sustainable development of both our countries and the African continent as a whole thus we must come together to defeat the enemy that is threatening our people’s way of life” Kenyatta said.
Ghana@59: Uhuru Kenyatta urges Ghana to help Kenya end terrorism https://t.co/5Kzdr2aV1J— ModernGhana.com (@modernghanaweb) March 6, 2016
Kenya and other countries including Nigeria and Burkina Faso have suffered attacks from Islamists groups within the continent.
Ghana @ 59
Ghana is celebrating 59 years of independence from British colonial rule. The day was marked on Sunday with a parade at the Black Star Square in the capital, Accra.
Thousands of Ghanaians turned up at the square to watch a parade by junior and senior high school students as well as personnel from the country’s security services.
As many Ghanaians debate each year the essence of the anniversary parades, President John Mahama told the gathering at the Black Star Square that “one of the most important reasons we gather each year to celebrate our independence is to acknowledge the responsibility that we as citizens carry for its continuation, we are the ones that must ensure that there is liberty in our land.”
Successive governments in Ghana have come under severe criticism for including children in the annual anniversary parades. Dozens of school children often collapse as they participate in the march past under the scorching sun.
President Mahama however justified the inclusion of the children in the parade which has over the past two years been modified to allow the school children march off the parade grounds early.
“Every year, school children are included in the independence day not for purposes of entertainment but rather as a presentation of our nation’s future. These children are the future of Ghana, they are the future that the men and women in our forces who marched today with them are tasked to protect. It is our responsibility to safeguard our independence, so that the nation that we leave for our children to inherit will also be free, peaceful and democratic” Mahama said.
The Ghanaian president said just as the founding fathers of Ghana and other African countries laid a foundation for the development of their respective countries, the children expect the continent’s current crop of leaders to leave behind “a solid foundation on which they can also build.”
Call for peaceful elections
Ghana heads to the polls later in November this year for a crunch election which will see President Mahama face two-time defeated leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Akuffo Addo.
The president in his address urged Ghanaians to maintain the peace the country currently enjoys.
“Certainly there remains much more work to be done, and certainly we will have our differing political views on the best way to do that work. But we must use those discussions to strengthen who we are as one nation and to find solutions to the challenges that face us. We cannot encourage conversations and activities that are meant to discourage us, to divide us, to weaken our morale or limit our potential in this particularly moment. To quote a popular expression, we cannot afford to cut off our nose to spite our face” president Mahama said.
He also used the occasion to remind Ghanaians about the words of the country’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah “who in the first moments of 6th March 1957 said to the citizens of this new nation Ghana, that we’re going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations that we’re prepared to lay our own foundation, our won African personality.”
Opposition leader Nana Akuffo Addo told Africanews’ correspondent in Accra, that the president’s call for a peaceful election was “in the right direction” as there will be no one to govern if the elections did not pan out right.
He however said he was disappointed the president did not address issues of unemployment and corruption in his speech, some key issues affecting the country.
Ghana’s 59th Independence anniversary is being celebrated under the theme, “Investing in the Youth for Ghana’s Transformation”.