Democracy is expensive but dictatorship is worse – Cletus Avoka
Mr Cletus Avoka, the Member of Parliament for Zebilla Constituency, has called on Ghanaians to as matter of priority unite and work collectively to consolidate the gains made under the fourth republican Constitutional democracy.
He said Parliament was proud of the journey and successes achieved under the 1992 Constitution which had strengthened the country’s unity in diversity and political stability and Ghanaians should not take such opportunities for granted.
“Democracy is expensive, but dictatorship is worse,” he said, adding “do not take our democracy and peace for granted, we have to work hard to sustain our democracy and peace because a divided country is a fallen nation.”
Mr Avoka, who is also a former Majority Leader, made these remarks when he led MPs and other stakeholders in a Parliamentary peace walk in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
The peace walk, coupled with other sporting activities, is under the auspices of Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, as part of activities marking the 30th Anniversary of Constitutional Democracy under the fourth Republic.
It is being held on the theme: “30 years of Parliamentary democracy under the fourth Republic: the journey thus far.”
Mr Avoka said Ghana, after its Independence in 1957, had three Constitutions before the 1992 Constitution, under Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia and the Dr Hilla Limann, but they were all short-lived.
He said the 1992 constitution which gave birth to the fourth Republic had stood the test of time and attributed the successes to framers of the Constitution who took into consideration the views of all stakeholders at the grassroots.
He said it was imperative to sensitise Ghanaians to participate in governance to strengthen the stable democracy for sustainable socioeconomic development and preservation of the Constitution.
The MP indicated that the calls for some portions of the 1992 Constitution to be amended to fight ills in governance and society in general was apt, however, it would only yield desired results when Ghanaians change their attitudes.
“At the end of the day, it is not the type of Constitution that we run that matters but it is how we manage the Constitution that matters because you cannot put everything in the Constitution.
“The American Constitution is about 20 pages; the British do not have a written Constitution and we got our Constitution and Independence from them. You can draw any Constitution, but the people can still be corrupt, extorting people, so, it is about our attitude, mentality, common sense, practicalities and ensuring good governance.” he stressed.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, said democracy was all about understanding the diversity that existed among people and harnessing such diversities for their growth and development.
He said, particularly, stakeholders in the Upper East Region needed to work together despite their political and tribal affiliations to restore peace in conflict areas to enhance economic growth.
“Definitely there would be problems because we are humans but anytime those problems come, we should sit down and talk about it and solve it instead of running to pick a gun to solve the problem,” he appealed.
Some dignitaries who joined in the peace walk included, Mr Isaac Adongo, MP for Bolgatanga Central, Dr Kurt Nawane, MP for Nabdam, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, MP for Bolgatanga East, Ms Lydia Akanvariba, MP for Tempane, Mr Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, MP for Garu, Mr and Thomas Adda Dalu, MP for Chiana-Paga.
Others are Mr John Tia Kolgo, former MP for Talensi, Mr Gaaga Azitariga, former MP for Bongo, some Municipal and District Chief Executives, state institutions, students, and people from all walks of life.