Since the adoption of the1992 Constitution, the country has practised multiparty democracy, with the citizenry going to the polls every four years to elect their leaders (President and Members of Parliament) to serve the nation.
For the past 30 years, this practice has not only helped to meet our development aspirations of promoting good and stable governance but also ensured the tolerance of divergent views, as people disagree to agree on issues of national importance.
Notwithstanding these positives, and an entrenched democratic culture of electing political leaders, recent developments in the political arena, where excessive partisanship has taken over our national discourse, leave much to be desired.
A partisan person is one who strongly supports a particular person or cause, often without thinking carefully about the matter.
Extreme partisanship is even more detrimental to the functioning of democracy, often resulting in unwillingness to cooperate or compromise on important national matters.
Some citizens, including Members of Parliament, have often charted the path of extreme partisanship by looking at issues with partisan lens in the conduct of business and at best party interest, instead of the national interest.
This situation has not only resulted in dividing us as a people but also impacted negatively on the forward march of the country.
All these concerns have been articulated eloquently by a former Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, when he shared his perspectives on the 30th anniversary of the Fourth Republican Constitution (see our front page lead story).
For us at the Daily Graphic, no matter which political party is in power, the national interest must always reign supreme in all our discourse for the sake of the unity, stability and development of our motherland.
It is against this backdrop that we see the call by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and two statesmen, Sam Okudzeto, a veteran legal practitioner and member of the Council of State, and a former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, on the citizenry to eschew extreme partisan politics in our national discourse as a welcome admonition which is also in the right direction.
President Akufo-Addo, in a nationwide broadcast at the Jubilee House in Accra last Friday on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Fourth Republic, challenged Ghanaians to continue to work to create the platform for the evolution of a new Ghanaian civilisation.
That, he said, would give true meaning to the foundational values of freedom and justice “on which our nation was birthed".
The President indicated that although the nation was confronted with difficulties in its economic performance, “I do not doubt our collective resolve to work our way out of these challenges and put our nation back onto the path of progress and prosperity".
While the Daily Graphic agrees with these assertions by the President, we also see the call by the two statesmen, Messrs Okudzeto and Terkper, on the citizenry to eschew extreme partisan politics and support the government to turn the economy around as a worthy one.
While Mr Okudzeto urged the people to remain hopeful and do their bit to support the government to help turn the economy around for the better this year, Mr Terkper called on them not to allow partisan politics to divide us to the extent of hindering development.
The Daily Graphic is of the firm belief that after 30 years of practising multiparty democracy, the nation has grown to reap the democratic dividend, for which reason we must eschew extreme partisan politics and put the interest of the nation first in all endeavours.
No matter our political affiliations, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds, we must begin to see ourselves as Ghanaians first, and that will unite us as a people for the progress and development of our dear nation.
We also want to congratulate all Ghanaians on upholding the tenets of democracy and bringing this nation far in our 30 years of constitutional rule.