Buhari to address 61st Independence parade

BY: Edmund Smith-Asante

All is set for the commemoration of Ghana’s 61st Independence anniversary today, March 6, 2018, with national, regional and district parades on the theme: “Ghana Beyond Aid.”

The special guest at the national event, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is already in Accra to grace the occasion and will also address the large gathering expected at the Independence Square.

A statement by Nigeria’s Special Advisor on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, last Sunday said President Buhari was the only foreign leader invited to the historic event as the special guest of honour.

Mr Adesina also said: “President Buhari will use the unique opportunity to reaffirm the long-standing warm relations between the peoples and governments of both nations.

“He will also underscore Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening the bilateral ties in furtherance of democracy, good governance and overall development not only in the West African sub-region but also the African continent,” he added.


Accompanying President Buhari to the celebrations are the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and the National Security Advisor, Mr Babagana Monguno.

Sanitation campaign

Meanwhile, a “Clean Ghana Campaign,” launched by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on November 13 last year, influenced a two-day national clean-up exercise to precede the national anniversary parades as part of 15 programmes lined up for the 10-day activities to mark Ghana at 61.

Held on March 2 and 3, 2018, the exercise, which was led in Accra by the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mr Kofi Adda, drew large crowds which engaged in clearing weeds and de-silting choked drains along major roads and some communities.

The exercise began at the ministerial enclave in Accra and is part of an inter-ministerial strategy and an approach adopted to rid the country of filth through effective waste management.

The campaign, which is expected to be sustained with the collaboration of service providers to change the country’s poor sanitation status, was led by regional ministers, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives simultaneously at their various levels across the country.

Programme

The Independence Day celebration began with the marking of the 28th February Christiansborg Crossroads Shooting incident and the re-enactment of the declaration of independence on February 28.

There was also a flag-hoisting day nationwide on March 1, 2018, Muslim prayer and thanksgiving service and school debate on March 2, a Christian prayer and thanksgiving service and a quiz programme on March 4.

Yesterday saw the holding of the President’s Independence Day awards for schoolchildren at the Accra International Conference Centre and a 60th anniversary closing and 61st anniversary firework display in the night at the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange and all regional capitals.

Today, March 6, there will be the  unveiling of the design for a national cathedral before the Independence anniversary parade at the Independence Square, featuring schoolchildren, the security services and some organised groups.

The post-independence programmes are an open day for schoolchildren and all garrisons of the Ghana Armed Forces as well as a boxing fiesta dubbed, “Rumble @ 61” at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.