President John Mahama has urged Ghanaians not to take for granted the successes the country has achieved over the years.
He said it was only when citizens acknowledged and boasted about the present successes of the nation that each and everyone would be encouraged to do more for its forward march.
President Mahama said this in his Easter message to Ghanaians when he joined the chiefs and people of Sokpoe in the South Tongu District in the Volta Region to celebrate the 32nd annual Tortsogbe (River crossing) festival last Saturday.
The President also bemoaned the seemingly lukewarm attitude of some Ghanaians who belittled the country’s achievements since independence and keep comparing her to nations that had advanced over time.
“There is something peculiar about us Ghanaians. We forget that our country is still young and growing, but we kept comparing us to nations that had advanced over time. We can make our country great and strong but we can do so when we focus on it,” President Mahama stated.
Comparing Ghana’s story to that of the lessons of Easter, the President noted that “Easter teaches us that life is not one long smooth journey of opportunity alone. As a nation, after 59 years of independence, we have gone through adversity, but we have also had our moment of opportunity.”
He said Ghanaians should not lament the moments of adversity, but recognise moments of opportunities and take advantage of them.
The President added that the country, through God’s blessing, had chalked up a lot of firsts among her peers in the West African sub-region, stating that “there is no better country in West Africa than our country Ghana. We have the best access to health care in terms of facility. We have 1.5 million children receiving one meal a day and these are successes we take for granted.”
He indicated that about 86 per cent of Ghanaians had access to electricity, when the West African average was 50 per cent.
“This country has the most extensive access to motorable roads. We must recognise our successes and build on them,” President Mahama asserted.
The Tortsogbe (River crossing) festival was instituted by the chiefs and people of Sokpoe, a community along the western bank of the River Volta, to commemorate the historic crossing of the river by their ancestors to their present location.
As part of the celebration, chiefs in the area re-enacted the historic crossing by paddling canoes across the river.
The theme for the celebration was “consolidating the socio-culture uniqueness of Sokpoe for development; the past, present and the way forward.”
A retired broadcaster and a citizen of Sokpoe who chaired the event, Mr Godwin Avonorgbor, appealed to the President to provide the community with a CHPS compound to cater for the health needs of the people.
He also called for the construction of roads in the town.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for South Tongu, Mr Kobla Mensah Woyome, said the Sokpoe area was conducive for eco-tourism and called on investors to come and invest there.
President Mahama was accompanied to the festival by the Interior Minister, Mr Prosper Bani; the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Madam Dzifa Gomashie, and the Volta Regional Minister, Madam Helen Adjoa Ntoso.