A legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, has advised Ghanaians to be cautious in calling for a review of the country’s constitution.
He said there was no guarantee that reviewing the Constitution would offer the country an immediate solution to its myriad of problems and spur it to instant development.
Speaking at the launch of an “Active Citizenship strategy” by the STAR-Ghana Foundation in Accra, on Tuesday, Mr Ampaw called for a renewed mindset among leadership and citizenry towards the tenets of the constitution.
Mr Ampaw said the constitution, despite its ailing, could deliver solutions to the country’s problems and bring development to the citizenry.
“The Constitution did not come by itself. It was people who initiated it, so, it is important not to assume that if you have a constitutional review today, you will have a better constitution than what you have because over the last 30 years various groups have been activated on this ground.
“So, one has to be very careful that in calling for constitutional review you get something that you never thought of because with all its ailing, there are important aspects of this constitution that we are still enjoying,” he explained.
The “Active Citizenship Strategy,” launched on the theme: “Fostering Innovative Models of Active Citizenship for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Ghana” seeks to encourage citizens participation in national discourse.
Various political activists, Civil Society Organisations, as well as the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and individuals have called for a review of some provisions of the 1992 constitution to meet current challenges.
Mr Ampaw called for re-structuring of the country’s political parties, as well as a change in the mindset of the citizenry to enable the constitution to properly function.
He noted that unless the main political parties changed in terms of culture and ethics, reviewing the constitution would achieve no results.
He added that, should there be a need for a review of any aspect or the entire constitution, there should be strategic planning.
“If you were to have a constitutional review now, you want to be strategic. Which forces may dominate that process? Is it going to be the chiefs? Is it going to be the churches and mosque?” Mr Ampaw asked.
He added that: “You can create the best constitution that God can even initiate, but if you have Ghanaians as you have it now, and if our parties are organised the way they are organised, it won’t amount to anything.”
Mr Charles Abugre, Vice-Chair, STAR Ghana Foundation, said the absence of merit, competitiveness, and fairness in the system was eroding citizens’ confidence in the state’s ability to address their problems.
He added that this could have dire consequences if immediate steps were not taken to restore it.
Mr Senyo Hosi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Distributors, reiterated the need for depolarization of the country’s democratic space to bolster confidence in the system.
He also advocated the deepening of the separation of powers among the three arms of government to enable them to carry out their oversight responsibility on each other to foster accountability.
He urged Ghanaians to eschew any fear of victimisation and speak up against the ails of society to ensure development was achieved.