The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) is an organisation that speaks to the interest and welfare of the people and also demands quality and accountable governance with dedication, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
He said the association had, over the years, made sacrifices and continued to engage to ensure good governance, which he said deserved the support of “all right-thinking lawyers in the country”.
The President said this when the President of the GBA, Yaw Acheampong Boafo, and some executives of the association called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra last Tuesday to thank him for attending the recent GBA Conference in Ho in the Volta Region.
“I hear other people are talking about the GBA being an elite organisation. I don’t know what they understand by elite. I know that the GBA is an organisation that is concerned about the welfare of the people and the quality of governance.
“This is why its leaders are prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure that we have a modern and respectable form of governance in the country. This cannot be an elite organisation,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also explained that his presence at the Bar Conference was because the GBA was one of the most important institutions in the country, a non-governmental organisation, one that had an impact on the life and the history of the nation and continued to do so.
“There are so many landmarks in the country’s history that had been made and facilitated by the GBA through the courage, involvement and dedication of members. So my presence there was because of the quality of the work that the association had done through the ages and continues to do in your time as well,” he said.
According to the President, he was particularly encouraged by the fact that the independence of the Bar had always been exhibited through the utterances, deliberations and actions of members.
“If the sitting President comes to visit you, it doesn’t stop you from speaking your mind. I cherish that kind of attitude. It is important for our country that our public discourse is fueled by people who have this kind of attitude,” he added.
He, however, said it was unacceptable for people to be abusive when expressing their opinions, and that a person could still speak his or her mind on matters he or she deemed important without insults.
He said it was for that reason that the people opted for democracy, instead of what he referred to as the one-man system some of them grew up in, adding: “I came to meet Radio Ghana which spoke every morning with praise singing of our then President, and it would go on throughout the day, with no other voice.”
President Akufo-Addo said currently, however, there was a multiplicity of voices on both radio and television which he described as a welcome development.
Mr Boafo commended the President for his continued dedication to the GBA and for accepting invitations to its programmes since his days as the Foreign Minister, the Attorney-General, the Opposition Leader and now the President.
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