Presidential Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Abu Jinapor, has defended President Nana Akufo Addo's decision to set up a 30 member committee to oversee the planning of Ghana's 60th anniversary celebrations.
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On the 6th of March, 2017, The Republic of Ghana will celebrate its 60th anniversary - otherwise referred to as its Diamond Jubilee - since gaining independence from its colonial masters in 1957.
The multi-disciplinary Committee is comprised of historians, lawyers and lecturers, namely Professor Irene Odotei and Professor JH Nketiah, Senior Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and a lawyer, Kweku Asirifi.
President Akufo-Addo's decision to to create the committee has been met with certain criticism, with some saying that it is an opportunity to plunder the public purse just like - according to critics - Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebrations in March of 2007.
Speaking no Eyewitness News, Mr. Jinapor, who is also the @60 Committee's Vice Chairman, sought to to alleviate these concerns, saying that the committee will "Serve the country" and not use the opportunity to plunder the public purse.
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He insisted on the presidents point that the celebrations will be modest, but failed to say if the committee will receive financial compensation for the work on the committee. He only said that they would be doing a "sacrificial job".
“This is going to be a sacrificial job. It is going to be a service to country . We are serving our country. It is an honour and priviledge to be given an opportunity. It is going to be absolute service to the country."
"At the end of the day, be rest assured that all objective and fair Ghanaians will be satisfied with the manner with which this committee conducts its affairs and nobody is going to engage in ostentatious work. We are going to have a very modest celebration and we have to live by example. We are going to reciprocate the President’s confidence in us.”
He did say that the committee is yet to convene to decide on the budget for the national celebrations, and added that President Akufo Addo will closely oversee the planning in order to ensure accountability.
“It is not going to be an auto pilot directionless planning committee. ..We are going to be reporting through the Chief of Staff to him. He said we are going to have to do everything transparently and those are going to be the guiding principles.”