A New Era; Broadcast To The Nation

February 3, 1964

MEN AND WOMEN OF GHANA,

The Referendum is now over, and I want to speak to you tonight and to thank you — the Chiefs and people of Ghana, for the overwhelming demonstration of your solidarity and determination, and for your faith in the goals we have set before us. Let me commend especially all the Party activists, functionaries, supporters and sympathizers who threw themselves so wholeheartedly into the campaign, as well as the officials and election staff; whose honesty and sincerity made the voting so smooth and orderly.

I want to tell you what a source of encouragement and invigoration your support has been to me.

During the past week, you the people of Ghana have given the greatest manifestation of your steadfastness and faith in the Convention People’s Party — the party that led you to freedom; the party that stands for your interest, because its very existence springs from you the people. By giving your mandate once again to the party, you have demonstrated in the most positive terms our country’s determination to establish a socialist society in which every one of us will stand free and with equal opportunities in all respects with his neighbour.

Very soon, a Bill will be presented to Parliament in order to amend the Constitution on the lines which have been approved by you in this Referendum.

I have never hidden from you the fact that our struggle is a hard and complex one. It is a struggle that involves fighting on many fronts, because that struggle is not only political and economic, but social, cultural and spiritual as well. I have told you on many occasions that our struggle falls into several stages. Our first stage ended when we took over the control of our own affairs as independent Ghana.

At that point, our party resolved to pass on to the next stage of our struggle — the construction of a socialist society. We felt then that we should mobilise and employ the energies of all sections of the community, because we took it for granted that everyone, in all walks of life, would consider it a privilege and duty to unite on a national basis in such a noble cause.

In the reconstruction of our country, however, we have found that certain elements in our society maliciously refuse to see eye to eye with us, even though in their heart of hearts they know that the course we have taken is the right one.

By joining forces with the neo-colonialists, these elements infiltrated into the organs which administer and direct our State, and tried to corrupt our Judiciary and our Police. To some extent, they succeeded, and it was the measure of your vigilance that the country rallied quickly from the shock of Kulungugu and the subsequent acts of terrorism which were planned to break your confidence in the national cause, and to bring discord and disharmony into the country.

The latest sequence of events, from the treason trial to the assassination attempt at Flagstaff House on the 2nd of January this year, has made it imperative that we should uproot completely, all the forces of intrigue, subversion and violence designed to deflect us from our chosen goal.

It means that we must dig out the traitors and saboteurs and bring them to answer for their misdeeds. We must take the firmest measures against those who are bent on undermining our economic and social stability. Bribery, corruption and other social vices are evils that injure our stability and impede our progress. We must therefore make serious efforts to wipe out these evils from our society. At this new stage of our national life, let us put an end to the string of malicious lying and rumour-mongering fomented by evil men and neo-colonialist agents amongst us. By their own deeds they shall be smoked out one by one.

Above all, we must entrust the organs of the State to those upon whom we can rely to carry out our purposes and policies in accordance with our aims and aspirations. We shall see to it that the Civil Service, our Public Boards and Corporations and State Enterprises, and all other agencies of our Government, are operated by honest and dedicated men and women.

The state is now set for us to embark upon the next phase in our struggle, to bring about a better way of living. This is the revolutionary stage in which the needs and aspirations of the people shall be supreme. This stage demands that everyone within our society must either accept the spirit and aims of our revolution, or expose themselves as the deceivers and betrayers of the people.

The way is now clear for us to go forward to create the conditions in which every one of us shall enjoy the benefits of adequate food and protection, education, medical attention, proper housing, and all the other amenities which make life worth living.

It was in order to mark this revolutionary stage in our struggle that we sought to amend our Constitution and bring it in line with the social purpose and social structure upon which it should be based. You have given your consent — overwhelmingly. I congratulate you on this massive manifestation of your A understanding of our high purpose: and I have confidence in your ability to see that this is carried through.

As from today, Ghana has entered upon a new era. You have put the Party in a new strategic position in relation to yourselves. By your unequivocal “Yes” vote, you have, in the most emphatic way, expressed your belief not simply in the Convention People’s Party, but in yourselves and in the nation.

It is because we have faith in ourselves to overcome our enemies at home and abroad that we have agreed to rest the power of the State in the hands of the people. It is because we recognise that we, the people, can best serve as the watchmen of our interests, that we have voted ourselves as the guardians of the State. For that is what we are really saying when we say that “the people are the source of power and the guardians of the State.” From whom else could power possibly spring but from the people?

The Party is the rallying point of our political activity. Without the Party, there would be no force through which to focus the needs and the desires of the people. The Convention People’s Party is this force. The Party, therefore, is the hard core of those who are so dedicated to its ideology and programme, that they take their membership as the most serious business of their lives. The Party is nothing, but the political vanguard of the people, the active organ of the people, working at all times in the service of the people.

All of us are now one in the acceptance of a One-Party State. Our task is to plan for progress in the interests of the whole people. To carry out this work of service to the people, the Party needs the assistance of everybody, even those who are not members. The assistance the Party asks of all of us — men and women of Ghana is that we should give of our very best in whatever work we do. lf we do this, we will be helping the Party and thereby satisfying the people’s needs and hopes. As long as we carry out these obligations, we can rest assured that we are doing the right thing and that no one can interfere with us. For we shall be interpreting the constitutional rights and duties vested in us, as the source of power and the guardians of the State.

Our Parliament has now become a corporate body made up of Party members voted in by the people as their representatives. Thus Parliament is the corporate representative of the people. As such, it will exercise the rights of the people as a unified body, working for the prosperity of Ghana and the happiness and welfare of the individuals who make up our nation. Like the Party itself, we expect Parliament to be composed of farmers and workers, artisans, factory workers, teachers, technicians, engineers, managers, intellectuals and university professors, doctors, members of the civil service, of public boards and corporations and of the judiciary — in short, people from every sector of our public life. Parliamentary service should not be a career, a means of furthering the ambitions of either individuals or special interests.

To represent the people in Parliament is a privilege, a privilege of which we must be worthy. The privilege of representing the people in Parliament and in Government does not endow Parliamentarians with special attributes that should set them above the people. On the contrary, in putting ourselves forward to represent the people in Parliament, we accept the most responsible of duties, that of expressing and carrying out the will of people in the highest forum of their representation. To do this, we need to remain close to the people. The greatest sin we can commit is to lose touch with the people or place ourselves in behaviour above them. The people’s Parliamentarians are the executors of the people’s will, and will be trusted to perform their function only as long as they are doing so sincerely, honestly and devotedly.

These are some of the important ways by which we shall ensure that the well- being of the people remains the primary consideration in our plans and their implementation. Steps have already been taken to rid the protective arms of our State of the people’s enemies. We shall take other serious and energetic steps to deal with the many evils and vices which are hampering our progress and have tended to open conflicts in our society.

From today, we the people, must resolve to keep our ranks firmly closed against our enemies, both external and internal, and to assign ourselves, the solemn duty of protecting our State. The violence that these enemies have hurled against us has failed utterly. It has in reality recoiled upon the perpetrators themselves. We have now been brought even closer together; our determination has been rekindled and we take up the challenge of forging ahead against all odds towards the goal before us.

Vigilance must be our watchword. We must keep a keen eye on all anti-social activities. We are determined that racketeers shall not profit from the people’s needs. All—out efforts are being made to see that essential commodities are available in adequate quantities to meet the ordinary needs of the people corporations and of the judiciary — in short, people from every sector of our public life. Parliamentary service should not be a career, a means of furthering the ambitions of either individuals or special interests.

To represent the people in Parliament is a privilege, a privilege of which we must be worthy. The privilege of representing the people in Parliament and in Government does not endow Parliamentarians with special attributes that should set them above the people. On the contrary, in putting ourselves forward to represent the people in Parliament, we accept the most responsible of duties, that of expressing and carrying out the will of people in the highest forum of their representation. To do this, we need to remain close to the people. The greatest sin we can commit is to lose touch with the people or place ourselves in behaviour above them. The people’s Parliamentarians are the executors of the people’s will, and will be trusted to perform their function only as long as they are doing so sincerely, honestly and devotedly.

These are some of the important ways by which we shall ensure that the well-being of the people remains the primary consideration in our plans and their implementation. Steps have already been taken to rid the protective arms of our State of the people’s enemies. We shall take other serious and energetic steps to deal with the many evils and vices which are hampering our progress and have tended to open conflicts in our society.

From today, we the people, must resolve to keep our ranks firmly closed against our enemies, both external and internal, and to assign ourselves, the solemn duty of protecting our State. The violence that these enemies have hurled against us has failed utterly. It has in reality recoiled upon the perpetrators themselves. We have now been brought even closer together; our determination has been rekindled and we take up the challenge of forging ahead against all odds towards the goal before us.

Vigilance must be our watchword. We must keep a keen eye on all anti-social activities. We are determined that racketeers shall not profit from the people’s needs. All-out efforts are being made to see that essential commodities are available in adequate quantities to meet the ordinary needs of the people.

The mainspring of our society in the past has been its community sense, the obligation of one to another. It is around this mainspring that our African society was organised, and it is this mainspring that must continue to motivate our society in the present. For the identification of the well-being of one with the well-being of all is the animating principle of socialism. The difference is that socialism in the modern world can only establish itself on the basis of plenty.

And it is towards the achievement of plenty that the Party has geared itself. It is for the achievement of plenty and its fair distribution among the people that out Seven-Year Plan is designed.

What the party has done for the masses since you, the people, voted it into power is only the beginning of the greater things we can expect. But our hopes cannot be realised, unless all of us work in the spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice.

By your vote, you have indicated overwhelmingly your readiness to participate and to protect the gains that have already been made.

You have shown to the world the unity of purpose and determination that binds us, as Ghanaians, together. United as we are around a common purpose and a common destiny, we shall work steadfastly and harmoniously for a greater Ghana in which the welfare and happiness of each and every one of us shall be the dominating aim.

Goodnight to you all.

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