President Akufo-Addo with some of the newly awarded citizens of Ghana at the Jubilee House. Picture by Gifty Ama Lawson.
ONE HUNDRED and twenty-six (126) African-American Diasporans have now become Ghanaians by choice after taking the citizenship oath on Wednesday.
This was in accordance with section 10 of the Citizenship Act (2000) Act 591 titled, “Citizenship by Registration”, sub-section one (1).
After satisfying itself of requirements, the Ministry of the Interior recommended for the consideration and approval of President Akufo-Addo, the citizenship application of the 126 members of the African American and Caribbean Diaspora community in Ghana.
As a prelude to the formal conferment of Ghanaian Citizenship, Priscilla Dapaah Mireku, a Circuit Court Judge, administered the Oaths of Allegiance.
At a colourful ceremony held at the Jubilee House (Presidency), President Akufo-Addo said it formed part of activities “commemorating the Year of Return, the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the Commonwealth of Virginia which was later to become part of the United States of America.”
“Your decision to take up Ghanaian citizenship means, you have agreed to respect and abide by the laws of Ghana and live in accordance with the tenets of Ghana’s constitution. You have the responsibility of preserving and promoting the image of a country whose reputation among the comity of nations is today high,” President Akufo-Addo noted.
“In all your actions, I urge you to guard jealously our country’s image. It is a charge I am confident you will uphold,” he added.
He advised the new Ghanaian citizens to make it a point to learn at least an indigenous Ghanaian language in order to speed up the process of integration.
The President paid glowing tribute to the memory of the late NPP stalwart, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, who championed the cause for the descendants of victims of the slave trade to return to their homes of origin when he served as Minister for Tourism in the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
“He instituted the ‘Joseph Project’ whose aim was to reconcile and unite the African peoples on the continent and in the Diaspora and to release their energies to help build Africa and the Caribbean. This ceremony will be a happy moment for him,” the President said.
Rabbi Kohain, on behalf of the 126 citizens, pledged to lift high the flag of Ghana by contributing positively to the development of the country.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent