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General News
Mobile phone users must respect national anthem -MP 11/2/2007
Accra, Oct 31, GNA- Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, MP for Amenfi East has called on all mobile phone users who have made Ghana''s National Anthem the ringing tone on their cell-phones to remove it as a matter of civic responsibility.

He observed that people have made it a practice in recent times, to use Ghana''s National Anthem, " God bless Our Homeland Ghana" as the call in tunes on their mobile phones.

In condemnatory message on the practice in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Aidoo, said the issue might look harmless and unimportant, but beyond the surface it was a serious issue with dire national consequences.

The three-stanza "God Bless Our Homeland Ghana", was originally written by Ghanaian composer, Philip Gbeho, and adopted after independence in 1957 as the signature tune for the nation. It is played at national events that involve the President or personalities or groups who represent the nation at important events.

Sometime ago the anthem was played in the theaters before a piece of drama was acted or in a cinema hall before a movie. The radio and television stations played it to sign off at night; and on the international scene, the National Anthem is played before the commencement of a sporting event or tournament, and particularly at such events, it is played to celebrate victory, like the winning of gold medals for the country.

When played, the national anthem evoked the spirit of nationalism, and patriotism to die for the nation.

Mr Aidoo observed also that the National Anthem, together with the National Flag and the Coat of Arms are symbols that are very dear to the nation; and they give identity, eulogise the history, tradition, struggles, aspirations and potentialities of the people. He said an individual could not fly the National Flag on the bonnet of his car as in the case of the President, the Speaker of Parliament or the Chief Justice, which was the preserve of the four topmost national personalities.

Mr Aidoo bemoaned the lack of attention to the National Anthem when it was being played in recent times. " It is sad to observe that students at school functions and public gatherings sit, without any excuse whatsoever, when the National Anthem is being played.

"Such attitudes have the tendency to kill the spirit of patriotism in our youth and must be condemned in not uncertain terms. Contributions by Members-Mr Lee Ocran (NDC- Jomoro), Deputy Majority Leader Mr Kwabena Okerchire, Mr Stephen Balado Manu (NPP- Ahafo Ano South) and Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC- Wa West) also condemned the use of Ghana''s National Anthem as signature tunes on cell-phones. Mr Ocran described the practice as trivializing the Anthem, adding that it was an offence not to stand up when the national anthem was being played.

"One does not know whether to sit up or stand up, when in a taxi and phone begins ringing the National Anthem," Mr Ocran said, attracting laughter from fellow Legislators. He called on the Ministry of Interior to form a task force to identify and arrest people who are using the National Anthem as the signature tune on their phones.

Mr. Manu, for his part, decried the use of the national Coat of Arms by some people on the gates of their private properties, and appealed to the Security Agencies to take a serious look at issue. Alhaji Abukari Sumani however, said the national anthem was a form of prayer that must be said often to build as a form of national consciousness.

The House took the Anti-Money Laundering Bill through the Consideration stage.

The object of the Bill is to prohibit money laundering, establish a Financial Intelligence Centre and provide for related matters. 31 Oct 2007Source:

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