Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo has called on the youth to be mindful of the fact that they owed it a duty to themselves, families and communities to be good citizens of the country.

She said the rights enshrined in Article 41 of the 1992 constitution were closely linked to the duties of good citizens, and the youth must frequently read that particular aspect to see how far they have become good citizens.

"It is a duty you owe to yourself, your family and society, and a spiritual duty to your maker and one cannot exist without the other."

Justice Akuffo made the call at the 2019 Chief Justice's Mentorship Programme, on the theme “the duties and responsibilities of a good citizen".

She said a citizen forms a crucial part of the state and no one is too young to be a good citizen, adding that anyone who can speak or communicate has an obligation to be a good citizen.

She said good citizenship was mostly viewed in terms of morality, rather than enforceable obligations, which if not enforced in our lives, to demonstrate and exhibit them could have negative effect on them.

The Chief Justice said most of the things considered as troubles in society or across the African continent were the outcomes of neglect of duties and responsibilities.

She urged them to make the most out of their days in school, as it was their future, their destiny as well as that of their children, families and communities, and to never put off anything of value they could do today.

“The seriousness to which you are to apply to your education which you do not do, can affect your generations after you. Never be the one to cause any negative consequences within your family."

Ms Cynthia Pamela A. Aidoo, Judicial Secretary, said the programme was aimed at coaching and encouraging the youth to take up courses in law, interact with people from the Bar and Bench.

She said over the years the programme has expanded to cover the 10 regions of Ghana, covering pupils from schools with special needs, saying this affirmed the commitment of the Judicial Service to empower young people, including those with disabilities to rise above challenges and pursue their dreams.

She said broadening the scope of the programme to include pupils in basic schools was basically to imbibe in them the virtues of patriotism and good citizenship at very early stages in their lives.

Ms Aidoo noted that this year’s programme captured 112 pupils drawn from nine basic schools in Accra, and the Akropong School for the Blind as well as the Mampong School for the Deaf.

It also included 30 head porters who were brought together by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

She expressed the hope that at the end of the programme the pupils would leave with the commitment to be of the greatest use to their families and communities and build a better nation than they were born into.

Mr Niyi Oyuokpe, Country Representative UNFPA, Ghana, urged the pupils to consider their inclusion in the programme very important as it would go away with them in the course of their lives.

He said their involvement with the inclusion of marginalized girls has brought a new dimension to the programme as it supported the UNFPA’s global agenda of leaving no one behind.

He said the initiative had motivated some of the girls to aspire higher and move on to continue their education, saying that programmes of this nature could bring massive emancipation to societies.

He mentioned that the UNFPA was instituting an annual follow-up session with the mentees, so that they could document and share their success stories for others to be able to reciprocate.