General News of Tuesday, 8 January 2019
With the current NPP government setting up January 7 as a Constitution Day to mark Ghana’s fourth republican constitutional democracy, some Ghanaians have expressed diverse views over the significance of the day which is being observed as a public holiday.
While some are of the view that the holiday is needless and should be reverted to a working day because it holds little or no significance, others believe the move by government is in the right direction saying it is worthy of a holiday.
“It’s an opportunity for the government to educate or to remind the general public of the Constitution…it draws the mind of the general public that we have a constitution as a nation and we need to also pay attention to what entails in the Constitution”, a businessman told the Ghanaweb team.
According to those who disagreed with the move, with or without the holiday some perceptions will never change because there are various ways of educating the ordinary Ghanaian about the significance of the nation’s longest standing Republican Constitution so having it as a public holiday would just be a waste of time and resources.
“We have almost about thirteen holidays and we don’t see the use of it…we need money in the economy we don’t need holidays, it’s not necessary…it can be a holiday but we have to go to work”, another disagreed.
7th January has been set aside by the Akufo-Addo administration to recognize the coming into force of the 1992 constitution and the beginning of the 4th Republic.
Prior to that, government presented a bill before parliament to amend the Public Holidays Act to include January 7, August 4 and September 21 as statutory public holidays.
It also made July 1, formerly a Republic Day holiday, a commemorative day just as May 25, which was AU Day holiday. A public lecture was held yesterday to educate people on the significance of the holiday.
Keynote speaker of the lecture, Professor Philip Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, posited that, instead of making it just another ‘restful’ holiday where we never work or learn, government could organize programs which would drag the ordinary Ghanaian along the line of productive engagements to galvanize them on the significance of the 4th fourth republican constitution.
Some Ghanaians lamented that, this particular holiday is rather needless because it comes right after both the Christmas and New year holidays but according to Professor Bondzi-Simpson, this is a propitious timing because January 7 is a bridge between the passing year and the New Year and will as a matter, of course, provide a reflection of the immediate past and a look into the future with good planning.