Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday January 04, 2018
Speaker of Parliament Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, has suggested that Ghana’s Republic Day - 1st July – be shifted to 7th January.
In what is likely to generate another heated political debate, the speaker has written an article tracing the historical journey of the celebration of Republic Day and insisted that the true date for marking the Day should be 7th January.
“7th January 1993 is the ‘Republic Day’ of the Republic of Ghana. May God bless our homeland Ghana, May He save the Republic – the only Republic in current and legal terms – 7th January 1993,” he stated in the article, which has been entitled, “What is the Republic Day in Ghana?”
Prof Mike Oquaye charged, “We should celebrate that and not those which have been deliberately replaced. It is noteworthy that Senior Citizens will continue to have their special place on that day.”
He argued that Ghana has been through three republics and is experiencing the 4th Republic, which he hoped and prayed would be the last saying, “1st July 1960 is no more our Republic Day.
“Historically, it is only one of the Republic Days of the past. In 1960 Ghana became a Republic. However, in 1966 that was overthrown by a military coup led by Kotoka and the 1st Republic ended. The 2nd Republic came into being in 1969. That Republic also came to an end in another coup led by General Acheampong. In 1979 we had the 3rd Republic led by President Limann. Rawlings staged the 31st December Revolution/Coup in 1981 and ended the Third Republic. On 7th January 1993, the 4th Republic was brought into being and Chairman Rawlings became a constitutional President,” the speaker recounted.
He said that in all those historical events, “no single constitution was ever restored” and added, “Each Republic had its own constitution. It was new, fresh and different.
“When we celebrate 1st July as Republic Day and any foreigner asks: ‘which Republic are you celebrating?’ What do we tell that person? Every reference in official circles speaks of the 4th Republic, including Parliament, etc. and that is what we must be celebrating. That is the Constitution which gives birth to a new hope for all Ghanaians,” Prof Oquaye urged.
He admitted that the First Republic was totally different from the other Republics in terms of ‘historicity’ and ‘ideology’ and said the 1960 Constitution was never restored.
“On every 7th January, we should celebrate the cause of freedom and of right. In the years that a president is not being sworn-in, we should still dedicate the day to the most priceless of all God’s gifts to humanity – freedom and justice. We should say: ‘Never Again’ to all acts of man’s inhumanity to man, military/civilian brutality and every act of oppression. This is to ensure that our liberties once trampled upon, will never be abused again. Never Again!” he emphasized.