July 1, 1960 & January 7, 1993 are not the Same, Why the Mix-up? Akua B Quizzes Call for Republic Day Change | NsromaMedia
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July 1, 1960 & January 7, 1993 are not the Same, Why the Mix-up? Akua B Quizzes Call for Republic Day Change

July 1, 1960 & January 7, 1993 are not the Same, Why the Mix-up? Akua B Quizzes Call for Republic Day Change

The beginning of 2018 witnessed the celebration of the Silver Jubilee of the fourth Republican constitution under which Ghana has had five Presidents and seven Parliaments; which is a historic feat. However, after this all important event, some Ghanaians are calling for the change in date for celebrating Ghana’s attainment of Republican status; from the statutory July 1 to January 7, since most believe July 1 does not apply to the fourth Republic. Why the mix-up; one wonders? Perhaps, more light must be thrown on why these two dates have found themselves in Ghana’s historical books and why, if possible both feats should be celebrated separately.

Ghana on March 6, 1957 gained independence from the British Government after decades of colonial rule. However, despite Ghana’s achievement of this milestone, the Queen of England remained the Head of State with the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the Prime Minister as the Head of Government. For instance, Governor Lord Listowell was appointed by the Queen of England as her representative (viceroy) who received credentials and performed other duties as Ghana’s Head of State. The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) during this period was also British, that is from
March, 1957 – June 1960.

Ghana’s continuous quest to completely sever itself from the British Government and rule was realized on July 1, 1960 when all political and governing relations between Ghana and England was totally cut off. After overcoming this hurdle, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became the first President of the Republic of Ghana. He was the Head of State and Head of Government. This brought into effect the first Republican Constitution with the first Parliament and appointment of Heads of security agencies (first Ghanaian Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Stephen Otu),
among others. This became popularly known as the first Republic.

The second Republican constitution came into effect in 1969 after the overthrow of the first Republican constitution and its government by a military coup. Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo was appointed as President with Dr. K.A Busia as Prime Minister. The second Republican constitution and the Busia / Akufo-Addo government were also overthrown by a military coup.

This later brought into effect the third Republican constitution in 1979 with Dr. Hilla Limann as  President. This constitution and its government like its predecessors, did not last due to military interference.

In April 1992, a new constitution was drawn and accepted through a referendum across the country after the third Republican constitution was overthrown. The fourth Republican constitution was enacted, and on January 7, 1993 it came into being with Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings as the first President of the fourth Republican constitution.

One unique feature of the forth Republican constitution one will say is the hybrid of some features of preceding constitutions and its long-standing with the test of time. Yes, Ghana has achieved a great feat since the acceptance and inception of the fourth Republican constitution; nevertheless, unlike Canada and Australia, who still have the Queen of England as their Head of State, Ghana has attained a Republican status from any foreign dominance. Indeed, we are a Republic.

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This cannot, however, be mixed-up or replaced with January 7, 1993 when the fourth Republican constitution came into being; since the occurrences are totally different from each other.

What’s your take on this trending issue?

An Opinion Piece by Akua B.


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