The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it will restore the full status of Ghana’s republic day, which was until April this year, observed as a public holiday.
Ghana became a republic on July 1, 1960 after it completely cut itself from colonial rule. The day was marked as a public holiday in Ghana every year to recognise the efforts and contributions of forebears and senior citizens.
But the government in December 2018 took steps to amend the Public Holiday Act 2001 in a bid to scrap some holidays and include three new ones. Parliament approved the amendment of the Act.
Consequent to that President Nana Akufo-Addo on April 16 assented to the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act 2019, which introduced January 7 as the Constitution Day, August 4 as the Founders Day and September 21 as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
Prior to that, September 21 which was Dr Nkrumah’s birthday, was being observed as Founder’s Day and a public holiday in Ghana.
The decision was criticised, especially by the NDC and Minority legislators in Parliament who accused the government of trying to undermine certain historical facts. The minority MPs staged a walkout during the discussions and eventual passage of the bill.
In a statement issued by the NDC to commemorate the day, the party assured Ghanaians it will accord the day all the recognition it deserves as one of the most important days in the history of Ghana when it assumes power in 2021.
The statement signed by the party’s Director of Communications, Kakra Essamuah, indicated the Akufo-Addo government has belittled the day.
“Sadly today, the government of President Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo-Addo has deemed it fit to degrade the importance of this great day from a full public holiday intended to celebrate the efforts of our forebears in our collective struggle to affirm the benefits of equality, liberty, freedom and justice, to a mere commemorative day in order to rob our gallant forbears the historical credit and recognition that they so richly deserve”, it said.
The NDC suggested should it come to power in 2020, Republic Day, will be restored as a public holiday.
“The NDC would want to assure all Ghanaians living everywhere that upon its assumption of office in January 2021, Republic Day will be accorded full recognition as one of the more important national days in our history”, it added.