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Celebrating Republic Day with pride

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Former President John Dramani Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama

Once again all citizens of Ghana, our beloved country, will be celebrating Republic Day on Saturday, July 1 which marks the moment in our history when our country became totally free from colonial rule. Thus, on July 1, 1960, our country became a republic, affirming her real independence.

Indeed, gaining our total freedom from colonial rule called for celebration by our forebears. It is, therefore, not surprising that on the Republic Day holiday, most citizens plan various activities to enjoy the day.

After gaining independence on March 6, 1957, the British monarch was still the ceremonial Head of State of our country. That means that Ghana was still ruled by a Constitution that embraced provisions, institutions and customs deeply alien to our history, traditions and customs. We were also subjected to laws enacted by Great Britain.

However, all these changed when we gained republican status. We had our own President in the person of then Prime Minister, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who led the Convention People’s Party (CPP) to win the general election.

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Our country was also governed by a new Constitution, which was prepared by our own citizens taking into consideration our historical traditions and true identity as Ghanaians. This constitution provided a form of government that interpreted and reflected the aspirations and hopes of the people.

Republic Day celebration across the world

Ghana is not the only country that celebrates Republic Day in the world. In fact, most countries that were once colonised and eventually got liberated from their colonial masters celebrate this day. In India, for instance, Republic Day is celebrated in style with performances from schoolchildren and the country’s security agencies.

In India, for instance, Republic Day is celebrated in style with performances from schoolchildren and the country’s security agencies.

When they celebrated their Republic Day in January this year, all children in the country presented colourful programmes depicting the overall development of the states. The country’s army also showcased its military strength through a display of its weapons.

Niger, which is a member of the ECOWAS, celebrates Republic Day with official festivals and appearances of political leaders, as well as public parties and festivities. In the Central African Republic, the day is marked every December 1 and the occasion is normally characterised by parades, including the military, political and social groups.

Republic Day celebration in Ghana

Recently in Ghana, the day has been dedicated to celebrating the senior citizens of the country. The essence of dedicating the day to our senior citizens, who are mostly retired public and civil servants, is to recognise and appreciate their invaluable contributions towards the attainment of independence, the republican status and nation-building.

As part of the celebration, therefore, the senior citizens are hosted to a luncheon by the President of the Republic at the State Banquet Hall. This is replicated throughout the regions where various awards are presented to our senior citizens for distinguished service.

Lessons to be learnt

The celebration of the day should inspire us to live above reproach in whatever field of endeavour we find ourselves. We should be able to excel in whatever we do. This is because, it is only by putting in our best that we will also receive honour for our contributions towards the development of our nation.

Let us all help to make our Motherland great and strong.