Ghana marks 61st Republic Day today
Today, July 1, 2021, is Republic Day. The day commemorates Ghana attaining a Republican status after independence on July 1, 1960.
Until 2019, July 1 had been marked as a statutory public holiday but the Ministry of the Interior on May 8, 2019, announced that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had assented to the Public Holidays (Amendment Act) 2019 (Act 986).
The day has since been made a commemorative day.
Speaking in an interview with some opposition political parties, they called for a repeal of the law which changed the status of the day from a statutory public holiday to a commemorative one.
According to the General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Ms Janet Nabla, the commemorative day denied Ghanaians the opportunity to reflect on what it meant to be a republic.
"It should have been a holiday to give Ghanaians the opportunity to sit and reflect on the things that have happened from 1957 till date and whether we are still on track to becoming self-sufficient".
She said Ghanaians had deviated from the political ideals and vision Dr Kwame Nkrumah had when he pushed for independence from the British monarchy.
"We must ask ourselves where we went wrong and why Ghanaians have become so self-centred. They are thinking of how to amass wealth at the detriment of the common man with shoddy public procurement and road constructions which are still outlasted by many of the projects of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
“Tomorrow should be a day of reflection so that all politicians, NGOs and citizens must look at where we have gone wrong because we are not going forward, we are going backwards and the founding fathers who risked their lives will be very disappointed. As Ghanaians, we must sit and reflect on this," she said.
The Director of Communications of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Kakra Essamuah, said the current commemoration degraded the importance of the day which was intended to celebrate the efforts of forbearers in the collective struggle to affirm the benefits of equality, liberty, freedom and justice.
About Republic Day
Republic Day (July 1, 1960) marked the day Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah was sworn into office as the first President of Ghana.
The amendment made May 25, African Union (AU) Day and July 1, Republic Day, commemorative days.
In the past, to mark the Republic Day holiday, various governments used to meet the elderly in society and interact with them.