The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has waded into controversies surrounding the cancellation of July 1 as a national holiday that marks the celebration of when Ghana became a republic.
Upon the assumption of power, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo reviewed the number of national holidays in the country, cancelling July 1 as Republic Day holiday, and September 21, which marked the birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
In its place, the president introduced new holidays like Constitution Day which is celebrated on January 7 of every year, Founders’ Day on August 4, and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day on September 21.
But the Speaker of parliament has said he disagrees.
Speaking in parliament, he explained that there is a significance to why Republic Day was instituted, as it marks a significant period in Ghana’s history.
He further said that he does not see how a Constitution Day would be given more relevance than the Republic Day and called for a review of this new decision.
“We did not get 1st July for nothing. That was the time we decided to become a sovereign nation, no longer under the rule and thumb of the queen. That’s why it was named a republic and so unlike Canada, Australia and the rest, we don’t have the queen visiting us as they do; they don’t. That’s why we became a republic.
“That 1st July, we must continue to celebrate it as … independent day: freedom and justice. And freedom and justice we must. If we have to look at the law again, we can look at it. I don’t think that 7th January is more important than 1st July; I don’t. I don’t buy that argument,” he said.