Government is seeking an amendment to the Public Holidays Act that will make August 4 a Founders’ Day public holiday.
Under the same amendment, September 21, which is celebrated as the Founder’s Day holiday will now become the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day holiday.
If accepted by the MPs, January 7, will also become a mandatory Public Holiday christened the Constitutional Day.
Two other public holidays May 25, which is celebrated as the AU Day and July 1, celebrated as the Republic Day will now be scrapped. Both days will now be commemorated without a holiday.
Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo reports the bill has been referred to the Defence and Interior Committee for consideration.
Providing a justification for the new holidays, the executive stated in the Public Holidays (Amendment) Bill, 2018: “Over the years, successive generations of Ghanaians have made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is against this background that this bill seeks to provide for additional public holidays to be celebrated in recognition of significant historical events and in honour of persons who have contributed to the founding of our nation.”
Of the three proposed holidays, August 4 Founders’ Day is the most controversial.
The opposition National Democratic Congress has repeatedly accused the government of trying to rewrite Ghana’s history by obliterating the influence of Kwame Nkrumah and the CPP and elevating JB Danquah and his UGCC party.
But the amendment explained as follows;
“On 4th August 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society was formed in Cape Coast to resist the enactment of the Crown Lands Bill and to begin the assertion of our national property rights. It is therefore important that we acknowledge and honour the members of the society and the role they played in the process. Some members of the Society including Jacob W. Sey, John Mensah Sarbah, Joseph Casely Hayford, JP Brown organized the chiefs and the people of the then Gold Coast to protest against the Crown Lands Bill which eventually lit the flame of self-determination and paved way for the struggle for the independence of Ghana.”
The Bill will be considered by the committee and discussed at the plenary and decision will be taken to or not to vote for the new proposals.
Even before the bill will be considered, the Minority in Parliament is vehemently kicking against the new proposals but the Majority in Parliament who are also in support of the bill will use their numbers to push the Bill through when it finally comes to the plenary.
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