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The enigma of an “Unconstitutional” albatross around the neck of a Constitution Day”-Mensah Thompson Of ASEPA Writes

  I woke up this morning to news of a National Constitution Day splashed across the airwaves and on social media and as usual today adds up to the numerous needless bank holidays we have in this Country. Ordinarily 7th January after an election year is an Inauguration Day and its a day for swearing in a President into office and it’s a big day in our democratic calendar.The years after, 7th January would be days which the President is reminded of his oath of office and his allegiance to his Country and his people. I followed keenly the  debate on the founder’s day (I don’t care where the apostrophe is..) and the issues raised afterwards but incidentally I missed out on the debate on this Constitutional day if there was any at all and so I am unable to precisely tell what could have led to this change in name and the decision to make this a bank/National holiday. But judging from the name, I am sure the enactors wanted a day to celebrate the 1992 Constitution that has been the backbone of this Country’s growing democracy and the intention does look good on paper but then again the fundamental question that arises immediately is… *”What happen to a 7th January after an election year?”*Would we call it an Inauguration Day or a Constitution Day?Or the two names will be used alternatively depending on where we find ourselves on the democratic calendar? This primary confusion could seriously affect public education and the conscientisation of younger folks and its effect in actualising our National Identity could be disastrous. But then the bigger question really is “Do we even need a public holiday to celebrate our Constitution?”Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the 1992 Constitution, I believe this Country owes its stability largely to that Constitution and that is an indisputable fact and it needs to celebrated  but the celebration of the success and impact of the 1992 Constitution cannot be restricted to a single day on our National Calendar. It must be an all year, every day celebration,  we must celebrate the 1992 Constitution through the enforcement of fundamental human rights of Ghanaians and the utmost respect for the rule of law which is the letter and spirit of the Constitution.  Our Constitution holds in high esteem fundamental freedom speech and expression and absolute freedom of the press and so we cannot celebrate this Constitution with just one day out of 365 days singing and dancing whiles the remaining 364days is filled with constant attacks on the media and the victimisation of the freedom of speech and expression.  We cannot celebrate a Constitution day when the utmost objective of this socialist constitution(debatable)  which was for the elimination of extreme poverty and bringing prosperity to the people of Ghana.(whatever its difficiencies are) has come to naught! You cannot celebrate a Constitution Day when your Electoral Commission’s who is a major referee in your democratic process is bent on deviating from an aged old convention of involving political parties in the decision making of the EC through IPAC and is recklessly claiming autonomy in manner that could potentially destabilise this Country.  You cannot be celebrating a Constitution day when radio stations that were illegally still remains shut down after several campaigns by the civil Society, the media and the people.. You cannot celebrate a Constitution day when people’s legitimate banks are taken away from them in cruelsome manner and collapsed in a way that costs this nation over 14billion Ghana Cedis and leaving thousands of Ghanaian Citizens jobless. You just cannot celebrate a Constitution day when journalists and social commentators live in constant fear for their lives and so cannot openly engage in open conversations on National issues that could shape the direction of this Country.  Now that’s an Unconstitutional Year, An Unconstitutional Regime and an Unconstitutional Administration.  I do not intend to bore you more than i already have people…. Happy “Unconstitutional Day” folks!! Foster

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