Parliament passed Bill to scrap AU and Republic Days holidays….as Minority walks out

Parliament of Ghana has passed the Public Holidays amendment bill 2018.

The bill which is seeking to scrap AU and Republic Days as public holidays and introduce January 7 as Constitution day generated heated exchanges on the floor during the consideration stage leading to a boycott by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs).

The Minority who vehemently opposed to the move argued that in their view the members of New Patriotic Party (NPP) especially president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were seeking to rewrite the history of Ghana to glorify his late family members such as JB Danquah and Ofori Attah.

The Minority leader and MP for Tamale South Constituency in the Northern Region, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, maintained that Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah is the an icon of Ghana saying every country had an icon and that Dr Nkrumah remains Ghana’s icon and must be recognised as such.

The Minority leader explained that even the BBC had recognised Dr Nkrumah as the African of the Millennium, while his statue had been mounted at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Ethiopia.

He insisted that, any attempt to change the founder’s status of Dr Nkrumah to have a founders’ day celebration was an attempt to “deny him the due reverence.”

Mr Iddrisu said anytime there was a change in leadership in the country, that historical anomaly would be corrected and indicated that the frequent changes would not do any good to the country’s image.

He also faulted the government’s decision to celebrate January 7 as a holiday, and indicated that the President and MPs were sworn in on January 7.

He said some people might raise a constitutional matter as to why the President would take an oath on a holiday.

Immediately the bill was introduced for the 3rd reading and subsequent passage, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu led his charges out of the chamber once again.

The bill was nonetheless passed by the majority.

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklin.asare-donkor@todaygh.com

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