NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE CONSTITUTION DAY.
All over the world, countries have experienced various forms of political turmoil resulting in the destruction of property, and the loss of precious lives. Some of these developments have come about as a result of disagreements over issues that could have been resolved peacefully without torture and destruction. These have happened in parts of the world including Africa.
The dictatorial tendencies on the part of some leaders have made it difficult for the ruled to be given freedom, liberty, respect and recognition. Due to the non-accommodations and non-recognition of the views of other people, especially political opponents, there have been a number of cases where disagreements have gone overboard and resulted in the outbreak of violence, torture, oppression, dictatorship and suppression. It has therefore become necessary for countries to put down fundamental rules by which they have to be governed.
This is meant to ensure that all issues that emerge are discussed in decent and acceptable manner. Such a political culture of tolerance and acceptance of different views is what is needed to unite every country in the world. The choice made by Ghana in relation to constitutional rule is an option that did not come by chance, but through the bitter experiences of the political history experienced by Ghanaians since their independence in 1957. Ghana has gone through a number of achievements and challenges since its independence on 6th March, 1957.
In terms of achievement, the country has been able to hold itself together to progress in its socioeconomic advancement and development. As a result, the citizens of this country are proud to be described as Ghanaians in view of the peace and security enjoyed by people in all parts of the country. Despite these achievements, the country has also experienced challenges in the area of overthrow of governments. The first republic lasted from 1957 to 1966 while in the case of the second republic, the period lasted from 1969 to 1972. The era of the third republic also spanned from 1979 to 1981. These periods of political instability proved unpleasant for the country, making it difficult for all Ghanaians to thoroughly discuss issues that they like or dislike to move on with their lives.
Since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1992, the country has gone through various elections with different governments coming to power and also voted out at the will of the people. This smooth transition from one government to the other has been made possible by the resolve of Ghanaians to keep to the tenets of rule of law, democracy, and good governance. This is a trend of life that has helped to bring peace and stability in our national development.
The institution of Constitution Day is therefore meant to remind us of the importance of constitutionalism in the political history and development of this nation. As we celebrate and mark the day, let all Ghanaians be reminded of the need for unity as one people with a common destiny. We should also remember the need to continually honour past and present leaders as well as the people of this country, who together have galvanised efforts towards the promotion of rule of law and democracy in the lives of everyone.
Let us carefully reflect on our national goals and fight hard inspite of any challenges to achieve the ultimate for this country through the tenets of constitutionalism. May God bless this country and help us to realize our national goals through the collective efforts of everyone in this noble and great country.
By Dr Kofi Amponsah- Bediako, Director Corporate Communications, Ghana Standards Authority.