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28.05.2019 Feature Article

Constitution Day More Practically Relevant to Ghana Than African Union Day

Constitution Day More Practically Relevant to Ghana Than African Union Day

Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, the Spokesman for Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Foreign Affairs, gives Ghanaian voters one more reason to put the Mahama Posse, once more, on the proverbial backburner come Election 2020 on December 7 next year. The fact of the matter is that Mahama shills and point-men and women like the North-Tongu Member of Parliament have their priorities set backwards; they seem to have either forgotten or to be totally oblivious of that maxim which counsels that “Charity must begin at home.”

In other words, even as Jesus Christ is widely quoted to have admonished his followers some two millennia ago, “You just simply cannot claim to love God, whom you have never seen or met, when you do not love your neighbor whom you see and interact with every day.” In our time, we often say that “Charity begins at home.” The decision to make January 7, the same date that all Fourth-Republican Ghanaian Presidents are sworn into the democratic seat of governance, quadrennially, or every four years, as Constitution Day, is obviously geared towards the salutary cementation or the healthy entrenchment of Ghana’s democratic culture.

The foregoing measure that was sensibly and legitimately passed into law by Parliament not very long ago, is far more meaningful and relevant to Ghana’s political culture than the patently economically wasteful and redundant commemoration of the African Union Day which occurs on May 25 every year. Needless to say, the establishment of Constitution Day as a statutory National Holiday is historically ironic but absolutely necessary, because the man whose admittedly remarkable legacy Mr. Ablakwa wrongfully accuses President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of attempting to egregiously undermine or “diminish,” in the characteristic words of this insufferably rambunctious critic, that is, President Kwame Nkrumah, was also globally infamous for being one of the most extortionate dictators on the African continent.

Indeed, Kwame Nkrumah has often been credited with having set the inexcusably bad precedent for nearly every one of the African leaders who emerged after him in the otherwise heady days of the continent’s massive sweep of the Independence Movement in the late 1950s and throughout the watershed decade of the 1960s. It has also been often alleged, with some credible reasoning, that but for the abjectly poor leadership of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime on the home-front, the Independence struggles of the rest of the so-called Black-African States of southern Africa, in particular the erstwhile Apartheid South Africa and present-day Zimbabwe, formerly called Rhodesia, would not have been, so unduly delayed.

The theory has always been that it was the deathly fear of the racist white settler colonialists of countries like South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe of not having Nkrumah-type of personality-cult-dictatorship take grips of these African countries that ensured that racist white leaders like Mr. Ian Smith and Mr. John Vorster would hold on to their illegitimate and undemocratic power well beyond the 1960s and the 70s. Mr. Ablakwa, who had been born in the 1980s and does not seem to have adequately equipped himself with the objective history of his own country, obviously has an extremely difficult time understanding this basic fact. In short, going by the all-too-practically-sound logic of President Akufo-Addo, the democratic culture of Ghana ought to be first stabilized and healthily entrenched in both law and practice before any visionary and foresighted leader could meaningfully venture into the much broader political minefield that is a still largely dictatorship-wracked continental Africa.

We also quite obviously and commonsensically cannot simply have too many holidays because somebody, the Ghanaian taxpayer, to be specific, has to pay for all these non-working days. You see, scrapping the African Union Commemorative Day, while more pragmatically celebrating Constitution Day, does not really take anything away from not celebrating or observing the AU Day as a statutory holiday because already, every four years, January 7 is declared a National Holiday anyway. Besides, September 21, the official birthday of Ghana’s first postcolonial leader, is already celebrated throughout the primeval continent as Africa-Freedom Day, an African Union Commemorative Day and a statutory paid National Holiday as well.

At any rate, were he really a responsible and economic development-oriented leader and a patriotic Ghanaian citizen, Mr. Ablakwa would be wisely discussing ways and means of constructively protecting the public purse – I prefer wallet – by having National Democratic Congress’ double-salary extortionist robber-barons like himself and many of his party and ideological associates and bosses, including former President John Dramani Mahama, and infamous party underwriter and mega-thief, Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, desist from their criminal milking of the hardworking Ghanaian taxpayer. I mean, what the real significance of having a reprobate and an unconscionable bunch of treasonous thieves and munitions-smuggling thugs and killers pretending to be good citizens of Africa by thievishly and selfishly awarding themselves another paid vacation in the dubious name of Pan-Africanism? It is as simple as that.

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
May 27, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2019

This author has authored 4706 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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