Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako has registered his disappointment with a Republic Day suggestion made by the Speaker of Parliament, describing it as a “needless distraction.”
The senior journalist said he is “struggling to appreciate the real political and policy value” of Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye’s suggestion for a change of the Republic Day celebration.
July 1 is celebrated every year in Ghana as the Republic Day.
But the former political science lecturer, now Speaker, has asked for it to be scrapped and celebrated on January 7 because the 1960 Constitution was set aside following the overthrow of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.
“On every January 7, we should celebrate the cause of freedom and of right. In the years that a president is not being sworn in, we should still dedicate the day to the most priceless of all God’s gifts to humanity – freedom and justice,” he wrote in an article.
But in a Facebook comment Wednesday, Mr Baako said there is no “serious historian” in the country who will deny the fact that Ghana achieved “full political sovereignty” on July 1, 1960.
“Marking July 1st is not a celebration of the First Republic which was overthrown on February 24, 1966,” he clarified.
Although he held the “venerable” Speaker’s suggestion may have some academic or intellectual value, the ace journalist said he believes it has no political or policy value for Ghanaians.
“Hence, my view is that it is a NEEDLESS DISTRACTION,” he wrote.
Professor Oquaye has not shied away from controversial issues since his election as the Speaker of the seventh Parliament.
Making a presentation at a public lecture held last year by the Ghana@60 Committee, the speaker suggested August 4 to be celebrated as the Founders’ Day and not the September 21 marked as Founder’s Day.
While his presentation received plaudits from supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), pro-Nkrumahist saw that as an attempt to rewrite Ghana’s history.
Professor Oquaye’s latest suggestion has courted the displeasure of some Ghanaians, with Mion Member of Parliament (MP) Mohammed Abdul-Aziz saying the Speaker has a great “dislike” for late Nkrumah.
“Very akin to the Speaker of Parliament…his anti-Nkrumahism is very clear and at the least opportunity he will want to espouse those traits in him,” he said on the AM Show on JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV.