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Minority maintains stand on Public Amendment Act…walkout again

THE Minority has maintained its opposition to the amendment to the Public Holidays Amendment Act, 2001 (Act 601) which strips Kwame Nkrumah off as the founder of the country. 

To demonstrate its opposition to the amendment, the caucus, for the third time in three sitting days, walked out of the House leaving their Majority colleagues in the House to pass the Bill alone, awaiting presidential assent.

Per the Amendment, September  21 which has since 2009 been observed as Founder’s Day in memory of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, will now be observed as a commemorative day to be known as “Kwame Nkrumah Day.”

January 7 which marked the beginning of this fourth republic will now be observed as Constitution Day.

May 25 and July 1 which have been observed as African Union and Republic Days respectively will now be commemorative days. 

At the second reading last Thursday and consideration on Friday, the members of the Minority Caucus stormed out of the House, arguing that the decision to change the Kwame Nkrumah date that was instituted by the National Democratic Congress government in 2009, as a holiday was disrespectful to the memory of the late Ghanaian leader. 

There has been public debate about the day which opponents say does not recognise other independent fighters. 

When the motion for the passage of the bill was moved in the House yesterday, the Minority Members of Parliament, without authoring a word, headed to the various exits of the chamber as their colleagues in the Majority jeered at them. 

Following the passage, Ghana will now have seven statutory holidays on its calendar. 

They are January 1, New Year Day; March 6, Independence Day; May 1, Workers’ Day; August 4, Founders’ Day; first Friday in December, Farmers’ Day; December 25 and 26, Christmas and Boxing Days respectively. 

Others on the calendar are Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Islamic festivals and Good Friday and Easter Monday, Christian festivals. 

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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