A former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Professor Lydia Nkansah, has reiterated the need for the government to heed calls to review the 1992 Constitution.
She explained that after three decades of the usefulness of the Fourth Republican Constitution, its review had become imperative to reflect the times, considering the enormous dynamics of geopolitics aided by the advent of Information and Communication Technology.
“Political calculations and posturing has prevented forward march with the Constitution review exercise, deep down in our hearts each of us knows our Constitution needs amendments, even if degree to which it should be amended is contested,” Prof. Nkansah asserted.
She reiterated the call at the 9th ‘Jurists Conference’ of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Faculty of Law, on the theme: ‘Consolidating Democracy, the Rule of Law, and Respect for the Ballot in an Era of Good Governance’.
Prof. Nkansah observed that even though many operational aspects of the Constitution contained enough reasons to warrant a review, there had not been enough commitment, dedication and determination by successive governments to trigger amendment processes.
According to her, the Constitution could not set out every conceivable circumstance, hence, it required certain significant reforms that could only be accomplished by resorting to amendment procedures as stated by law and outlined some grey areas for review,
Prof. Nkansah mentioned the winner-takes-all system, reluctance of successive governments to support and assist state institutions to deliver on their mandate, suffocation of Parliament by Executive dominance; constriction of spaces for real participatory citizenship, civic engagement; political, bureaucratic, and administrative responsiveness.
She pointed out that there was no one-size-fits-all democratic governance structure in the world over and advised the citizenry to religiously read the Constitution to exercise their rights and freedoms and not underrate thinking that informed Constitutional structure which had kept Ghanaians together as one nation without intervention for 30 years.
Prof. Rosemond Boohene, the Pro Vice-Chancellor of UCC, asked Ghanaians to reflect on the country’s democratic pattern and choose right type of structure that was in tune with them.
She indicated that the university was ready to offer interdisciplinary programmes aimed at equipping its graduates with creative abilities for job market and critical thinking to make them fully suited to adapt to any modern social environment they found themselves in.