Ghana: SJMG Calls for Restoration of Republic Day As Public Holiday

Bolgatanga — A group calling itself, the Social Justice Movement Ghana (SJMG), has urged the government to as a matter of urgency restore Ghana's Republic Day as a public holiday,

According to the group, the cancellation of the day, would erode the true meaning of the country's freedom.

The call was made in a statement signed by the interim leaders of the movement, Mr Aidan Adongo and Mr Nyeya Yen, and copied to the Ghanaian Times on Saturday.

The group said some Ghanaians were disappointed when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assented to the Public Holidays (Amendment) Act 2019, (Act 986) on April 16, 2019.

"We unreservedly condemn the decision to downscale the status of Ghana's Republic Day celebration, and we call for it to be reinstated and given even more significance than our Independence Day celebrations," the statement indicated.

The SJMG stressed that that "by downscaling this year's Republic Day, the government is confirming that we are neither independent nor masters of our own destiny".

The SJMG which argued in 2017 that the status of the Republic Day should be elevated beyond just the honouring of senior citizens, stressed that its view was temporarily bolstered when the President stated, at the 2017 G20 summit in Germany that very little had changed over nearly a century as far as Ghana's economy was concerned.

According to the group Ghana still operated what they described as " the Guggisberg economy - we rely predominantly on the export of primary products - cocoa, timber, minerals and now Oil and Gas - for our export earnings".

The group said that if Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the country, had completed his Seven-Year Development Plan, the nation would have become very industrious and prosperous.

The SMJG, therefore, asked all progressive groups to address their differences and work together to provide an alternative government to the New PatrioticParty and the National Democratic Congress, which have dominated the political landscape in the country over the years.

"The SJMG reaffirmed its commitment and determination to organise the youth, women, and other marginalised people to lead the process of building a peaceful and prosperous Ghana, a country in which there shall be work and happiness. The SJMG remains convinced that it is only under a socialist Ghana that there shall be prosperity for all Ghanaians," according to the statement.

The group reminded the people that "Ghana became a republic on July 1, 1960, where the country formally broke ties with Britain, the Colonial master, and became truly independent to manage her own affairs. Until this year, July 1, has always been observed nationwide as a public holiday.

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