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General News of Tuesday, 5 March 2019


Public Holidays Bill passed; Minority walks out again

Parliament House Parliament House

Parliament has passed the Public Holidays amendment bill 2018.

The bill which is seeking to scrap AU and Republic Days as public holidays and introduce January 7 as Constitution day generated heated exchanges on the floor during the consideration stage leading to a boycott by the NDC MPs.

The Minority is vehemently opposed to the move arguing President Akufo-Addo is seeking to rewrite the history of Ghana to glorify his late family members such as JB Danquah and Ofori Attah.

Immediately the bill was introduced for the 3rd reading and subsequent passage, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu led his charges out of the chamber once again.

The bill was nonetheless passed by the majority.

Minority’s argument

Haruna Iddrisu, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, said every country had an icon and indicated that Dr. Nkrumah was Ghana’s icon and must be recognized as such.

He said even the BBC had recognised Dr. Nkrumah as the African of the Millennium, while his statue had been mounted at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Ethiopia.

Therefore, he said, any attempt to change the founder’s status of Dr Nkrumah to have a founders’ day celebration was an attempt to “deny him the due reverence.”

Mr Iddrisu said anytime there was a change in leadership in the country, that historical anomaly would be corrected and indicated that the frequent changes would not do any good to the country’s image.

He also faulted the government’s decision to celebrate January 7 as a holiday, and indicated that the President and MPs were sworn in on January 7.

He said some people might raise a constitutional matter as to why the President would take an oath on a holiday.

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