Already, there are some that believe there are too many public holidays in Ghana, and this is bound to affect productivity levels. Well, there is news for them since a bill to amend the Public Holidays Act (Act 601, 2001) to create additional holidays has been laid before Parliament.
Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister, laid a bill that seeks two more holidays for the calendar of holidays. These are the proposed Founders’ Day for August 4, and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day. This brings the number now to 13 statutory holidays if the amendments are passed.
For a small nation like Ghana, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves serious questions, particularly, about creating more public holidays? Does it mean that once a party has an overwhelming advantage in the House of Parliament, any bill that it fancies will be passed willy-nilly? Let us not reduce governance to a competition of party ideology but rather consider whether such public holidays accrue to the good of Ghana in its entirety.
Sometimes, we are left with no option but to think the political race is to satisfy parochial partisan interests to the detriment of the larger population – who are only interested in seeing better living standards.
We are sure that though the party in government may have the numbers to push through this bill, the debate on partisan lines will long endure – and if care is not taken, we will reduce our whole governance structure to one of scoring political points irrespective of whether the points will make the country more prosperous or not.
Merely deleting Africa Liberation Day, May 25, or dropping Republic Day does not solve the matter. The ruling party may have a point when it wants the ‘big-six’ to be given due recognition, but this could have been subjected to a referendum – just like the creation of new regions is being subjected for political legitimacy. Why railroad it?
We may fancy ourselves as being the beacon of democracy on the African continent, but our democracy is still being nurtured – and we must nurture it properly.
To us, the debate is very inconclusive; so why then the hurry? Shouldn’t we exhaust it comprensively to reach a better consensus?