The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has rolled out series of activities nationwide to mark 30 years of uninterrupted constitutional rule in Ghana, beginning April 28.
“The success of constitutional rule in Ghana is classified as a fundamental accomplishment of all Ghanaians,” Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, the NCCE Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema on Sunday.
He explained that the Commission, judging from the chequered democratic history of the country, set out to protect the Fourth Republic with the setting up of the Annual Constitution Week Celebration.
The Week was instituted in 2001 to commemorate the country’s return to constitutional democratic rule, significantly on April 28, 1992, where the electorate voted in a referendum to adopt the draft Fourth Republican Constitution, which subsequently came into force on January 7, 1993.
“Since its inception, April 28 to May 4 has been observed as the Annual Constitution Week. This year marks 30 years of uninterrupted constitutional rule in the Fourth Republic, although it is relatively young when compared to developed democracies,” Mr Akuamoah said.
“As such, Ghanaians must work hard to consolidate the fledgling democracy towards the common good.”
The NCCE would hold public lectures and dialogues on the theme: “After Three Decades of Democratic Rule under the 1992 Constitution: Revisiting the Agenda for Constitutional Reforms”.
Mr Akuamoah explained that democracy grew when people identified the shortfalls in its practice and took the appropriate remedial measures to set things right.
“The Constitution is a living document and must be nurtured to grow. The nurturing of a living constitution is vital for the sustenance of Ghana’s fledgling democracy and the promotion of sustainable development,” he said.
“In the course of operating the 1992 Constitution for the past 30 years, various segments of the Ghanaian society, including government officials, legislators, political parties, academics, civil society organisations, and constitutional experts have called for a thorough review of the document.”
The NCCE Deputy Chairman acknowledged that concerns raised over the past 30 years were relevant to the effective functioning of the Constitution.
Some of the concerns related to the reapportionment of power, political authority, and the revitalisation of the various institutions of state with the requisite architecture and resources to make them work to make the Constitution a truly living document.
Mr Akuamoah said some stakeholders argued that there are several ambiguities and nebulous provisions that had hindered the Constitution to be an effective tool for promoting development.
“It is plausible to posit from these concerns that the people are determined to secure basic rights, realise a vision of equality of opportunities and enhance the governance system that reflects their aspirations,” he stated.
The lectures and dialogue will enlighten participants on how the 1992 Constitution had fared, over the years, and if there is truly a justification for its amendment.
They would also create a platform for the citizens to share their views on ways to sustain and consolidate the democratic successes chalked even in the face of a possible amendment of the 1992 Constitution, he said.