The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the 4th Republic is to the great credit of the Ghanaian people, the ordinary men and women who make up the fabric of the Ghanaian nation.
According to President Akufo-Addo, 25 years ago, the Ghanaian people resolved to build, under God, a united nation, grounded in democratic values and the rule of law, and, largely, have gone a long way towards realising it.
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Sunday, 7th January, 2018, at the Independence Square, at an inter-faith thanksgiving service held to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the establishment of the 4th Republic.
It will be recalled that the Constitution of the 4th Republic came into force, and the 4th Republic duly inaugurated on 7th January, 1993, i.e. its Silver Jubilee.
The Constitution became effective, following the decision of the Ghanaian people, given in overwhelming numbers, to adopt it as the fundamental law of the land in the Referendum of 28th April, 1992. The vote was three million, four hundred and eight thousand, one hundred and nineteen (3,408,119), representing 92.59%, in favour, with two hundred and seventy two thousand, eight hundred and fifty five (272,855) against, i.e. a mere 7.41%.
The 4th Republic was, thus, promulgated with immense, popular backing, and, on 7th January, 1993, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings was sworn into office as the 1st President of the 4th Republic.
It is for this reason that President Akufo-Addo commended the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), the 1991 Consultative Assembly, the Movement for Freedom and Justice (MFJ), the pro-democracy organisations, civil society and religious bodies, whose collective efforts and agitations led to the birth of the 4th Republic.
He also paid tribute to Parliament, under the leadership of successive Right Honourable Speakers – Justice D.F. Annan, Peter Ala Adjetey, Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, Edward Doe Adjaho, and, currently, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye – for growing stronger in stature, and in its contribution to good governance.
“In ensuring that the commitment made twenty five years ago to embark on the journey of multiparty democracy resounds strongly, one of the most important actors in the preservation of this has been the Judiciary,” he said.
The President continued, “Today, I pay tribute to their Lordships Philip Archer, I.K. Abban, E.K. Wiredu, George Acquah, Georgina Wood, and, the incumbent, Sophia Akuffo, the Chief Justices of the 4th Republic, who have ensured, and are still ensuring that the Judiciary plays its role as the defender of the rights and liberties of the people, and as an independent arbiter, which aims to inspire confidence in the citizenry.”
President Akufo-Addo also remembered with with gratitude the contribution of the Council of State, under its various leaders, in helping to steer the ship of state to this happy day, and also to past and current officials in the public service, and to the active and retired members of the security services – the Armed Forces, the Police Service, the Fire Service, the Immigration Service, the Prisons Service – who have played their part in helping to preserve the security and the stability of Ghana.
“This survey cannot be complete without mention of the Electoral Commission (EC), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), political parties, trades unions, civil society organisations, traditional authorities and religious bodies in the success of the 4th Republic,” he added.