The Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Defense, Hon. Collins Owusu Amankwa, has lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for taking a bold step to amend the Public Holidays Act (Act 601) to recognize all those who sacrificed their lives to gain independence for the country.
To him, the intent of the President is a good one good since it is important for a very nation to trace its roots and give due recognition to all those contributed in the struggle for a free country.
He said Act when amended will give due recognition to some members of the society including Jacob W. Sey, John Mensah Sarbah, Joseph Casely Hayford, and J. P. Brown among others who organised the chiefs and people of the then Gold Coast to protest against the Crown Lands Bill which eventually lit the flame of self-determination and paved way for the struggle for the independence of Ghana.
Hon. Amankwa who is the MP for Manhyia North in an interaction with kasapafmonline.com said amendments to the law is long overdue, stressing that successive Presidents of the Republic have amended the Act to give due recognition to all those who matter in the history of the country.
“It is not the first time any sitting President has made changes to the Act. The Public Holidays Amendment Act has gone through several changes since the fourth Republic. Former President Rawlings made some amendments to the Act. In 2002, former President Kufuor also made some amendments by adding May 25 which was AU Day to the number of holidays in the country. President Akufo-Addo has also thought it wise to make some amendments to the law to recognize the importance role played by our forebears”, he noted.
He added “Historically, if you look at what happened on 4th August 1897 – the Aborigines Rights Protection Society – when they fought hard to resist the Crowns Lands Bill which was successfully implemented in South Africa and Zimbabwe. All these men from UGCC, we need to celebrate them and reflect on how far we’ve come as a country and to me, this shouldn’t attract hue and cry from some quarters of the public”.
The proposed amendment to the Act provides for the 7th day of January, the 4th day of August and the 21st day of September as statutory public holidays and for related matters.
That of May 25th and July 1st have been proposed to be observed as Commemorative Days instead of public holidays.