Three years after the attainment of independence, we acquired our country’s republican status: the Queen no longer serving as our ceremonial head of state.
With the roles of head of government and the ceremonial functions now fused in the hands of our kind, total independence was what we achieved in 1960 – a critical landmark in our political story.
The recording of entries in our national scoreboard can be said to have started in earnest on July 1, 1960 that being when the last strand of attachment to the colonial authorities was severed.
Some would question the need for such a celebration as we did yesterday having lowered the Union Jack earlier on 6th March 1957. Until the severance of the remaining link with the British royalty, we were still somewhat attached to our colonial masters albeit on a less significant scale. On dates like today, there are a lot of things we can do as adult Ghanaians to give meaning to the celebration. After all, it is not about a mere staying away from work.
A celebration of an historical occurrence like today which is bereft of a reflection and the imparting of knowledge of the importance of the date to children would be meaningless.
We call on all to tell the story of the journey to our children; this way they would grow up to become better managers of the country’s heritage.
We also think that prayers for our forebears whose sacrifices and perseverance led to both feats- independence and the republican status- are in order. The place of our spiritualism is captured in both our constitution and national anthems even if ours is a secular system.
Our electronic media channels would be doing a great service to the nation were they to take us on a trip through time from the day we attained independence to when we severed the remaining links with the Queen; our President assuming total powers – executive and ceremonial.
Such education is worthwhile, especially, since there are many educated persons who do not know the difference between independence and the attainment of the republican status.
The journey from 1960 to date has been a chequered chronicle from which many lessons abound for our guidance. Ignoring these lessons is not an option because the dividends will serve as beacons as we continue our nation-building journey.
The bumps have been many on our journey. The coups and other interruptions by those who came with promises of Nirvana which never came have not inured to the interest of our development. Armed with these lessons, political adventurists would not succeed if they try once more their tricks which brought them into limelight but reversed our progress as a country.
There have been moments when things got so bad that some wondered whether the independence and the severance of the remaining strand of the umbilical cord was worth it. Be as it may, we are guided by the wisdom that we prefer self government with challenges to enjoying milk and honey in shackles.