The call for reforms of the 1992 Constitution is in the right direction-NCCE Director

Sefwi-Wiawso (WNR), May 31, GNA – Mr Awudu Dramani Sam, the Western North Acting Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has said the call for the revisiting of the agenda for the reforms of the 1992 Constitution was in the right direction.

He said despite the democratic gains and decades of stability of the Constitution, there have been loopholes that have impeded its effectiveness in yielding the country’s expected good governance and its attendants development aspirations.

Mr Sam made the remark when addressing participants at the 2022 Constitutional Week Celebration at Kinross Chrano Goldmines at Sefwi-Wiawso organised by the Western North Regional Office of the NCCE.

It was on the theme: “Three Decades of Uninterrupted Constitutional Rule: Revisiting the Agenda for Reforms” and attended by officers from the Police, Fire Service, and Immigration.

The Acting Director said the clause, “Revisiting the Agenda for Reforms” in the theme, was a clear indication that previous attempts have been made at making reforms to the constitution, thus, the call for constitutional reforms is not a new thing.

He indicated that in January 2010, the government led by late President John Evans Atta Mills established a Constitution Review Commission and gave them a three-year mandate.

The mandate was to ascertain from the people of Ghana their views on the operations of the Constitution and in particular, its strengths and weaknesses; and to articulate the concerns of the people as regards the amendments that may be required for a comprehensive review.

The rest was to make recommendations to the government for consideration and provide a draft bill for an amendment to the constitution.

Mr Sam said the former President however gave a caveat that the review process was not expected to result in the replacement of the constitution. Rather, it was meant to suggest amendments which could be made to improve it.

He intimated that the Review Commission completed their work, submitted their findings and recommendations to the President, white paper was issued but the implementation of these findings did not become exposed giving some legal suits that met the report.

He averred those recent commentaries from individuals, civil society organisations and well-meaning Ghanaians have called for the review of the constitution to bring it up to current prevailing realities and factors in the country.

Mr Sam said the discussions were because of the general feeling that some of the provisions in the current state of the constitutions have outlived their relevance or at worst, not fit for purpose, hence, the NCCE’s well-timed theme for this year’s Constitution Week.

Commenting on the loopholes or deficits that have been attributed to the constitution, he outlined five key issues namely persist corruption, inferior quality of leadership, political exclusion, violence and the monetization of politics, and soaring unemployment rate and poverty, which were shared by majority of Ghanaians.

He noted that these deficits have bred cynicism among Ghanaians as regards political parties and multi-party democracy, bred apathy among the citizenry, disengaged the public in major aspects of governance at both the grassroots and national levels, deepened marginalization, promoted excessive power of the executive and fester corruption.

During an open forum some of the concerns submitted by the participants was that the power given to the President to appoint the heads of the security services should be curtailed and should in turn be handed to the leadership of the services.

They also submitted that there should be a National Development Plan, which should be an entrenched provision and binding on all successive governments to promote development and prevent wastage of state resources arising from neglect of uncompleted projects of previous governments.

This plan they feel when instituted will help in prudent and judicious use of state resources.

They recommended that there should be equitable remuneration for all public sector workers thereby putting an end to the preferential treatment of some workers, Article 71 office holders.

In this regard, they proposed that the unjustified ex-gratia should be abolished or if maintained, all public workers should benefit from the ex-gratia to ensure equity.

Source: Ghana News Agency