A thanksgiving service has been held at the Black Star Square in Accra today [Sunday] to mark the Silver Jubilee of the Fourth Republic.
The event, which was under the theme “Celebrating the goodness of the Lord” was meant to acknowledge the country’s stable democracy over the past two decades.
In attendance were all three living former Presidents in the fourth republic; Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama, as well as the incumbent Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Also at the Black Star Square today for the ceremony were the Speaker of Parliament Mike Oquaye, Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, a number of government officials, leaders of the various religious groups in the country, invited dignitaries from other countries and Ghanaians from all walks of life.
The Service began with several minutes of praise and worship, which saw many of those gathered get off their seats and onto the open floor as they sang and danced along to the melodies.
Each former President then came up to the podium, in turn, to read out a scripture from the Bible.
A number of religious personalities took the stage afterwards and led the crowd for several minutes of prayer and meditation.
President Akufo-Addo took the stage where he spoke of the country’s bright prospects for the years ahead.
“We can hope for a brighter future, because we are blessed with enormous wealth and human potential,” he said.
Representatives from the various political parties were also present including the acting National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Freddie Blay, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketsia, the National Chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Bernard Mornah and the former Presidential candidate of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Henry Herbert Lartey, among others.
Despite describing the thanksgiving service earlier as a ‘waste of money,’ the Convention People’s Party (CPP) was represented at the event by the flagbearer in the 2016 elections, Ivor Greenstreet and the party’s National Chairman, Professor Edmund Delle.
25 years of the Fourth Republic
Ghana’s 25-year-long democratic journey has seen the country being led by five different presidents including the incumbent, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The first regime of the Fourth Republic was led by Former President Jerry John Rawlings, whose leadership transitioned from a military government under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) to constitutional rule under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 1992.
After serving two terms in office making him ineligible to run against as president, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president at the time, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills as the NDC’s presidential candidate in 2000.
Atta-Mills, however, lost the elections to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) John Agyekum Kufuor in the 2000 elections.
Kufuor led the country for two terms; from 2000 to 2004 and then to 2008.
Prof. Atta-Mills won the 2008 elections against the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo and served until 2012 when he died, 6 months before the end of his first term.
His position was taken by the then Vice President, John Mahama, who was in accordance with the constitution sworn-in hours after the news of Prof. Atta-Mills’ death.
John Mahama completed Atta-Mills’ tenure and went on to win the 2012 presidential elections, again, against Nana Akufo-Addo.
Mahama’s attempt to seek re-election a second term in office was unsuccessful as Nana Akufo-Addo, on his third presidential attempt, secured a resounding election victory of acquiring 53.85% of the total valid votes cast against Mahama’s 44.40%.
The 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana that came into effect on January 7, 1993, after it was approved on April 28, 1992 through a national referendum after 92% support.
The constitution declared Ghana to be a unitary republic with sovereignty residing in the Ghanaian people.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Photos by: Godwin Allotey