Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi, has revealed that when it comes to the constitution, every law must meet the aspirations and will of the people.
He expressed that the wellbeing of all citizenry is the reason for having a constitution. As such, it behoves on operators of the constitution to serve the citizenry who are the “object” of the constitution.
Delivering the second series of the constitution day public lecture held today, January 14, 2022, on the topic: ‘Avoiding the impending death of the 1992 constitution’, Mr Hosi called on Ghanaians to own the constitution and seize their space in shaping the trajectory of the development of the Ghanaian constitution. This, he explained, was because the constitution is about “us and it is for all of us”.
“Every law in this country must match the aspirations and will of the people or simply forget it… It is critical to note that despite the excessive politicisation and partisan fanaticism that engulf our governance systems today, every President, minister, judge, parliamentarian or public officer swears allegiance to none other than the constitution”.Senyo Hosi
Commenting on the nature of the topic, he indicated that when it was first suggested, it “understandably” sparked controversy. Mr Hosi intimated that there were questions as to how Ghana’s longest serving constitution “revered for creating the current governance structures” and has delivered the longest period of uninterrupted political governance be presented as a document in hopeless atrophy.
Recurring coups in sub-Saharan Africa
Recounting a report by BBC in 2021 on sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Hosi disclosed that some countries have witnessed a resurgence of coups, describing it as an “unsettling observation” which raises questions. He elaborated that just as in the early post-colonial days when coups were rampant, Africa’s 2021 leaders justify “toppling governments and constitutions” with allegations of corruption, mismanagement, social injustice, tyranny and poverty.
“These reasons are similar to those advocated by the coups of Ghana’s past. We must all be reminded that just as citizens strung the streets to jubilate over the success of its coups, the 2021 successful coups in sub-Saharan Africa have also been met with jubilations, more from the youth”.Senyo Hosi
The 1992 constitution, Mr Hosi recounted, effectively captures the essence of its being in the first part of its preamble which states that the people of Ghana, in exercise of “our natural and inalienable rights to establish the framework of government, we shall secure for ourselves and prosperity the blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity”.
According to Mr Hosi, the preamble shares clearly what the goal of the country’s constitution is. As a document, he noted that it assures the citizenry, its youth and generations unborn, an aspiration for liberty, equality of opportunity and for prosperity.
Touching on other sections of the constitution which talks about the “instructive” power of the words “shall” and “secure”, Mr Hosi noted that it suggests a demand on the operators of the constitutions to ensure “certainty” in the delivery of listed blessings for the constitution to sustain its relevance and meaning.
“I am convinced that if the actors of the constitution, enabled by the nature of its framing deplete hope for we the people to realize the assured blessings of liberty, equality of opportunity and prosperity, the 1992 constitution shall lose its lustre and inevitably lose its last leg”.Senyo Hosi