To put it simply, a constitution is a set or rules to govern a people, that is how I remember my Junior High School definition of constitution. Drawing understanding from the definition of a constitution, the 1992 constitution is a set of rules put together to enable governance in Ghana’s 4th attempt republican democratic government, thus the title fourth republic.
But a lot has been said about the 1992 constitution since the start of the new century with many accusing it of hindering Ghana’s growth while providing a safe haven for our supposed corrupt leaders. But is that really the case? Is our constitution that bad that we should put it aside for a new one as some are suggesting.
It is a fact that there are parts of the constitution that need amendment to keep up with the times, I would even say there is a part in each page that could have been drafted better but that is how it is with every human endeavour, there is always room for improvement because we are not perfect beings.
That being said I believe our problem is not the problem though and I repeat for emphasis and reference sake, the 1992 constitution can be improved. But I feel our problem has more to do with poor mind set of a people and poor leadership with, weak institution.
Most often than not, the conversation surrounding the constitution usually pops up when we are talking about corruption but the constitution has clearly spelt out what must be done to public officials who are proofed to have engaged in corrupt acts, the constitution cannot be expected to enforce those laws as that duty is ours and ours alone to bear.
Former President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama is on record to have said that the problems Africa can all be traced back to weak institution and Ghana is no exception. But that power to be given to public institutions has already been given to it by the constitution it is just that we as a people enforce sections of the constitution and leave other sections for only God knows who to enforce
One not look far to understand my point. Take the creation of the special prosecutors office for instances, a useless institution if you ask me and a lukeworm attempt by the incumbent to appear to be fighting corruption. There are about 3-5 public institutions which were meant to serve the purpose but have failed in their mandate which is no fault of the constitution but ours and I see the office of the special prosecutor joining that list.
The problem is not our constitution. We will face these same problems or more even if we draft a new one or even if one is sent down from the heavens if there is no one to defend the constitution. The 1992 constitution needs a defender, ‘someone’ to call its champion, someone to fight for what it says.