Sunday, September 24, 2017

Debate On Founders Day Futile And Needless

5:54:00 AM

A Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr, has described the brouhaha surrounding who actually founded Ghana as futile and needless.

He stressed that instead of engaging in that divisive debate, it was critical to draw lessons from the important role Dr Kwame Nkrumah played in Ghanas independence struggle to support address the numerous development needs of the country.

"No one person fought for the liberation or independence of the country because it was a process which started long before the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC ) was formed.

"But we have to accept the fact that Dr Nkrumah stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the independence struggle. His iconic role and organisational ability led to the final shot at independence, so he deserves the Founder credit," he stressed.

Prof. Akilagpa stated this while addressing hundreds of members of socialist political parties and other organisations at the Founders Day celebration held in Accra last Thursday.

Held on the theme: "Nkrumah, yesterday, today and tomorrow, " the memorial event brought together key political figures in the country.


Notable among them were the chairmen of the CPP, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People's National Convention (PNC), Prof. Edmund Delle, Mr Kofi Portuphy and Mr Bernard Monah respectively, as well as the Founder of the All People's Party (APC), Dr Hassan Ayariga, and the flag bearer of the CPP in the 2016 election, Mr Ivor Greenstreet.

Executive legislation

A statement issued on September 17 this year from the Presidency indicated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was set to propose legislation to designate August 4 as Founders Day.

รข€˜Nkrumah is unique

Prof. Akilagpa stressed that many other people, including chiefs, soldiers, traders, and students played vital roles on the road to independence "so even if the Founders' Day notion will even hold, you cannot leave out the three gallant ex-service men who died fighting for independence".

He stressed that what was vital was for the government and citizens to draw lessons from the heroic exploits of Dr Nkrumah to build a more united country and a stronger economy.

"Nkrumah occupies a unique iconic position not only in Ghana but in Africa and the world so taking him out of that position will create an irreplaceable vacuum.

Flawed argument

The Convener of the Socialists Forum of Ghana (SFG), Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., described the point being made that Dr Nkrumah could not have founded Ghana because he was invited to join the struggle for independence by the leadership of the UGCC as a mere rhetoric.

Mr Pratt Jnr. said rather than diverting the public's attention from the numerous national development challenges with a needless debate on the founder of the country, the government ought to take steps to address the unemployment and other challenges.

The running mate of the CPP in the 2012 election, Ms Susan Adu Amankwah, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to take a second look at the executive legislation changing the Founders Day to Nkrumah Memorial Day.

By Ghana Leaks Blog

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