Founder’s Day a 'propaganda' – Prof Ocquaye

General News of Wednesday, 21 September 2016



Mike Ocquaye Gay NewProf Mike Oquaye

Even though Founder’s Day is supposed to be a happy moment for reflection and celebration of Ghana’s history, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye has said that he feels rather dejected by it.

For him, the annual celebration of the day only makes him depressed because the history of the country has been distorted in order to favour a particular group of people.

“I feel sad on a day like this. Yes, because there is a tragic contortion of our history. This day should be a day of joy and should be ‘Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah Day’, but when you call it ‘Founder’s Day’, you take away that which belongs to so many people including him and give it only to him,” he told Class FM’s Prince Minkah on Wednesday September 21.

Ghanaians, today, Wednesday September 21, celebrate the 107th birthday of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, for his contribution towards the liberation and growth of the country.

The day was made a public holiday by late President John Evans Atta Mills.

It is a day that Ghanaians are expected to reflect and appreciate the sacrifices and achievements of the founding fathers of the country.

However, Prof Oquaye, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), felt the contributions of other figures towards Ghana’s independence from Britain in 1957 were being disregarded with the overemphasis on the first president of the country.

For him, several leaders had started a movement towards Ghana’s liberation and Dr Nkrumah joined later, thus it was erroneous to focus on only Dr Nkrumah, as it creates the impression that he was the sole fighter for independence.

“If you start a movement and launch it in 1947, you meet somebody and sponsor him to come and help, can he, therefore, come and be the founder?” he questioned.

“People do not want to understand this for propaganda reasons. It is not true that the founding fathers must be one person. In the US, it is not only George Washington, though he was the leader – about 20 of them are listed and well said as founding fathers.”

He explained that the late former President John Evans Atta Mills “brought this unnecessary problem” and he prompted him that the late president’s own school, Achimota School, does not celebrate one person as the founder of the institution.

He feels the decision to use Dr Nkrumah as the founding father was some people’s idea “thinking that they are doing it to spite the NPP people who were part of the founders, and these are the people who are the authors of confusion in this country”.

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