President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described as “expected” the controversy generated by his 60th-anniversary speech delivered Monday.
He argued a political figure who does not incite debates with his actions or speeches is an uninteresting one.
“Everything I say…ended up in controversy but that’s how it should be,” he told a gathering at the Ghana Unity Ball on Thursday.
The President generated vigorous debate in the country when he walked the country through what he said was the events that heralded the country’s independence from colonial rule on March 6, 1957.
Related Article: Akufo-Addo ‘cleverly revised’ Nkrumah’s role in independence struggle – Yao Graham
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He said Ghana’s independence struggle had begun long before 1957.
He listed his uncle Joseph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei and his father Edward Akufo-Addo as the key people who met the British to demand independence.
The President said it was when the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) leaders decided they needed someone to man the party’s secretariat that Kwame Nkrumah was brought into the country.
“In 1949, on 12th June, Kwame Nkrumah broke away from the UGCC and formed his own party, the Convention People’s Party (CPP),” President Akufo-Addo said.
Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah
He said even though Ghana’s first President left the UGCC to form his party, he “retained the word ‘convention’ in the name of his new party’” to remember where he came from.
The President’s narrative has angered followers of the nation’s first President who described it as “revisionist.”
Executive Director of the Third World Network, Dr Yao Graham, said President Akufo-Addo revised the role of Nkrumah to elevate his family.
“Nana Akufo-Addo made a clever revisionist 60th independence anniversary speech,” he said.
Functionaries of the CPP have also registered their displeasure with the President’s narrative, saying it was done to elevate works by J.B Danquah over Nkrumah.
The President’s uncle, J. B. Danquah
But President Akufo-Addo said he presented the true historical background behind the nation’s independence.
Related Article: [email protected]: Akufo-Addo’s speech was ‘deep’ – Mugabe
“The amusing part of it is that, the people who did not live through the independence era, young people who came much after, claim that I distorted the history of Ghana and belittled the role of Kwame Nkrumah,” he said.
Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe
He was nonetheless happy that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe who “lived through the era was here in Ghana at the time.”
He said the 93-year-old leader gave him a “big hug” after he delivered the speech.
Meanwhile, Mr Mugabe said the President delivered a “deep” speech when he interacted with the media a day after the programme.
He said the speech had undertones of a President who finds a lot of inspiration from Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah.