General News of Sunday, 12 March 2017
Sydney Casely Hayford, the great grandson of J.E Casely Hayford, a leading pan-African nationalist, has insisted that President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo did not distort the country’s history in his Independence day speech.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme The Big Issue on Saturday, Sydney Casely-Hayford argued that the president “did not twist history but he wanted to be able to narrate the history on independence day of our country and he did so very well and accurately.”
The President’s speech came under attack from a section of Ghanaians over what they say was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, and uncle, J.B Danquah who played vital roles in the fight for independence.
“This attempt to say he [Akufo-Addo] is rewriting history is simply in my opinion because his father was involved. So the whole idea now is becoming like he is trying to get some hegemony, but the fact of the matter is that when you want to look at history, you take away the passion and emotion, you take away the interpretation of what you have and look at the true record of what actually took place and the events. Then when you finish you can re-interprete what you know and put it in a particular perspective,” he added.
J.E. Casely Hayford according to President Akufo-Addo was a leading member of the British West African National Congress and the Aborigines Right Protection Society, some very important institutions that led the charge for Ghana’s independence ahead of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s appearance into the political scene.
“Over the decades, since Nkrumah’s overthrow there have been several attempts in my opinion to try and eliminate the real history of our country in order to make Nkrumah look larger and life. Nkrumah to a large extent was larger than life, but there are things that are written that happened in this country that whichever way you look at it, you cannot even say that you are distorting the history of the country,” Sydney Casely-Hayford added.
Only young Ghanaians criticized my independence speech
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has dismissed allegations that he distorted Ghana’s political history.
According to the president, only the young ones born after the independence struggle are criticizing his speech.
“I made a speech to the country which I tried to speak about how Ghana became Ghana. Everything I say has ended up to be a controversy, but that is how it should be. A politician who doesn’t generate controversy is a dull politician ,and that is not an interesting politics. The amusing part of this is that, the people who did not live through the independence era, young people who came much after, claim I distorted the history of Ghana and belittled the role of Kwame Nkrumah.”