General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
Government has disputed claims that decision to commemorate August 4th as part of the country’s liberation struggle is an attempt to obliterate the legacy of the country’s first President Kwame Nkrumah.
Debate has been raging since government announced it will mark the day to celebrate the birth of the United Gold Coast Convention, UGCC, and other anti-colonial groups such as the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS).
Historians believe the two dates are significant because the two groups were formed on that day. The ruling New Patriotic Party traces its roots from the UGCC and therefore sees the day as a significant part of its tradition.
The NPP on Friday observed the day at Saltpond in the Central Region where the party was believed to have been formed.
But the day has sparked endless debates with opponents accusing the government of desperately trying to use the occasion to obliterate Dr Nkrumah’s role in Ghana’s history. Journalist Paul Adom Otchere, who has been spearheading a campaign to set the records straight, insist the country’s founder did not win an election in the country so claims he won an election and became a leader of government business under British rule is not accurate.
His assertion has however been disputed by many pro Nkrumahists who accuse him of fabricating history, despite ample evidence his research is faulty. He said August 4th was not the day the country became an independent state but was a period when a “lame political party” was formed.
“The UGCC, until Nkrumah’s arrival [when he returned to Ghana (Gold Coast) on December 10, 1947, upon invitation from J.B. Danquah to become the UGCC’s General Secretary] was a very lame political organization. It did not have any credible women’s wing. It did not have a youth wing. It was not integrated into the struggles of the working people of Ghana and so on.”
Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Kwame Nkrumah and a leading figure in the CPP, said she will not sit and allow her father’s contributions in the independent struggled to be undermined by anyone.
However in an interview with Accra based MultiTv, Deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, said no one is making efforts to rewrite the history of Ghana, but the party he belongs to are just setting the records straight when it comes to where they derive their tradition from.
Mr Jinapor said anyone who sees the celebration as an attempt to undermine the legacy of Nkrumah does not know what history is and wondered how the celebration of a party’s tradition amounts to an attempts to rewrite history and alienate the legacy of Nkrumah.
He said Dr Nkrumah himself used the structures of the UGCC to become an important figure in the political landscape of this country and questioned the wisdom in the claims that, the celebration is targeted at Nkrumah’s legacy.
“ this is not about undermining his contributions to the country’s history,” he said. “ The president even on several occasions acknowledged the role played by Kwame.”
Dr Nkrumah after breaking away from the UGCC over when it is right to agitate for independence formed the Convention Peoples Party, which won elections from the British.