Politics of Friday, 4 August 2017
The Speaker of Parliament has fired what may well be a trigger for a new ideological warfare between followers of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president and his biggest opponent at the time Dr JB Danquah.
Prof Mike Ocquaye said whilst he has great regard for Nkrumah it would be travesty of justice for anyone to suggest or say that he was the founding father of Ghana.
He said the story of Nkrumah and the founders of the United Gold Coast Convention was similar to biblical Paul who was not present during the last Supper with Christ, as were Peter James and John but is credited to have played a major role in the spread of Christianity.
Paul can never be said to be a founder of Christianity, he said.
At best, Nkrumah is also one of the founding fathers of Ghana whose role in fighting for independence cannot be underestimated but cannot be said to be the founder, he pointed out.
For a country that has politicised a lot of issues, the Speaker of Parliament said it can only be an element of propaganda for anyone to elevate Nkrumah to a Founder position when he only assisted in the independent struggle.
He was however quick to add, that before the arrival of Dr Nkrumah to join the independent struggle, the foundation for independence had been laid by men, women whose contributions have unfortunately been discounted.
According to him, before Nkrumah came, the name for new independent country- Ghana- had been chosen; the flag, Red Gold and Green had been chosen; the emblem, which is the Eagle, had been chosen.
It is therefore a fallacy and propaganda to name Dr Nkrumah the founder of Ghana’s independence when all these have been done, he stated.
According to him, even when he became president, Dr Nkrumah decided to change the colour of Ghana to Red, White and Green in 1964.
“All Embassies and High Commissions were instructed to change the flag,” he said in a commentary to mark the 70th Anniversary of the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) the first political party in Ghana.
It was only after he was overthrown, that Ghana went back for the original Red Gold Green, Prof Ocquaye intimated at an occassion attended by Bernard Mornah of the PNC and Ivor Greenstreet of the CPP.
August 4, 1947
Prof Ocquaye said the date August 4 will forever remain a momentous occasion in Ghana’s history because it marked a major turning point in the independent struggle.
Describing the date as Ghana’s day of destiny, the Speaker of Parliament said the democracy, rule of law freedom of speech which Ghanaians enjoy today can be traced to the seeds sown in August 4.
On that day he said key political leaders Paa Grant, JB Danquah, Ako Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo and others resolved to fight for Ghana’s independence.
“Those who met to fashion out independence did not include Nkrumah, though he came later and added significantly,” Prof Ocquaye said.
“I have a great regard for Nkrumah but the truth is, he is not a Founder of Ghana.”
According to him, Nkrumah left for US in 1935 but returned in 1947 on the request of JB Danquah to assist in the independence struggle.
“He was the only person on salary,” the Speaker stated.
He does not understand how anyone will turn around and gift Nkrumah the sole founder accolade.
The Speaker jabbed the late president John Mills for announcing the Founder’s Day celebration which falls on the birthday of Dr Nkrumah.
“Mills misestablished the Founder’s day,” he said, adding, “We must not confuse these things.”
If we want blessing given we must honour those who deserve to be honoured.
Whilst Nkrumah can be credited for pan africanist achievements, his infrastructure development including motorway, honour must be given to the deserving fathers, the Speaker noted.
The lecture was attended by President Nana Akufo-Addo and Ex-president John Kufuor with multitude of NPP members and ministers of state.