Politics of Sunday, 24 September 2017
The Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has suggested that it is unnecessary for the president to set aside a separate day to celebrate some Ghanaians who contributed to the country’s eventual independence in 1957.
According to him, individuals like Obetsebi Lamptey, Edward Akufo-Addo and J.B Danquah already have streets, interchanges and roundabouts named for them and so do not require a special day to celebrate them again.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Ade Coker said he believes that although others played key roles in Ghana’s attainment of independence, Kwame Nkrumah who is hailed as the country’s founder, deserves honour for his ultimate efforts in leading Ghana to gain independence from British rule.
“Nobody is saying that J.B Danquah or Akufo-Addo did not contribute to the formation of what we are talking about, but at the end of the day, somebody stood tall among them and you cannot celebrate all of them.
When you go to Obetsebi Lamptey Roundabout, go to Danquah Circle, go to Akufo-Addo circle… We have celebrated them. We have recognized them. The person who stands tall [Kwame Nkrumah] is the one we are celebrating. Others have been given monuments,” he said.
There is a renewed debate over who must be celebrated as the founder of Ghana.
The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government declared 21st September, Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday as a day to celebrate him as Ghana’s founder.
President Akufo-Addo recently canceled the former government’s decision to celebrate September 21 as Founder’s Day and has rather set August 4, as founders’ day to recognize all who helped Ghana to attain independence, christened Founders’ Day and rechristened 21st September as Nkrumah Memorial Day.
August 4 as set by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is the day the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), was formed in 1947.
The UGCC was founded by President Akufo-Addo’s uncle, J. B. Danquah, his father Edward Akufo-Addo, and Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey. The NPP was birthed from the UGCC.
While some have proposed the scrapping of both days, Ade Coker said it will be inappropriate not to recognize Kwame Nkrumah’s enormous role in Ghana’s independence adding that ultimately, he is the main leader who ultimately pushed the country to gain independence.