Thursday, 22 September 2016

Founder's Day

The declaration of 21st September, the birthday of Ghana's first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as Founder's Day, and making it a statutory public holiday continues to generate debate among Ghanaians. Apparently the decision is strongly opposed by some politicians, opinion leaders and well-meaning Ghanaians who are touted as anti-Nkrumaists. It is not certain if the National Founder’s Day can stand the test of time, especially in the event of change of government. It is no secret that NPP that traces its root to the UP tradition disputes the description of Nkrumah as the Founder of Ghana. It will not be far-fetched to think therefore that, if the NPP wins power, it will certainly review the Day, by probably dedicating it to all the members of the Big Six in Ghana's history. There is a point in arguing that one single individual cannot found a country. It is however true that in some instances, individuals play significant roles in the socio-political history of their countries. Dr. Nkrumah was one such individual whose contribution towards the attainment of Ghana's independence is unparalleled. Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akuffo-Addo, Dr. J. B. Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori Atta all played major roles in the independence struggle. But the achievements of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah distinguished him from them all. His ideology for pan-Africanism, Africa liberation, and self-governance earned him an enviable reputation on the globe. Little surprise he was adjudged Africa’s greatest “Man of the Millennium” in the year 2000. As a follow up, during the African Union's 13th Ordinary Summit in Libya, the heads of State unanimously agreed to celebrate Nkrumah’s centenary birthday. The event has since been added to the AU’s calendar of Special Events. The African Union has also erected a statue to his honour at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah demonstrated patriotism and eschewed parochialism as a visionary leader. He is credited for all the major infrastructure in the country. One can talk of roads, schools, hospitals, factories, the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Harbour and many others. Of course, he was not a perfect man for perfection is an impossible goal of a man. He had his shortcomings. He was accused of dictatorial tendencies and cracking down on dissent. There is no doubt that his good deeds far outweigh his negatives. As we mark another Founder's Day, it important for every citizen to exhibit a sense of patriotism and unity in all spheres of life. Let’s draw inspiration from the achievements, ideology, and vision of Kwame Nkrumah for the purpose of nation building.

As we embark on another journey to elect a President and 275 Members of Parliament, let us be guided by the life and times of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the unique man of valour, who led Ghana to independence, initiated and propelled Ghana on a path of socio-economic transformation and worked tirelessly to ensure freedom for the oppressed. Let the people who are seeking political power understand that it is a call for servitude. It is disheartening that, these days a lot of people go into politics, not to serve the nation but rather to amass wealth and enhance the living conditions of their family and friends. Is it surprising that there is so much tension associated with elections? If not for the personal benefits, why will anyone attempt to use force and other undesirable means to win an election? On this day, let the youth of this nation realize that there was once a man called Dr. Nkrumah, who despite all claims, really worked hard to put this country on a sound social, economic and political footing. All hope is not lost, Ghana can be great again. That journey towards greatness begins with you and I. Let us believe that Yes, we can, work towards it and sooner than later, Ghana will once again be the Black and rising star of Africa. 
Happy Founder's Day.


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