The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has once again waded into the debate on who should be credited for Ghana’s independence from British rule.
Delivering the keynote address at a public lecture to mark the 2020 Founders’ Day, he said all persons who contributed to Ghana’s independence need to be accorded the needed recognition in the country’s history, and not just one individual.
He said although Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, played a part in the country’s efforts at becoming an independent state, he cannot be described as the founder of the country.
“Independence was not a one-man show. It was a collective effort and it is important for us to continue to appreciate the full dynamics thereof and the various ingredients that make a beautiful melody. That made this nation the first Africa country to win independence from the British,” he said.
The Founders’ Day celebration remains a controversial one due to the National Democratic Congress and Convention People’s Party’s opposition to it.
The opposition National Democratic Congress has already indicated its intention to cancel the August 4 observation of Founders’ Day, if it returns to power.
The August 4 holiday replaced Founder’s Day, which was celebrated on September 21 every year, to mark the birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
According to the NDC, the August 4 holiday is not a true representation of historical facts and is a deliberate attempt by the Akufo-Addo government to rewrite the country’s history and give prominence to his uncle, JB Danquah.
Dr Danquah was a leader in the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the political party from which Kwame Nkrumah broke away to form the CPP, which won him the election that saw him become Leader of Government Business and Prime Minister and eventually the first president of Ghana.
The Convention People’s Party (CPP), the political party Kwame Nkrumah founded, has also decided not to recognise the August 4 holiday.
The party’s leadership believes that the August 4 celebration is an attempt to undermine the role of Ghana’s first president in the fight for country’s independence.