Ghanaians at home and abroad are celebrating the memorial birthday Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah who is the key founder of Modern Ghana. This day, since 2012, has been observed as Ghana Founder’s Day.
However, a recent proposal by incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP directed that the day be henceforth celebrated as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, a move that has sparked public controversy.
Akufo-Addo, in a presidential statement dated Friday, 16th September, 2017, proposed a legislation to parliament to rule that the birthday of Dr. Nkrumah, September 21 be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, while shifting the Founder’s Day to August 4, a day the New Patriotic Party (NPP) celebrates the birth of United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).
This development simply implies that the Founder’s Day, will automatically turn around to become Founders’ Day.
President Nana Adddo’s proposal has been receiving massive criticisms, especially from members and supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). To stamp their disapproval, the party yesterday, indicated that they will stage a protest against the August 4 Founders’ Day today, September 21.
According to the NDC, they will resist any attempt to alter Ghana’s history, as well as attempts to force “some founders” on the country. For them, Kwame Nkrumah is the only person recognized globally as the founding father of Ghana.
NDC National Organizer, Kofi Adams who spoke to Citi News on behalf of the party, further made it clear that in case the NPP insists on the directive, the NDC will correct it whenever they assume power in the future.
To mark the Founder’s Day celebration, immediate past President John Mahama has penned down what could be described as a eulogy to Dr Kwmae Nkrumah.
In the write-up, Mahama described Nkrumah as “a global icon, Founder of modern Ghana, an international symbol of freedom, a Pan-Africanist, a philosopher, a writer, and a visionary who matched his words with actions”.
Also See: Mahama’s Stand on Ghana’s Founder Controversy
The Former President also seized the opportunity to wade into the Founder’s Day controversy, stating that, “it remains a dark irony of our history that, the very political tradition which conspired to truncate his unparalleled vision on 24th February 1966, is today seeking to revise Ghana’s history.”
“It is an indisputable fact that Nkrumah was the critical spark that put Ghana on a high-velocity path to independence. Happy Founder’s Day Fellow Ghanaians,” Mahama added.
This day, 21st September, was set aside by the Atta Mills led NDC administration in 2012, to commemorate the selfless contributions of Nkrumah in emancipating then Gold Coast from British Colonial Rule, and bringing about self governance to what is known today as Ghana.
Meanwhile, controversy has continued to shroud the issue of who the is actual founding father of Ghana. While New Patriotic Party (NPP) loyalists who find their roots in the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) continue to argue that UGCC founders form part of Ghana’s founding fathers, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who are sympathizers of Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP), strongly hold unto the belief that Kwame Nkrumah is the one and only founder of Ghana.
Read: Lesser Known Facts About Independence Roles of CPP and UGCC
And despite the fact that the Ghana Founder’s Day is said to also celebrate the roles of other freedom fighters aside Nkrumah, the NPP continues to hold the perception that only Nkrumah is being celebrated since the date is his birthday.
This debate has over the years refused to die, as it continues to rear up it’s ugly head from time to time, with the two opposing parties usually accusing each other of distorting Ghana’s history.