Politics

Founder’s Day versus Founders’ Day: 4th August is NOT Appropriate Day for Such Celebration: Razak Kojo Opoku Writes

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4th August has been declared as a statutory public holiday in Ghana by H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and we have been observing this since its introduction in 2019.

It is a good initiative to honour all persons who helped Ghana to attained political independence from the British. However, it is highly inappropriate to use 4th August as a day to honour our heroes and heroines.

4th August 1947 is deemed to be the day UGCC was founded, and such a day can NEVER be the day Ghana was formed. The 4th August could be best celebrated as the “UGCC DAY” not Founders’ Day.

Is the Foundership of Ghana only limited to the members of the *Big Six” or members of UGCC? Absolutely NOT. Then why is the Government always using the portrait of the “Big Six” to celebrate Founders’ Day?
This is absolutely inappropriate and a clear distortion of the already established history of Ghana.
If indeed we want to acknowledge everyone as the Founder of Ghana then we must as well agree on the appropriate DAY of the year which will be best fit for that purpose and not August 4th.

Some people will also argue that, the “28th February 1948 Accra Riots” should be used for the purpose of celebrating Founders of the Country since according to established records, it was the protest march by the unarmed ex-servicemen on the 28th February which actually “mark the key point in the process of the Gold Coast becoming the first African colony to achieve independence, and subsequently becoming Ghana on 6th March 1957” .

Though I don’t share the same ideology with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, it is extremely difficult to use just 8years of Akufo-Addo’s Government to rewrite history and co-share the Founder Status of Ghana with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Globally, Kwame Nkrumah is still widely regarded as the Founder of modern day Ghana largely due to his outstanding contributions to the Independence struggle of Gold Coast and his ability to convince other colonies of the British to join Gold Coast to form present day Ghana.

Before independence, the following colonies were existing separately:

1. Ashanti Kingdom, which had their independence from the British in 1935 and became a self-rule State.

2. Gold Coast Colony of the British comprising the Western, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra. And this is where the UGCC was formed on the 4th of August.
Then, why must 4th August represent present day Ghana as the Founders’ Day?
I think that, this is a historical misinformation, disinformation and distortions of facts.

3. British Togoland (commonly referred to as Trans-Volta Togoland).

4. Northern Territories of the Gold Coast, which was a British Protectorate from 1901 until 6th March 1957.

Through the efforts of Kwame Nkrumah, Ashanti Kingdom, Chiefs and Political leaders, present day Ghana was successfully formed by the union of Gold Coast Colony, Ashanti Kingdom, Northern Territories of Gold Coast and British Togoland.

All the aforementioned leaders played a significant role towards the formation of Ghana, however, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s contributions stand tall and therefore it is perhaps appropriate to acknowledge him as the Founder of present day Ghana even though we don’t agree with him in the areas of governance and ideology.

I would have wish that, President Akufo-Addo would have a second look at the 4th August date since history doesn’t support it as the Founders’ Day for Ghana, and a future Government might take the necessary steps to scrap it.
We can use 28th February or 6th March to celebrate the “Founders’ Day” if majority of Ghanaians do not subscribe to the usage of Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday as the “Founder’s Day”.

We the people in NPP can continue to celebrate the likes of George Alfred Grant, Baffour Osei Akoto, Dr. J. B. Danquah, Dr. Abrefa Busia and several others who contributed to the independence struggle of Ghana without necessarily fighting over Founders’ Day or Founder’s Day.

Per historical facts, the main Pillars of NPP Tradition are:

1. George Alfred Grant chiefly regarded as the godfather of Gold Coast Politics. He was the Founder, Chief Financier and First President of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). George Alfred Grant was the one who paid for the return of Kwame Nkrumah to Gold Coast.

2. Baffour Osei Akoto, the Founder of National Liberation Movement and one of the father figures of UP Tradition, the true and correct tradition of the present day New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The “Danquah -Busia-Dombo Tradition” or Danquah-Dombo-Busia Tradition” is just a latter day creation by some people within NPP through Danquah-Busia Memorial Club and that cannot be widely accepted as the true definition of the tradition of NPP.

As far as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is concerned, Danquah, Busia and Dombo cannot supersede George Alfred Grant and Baffour Osei Akoto but how often do NPP as a collective Party celebrate George Alfred Grant and Baffour Osei Akoto?

How many NPP members have even taken time to study the history of their own Party? Most of the Party’s Executives and foot soldiers are just doing “follow back” without questioning and interrogating the facts.

All pre and post independence leaders deserved to be celebrated but 4th August is not appropriate for such celebration.

As a Nation through bi-partisan consensus we all can agreed on a specific appreciate day for celebrating all those who significantly contributed to the independence struggle of Ghana. They all fought as a Team but even with a team there is always a leader who lead the team and that is why it is difficult to undermine the Founder’s Status of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah regardless of the fact that others also helped in the independence struggle of Ghana.

A statutory public holiday which divide the Country along political interest is not worth celebrating.

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