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Speaker challenges Nkrumah as Founder of Ghana

By
Benjamin Mensah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 5, GNA – Professor Michael Aaron
Ocquaye, the Speaker of Parliament on Friday cautioned against the
politicisation of national issues, and challenged the position of Dr Kwame
Nkrumah as the Founder of modern Ghana.

At a public lecture delivered in Accra, Prof
Oquaye, a Historian, Academic and Pastor said there was the need for the
political history of the country to be told in its entirety.

The lecture, titled: “4th August;
Ghana’s Day of Destiny,” formed part of the activities marking the 60th
independence anniversary of Ghana.

The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was
founded at as Ghana’s “day of destiny” because the vision for the country was
drafted that day.

Formed at Saltpond in the Central Region, the
UGCC, was the precursor of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), and
according to Prof Oquaye, Ghana’s march to independence predated the March 6,
1957 declaration day.

The lecture, seeking to set the records
straight explained that the progenitors of NPP, founded Ghana and not Kwame
Nkrumah.

Prof Oquaye said: “Men and women inspired
by love for country met in Saltpond to work for self-governance and freedom
from globalisation. I have great regard for Dr Kwame Nkrumah as a great
Ghanaian but the truth must be told.

“A recap of the chronology of events
shows that before the arrival of Nkrumah, some gallant Ghanaians were taking
steps to lead Ghana to independence. That is truism. People have regrettably
asked how we can have more than one founder to such compatriots.

“I humbly lend them this advice. Foundership
cannot be pursued in monopoly terms.”

The Speaker said Nkrumah, the first President
of Ghana contributed towards independence, but was not the country’s founder.

He explained that the first President became
one of Ghana’s founding fathers by his association with members of the UGCC.

“I have a great regard for Nkrumah but
the truth is, he is not the Founder of Ghana,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker, a native of Osu in the Greater
Accra Region, reminisced his younger days at Asamakese in the Eastern Region
where he grew up and said he met some of the founding fathers of the UGCC.

In a Biblical allusion and proverbs in the
local Akan and Ga languages, Prof Oquaye compared the story of Dr Nkrumah to
that of the Apostle Paul in the Bible, who later converted to Christianity
after the death of Christ, but took a central role in the work of first century
Christianity.

He said the story of Nkrumah and the founders
of the United Gold Coast Convention was similar to biblical Paul who was not
present during the last Supper with Christ, as were Peter James and John but
was credited to have played a major role in the spread of Christianity.

He told his audience, among whom were
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, Mr
Ivor Greenstreet, the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s
Party (CPP) and Mr Bernard Mornah, of the People’s National Convention (PNC), that
he cautioned the late President John Evans Atta Mills against the institution
of the Founder’s, Day in September 21, in honour of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, but he
went ahead to do that in 2009.

Prof Oquaye said Dr Nkrumah was not the only
one deserving to be honoured, adding: 
“Honour must be given to the deserving men who are the founding
fathers of Ghana.”

He was of the view that he political fortunes
of the CPP would continue to dwindle if the Party did not detach itself from
the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He blamed the NDC for making inroads into the
CPP.

Describing the NDC having no tradition, Prof
Oquaye said the CPP had been swallowed by the NDC, and as a truism, the CPP
should know who swallowed them.

“If the CPP want to survive they must proceed
to extricate themselves from the bowels of NDC, then they will survive,” the
Speaker said.

The CPP, led by Nkrumah, was overthrown on
February 24, 1966 by the National Liberation Council, and the Party was subsequently
banned by the coup makers, which compelled some supporters of the tradition to
form various parties.

GNA

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