By Gifty Arthur
Son of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, has asked president Akufo-Addo not to change the September 21 holiday celebration which marks the birthday of the former leader, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The last son of Dr. Nkrumah says the day which is recognized by many African countries because of the crucial role his father played to ensure freedom and unity to the continent must stay as it is.
Sekou’s passionate appeal on facebook comes on the heels of the 60th anniversary speech by the president, which some say sought to reduce the significance of Dr. Nkrumah quest to gain independence for Ghana from the British.
The speech was criticized by some, including the Convention People’s Party (CPP), as being a skewed account of history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, and uncle, J.B Danquah who also played their roles on the road to independence.
But according to Sekou, he did not have any issue with the president’s anniversary speech which to him retold to recognize all those who played roles to make the struggle, a reality. He said it was aimed at uniting the country, but the September date which is named Founder’s Day, mustn’t be touched.
He said, even though he had his difference with the late president, John Evans Atta Mills, he was proud and supported his decision to honour his late father alone.
On facebook he posted “Dear Nana Addo, I am with you in elevating 6th March to advance the interest of all Ghanaians as well as project all our heroes in a positive and dignified way so as to unite our dear country.
However, I beg of you to leave 21st September for Nkrumah a;sone! I had my differences with late Prof. Mills but I stood with him in all humility for the honour he gave our first president Kwame Nkrumah in declaring his birthday a public holiday. Yours sincerely, Sekou”.
But Sekou’s sister, and former chairman of the CPP, Samia Nkrumah has vehemently spoken against the president speech saying the significance of Dr. Nkrumah cannot be reduced.
The Failed 2016 presidential aspirant of the CPP described the whole debate as “a huge distraction” in an interview on Point Blank on Eyewitness News, as she reminded that “Kwame Nkrumah himself said the independence struggle started before him.”
She however stressed that, her father definitely played the role of a catalyst, and would have given him more prominence had she been the one who gave the Independence Day speech.
“We agree that there were so many other people [in the independence struggle] but his role was significant. Nobody can take that away from him.”
“If I was giving that speech, I would have given Kwame Nkrumah more prominence. All the records show who the main catalyst was. Kwame Nkrumah had a vision… even though he came to collaborate with UGCC [United Gold Coast Convention], but we know from history he was going to come down anyway.”
“Kwame Nkrumah had a particular pan-African vision for our independence so he was bound to be the catalyst.
So yes, thousands were instrumental, but he was the catalyst and let’s give him is d She went a step further to state that, Kwame Nkrumah’s influence was even being felt today because, according to her, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), an offshoot of the main opposition to Nkrumah’s CPP, was riding on his vision.
Samia Nkrumah said “we can praise all the others, but this is a man who fashioned our whole nation building policy; free and compulsory education, the Akosombo dam, the industries… I am happy, that finally even the offshoot of the old opposition to Kwame Nkrumah is saying one district, one factory and one village one dam. That is what Kwame Nkrumah was planning.”
“The day we realise Kwame Nkrumah’s ideas are for now, is the day we will stop quarreling over Kwame Nkrumah,” she concluded.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has described Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as a true revolutionist who fought for the emancipation of Ghana and Africa.
The 93-year old President who was part of the dignitaries that graced Ghana’s 60th anniversary made the remark while addressing the media at a special gathering at a hotel in Accra.