Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament has appealed to Ghanaians to consider the sacrifices of the nation’s Founding Fathers and called on the youth to be guided by the sacrifices to strive for excellence.Acknowledging Ghana as a unique nation, of which he is very proud, Prof Oquaye noted that the forebears of Ghana used their wealth for the welfare of the nation, and repeated an earlier position of placing Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana as contributing immensely to Ghana’s attainment of independence.
He, however, again disagreed Nkrumah was the sole founder of the nation Ghana and urged Ghanaians to engage in the full contributions and dynamics of the march for self-rule.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion...I will say, independence was not a one-man show, it was a collective effort.
“And it is important for us, to continue to question the full dynamics thereof, and the various ingredients that made a beautiful melody, that made this great nation the first African country to be independent of the British, “Speaker Oquaye said.
In a public lecture in Accra, as part of activities to mark this year’s Founders Day, Professor Oquaye went down memory lane in Ghana’s march for independence, recalling historical events over more than a period of 100 years.
He noted different segments of the period and what was done by various people, identifying also the role of traditional rulers, who he described as the natural rulers, in Ghana’s march for independence.
When they are not involved in governance, it creates confusion, the Speaker noted.
He acknowledged events and roles played by various individuals, with financial and other material support, before Kwame Nkrumah was brought on to the scene.
With strong gestures and variation of tones, Prof Oquaye, former Dean of the Political Science Department of University Ghana reminded Ghanaians that the enjoyment of current human rights freedoms was truncated under the rule of the 1960s, which sowed disaffection to the then government of Ghana.
However, the re-establishment of basic freedom was done in the 1969 Constitution, which laid the foundation of current freedoms guaranteed under the 1992 Constitution.
The Speaker presented an odyssey of events leading to independence, and eulogized Dr J B Danquah, one of the Founding Fathers of modern Ghana, for suggesting the name, his role in the establishment of the University of Ghana and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science once and Technology, and a sound industrial blueprint for Ghana.
Also, when Nkrumah moved for declaration of independence, it was seconded by Dr K. A Busia, from the opposition.
“Ghana was born, it was not a one-day affair, achieved by some magic wand, suddenly from nowhere, no!”
He called for the history of the independence of the nation to be well told to engender in the youth national pride and excellence.
“Excellence must be the hallmark, that’s how we should
The lecture was chaired King Abubakari Mahama II, the Overlord of Dagbon.
It was attended by traditional rulers, MPS Ministers, and a cross-section of the public.
The activities earmarked for the Founders' Day celebration aimed at encouraging all well-meaning Ghanaians to reflect on the sacrifices of the country's forebears in the struggle for independence and encourage others to emulate their shining example.
The Parliament of Ghana has enacted August 4, as a public holiday in accordance with the public holidays (Amendment) Act 2019, (Act 968), to recognize the contributions of personalities who played monumental roles in achieving the country's independence.