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Nkrumah is the 'most influential African of the millennium' - Kwesi Pratt

Kwesi Pratt J Kwesi Pratt

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 Source:

Seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt has strongly asserted that the achievements of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah cannot and shouldn't be undermined in the country.

Kwesi Pratt described Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's First President who helped in the country's struggle for independence, as the "most influential African of the Millennium”.

As President Nana Akufo-Addo and the government make a move to have Parliament legislate 4th August as Founders' Day while 21st September is still celebrated to mark the heroic feat of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Kwesi Pratt has decided to take Ghanaians through some vital history lessons.

Speaking on Peace FM's Kokrokoo, Mr. Pratt noted that when it comes to the foundation of Ghana's independence, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stands tall among any other proposed founders.

According to him, Nkrumah pioneered the course for independence by instilling into the masses the need to fight for the Ghana's freedom from colonialism and imperialism.

He further debunked claims that the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was founded by J.B Danquah.

He disclosed that the party was founded by Paa Grant and it appears his name has been relegated so far as Ghana's history is concerned.

“Anybody that’s says Danquah founded UGCC is wrong. Danquah was a member and indeed, when you look at the constitution of the UGCC we published recently; Danquah’s position in the UGCC was Vice President for the Eastern Region…He was not the founder of UGCC".

He wondered why the President would propose another date for the celebration of Founders' Day when 21st September has already been designated as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.

“At the time of independence, the UGCC collapsed. In fact, Danquah himself left the UGCC to go and found the Ghana Congress Party. So, at the time of independence, the UGCC no longer existed...It was not a national organization. It was not a mass political party and so on. It was Nkrumah who transformed UGCC into a mass political party leading the agitation for independence".

To him, "If we’re celebrating the Founders’ Day, we’re celebrating Founders’ Day as a reference point to the notion and principle that it is the masses who make history not one or two leaders. And why Nkrumah is relevant in that is because it was Nkrumah who brought that notion to the politics of the Gold Coast. He came and said that we, who have gone to school, university and so forth, cannot gain independence for Ghana alone.

“If we will attain independence, unless we bring in the nurses, teachers, railway workers, market women, youth organizations and so on. That notion was Nkrumah original. Before Nkrumah came, the UGCC didn’t have a women’s wing. It didn’t have a youth wing. It had no relations with the trade unions and so on. It was Nkrumah who established that. So, that is what I celebrate on 21st September”.

Kwesi Pratt also revealed his logic for celebrating Founders' Day, saying "every 21st September, when I celebrate Nkrumah (when I celebrate Founders’ Day), I’m celebrating the unique role of the masses in the struggle for national independence. And you can’t take that thing from Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah”.

He added that though it is highly possible for the NPP government to scrap the 4th August since they have majority in Parliament; he believes it won't survive a non-NPP regime.

Also touching on the issue on Kokrokoo, the Deputy Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS) Nana Boakye argued that the President doesn't seek to write off the achievements of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, but rather want the nation to also recognize the efforts of all the people that contributed to Ghana's struggle for independence.

Nana Boakye asked critics of the proposed August 4th Founders' Day to "stop the noise making", explaining that the President has maintained 21st September as statutory holiday to commemorate Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The only change that's going to be effected by the Akufo-Addo administration is to designate August 4th as Founders' Day to avoid the "inferiority complex" arising from conflict of not recognizing other trailblazers of Ghana's independence.

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