Either Founders' day or Founder's day will bring no food to the ordinary Ghanaian

Dr Kwame Nkrumah File photo; There is an ongoing debate regarding the Founder's day celebration

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 Source: Abdallah Abdul Matin

There is a raging mass debate over the legislative proposition made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for a change in the Founder’s Day from September 21 to August 4 while maintaining the former as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day. The President's latest release advocating for a date change has generated mixed reactions.

Many are of the school of thought that all those who contributed handsomely to the project Ghana should be honoured accordingly. Those against the decision however argue that there is only one founder of Ghana and no need to reinvent history. They believe that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana to independence from British colonial rule and is nationally and internationally recognized as the founder of the nation state called Ghana.

Truth be told, they were some who began the struggle for self determination before Dr. Nkrumah joined and accelerated the process.

Those people facilitated Dr Kwame Nkrumah's return to the then Gold Coast to be the General Secretary of the erstwhile United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). Nkrumah unfortunately fell out with them on ideological grounds and founded the CPP which led Ghana to independence in 1957. It will therefore be hypocritical to deny the nationalist leaders their due in history.

As a country, we have always hailed the achievements of these people who have come to be known as The Big Six. They are even on the country's currency and have monuments dotted around the country in their memory. Indeed, a country that does not honour it's heroes is not worth dying for. To some however that the seemingly gratitude always plays out in unsatisfactory manner. They still loose some slips over Nkrumah's role but to 'distort history' for them is wishful thinking and excruciating.

The world has voted Nkrumah as African's man of the millennium. There is no doubt that the role of the JB Danquahs, William Offori Attas, Ako Adjeis, Edward Akuafo Addos, Obetsebi Lampteys and of course Nkrumah himself in the independent struggle is always acknowledged.

Nkrumah Memorial Day and a holiday for August 4 as the Founders' Day will definitely be seen as partisan. What will be done differently on August 4 which cannot be combined with the September activities to celebrate our past heroes and heroines? Ghanaians are not necessarily enthused with empty celebrations. Ghanaians are more concerned about what is meaningful and at the heart of their survival. All that the citizenry yearn for is reduction in fuel prices, reduction in electricity tariffs, free education, well paying jobs and working conditions, revamped NHIS and good roads and you infrastructure . Ghanaians do not care about Founder's or Founders' Day especially at this unpleasant period of our national economy. The fuss made out of this therefore is as unpleasant to them as the buzzing sound of the mosquito at night.

The least said about this decision to create another holiday on the country's calendar the better. It is just one too many in the face of economic difficulties. Ghanaians need more days to work to resuscitate out country and not to rest.

The government will need to build consensus on the issue instead of it being imposed on Ghanaians. If the proposed legislation is hurried through without the requisite consultation and rapprochement, the possibility of its being amended by a future government is high.

Let us give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what belongs to God. President Akufo Addo has good motives for deciding on the two holidays. He however needs to tread cautiously in order not to give credence to people who have started conjecturing that it is a family agenda because his father and uncle will be direct beneficiaries of 4th August Founders' Day event. Everybody who contributed in one way or the other to secure Ghana's independence deserves a recognition but this must be well thought through.

Columnist: Abdallah Abdul Matin
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