The debate about our Founding Fathers

Dr Kwame Nkrumah Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first President of the Republic of Ghana

Fri, 4 Aug 2017 Source: Arthur K

God bless our homeland Ghana and our founders! Let the nation say, "Amen".

Before I turn to this unfortunate debate about who founded Ghana and when we were founded, let me make the following declarations for the record:

First, Nkrumah has been our best President by a wide margin.

Second, winning elections after independence does not correlate with a person or party's role in the struggle for independence. Mugabe's party did not win the post independence mandate in Zimbabwe because he led the struggle for independence. He won because he belonged to the Majority Shona tribe.

Third, the continuing questioning of Danquah's loyalty is an unproven, disloyal stain on a man who deserves better from all of us, regardless of ideology.

As to whether Nkrumah was our sole founder, how could he be? As Danquah stated eloquently on 4th August 1947, "Love of freedom from foreign control has always been in our blood. 870 years ago, we struck against the attempt of the Arabs to impose a religious slavery upon us in Ghana. We left our homes in Ghana and came down here to build a new home."

Thus the struggle for our freedom started 8 centuries before the founding of the UGCC-- and it continued after 6th March 1957. It has heroes, beginning with some of those buried on the journey from ancient Ghana to our current home, through the leaders of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society, some brave chiefs, the founders of the UGCC, and the CPP, Sergeant Adjetey and his fellow martyrs before independence and then more people after independence. Make no mistake about it.

Our colonial masters have been gone for 60 years but we have not been free for 60 years. We lost freedom as a people under our military dictatorships-- NLC, NRC/SMC, AFRC/PNDC. Those who fought against these internal oppressors were as gallant as those who fought our colonizers. To say Nkrumah is our founder assumes that when Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica in a relay, he is the team. It presumes that when Real Madrid won the champions league this past season, Ronaldo alone deserved all the credit. How could Nkrumah alone be credited with founding Ghana when he cannot, in good conscience be credited with founding CPP alone? Where would the CPP be without the organizational genius of Gbedemah?

No great country has one founder. Most American historians list 7 founding fathers. This list does not include Francis Marion of South Carolina whose exploits were described by George Washington as crucial to the success of the war of Independence. A few years ago, Tracy Lindeman of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation listed 36 founding fathers for Canada!

India had founders besides Gandhi with historians ranking Ambedkar's contributions greater than Gandhi's.

South Africa had many founders besides Mandela-- of all races.

We should stop peddling the palpable fallacy that Nkrumah was our sole founder.

When Danquah told a crowd that Nkrumah would never fail them, he was wrong. He failed them by taking away the freedom he helped to win-- spurred by power and sycophancy.

While we are pre-occupied with this farcical debate about our founders, we are losing the nation we are arguing about. As President Akufo-Addo said on 6th March, "Sadly, the economic dividend that was meant to accompany our freedom has still not materialised. Sixty years after those heady days, too many of our people continue to wallow in unacceptable poverty".

That is not all. Mobs, from streets or organized by our government can snuff out the lives of innocent citizens, as happened to the judges in 1982, the KUME PREKO martyrs in the next decade and just this year, to Major Mahama and others-- thus mocking our motto-- Freedom and Justice. Our environment is drowning in garbage while sinister forces with the collusion of government agencies pollute our rivers and streams under galamsey. We can't even name and shame them.

Our argument should be about our future, not our past and over who will be hailed by posterity for securing that future.

Let us built Ghana for posterity.

Columnist: Arthur K