President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has not thought of renaming the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, after anybody, his relative, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has said.
According to the founder of think tank Danquah Institute, the president’s critics are debating and fuming over a non-existent issue.
Critics on social media have been trolling the president after he recently said that his uncle, Joseph Boakye Danquah, who was one of the Big Six, founded the University of Ghana.
The president told an audience at the launch of an Endowment Fund to commemorate the school’s 70th anniversary that: “It will be wholly appropriate and not at all far-fetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this University.”
In the president’s view, the British colonialists who built the university were inspired by J.B. Danquah when they initially intended to build for British West Africa, a single university in Nigeria.
“How felicitous was that decision and how greatly it has contributed to the growth of modern Ghana, it will be wholly appropriate and not at all far-fetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this University…. The fact which on the 70th anniversary of the university’s existence should be vividly recalled that all of us are the beneficiaries of his work,” Akufo-Addo said.
The president, since taking office in January 2017, has renamed a few state institutions including the Flagstaff House (renamed Jubilee House); Tamale Sports Stadium (renamed Aliu Mahama Stadium), University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), renamed George Grant University of Science and Technology; and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), now renamed after its founder Nana Opoku Ampomah.
The president’s reference to J.B. Danquah as the founder of the University of Ghana, therefore, sparked suspicions that he was testing the waters to rename the school after his uncle.
But commenting on this development on his Facebook page, Mr Otchere-Darko said: “Let me rephrase: who started this debate that UG is to be renamed? Who asked for it and who promised to do the renaming? It certainly wasn’t said by the President at Legon. My question is to Lloyd Amoah and all others with a similar cap size. What are you debating against? I guess there is such a thing as shadow issue.”
He added: “This is for the knowledgeable patriots who have raised hell over the (re)naming of the University of Ghana. May I ask for the source of their information? I mean, really? To create an issue over an issue that has not been made an issue can only mean that you admit but disagree that there is a case for that matter that is not yet a matter for that matter to indeed matter to you.”