President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advised Ghanaians to rise above “partisan considerations, set the record straight, recognise the collective efforts in gaining our freedom, and independence from colonial rule and do right by our history” as the country celebrate Founders’ Day today, Sunday, 4 August 2019.
August 4 has been chosen as the date for Founders’ Day by the Akufo-Addo-led administration as it marks two important events in Ghana’s history. It is the date for the formation of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society by John Mensah Sarbah in 1897, and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant, Ghana’s first mass political party formed in the Gold Coast to spearhead social agitations for independence.
In a message to commemorate the day, Nana Akufo-Addo in a Facebook post said: “We acknowledge the role played by successive generations of Ghanaians towards the liberation of our country from colonialism and imperialism. It is time we rose above partisan considerations, set the record straight, recognise the collective efforts in gaining our freedom, and independence from colonial rule and do right by our history. I wish all Ghanaians a happy Founders’ day, and once again, I salute and pay tribute to all Senior Citizens in every part of the country today”
Meanwhile, opposition party’s like the Convention People Party (CPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says declaring August 4 a public holiday is an attempt by the government to re-write the country’s history. The NDC said it will cancel the holiday if it wins power in 2020.
The NDC in a statement signed by Director of Communications, Mr Kakra Essamuah said: “The only reason advanced for this law, passed by the NPP-dominated Parliament of Ghana, was that it was on 4th August, 1947, that the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was set up as a political party.
“The reason behind the August 4 commemoration is that President Akufo-Addo wants Ghanaians to remember the formation of UGCC because his grand-uncle, Dr. J. B. Danquah, his uncle, Mr. William Ofori-Atta, and his father, Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo were foundation members.”
The statement noted that: “As ridiculous as this may seem, it is as clear as daylight that underlying this is President Akufo-Addo’s penchant to glorify his family for which reason he seeks to revise the history of Ghana at each and every opportunity.
“President Akufo-Addo’s insistence on foisting on Ghanaians the slender historical contributions of his relatives towards the struggle for the attainment of independence, as compared to the heroic contributions of the much-venerated Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory, can only be equated to the behaviour of megalomaniac power-drunk rulers of old.
“Together with the generality of all Ghanaians, the National Democratic Congress condemns in no uncertain terms, this blatant misuse of Parliamentary majority for the wanton indulgence of the current occupant of Jubilee House.”
The NDC assured Ghanaians that August 4 will be expunged “from our statute books as a public holiday as soon as the NDC assumes the reigns of government in January 2021. We will waste no time to rid our country of vestiges of historical revisionism and the ethnic and clannish bigotry that comes with it.”