Dr. Kobby Mensah, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, has criticized the government for failing to honour the memory of Kwame Nkrumah with an event or, at least, a social media post.
Kobby Mensah is unhappy that a government that held a ‘feast’ for J. B. Danquah did not find Nkrumah worthy of even a mention on the president official social media pages.
He noted that in the Kufuor, Rawlings, and Mahama administrations, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was always celebrated on the day of his birth but the Akufo-Addo administration appears to have departed from the norm.
“Pres. Rawlings, Kufuor, Atta-Mills & Mahama all celebrated Dr. Nkrumah’s birthday throughout their terms in office. It’s 10am and I am yet to read just line from the Presidency. If nothing at all, he’s our first president isn’t he? There was a whole feast for JB’s birthday. Hmm!” he tweeted.
The government’s decision not to celebrate Kwame Nkrumah will come as little shock to some people who have been critical of the perceived attempt by the Akufo-Addo-led administration to downplay the role of Kwame Nkrumah in the country’s independent struggles.
Ideological differences which trace back to pre-independent days could be blamed as the cause of the government’s seeming attempt to rundown anything Nkrumah.
Nkrumah’s birthday used to be celebrated as Founder’s Day until the arrival of the Akufo-Addo-led government.
The government, upon assumption, carved August 4 as Founders’ Day and made September 21, Nkrumah Memorial Day.
This did not go down well with certain persons who lashed out at the government.
Veteran journalist Kweku Baako described the move as “”needless and unsustainable”.
“August 4th on its own, however significant, is not sustainable basis for anybody to run into the realm of having founders. I think it’s unsustainable scientifically, politically, historically and logically. Kwame Nkrumah does not need a day, a statutory public holiday in his memory. He doesn’t need it”.
“Nkrumah is the founder of the modern state of Ghana…There’s now a recognition of Nkrumah from even his adversaries, his traditional and his historical opponents that this man in spite of all his errors and some were grave; is actually a great man, a great Ghanaian, a great patriot”, Baako said in 2017.
In 2018, the president was once again criticised for allegedly suggesting that statues of two other African leaders be made to stand with that of Nkrumah at the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia.
Daniel Batidam, the then Chair of the AU Advisory Board on Corruption said “It took a Ghanaian leader [Akufo-Addo] to propose the erection of two other statues of two African leaders to stand with the statue of Nkrumah at the AU Headquarters. According to President Akufo-Addo, other leaders supported the OAU (AU) initiative hence his proposal.
“Other African leaders present rejected our president’s proposal and the media in Ethiopia took him to the cleaners for making that proposal. The Ethiopians rejected the proposal to erect the statue of their leader to stand with Osagyefo’s on the grounds that Nkrumah remains the greatest black African and the father of modern Africa.”