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A presidential candidate hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Augustus Goosie Tanoh, believes that the continues debate as to whether Ghana should be observing September 21 as “Founder’s” or “Founders” day has long been settled. According to him, the perceived debate is only in the minds of a few diehard members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
In an interview, Goosie, an avowed Nkrumaist said for Ghana to move forward as a country the time has come for the leadership of the country to adopt the Nkrumaist approach to our national affairs and stop the empty politicking and spinning.
He called for the development of a national vision that all can understand and buy into.
Read excerpts of the interview below:
Question 1: Where do you stand on the “Founder’s” versus “Founders” day palaver.
- I think that debate has been settled decisively except in the minds of a handful of diehard NPP activists. Ghana was founded by the purposeful revolutionary action of millions of people. Those people recognize Kwame Nkrumah as their leader and in according him recognition we recognize the role that the common people played in winning independence.
Question 2: So do you consider yourself an Nkrumaist?
- Absolutely. It is not possible to be a social democrat without a sense of history. And in the history of Ghana’s and Africa’s struggles, Nkrumah was, as they say “a moment of dignity”. No other figure did as much politically, intellectually or culturally to advance our cause as Nkrumah. He was not infallible. He had his faults, but he stands head and shoulders above all that have come since. To be a Ghanaian progressive is to stand on his shoulders – to be an Nkrumaist.
Question 3: What things do you think Ghanaians should be focusing on on Nkrumah’s anniversary?
A. 3 things stand out for me and they are underpinned by a common theme. Osagyefo’s main achievements were (1) Ghana’s liberation from colonial rule; (2) Ghana’s Great Leap Forward in the late 50s and 60s; and (3) the momentum he gave to African liberation and unification. It is by no means accidental that Nkrumah was adjudged Africa’s “Man of the Millennium” in 2000.
All of these seminal achievements were based on 3 things. First was Osagyefo’s personal clarity of vision. Kwame Nkrumah was very clear that the advances we made as a nation in our development could only be measured by the improvement in the health of our people, the number of people in school and by the quality of their education; by the availability of water and electricity in our towns and villages and by the empowerment of our people in being able to manage their own affairs. And
Second was Nkrumah’s faith in and capacity for mass mobilisation. Nkrumah broke the elitism and paternalism of the UGCC and brought the masses into political front and centre and delivered independence probably 20 years earlier than it could otherwise have been achieved. He put the mass of the people at the forefront of national development and built an industrial economy almost out of thin air. And of course, with this came an unshakeable integrity and accountability to the people.
Third was his capacity for the serious painstaking work of integrated national planning. Nkrumah did not just throw out sweet sounding slogans at breakfast and then hope that his teams would develop the spin to keep the masses confused and quiet. Osagyefo delivered fully worked out programmes and plans that addressed all the issues – manpower planning and human capacity development, material and financial resource mobilisation, sectoral and geographical linkages and the roles of state agencies and more market driven private businesses. This is something we have not seen in Ghana for many years.
In our current national situation, it is important to adopt this Nkrumaist approach to our national affairs. We must again develop a national vision that we can all understand and buy into. We must mobilise our people and be directly answerable to them. We must do the hard-disciplined policy and planning work – and stop with our empty politicking and spinning.
That is the only way we move forward. It is up to us.
We have a choice.
Let us rise together.