The Executive Director of Third World Network has accused the government of attempting to rewrite Ghana’s history with a proposal to make August 4, the nation’s Founders’ Day.
Dr Yao Graham said founders of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) did not achieve anything substantial to warrant a holiday in their honour.
He told Emefa Apawu on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday, although the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) achieved the aim for which it was created, its activities did not constitute “agitations” against British rule.
The Society was formed on August 4, 1897 to protect the land rights of indegenes from activities of the British colonial authority.
Dr Graham said there would have been other dates which challenged colonial authority if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo genuinely wants to celebrate those who contributed towards Ghana’s independence.
“What did the UGCC achieve?” he asked, adding actions of government smack of an agenda to inflate the importance of the founders of UGCC.
Dr Graham was reacting to the decision by government to make a legislative proposal to Parliament, declaring August 4 as Ghana’s Founders’ Day.
A Flagstaff House communication said the September 21 currently marked as Founder’s Day would be made Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day if Parliament endorses the plan.
Although he said he has no qualms with the Founders’ Day proposal, Dr Graham said that day should rather be dedicated to the masses who contributed towards independence and not the leaders of the UGCC.
He said the first party to be formed in the country “disappeared” after its defeat in the 1951 election, adding the celebration of August 4 will be an attempt to “call back the loss” of the UGCC.
But Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has explained the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has no interest in distorting Ghana’s history. “It is not possible for one person to rewrite the history of Ghana,” he said, adding the President wants to set the record straight.
When he was asked why the president has chosen this time to attempt to correct what he claims to be a distortion, Mr Hamid said “the Presidency is the ultimate execution platform” and President Akufo-Addo can only take a decision to correct any distortion only when he is president.
He justified the decision to settle on August 4, saying it is the gathering of the UGCC founders, and other political stakeholders that triggered the independence march.
“That day is loaded with the memory of the individuals who sacrificed their all,” he said.