August 4 Founders’ Day: Subtle imposition to celebrate tradition of a political party

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On August 4, 2017, the New Patriotic Party celebrated the founding of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) – the tradition on which the New Patriotic Party is built.

Now, the President has made a proposition to legitimise August 4 as the Founders’ Day and September 21 as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday.

The proposition to celebrate August 4 as Founders’ Day is a subtle imposition on the people to celebrate the tradition of a political party if it is passed. Well, the President can make such a proposition at this time and it will come to pass because he is the man who has the yam and the knife, thus there’s every reason to right a supposed wrong.

The basis for this proposition is: the process of gaining political independence for the Gold Coast was started on August 4, 1847 by the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (APRS). But, history makes it clear that the activities of the Society were only to prevent the British from taking the land from the natives of the coast. It’s worthy to note that this action was purposely to fight for the land.

Then another argument is: UGCC, the first political party to activate real political independence of the Gold Coast was born on August 4, 1947. The party was run by men who were very educated. In fact, they were the elites at the time. However, these elites were full time lawyers, businessmen, and part-time politicians.

There’s nothing wrong with legitimising August 4 as Founders’ Day, because it’s an attempt to honour the sacrifices of all who had fought for the political independence of the Gold Coaster now the Ghanaian.

But, the question one needs to ask is: what were the vision, mission and strength of the UGCC before the coming of Kwame Nkrumah?”Another question: what fuelled Kwame Nkrumah’s break away from the UGCC – the political party that had the slogan, “independence in the shortest possible time”

There’s no denying of the fact that the UGCC was founded to fight for the political independence of this nation. But, the men in charge before the coming of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah were living in their ivory towers – they thought that they had all the answers since they were the elites at the time.

It’s important to acknowledge that, until the coming of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah the party did not have a clue on how to organise the masses for this task. There’s one truth about life: Ideas only remain ideas as long as they are not carried through. All men have ideas but it takes ingenious men to carry the idea through, sometimes at the peril of their freedom, but most of the time for the good of posterity.

The ARPS and the UGCC may have had the ideas of gaining political independence of the Gold Coast but, when it mattered most, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stood tall. The role of the people who fought for the political independence of this nation can’t be underestimated. But, if August 4 becomes a Founders’ Day, how would it solve the myriad of problems that bedevils the Ghanaian: poor access to potable water, poor sanitation conditions, infrastructural deficit in the educational sector, bad nature of roads, poor access to health, the challenges peasant farmers face and the beat goes on.

Evidently, it would only lead to a certain satisfaction that has no impact on the life of the ordinary Ghanaian.

The proposition of August 4 as Founders’ Day can best be described as after the fact justification. After Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had defied the odds and braced himself to declare “Independence Now” with its accompanied consequences of prison sentences from Greater Accra to Lawra in the Upper West Region, and ensured that it became a reality on the ticket of the Conventions People Party, we declare that he is worthy of a birthday celebration and a memorial lecture.

Well, the proposition to make August 4 a Founders’ Day is as sure as day after night. It’s going to give equanimity in the debate of Founder’s or Founders of Ghana. But anytime the facts are laid bare, we will not lose sight of the fact that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was more ingenious at the time compared to the other leaders of the UGCC and it was his ingenuity that has given Ghana the glory of been “the first black Independent African country south of the Sahara” – who can beat that?

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