General News of Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Professor Michael Ocquaye, former second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has debunked arguments that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is the sole founder of modern day Ghana.
Ghana on Sunday marked the birthday of the man who some historians and politicians credit as founder of the modern state of Ghana and subsequently led into independence after more than a century of colonial rule.
The daughter of the late President had claimed last week that Barrack Obama borrowed the slogan, YES WE CAN from her father.
But these claims, Prof. Ocquaye argued are not entirely true insisting that the first President of the West African country can only be credited as part of the founding fathers of Ghana and not the sole founder.
“I am only saying one truism which is the only truth that Kwame Nkrumah is not the founder of Ghana…he’s only among the founding fathers…,” he said on Accra-based Okay fm.
To him, arguments like this defeat the thinking that certain key figures called the ‘Big Six’ contributed immensely to Ghana attaining independence.
“If we credit Nkrumah as the sole founder of Ghana, then what is the meaning of the Big Six hailed by Ghanaians?” He queried.
Prof. Ocquaye continued that the national name for the emerging country and the various national symbols had been decided before Nkrumah appeared on Ghana’s political scenes and hence, was of the opinion that Nkrumah only continued building on the foundation for independence.
The former Dome-Kwabenya MP however said he was by no means discrediting Nkrumah with his achievements as Prime Minister.
“When I was entering PRESEC, there were only 13 secondary schools, but Nkrumah increased the number to about 60 and that is a plus…the Akosombo Dam and others are all pluses to him as well…”, he stated.
He thus called on Ghanaians, particularly politicians seeking to record the history of Ghana, to do so without passion, adding that they should instead lay the facts for interpretation by the hearers and readers.
To this end, he urged Ghanaians to always see Gordon Guggisburg who was governor of the Gold Coast between 1919 and 1927 as the one who laid the foundations for most of Nkrumah’s projects since Nkrumah only built on what he established.
“Talking of development in Ghana without crediting Guggisburg is not a correct interpretation of history…,” he said.
He cited Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Achimota School and many other projects initiated by the governor who was a surveyor by profession, adding that the late governor also laid the foundation for the Volta River Project.
“In the Akosombo case for example, part of the credit should be given to [Governor Gordon] Guggisberg because he sketched the plan….”