Former President, John Mahama, has waded into the long-standing debate over the founders of Ghana, affirming that Kwame Nkrumah is to Ghana what Jesus Christ is to Christianity.
Responding to a question during the first book reading session of his autobiography; ‘My first Coup D’etat’ at the University of Ghana on Tuesday, Mr. Mahama said Nkrumah is undoubtedly the founder of Ghana.
“Certainly, one thing we can’t run away from is that, he [Nkrumah] is the founder of our nation. He led the independence struggle. Many people contributed and it happens; in Christianity, there is John the Baptist, there are all the apostles, but who is the champion of Christianity, Jesus Christ,” he said.
The former President stressed that, hailing Nkrumah was not tantamount to the relegation of other persons who played a role in the independence, but the spark of Ghana’s independence was to be given due reverence. “We don’t undermine the role other people played… but you cannot recognize all those who took part.
There is that person who gave the critical spark that eventually led to independence. And you cannot run away from the fact that it is Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.” Mr. Mahama has in times past held Kwame Nkrumah and his ideology, and it was no different this time round, as he hailed him as a visionary who was unappreciated in his time. “I believe that one of the things he tried to do was to build the infrastructure of this country and use it as a platform to industralise the country.
I believe his vision was far ahead of the country itself and most of us didn’t understand what he was trying to do. But today when we look back, we can see what he was trying to make of the is country.”
How the debate began
President Nana Addo’s speech delivered at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade came under attack over what some said was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo Addo and uncle, J.B Danquah who played vital roles in Ghana’s journey towards independence.
Though some have argued that the President did not seek to downplay Nkrumah’s vital role that led to Ghana’s independence, others believe Nana Addo attempted changing Ghana’s history in favour of his father and uncle. The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, is one of such persons, who described as palpable falsehood, claims that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah founded independent Ghana.
The Political Science Professor argued that, the independence struggle was not championed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah alone, and so the glory of independence could therefore not be attributed to him. But the Convention People’s Party (CPP) insisted the President deliberately skewed Ghana’s history to put his uncle, and father in good light.