GHANA MARKS FOUNDER’S DAY
. With grand durbar
By: TIMOTHY GOBAH & EMMANUEL BONNEY
A CULTURAL durbar to climax the centenary celebration of the birth of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana, was yesterday held in Accra, with President John Evans Atta Mills and high-ranking state officials and international representatives in attendance.
The event known as Founder’s Day which is to be celebrated on September 21 of each year, was in fulfillment of a pledge made by President John Evans Atta Mills in his First State of the Nation’s Address to Parliament.
The colourful ceremony was also attended by the Vice-President, Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo; the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Wood, Members of the Council of State, traditional rulers and Members of Parliament.
There were also representative of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Notable political party personalities included Dr. Kwabena Adjei of the NDC, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom of the CPP, Dr. Edward Mahama of the PNC, as well as Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani of the NPP.
In attendance were members of the diplomatic corps, Africans forms the Diaspora, School Children and a cross-section of the public.
In his address, President Atta Mills called on Ghanaians to imbibe and be guided by the values Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stood for.
He mentioned such values as perseverance, hard work and unity, adding that those were the ways through which “we can help build a better Ghana”.
He said the recognition of Nkrumah’s birthday on the national calendar as Founder’s Day and the African Union’s adoption of the day as a continental event to be included on the AU’s calendar of special events “are unprecedented and speak to the uniqueness and global stature of our own Kwame Nkrumah”.
“Dr. Kwame Nkrumah created the Ghanaian and African personality which resonated and continues to resonate globally. Let this day be the day we begin to breathe new life into Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of a strong, united Ghana”, he said, underscoring the need for ‘us to grab this opportunity and rekindle our sense of national pride and self-worth”.
President Mills said as a people, Ghanaians needed to take collective pride in the celebration of the 100th birthday of Kwame Nkrumah, the man who let the country’s independent struggle and lit the flame that blazed the liberation struggle on the continent.
“We are not celebrating our Founder for the sake of doing so, we are celebrating him because of what he stood for and what he give the nation. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s contribution to the development of Ghana and Africa; to creating a vision for Ghana; nurturing and forming the life and spirit of our nation are unsurpassed”, he stated.
President Mills said Dr. Nkrumah opened the doors of Ghanaian politics, which previously were the exclusive domain of the educated elite and wealthy merchant class to the ordinary people of Ghana such as market women, farmers, fisher-folk, teachers, civil servants and the youth.
“Beyond this inclusiveness in our politics, Kwame Nkrumah broke down ethic barriers in Ghanaian politics and every day imbuing in us a strong sense of oneness, national identity and pride,” he said.
He charged the youth to take control of their own destiny and anchor themselves to the virtues of life and reminded them that there was no shortcut of success, saying that hard work was what would bring genuine success.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee of Nkrumah’s celebration, Professor Akilakpa Sawyerr, commended the Government for instituting the day, saying that Kwame Nkrumah represented an important history in Ghana and African.
On behalf of workers, the Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Kofi Asamoah, said Dr. Nkrumah recognized the contribution and role workers played in nation building.
The Minister of Women’s and Children’s Affairs, Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, on behalf of women in the country, said one of the legacies that could be dedicated tot eh memory of Dr. Nkrumah was to create an opportunity for women in the decision-making process at the local level.
An actor, Mr. David Dontoh, said Dr. Nkrumah, being a man of many parts, contributed greatly to the growth and development of the arts industry.
The President and some of the personalities present signed the Unity Flag, which has been paraded from Wa in the Upper West Region through to the other regions to Accra. The signing of the flag signifies commitment to unity.
DAILY GRAPHIC - Pages: 1-3 TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009