Nkrumah Centenary celebration launched
By: Samuel Nuamah
VICE-PRESIDENT John Mahama yesterday launched the centenary celebration of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in Accra, and underscored the need to build a country devoid of tribalism and ethnic animosity as the late first President sought to do.
He also urged Ghanaians to use the celebration to demonstrate their oneness as a nation of tolerance and justify the accolade as the epitome of democratic governance in Africa.
The nine-month long celebration on the theme, Kwame Nkrumah Centenary-A life of Struggle, a vision of Africa unbound’, is to be built on three clusters of activities and events. These are: Dr. Nkrumah’s birthday (September 21), Independence Day (March 6) and African Liberation Day (May 25).
The launching ceremony, which took place at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, was characterized by the unveiling of the anniversary logo, rendition of patriotic tunes and the uttering of appellations in honour of the late President.
The event was attended by members of the Council of State, Ministers of State, Parliamentarians, the Diplomatic Corps, and Functionaries of the Convention People’s Party, Executive of some political parties and children of Dr. Nkrumah.
Vice-President Mahama stressed that there had been no period in the history of the country in which national consciousness, identity and unity were solid and indivisible except during the era of Dr. Nkrumah.
In those days, he said, all Africans and those of African descent identified themselves with Ghana and were even proud to hold Ghanaian passports.
“These are the attributes we need to cherish in order to build a prosperous and united country”, he said.
As to whether it was worth the while to celebrate the life and works of the country’s first President, Mr. Mahama said: “Nkrumah is not just an individual but an institution in Africa and the diaspora he fought selflessly for the emancipation and independence of not only Ghana but for the total liberation of the African continent”.
“He was a cultural icon in whom the embodiment of a truly African vision was personified in his mode of dressing and in the institutions he set up to project our cultural heritage, Mr. Mahama added.
The Vice-President stated that it was proper for the country to remember its past heroes and heroines and to also reflect on their good works to serve as a guide and unifying force in the country’s march into the future.
He said the celebrations should rekindle in Ghanaians the spirit of patriotism which should inculcate in the younger generation, higher values of service, and commitment to ideals of the commonwealth beyond material possession and power for self gratification.
“Let us let the life, works and all that Nkrumah stood for inspire the leadership and people of Ghana and Africa so that our people can be delivered from poverty, squalor, illiteracy and ignorance”, Vice-President Mahama said.
Professor Akilakpa Sawyer, Chairman of the Centenary Planning Committee, said in developing the programme for the celebration, the committee was guided by the need to make it truly national and inclusive, involving all sections of Ghanaian society.
He said it was also to recognize Dr. Nkrumah’s stature as the preeminent Pan-Africanist and to redefine his legacy to Ghana and to Africa in all the spheres that had engaged his intellect and energies.
Ghanaian Times - page: 3 Saturday, September 12, 2009