‘LET VIRTUES OF NKRUMAH INSPIRE US’ - VEEP
Story: Timothy Gobah
The Vice-President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, has urged African leaders to emulate the virtues and patriotism exhibited by their forebears, who laid their lives to liberate their countries from colonial rule.
He said as the continent celebrated the life, works, times and lessons of its leaders, there was the need to “let the virtues of these great men inspire us to make life meaningful to others”.
Mr. Mahama was speaking at a ceremony marking the climax of the activities to round off the centenary celebration of the birth of Ghana’s founder, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra yesterday.
The colourful ceremony, which attracted stalwarts of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ministers of State, the Diplomatic Corps, traditional leaders, the family of Dr. Nkrumah and a cross-section of the public, was also used to launch the final report on the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Celebration, as well as the 16 books he authored.
The Vice-President said the celebration of the birth of Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah raised the question of patriotism, vision and loyalty to one’s country, ideals and humanity on the one hand and conspiracy on the other.
Those challenges of patriotism and betrayal he stressed still formed part and parcel of the country’s body politics today.
Mr. Mahama said collectively, poverty, disease and deprivation were challenges that confronted the country’s development efforts for which affordable and accessible health, decent housing and universal primary education must be provided.
He acknowledged that there were different means or approaches towards reaching those goals, but noted that such forward movement could not be possible in a situation where a section of the people assumed that they were the only solution to the nation’s problems.
“Nation building is based on consensus building and the national cause is best canvassed through mutual respect, tolerance and constructive criticism,” he said.
Mr. Mahama reminded political office holders to be mindful of the fact that political power would inevitably come to pass and that the judgment of history was not made in the short term.
“No matter how hard we the incumbents of political power office holders try to shape or rewrite our times, the true judgment of our work will be seen in the hard facts of history that are beyond our control,” he stressed.
He lauded the writings of Dr. Nkrumah, describing him as a man who dedicated himself to continuing the intellectual and political work, which were the basis of his stature as an outstanding leader, adding, “Let us regret the event that led to the overthrow of Dr. Nkrumah and his subsequent death”.
The Vice-President commended the committee for exhibiting accountability, which would not require any other committee to investigate their work.
Launching the books, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, described Dr. Nkrumah as a man who did not stumble into the realm of politics but came prepared and ready to work for the good of the people.
He said Dr. Nkrumah was not a half-baked intellectual but a well read man, an activist who devoted his life for the development of the entire continent.
Presenting the report, the chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Planning Committee, Prof. Akilagpa Sawyerr, stressed the need to eulogise the good works of Dr. Nkrumah for humanity but not to join the fray to demonize him.
He said although Dr. Nkrumah was not a genius, under his reign, Ghana achieved more than what it had achieved over the last 40 years.
He said the committee had stayed below its budget, adding that “although there were some shortfalls in what we planned we stayed within our budget”.
Daily Graphic Page: 49 Wednesday, September 22, 2010