A legal practitioner and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has said it will be unfair for the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and it’s loyalists in particular, to only give credit to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as far as the struggle for Ghana’s independence is concerned.
The President’s speech on Independence Day, has been criticized by some Ghanaians over what they say was a skewed account of Ghana’s history to suit his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, and uncle, J.B Danquah who also played some roles in Ghana’s journey towards independence.
Though the President’s spokesperson, Mustapha Hamid has rubbished these claims, the CPP insists President Akufo Addo tweaked Ghana’s history to please his ancestry. But speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Afenyo-Markin dismissed the CPP’s claims, saying both figures of the argument deserve equal commendation since they all fought for Ghana’s independence “You cannot compare Apples and Banana, it is not possible.
Nana Addo was an elected leader of his party, contested elections and won and by provision of the constitution, he became President of Ghana. The argument is about the Independence struggle which started way back in the 1800’s…we know about the Fante confederacy, we know about UGCC, and we know about the invitation of Nkrumah.Look, what they did was a collective effort…”
He further revealed that, apart from these political heads, there were external stakeholders including chiefs who played their role towards Ghana’s independence.
“Apart from those political heads, there were chiefs who played their role and the trigger of the shooting of the veterans which also catapulted the whole effort into some level of self-governance. Eventually through an election the CPP had majority seats, and of course Nkrumah being its leader had opportunity to be the leader of government business. The issue is not about taking the role of the CPP in the governance of this country. The issue is about acknowledging the collective contribution.”
The Effutu MP thus stated that, it will be a big mistake for only Kwame Nkrumah to be credited for Ghana’s independence. “Singling out Nkrumah for Ghana’s independence will be a big mistake.Nkrumah holds his place as the country’s first President but singling him as founder is problematic.”
His views contradict that of the CPP’s Director of Communications Kadir Abdul Rauf, who insists President Akufo Addo clearly tweaked Ghana’s history to please his ancestry.
“We as a party can see a deliberate attempt by the President not only to minimize the role of Kwame Nkrumah in the independence struggle of the country, but also to take up arms against the history of our country because for example as a party, we have argued that yes, it doesn’t take one single individual to win independence for people.
It must take the efforts and sacrifice of people, but in line with principles of history, it took one person’s efforts to climax several years of people’s trouble and in the case of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah assumed that role and any attempt to minimize or deny Kwame Nkrumah this role is most regrettable.”
According to him, “ if the President[Nana Addo] wants to mention names that he thinks have been left out of the scene then there are other equally important names that he should have mentioned” but failed to do so.
Buttressing his point with significant examples, Mr. Kadir Abdul Rauf said Nana Addo had no businesses giving credit to J.B Danquah and Edward Akuffo, since they dissociated themselves from two significant events that led to Ghana’s independence.”
“We think that the President used a cherry picking attitude to our history and we think that it is most unfortunate and we are opposed to the attitude towards the history of our country.
The two most significant events that happened towards the independence of Ghana, JB. Danquah and the rest were not part of it. For example, the 1948 riot which sparked a chain of events that subsequently brought down colonialism in Ghana, J.B Danquah and his colleagues dissociated themselves from it, and they said it was a communist agitator, Kwame Nkrumah who was buying it and they had nothing to do with it.”