Veteran Journalist and an avowed Nkrumahist, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has said Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah does not need a statutory public holiday in his memory.
According to him, though he’s a dyed-in-the-wool Nkrumahist and believes that the latter is the founder of the morden state of Ghana, he’s always had a difficulty with instituting a day as a statutory public holiday in memory of Nkrumah or anybody else as a founder of Ghana.
President Akufo Addo is set to propose legislation to Parliament to designate 4th August as FOUNDERS DAY, and 21st September as KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY, both of which will be observed as public holidays.
A statement from the Presidency and signed by the Director of Communications at the presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin on Sundy said the President has to this end issued an Executive Instrument to commemorate this year’s celebration of KWAME NKRUMAH MEMORIAL DAY as a public holiday.
Following the development, 21st September, which previously was marked as Founders Day will now be celebrated as Nkrumah Memorial Day in honour of Ghana’s first president Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the statement released on Sunday noted.
Speaking on Peace FM Wednesday, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako stated that he had problems with late President Mills decision to make Nkrumah’s birthday a public holiday in 2010, without trying to build a consensus among Ghanaians knowing very well that it was a controversial subject.
He however said President Akufo Addo’s decision not to cancel the commemoration of Nkrumah’s birthday but revise it from Founder’s day to Memorial day is a huge vindication of Nkrumah which he describes as a paradox.
“This is coming from a UP rooted administration, Nkrumah after the 1966 coup was criminalized, indeed a price tag of 10,000 cedi then, was put on his head as a common criminal. He was being looked for by the Ghana police and INTERPOL for murder. There were three of them, one is Boye Moses who was arrested, caged and paraded in the streets. Everything Nkrumah was criminalized, but step by step almost every government post Nkrumah began to do a certain systematic rehabilitation of Nkrumah’s image though opportunistically each of them was doing it for their own selfish interest.”
He added: “Rawlings with all his anti-Nkrumah, later constructed the Nkrumah Mousoleum in 1992 when Ghana was going to the polls, that was opportunistic, same with what late President Mills did. For me, Nkrumah is a global phenomenon, he doesn’t need a holiday for him to be what he is. Nkrumah’s birth 21’st September, was a public holiday when he was in power but it ceased to be so when he was overthrown, and we should have allowed the thing to rest that way. As I sit here, Nkrumah is the founder of Ghana, you can’t take that away from me. But the very moment you move it from the point of yout belief and you want to institute it as a statutory public holiday, it must come with some consensus. So that it becomes sustainable.”