After many decades of practising multi-party democracy in the country, the Founder’s Day versus Founders’ Day debate never seems to be ending any time soon.
This long-standing issue was once again reignited with the maiden Founders’ Day celebration which was marked last Sunday with a public holiday across the country.
It will be recalled that this debate was brought to the fore in 2017, when in his speech at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made mention of the subject matter and the need for the country to do what was right.
It is really most unfortunate that more than 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to the founding of Ghana continues to be embroiled in needless controversy due largely to partisan political considerations.
Founder’s versus Founders’ debate
It is worrying to observe that with the declaration of August 4 as Founders’ Day, the country is still not on the same page as to who our founder or founders are.
It is even more worrying that concerns from a section of Ghanaians have not gone down well, with some persons and groups, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), criticising the government for the declaration, describing it as an attempt to rewrite the country’s history.
President Akufo-Addo in a Facebook post on Sunday to mark the day, called on Ghanaians to rise above partisan considerations and set the records straight by recognising the collective efforts played by key stakeholders towards the liberation of Ghana.
“It is time we rose above partisan considerations, set the records straight, recognise the collective efforts in gaining our freedom and independence from colonial rule, and do right by our history,” he stated.
By all standards, the President’s call is apt and in the right direction considering his position as head of the national family. There is the need for oneness as the nation aspires to the common goal of dealing with a matter that has a bearing on the entirety of the country.
But as a nation, how ready are we to adhere to the President’s advice?
While some believe that might be an impossible task, I think that can be done with a sense of patriotism and the placement of the national interest ahead of all other considerations.
However, as a nation, my view is the need to continue with the non-partisan conversation so as to agree on the proper profiling of the country’s history.
National Orientation and Nationalism
As the debate continues, it is interesting to note that currently in Ghana, there are some people who cannot even sing the National Anthem.
But it is the same anthem that reminds us of where we are coming from and where we are headed.
I believe we must have space on our calender to tell the history of our country and to engender a general understanding as to how we even came by the name Ghana.
Ghana, in the supreme interest of all, must have space for its citizens to learn its history and have a better appreciation of the efforts that culminated in the status that we call a “Republic”.
Evidence abounds to the fact that some people get to the top to become leaders while they do not even know the country’s history and much more, even sing the National Anthem or recite the National Pledge.
Continously telling the story and where we want to go is, therefore, very critical and important.
Who is sacrificing for nation?
At the moment, what the nation needs is the rekindling of the love for nation and the desire to sacrifice a part of individual identity for the attainment of national goals.
The continuous display of partisanship in our body politic and the lack of patriotism and love for the country is greatly undermining national development.
It, thus, seems as though when we take a step forward as a democratic nation, our acts, invocations, predictions and pronouncements are bereft of patriotism and the desire to build our country as our anthem states.
Love for country goes a long way to engender development and whatever there is to do.
I wish all Ghanaians a belated happy Founders’ Day.