June 4, Dec 31 fitting for holidays than August 4 – Asiedu Nketia revives debate
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) General Secretary has stoked the debate over president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s August 4 Founders’ Day proposal, saying its needless.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia said the June 4th and December 31st revolutions staged by ex-president Jerry John Rawlings deserve to be celebrated as “national holidays” than the president’s proposed date.
August 4, 1947, was the day Ghana’s first political party – United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) – was formed at Saltpond in the Central Region by stalwarts like Dr J.B Danquah and Paa Grant.
President Akufo-Addo has maintained the day kicked into action the country’s independence struggle, resulting in the March 6, 1957, independence declaration.
But at the 36th-Anniversary celebration of the 31st December Revolution in the Volta Regional town of Ho Sunday, the former lawmaker said Mr Rawlings’ revolutions hold more significance to the country than the birth of the UGCC.
“June 4th and 31st December did something that affected the governance of this country [and] we have all benefited from what the revolutions stood and still stands for,” he said.
Mr Nketia’s comment has been seen as a tacit invitation to supporters of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to join the debate that divided opinion in the country.
Forces aligned to Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah have accused the president of deliberately seeking to rewrite the history to elevate UGCC members.
As part of the president’s legislative proposal, the September 21 currently marked as Founder’s Day would be made Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, if Parliament endorses it.
But Mr Nketia whose party instituted the Founder’s Day celebration in 2009 said the August 4 date does not deserve a national holiday.
He said a national celebration of the two revolutions will help to remind Ghanaians about their relevance.
“It will further the interest of Ghana if we choose to dedicate a day or two to remind everybody about the importance of probity, accountability and social justice,” he said.