The Minority in Parliament’s protest of the amendment to the Founders’ Day holiday continued on Friday with another walk out.
The Akufo-Addo administration plans to designate August 4 as Founders’ Day with an amendment to the Public Holidays Act 2001 (Act 601) in honour of the multiple persons that contributed to Ghana’s liberation from colonial rule.
The current Founders Day holiday on September 21 is solely in honour of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, which the Minority views as an inaccurate representation of the nation’s history.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 2012, first earmarked September 21, Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday and it has voiced opposition to the change since it was proposed in 2o17.
The Minority MPs walked out on Thursday to demonstrate their disapproval of the amendment.
The Adansi-Asokwa, K.T Hammond, who is on the Majority side, said Kwame Nkrumah will never be recognized as the only founder of the country.
“Let us get history right, how will you say there is only one founder of Ghana? We [NPP] of our [Dombo-Busia] tradition will never accept that Kwame Nkrumah was the founder of Ghana. He was one of them. Among the lot, I will not even say he is the Primus inter pares.”
“We have Paa Grant and JB Danquah, Ako Adjei putting together resources to bring you from the diaspora, how do you come and say you are the person who started the talk. We will never agree.”
January 7 is also being earmarked as Constitution Day by the Akufo-Addo administration with the amendment.
The amendment further seeks to scrap Republic Day and AU Day as public holidays.
Setting the birthday of Kwame Nkrumah as Founder’s Day sparked debate over whether other contributors to Ghana’s independence were being sidelined.
In President Nana Akufo-Addo’s proposal, September 21 will now be observed as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
The Presidency’s statement at the time said August 4, is “obviously the most appropriate day to signify our recognition and appreciation of the collective efforts of our forebears towards the founding of a free, independent Ghana.”
The shift was met by criticism from across the political divide, especially groups with Nkrumaist ties.
The NDC, known for its support for Nkrumaist ideals, deems this move as an attempt to distort Ghana’s history by enforcing the idea that Ghana had multiple founders.
This is because August 4 is a pivotal day for groups within the Danquah-Busia tradition, of which the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) belongs.
“Any attempt to force on us some founders will be resisted by all progressive forces in this country. Ghana’s founding president’s birthday is September 21. That day has been recognized by even the African Union,” the NDC National Organiser, Kofi Adams said in 2017.
August 4 is noted as the date for the formation of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society by John Mensah Sarbah in 1897, and the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in 1947 by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant.