Kwame Nkromah deserves the founders day honour, Abdullah Bayong Ayana

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Fighting for the independence of Ghana may have many patriots who contributed in diverse ways to achieve the dream of becoming free from colonial rule, however Dr Kwame Nkromah deserves honour for his immense role, Abdullah Bayong Ayana states. On Radford masie, Abdullah Bayong Ayana a close confidant of late Dr. Hilla Liman said the political debate about including all the patriots in founders day celebration will make no much meaning because if the others patriots were able to fight for Ghanas independence Dr. Kwame Nkromah was not needed. The fact that the other five in the big six called on Dr Kwame Nkromah to lead the UGCC for Ghanas independence, the credit goes to him. He used institutional and family heads who bears much responsibilities as example for reckoning for achievement and failure. Ghana’s independence road map started with disturbances, that forced United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) leaders to send a cable to the Secretary of State in London. It stated that “…unless Colonial Government is changed and a new Government of the people and their Chiefs installed at the centre immediately, the conduct of masses now completely out of control with strikes threatened in Police quarters, and rank and file Police indifferent to orders of Officers, will continue and result in worse violent and irresponsible acts by uncontrolled people. “Working Committee United Gold Coast Convention declare they are prepared and ready to take over interim Government. We ask in name of oppressed, inarticulate, misruled and misgoverned people and their Chiefs that Special Commissioner be sent out immediately to hand over Government to interim Government of Chief and People and to witness immediate calling of Constituent Assembly.” Ghana is the first black African nation to become independent from British Colonial rule on the 6th of March, 1957. Ghana was declared independent by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. However, prior to this declaration, there were some major political parties that had made invaluable contributions to Ghana’s struggle for independence. The contributions of political parties to the country’s multiparty democracy were so enormous that it would not be out of place to describe them as the heartbeat of the political system in Ghana. The parties also served as an umbilical cord between society and the state, ordinary citizens and social groups on one hand, and the organs of government on the other. The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was the first mass political party formed in the Gold Coast to spearhead social agitations for independence. The UGCC which initially started as a social group of mostly the merchants and educated elite was formed at Saltpond in August 1947. Its slogan was “Self-Government within the shortest possible time”. The chairman of the party was George Grant, better known as Paa Grant, a wealthy businessman who was also the financier of the party. Other leading lights of the party included Ernest Ako Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta, and Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah. The UGCC quickly attracted a large following, particularly among the elites, chiefs and farmers; but the speed with which the party attracted members created administrative difficulties for the leaders who were mostly professionals and, therefore, only part-time politicians. As a full time worker, Kwame Nkrumah was able to devote his full attention to mobilising support across the country. The young Nkrumah arrived at the end of 1947 and soon got down to work. He established structures in towns and cities to ensure that the party could function effectively. In February 1948, barely two months after he took office, Kwame Nkrumah and five leaders of the UGCC – Edward Akufo-Addo, Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta, Ernest Ako Adjei and Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah – were arrested for the rioting and looting that occurred as a result of the killing of some ex-servicemen who were on a protest march.

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