The Ministry of Interior has declared Thursday, September 21, 2017 as a public holiday.
The holiday, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, commemorates the birthday of Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The change of name from Founder’s Day to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day, according to a statement released by the presidency last Sunday is due to the controversy surrounding the celebration of the day.
The statement said the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has thus proposed the designation of August 4 as Founders Day and September 21 as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo earlier proposed the designation of August 4 as Founders Day and September 21 as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
In line with that, he will push for legislation of the two dates as public holidays.
A statement signed by the Director of Communications at the Flagstaff House, Mr Eugene Arhin, and issued in Accra said the President had issued an Executive Instrument (EI) to commemorate this year’s celebration of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day on September 21 as a public holiday.
It described as unfortunate the fact that 60 years after independence, the history of the events leading to Ghana’s independence continued to be embroiled in unnecessary controversy, due largely to partisan political considerations of the moment.
“It is clear that successive generations of Ghanaians made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism. It is, therefore, fitting that we honour them as those who contributed to the founding of our nation,” it said.
The statement said the most appropriate way to honour them is to commemorate the day on which the two most significant events in Ghana’s colonial political history that led us to independence occurred – 4th August.
“On that day in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The society did a great job to mobilise the chiefs and people to ward off the greedy hands of British imperialism to ensure that control of Ghanaian lands remained in Ghanaian hands.
“It represented the first monumental step towards the making of modern Ghana, enabling us to avoid the quagmire of land inheritance that our brothers and sisters in southern and eastern Africa continue to suffer from the seizures of their lands by White minorities.
”In a deliberate act in the continuum of Ghanaian history, exactly 50 years later, on August 4, 1947, at Saltpond, the great nationalists of the time gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the first truly nationalist party of the Gold Coast, to demand the independence of our nation from British rule at a gathering which included ‘paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and men and women from all walks of life in the Gold Coast’, according to an eyewitness,” it said.
The statement said the inauguration set the ball rolling for Ghana’s attainment of independence and for the dramatic events, including the birth in 1949 of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), that ushered Ghana into freedom.
“That day, 4th August, is thus, 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,2 it said.
It said it was equally clear that the first leader of independent Ghana and the nation’s first President, Dr Nkrumah, played an outstanding role in helping bring to fruition the works of the earlier generations and “leading us to the promised land of national freedom and independence”.
It said it was also appropriate that Ghanaians commemorated him for that role by designating his birthday as the permanent day of his remembrance.