Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne, AfricaNews editor in Accra, Ghana
Ghana's President John Mills has urged Ghanaians to put aside their political and social acrimony and unite for a better Ghana. "Let this day, my brothers and sisters, be the day we begin to breathe new life into Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's vision of a strong, united Ghana. Let us grab this opportunity and rekindle our sense of national pride and self-worth."
In an address to the nation on Monday morning to mark the centenary birthday of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, christened the Founder’s Day, Prof Mills noted that Dr Nkrumah “created one Ghana” that should not be allowed to disintegrate.
Eulogizing Dr Nkrumah, president Mills recounted that Ghana's first president's leadership role in projecting Ghana to the outside world as the true black star of Africa and the part he played in liberating most African countries from colonialism is unrivaled.
“We must take a collective pride in celebrating the day, the 100th birthday of the man who led our independent struggle and lit the flame that blazed the liberation struggle of the African continent.
“…we are not celebrating our founder for the sake of doing so, we are celebrating him also for what he stood for and what he gave our dear nation. Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s contributions to the development of Ghana and Africa to creating a vision for Ghana, nurturing and forming the life and spirit of our nation are unsurpassed.”
Touching on politics in Ghana, the president was full of praise for Dr Nkrumah for breaking the jinx that portrayed politics as a preserve for the elites and opening its doors to all, including civil servants, teachers, market women, youth and fisher folks among others.
After demystifying politics in Ghana, Dr Nkrumah, Mills remembered, also went ahead to break down ethnic barriers in politics and social life.
President Mills therefore reached out to all Ghana’s to come together, irrespective of one’s political affiliation, religion and ethnic background, and work toward the development of the country.
“We need to measure the greatness of this nation by the extent to which we care for each other. Let us care for each other and by so doing we will care for mother Ghana.”
He noted that the commemoration of the day was in fulfillment of a commitment he made during the electioneering campaign. He reiterated the adoption of Dr Nkrumah’s centenary birthday as a continental event to be included on the African Union’s calendar of special events.
“These two events are unprecedented and speak to the uniqueness and global stature of our own Kwame Nkrumah.”
Various activities are being held across the country to marks Dr Kwame Nkrumah's birthday.