BY SHIELA SACKEY
Thousands of Ghanaians and other people of African descent yesterday converged on the kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park to make merry of the centenary celebration of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Theme ‘ Centenary Of Nkrumah – A Life Of Struggle: A Vision Of Africa Unbound’ the colourful celebration which was addressed by President John Evans Mills attracted people formal walks of life.
Among the dignitaries were Vice President John Mahama, speaker of parliament rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, Chief Justice Georgina Wood, members of the diplomatic corps, ministers of state, members of parliament, leaders of the various political parties and the African Diaspora community.
A high-powered delegation of the new patriotic party , led by former chief of staff and minister of presidential affairs, Kwadwo Mpiani, the 2008 flag bearer of conventions peoples party, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, leader of the peoples national convention and the three children of the late president, Francis, Sekou and Samia Nkrumah were also there to grace Nkrumah’s 100th birthday.
Conspicuously missing was the former head of state, Jerry John Rawlings.
The kwame Nkrumah memorial park was washed with mutational colours amidst brass band and music, mingled with songs such as Nkrumah Yeeeh, show boy’ . if someone says he is on the side of Nkrumah and was not in the CPP then that fellow is a liar and many more.
The centenary celebration was fulfilled of a pledge made by President Mills during his first session address to parliament to recognise the birthday of Ghana’s first national president on the national calendar as founders day hence 21 September each year would be recognised as such.
Furtherance to this the African union has adopted the centenary birthday of the celebration of Dr. Nkrumah as a continental event to be included on the AU’s slender of special events. these events are unprecedented and speak to the uniqueness and global statue of Ghana’s first president.
Before his address president mills signed in the middle of a unity flag while the vice-president, speaker of parliament and chief justice followed suit to show a sign of commitment to national unity.
President mills, who described dr. Nkrumah as an illustrious son of Ghana and African, said the life and history of Ghana’s first president underscore one undeniable fact.
He said Ghanaians should be guided by dr. Nkrumah’s values of unity and hard work and perseverance so far as to help build a Better Ghana, stressing , “For those of us political leaders, the best judges will be prosperity and not our contemporaries”.
Expressing admiration of the presence of al political parties, president Mills noted “ Nkrumah is teaching us so many valuable lessons which should imbue in us a sense of oneness and national unity”.
Quoting the adage “a nation that does not honour his heroes is not worth dying for”, President Mills was optimistic that Ghana would never forget trailblazers and all those who have made valuable contributions to the nation.
Earlier, the chairman of the planning committee, Prof Akilakpa Sawyer acknowledge the tremendous role of our founding fathers who play a row in the struggle for independence and lit the flame that blazed the liberation struggle of the African continent.
He lauded President Mills for his initiative in institution founders day in the national calendar to recognise what Nkrumah stood for and what he gave the nation , saying , “the celebration will rekindle in us a strong sense of unity and national pride”.
Born September 21 1909, at Nkroful in the western region, the late Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah led Ghana, formerly the gold coast, to independence in 1957 from Colonial powered Britain.
He is noted for the playing a pivotal role in champion the cause for African Unity that led to formation of the organisation of African unity.
Nkrumah is famously rembemred when he declared that Ghana’s independence was meaningless unless it was linked to the total liberation of the African continent.
On June 1, 1949, dr. Nkrumah led the formation of the CPP at arena in Accra before a crowd of some 60,000 people.
As time passed, he was accused of being a dictator, and also of forming a one-part state in 1964 , with himself a president for life as well as actively promoting a cult of her own personality.
Overthrown y the military in 1966, with the help of western backing, he spent his years in exile in Guineas Conakry, dying in Buchare Romania, on April 1972.
His legacy and dream of a ‘United States of African’ still remains a goal among many.