NKRUMAH EULOGISED AS CENTENARY CELEBRATION IS FORMALLY LAUNCHED
STORY BY TIMOTHY GOBAH
A brief but colourful ceremony yesterday to launch the activities marking Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah’s centenary birthday, attracted an impressive array of political heavyweights.
The heavy weights who included the Vice-President, Mr John Mahama, eulogise the man who has been voted the African of the millennium.
The ceremony also attracted dignitaries among who were the children of Dr. Nkrumah, the diplomatic corps, the 2008 election presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the chairman of the NPP, Mr Peter Mac –Manu Traditional leaders, government official’s and a large representations of the convention people party.
The occasion who witnessed the sod cutting for the renovation of the kwame Nkrumah park, as well as the unveiling of the logo for the celebrations.
The programme, which began at 11.am,was heralded by splendid cultural displays from various troupes cross the country as well as patriotic songs from choirs and the national symphony orchestra.
A tall list of activities, including public lectures, symposia, tourism and entertainment events, will characters the occasion which falls on September 21, 2009 and has been declared by President J .E. A. Mills as statutory public holiday. The activities marking the celebration will, however, continue till may 2010.
Launching the ceremony, the Vice President John, Mahama described the founder and the first president of Ghana Osagyefo dr. Nkrumah as an institution in Africa and in the Diaspora, where he fought selflessly for the emancipation and total liberation of Africa.
He said in addition to being at the forefront of Ghana’s independence and Africa’s liberation struggle, dr. Nkrumah’s achievents ran through the length and breath of the country.
He laid a solid foundation for the country’s infrastructural architecture. The many schools, roads, ports health facilities, a hydro power project and his vigorous industrialisation and agricultural programmes formed the nucleus of a vision he had for Ghana , he stressed.
In a welcoming address the chairman of the kwame Nkrumah centenary planning committee, professor Akilakpa sawyer, said in developing the programme, the committee was guided by those considerations to make the celebration truly national involving all the sections of the Ghanaian society .
He said the committee also considered making the celebration reflect the popular character of the independence movement, while marking the uniqueness personal leadership and inspirational qualities of dr. Nkrumah.
Later in an interview, Mr Mac Manu applauded the mills administration for instituting the celebrations as well as declaring a holiday in dr. Nkrumah’s honour.
He described Dr. Nkrumah as a visionary leader who had worked to unite the country, saying “this is a national celebrations and we must all get involved.
I am a Ghanaian and I am duty bound to participate in al national affairs, including the celebration of a visionary leader like Osagyefo Nkrumah, he stressed.
Many African leaders are expected to join the government and the rest of Ghanaians here and elsewhere on the continent and across the world to celebrate the life of the man who is indisputably acclaimed as the African of the 20th century and patriarch of the African liberation struggle.
Dr. Nkrumah’s memory has been immortalised in many respects for leading Ghana to attain independence from the british colonial rule, and the decision by president mills to make the celebration of his centenary birthday grand will give an additional impetus his memory.
At the 13th ordinary summit of the African union in Sirte, Libya July this year , president mills managed to convince his peers and the au to adopt the centenary birthday celebration of dr. Nkrumah as a continental event.
In a resolution passed at the end of the summit, the African heads of state were reported to have unanimously” agreed to celebrate Dr. Nkrumah’s centenary birthday and put it on the AU calendar of special events.
The leaders also accepted an invitation by President Mills to join Ghanaians to celebrate the occasion. Many of them took turns to praise Dr. Nkrumah’s visionary leadership and expressed their willingness to participate in the celebration.