Ghanaians are today marking the Founders Day which has been set aside by an Act of Parliament, Public Holidays Act, 2018, in memory of the successive generations of Ghanaians who contributed to the liberation of the country from colonial rule.
The day replaces the Founder’s Day which was designated to commemorate the first President of the Republic, who led the country to gain independence.
In settling on August 4, as the day set aside to celebrate our forebears’ for their contribution to the struggle for independence, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo argued that “it is to acknowledge the successive generations of Ghanaians who made vital contributions to the liberation of our country from imperialism and colonialism.
The day is, therefore, being celebrated not only to honour the memory of our forebears, but two significant events in our colonial political history, that led us to independence.
On that day, in 1897, the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (APRS) was formed in Cape Coast to mobilise chiefs and people to ward off British invaders to ensure that Ghanaian lands remain in Ghanaian hands.
Exactly 50 years later, on August 4, 1947 at Saltpond, a group of nationalists in an effort to gain self rule gathered to inaugurate the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).
Those who gathered at that historic meeting included paramount chiefs, clergymen, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, traders and ordinary men and women.
This historic event set the tone for the struggle for independence before the birth in 1949 of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) that led the country to independence.
It does make a lot of sense to celebrate all successive generations of Ghanaians on a significant day, to recognise and appreciate the collective efforts of all citizens towards a free independent country.
Unfortunately, not all segments of the Ghanaian society agree that the celebration of the Founders Day should go beyond the recognition of Dr Kwame Nkrumah as the sole founder of Ghana.
It is an incontrovertible fact that Dr Nkrumah played an outstanding role in leading CPP to lead Ghana to the promise land. But it can also not be denied that others started the struggle and he contributed to achieving the goal of our forebears.
It is absolutely important that we celebrate him and all others who contributed to the struggle for independence.
Although Parliament has passed the law to back the celebration of the day, the debate about the commemoration is not going away.
There are some strong opinions opposed to the change in the name of the day from Founder’s Day to Founders Day which continues to dominate the discussions.
The Ghanaian Times is of the view that no matter where one stands in the matter, an Act of Parliament has already designated August 4, as Founders Day and instead of engaging in an endless battle over it, we should come together and honour the memory of our forebears in a befitting manner.
The thought of celebrating our forebears must supersede our differences so that we all can contribute to the development of our dear country, knowing that one day we would be remembered for our contribution to Mother Ghana.
We wish all Ghanaians, happy Founders Day!