Part of the rather predictable notice from the Ministry of Interior and published by various media captured this as the cliché it has become:
“The Ministry of Interior has declared Monday, September 21 and Thursday, September 24 public holidays. Monday, September 21 is Founders Day. It is a day set aside to observe the birthday of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah…”.
I recall when this holiday was instituted a few years ago we as usual went into some debate on where the apostrophe should be, that is if it should be Founder’s Day or Founders’ Day. We, as usual, moved away from it. Whether September 21 is to celebrate Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah ALONE or him and the others who toiled and put their lives on the line for Ghana, for us, we need to commemorate the day with a certain meaning and sense of purpose.
Our politicians and leaders from the pre and immediate-post independence era were no angels. They were not all blessed with Einstein-like brains nor did they all have a Churchill-like leadership ability. But they loved Ghana. They believed in Ghana. They generally thought about Ghana more than they did about their personal bank accounts and friends.
I am yet to see or read about a leader since Nkrumah’s era whose vision comes to close to be spoken at the same level ad our first President. He was no angel, but his foresight and love for this nation and his vision were streaks ahead. We still rely on Nkrumah’s dam for a chunk of our electricity and have failed terribly at adding a any significant and close to reliable power supply; the Accra-Tema motorway has lasted over fifty years and we can’t learn how to even maintain it. The vision of that man and his peers outlived them.
As we commemorate September 21, it is my prayer that;
1. Our leaders take time off to read about our history – the history of our Founders.
2. Our leaders re-discover their sense of patriotism and place Ghana first again
3. We start to think of Ghana in the long term – not 5 or 10 or 20 years, and not some national development plan put together for political expediency but to truly DEVELOP the NATION
4. We re-imbibe into ourselves a sense of pride for being Ghanaians, truly believing in Freedom and Justice, and having the courage to defend what is right.
5. We learn to put Ghana first – before party, before friends, before cohorts, before bootlickers and before nation wreckers
6. We help our government to succeed because it is OUR government and it’s success reflects in our daily lives.
7. Our government be reminded constantly that they are OUR government – not a government for any party, any tribe, any region, any body
8. The words of our National Anthem, National Pledge, patriotic songs like ‘Yen ara asase ni’, ‘Arise Ghana youth for your country’ and the many others composed to inspire us and make us believe in ourselves re-gain their relevance
9. We succeed as a people
10. Our children grow up to meet a Ghana we have nurtured and preserved for them but not one we have denigrated, desigrated, destroyed.
God bless you
God bless us
God bless Ghana – OUR motherland
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