On Monday, 21 September 2020, Ghanaians all over the world celebrated the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana.
The celebration took worldwide turn as German Bundesliga giants, Borussia Dortmund, took to their official Twitter page to join Ghanaians celebrate their hero.
The German side in a tweet said: “Happy #KwameNkrumahMemorialDay to all our friends and family in Ghana!”
Despite the outside world’s eagerness to join in celebrating Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government, for the third time in a row, went silent when the country celebrated Nkrumah’s day, since assuming office in 2017.
This year’s silence caught the attention of several people as the government that held a ‘feast’ for J. B. Danquah and a memorial service for African-Americans George Floyd and “Black Panther star” Chadwick Boseman did not find Nkrumah worthy of even a mention on the president official social media pages.
Dr. Kobby Mensah, a senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, in a tweet criticized the government for failing to honour the memory of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah with at least, a social media post.
“Pres. Rawlings, Kufuor, Atta-Mills & Mahama all celebrated Dr. Nkrumah’s birthday throughout their terms in office. It’s 10 am and I am yet to readjust line from the Presidency. If nothing at all, he’s our first president, isn’t he? There was a whole feast for JB’s birthday. Hmm!” he tweeted.
It can be recalled that the government of Ghana in collaboration with the Diasporan Community on Friday, June, 6 organized a memorial ceremony in honor of African American George Floyd who was shot and killed by a white police officer.
The ceremony which was held at the historical W.E.B Du Bois memorial center for Pan African Culture was under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture.
The minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi who was at the ceremony said: “We would like to use this occasion to draw attention to the injustice that continues to be meted out to our brothers and sisters all over the world,” the minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said.
“Racism in America continues to be a deadly pandemic, for which for more than 400 years now, our brothers and sisters in the U.S. have yearned for a cure,” she said.
Again on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, the Ghana Tourism Authority, together with the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the Diaspora community in Ghana held a ceremony to honour “Black Panther star”, Chadwick Boseman who passed away recently after battling with colon cancer.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman said: ” May I respectfully request that we all rise for a minute silence…for our ancestors who went through the tortures journey of slavery, two, for our brothers and sisters who have fallen in recent times especially our brother Chadwick of Black Panther fame and yesterday in Cape Coast, Elolo Gabin for those of who have been in emancipation and panafest, you know Elolo is no more.”
Though this move by the government was heavily criticized by many Ghanaians including Kwame A Plus, who is a sympathizer of the governing New Patriotic Party, others were of the opinion that it is good for the government to show to the Diasporan Community that the county cares about them.
However, it was surprising that the government could not organizer a similar ceremony to honour the memory of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah when the whole country was celebrating the African hero on his 111th birthday.
This action by the government continues to increase the perception of some Ghanaians and political actors that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led administration wants to downplay the role of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah during the struggles for Ghana’s independent.