General News of Monday, 12 March 2007
Source: The Enquirer
Almost a week after an unprecedented gathering at the Independence Square in Accra on the occasion of the country’s Golden Jubilee celebration, President Kufuor continues to receive bashing for his speech and appearance at the ceremony. The latest criticism is coming from Johnson Aseidu-Nketiah, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the largest opposing party.
He has chastised President Kufuor for comparing the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NPP, Mr Reginald Reynolds Amponsah, popularly called RR Amponsah, to the founding father of the country, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in his anniversary speech last Tuesday.
Mr. Asiedu-Nketiah, who was at the ceremony with Prof Mills, Dr Kwabena Adjei, Dr Mrs. Mary Grant and other NDC bigwigs, described the comparison as baseless because unlike R.R. Amponsah, Dr Nkumah’s legacies transcend the shores of Ghana, therefore, President Kufuor’s comparison can best be described as likening “a village primary school headmaster to a university vice-chancellor.”
He added that President Kufuor also failed to take advantage of the huge presence of the international media to market Ghana. His dressing was inappropriate to the occasion, particularly, when most of his ministers were in traditional outfit. He argued that “Osagyefo was a president, and has been declared the African of the Millennium because of his momentous contributions on the continent and to humanity; the comparison is like apples and oranges.”
Mr. Aseidu-Nketia further accused the president of not giving any special recognition to Ghana’s first president as well as the country’s longest serving head of state, Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings.
Popularly called General Mosquito, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah told the Enquirer via a telephone interview that Mr. Kufuor failed to take advantage of a unique opportunity to reconcile a divided country by not recognizing the toil, sweat and blood of Dr Nkrumah and Mr. Rawlings in bringing Ghana this far. He explained that whilst the Dr Nkrumah fought and won independence for the country, Mr. Rawlings, after many years of political instability, steered affairs of an almost failed state successfully.
Mr. Rawlings, he said also organized elections and ensured the first-ever peaceful transition from one democratically elected government to another. Therefore, his contributions are worthy of President Kufuor’s acknowledgement. “He missed a watershed moment to be forthright and reconcile the country,” Mr. Aseidu-Nketia observed.
Commenting further on Dr Nkrumah, he said that the government should have erected a statue of Nkrumah in front of one of the numerous edifices he built, the Parliament House, as a special tribute to commemorate the day.