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Politics of Friday, 12 March 2010

Source: GNA

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was not a dictator - Samia

Wa, March 12, GNA - Madam Samia Yaba Nkrumah, Member of Parliament for Jomoro, has said Ghana's First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was not a dictator, as alleged by his opponents, who used that as a reason to overthrow him. She said: "In fact, my standard responses to those who say that the Osagyefo was a dictator is that how can a dictator invest so much in education as a pioneering president with so many resources at his disposal."

Madam Nkrumah, who is a daughter of the First President, said her father chose to invest those resources in the people and their education and left himself with virtually nothing, a self denial even to the detriment of his own nuclear family. The products of this sacrifice are all the Ghanaian men and women who benefited from his policies and who are carrying this nation today, she said.

Madam Nkrumah said this at the Centenary Lectures of Dr. Nkrumah at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies, on Thursday. It is on the theme: "Dr. Nkrumah's Ideas, his Vision, his Times and the Record." She said Ghanaians should appreciate that Dr. Nkrumah's vision for education in Ghana immediately after independence was part of an overall comprehensive plan to bring about social justice, economic self-reliance and national cohesion.

Madam Nkrumah said the launching of the Seven Year Development Plan in 1964 was a deliberate plan that sought to give a balanced development to all parts of the country. Under the plan, special attention was to be paid to the modernization of agriculture in the Savannah areas of the North to turn the area into major sources of food for the entire country, Madam Nkrumah explained. Alongside the building of schools came the building of factories such as the meat factory at Zuarungu and the Pawlugu Tomoto Factory to enhance the livelihoods of farmers there.

Unfortunately, Madam Nkrumah said, most of the buildings that once housed those factories were in ruins while some had been sold out to churches. Madam Nkrumah said her father had planned to build the Bui Dam which was designed to be bigger than the Aswan Dam in Egypt to provide electricity for the Northern Sector of the country to complement Akosombo Dam but this was condemned by his opponents. "We have revisited the Bui Dam Project and it is now being constructed but with a reduced capacity," she lamented. She said 50 years ago many schools were established by the Ghana Education Trust Fund, as part of a national policy to expand educational facilities throughout the country It was, therefore, not a coincidence that many schools in the country were celebrating their 50th anniversary these years, she said, and urged Ghanaians to give credit to her father and stop calling him a dictator.

Mr. Kale Cezar, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, said it was the government's view that if the nation had any dues to pay to any person in the country, it must go to Dr. Nkrumah. He said any attempt to denigrate this fact would never fly in the face of history and posterity. Mr. Cezar, therefore, urged the youth to learn more about Osagyefo and to imbibe in themselves the whole spirit of nationalism, patriotism, selflessness, sacrifice and hard work, which he said, were the greatest legacies of Dr. Nkrumah.