You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 08 16Article 570129

Opinions of Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

What is the meaning of founder?

Ironically, whilst the ‘Nkrumaists’ would choose to project their Doyen’s praiseworthy deeds, his impenitent antagonists would rather prefer to dwell largely on the infelicitous and somewhat catastrophic undertakings.

The fact, however, is that it is only a disputatious character who would dare put up an argument against the well-established fact that Dr Nkrumah really did so much for Ghana; arguably, both good and bad.

To be fair, the chivalrous Dr Nkrumah’s foresightedness and patriotism cannot be ignored anyhow.

The unresolved issue, however, is whether if Dr Nkrumah is the sole founder of Ghana or founded Ghana in isolation.

It is worthy of note that whilst some discussants hold a contestable view that such a public discourse is somewhat inane and does not worth discussing, some reformists would rather like to see finality on the seemingly controversial issue.

For the avoidance of doubt, let me however state categorically that this periodical does not seek to grub largely into the historical dimensions of the topic under discussion, but rather, it discusses who a founder really is, per the extant acceptations of the Queen’s English morphemes.

Interestingly, the synonyms of the Queen’s English word founder, according to the Oxford English dictionary, include, inter alia, originator, institutor, initiator, creator, organiser, instigator etc.

For the purposes of this periodical and based on morphological sense, of all the above significations of who really is a founder, I will rather settle on ‘originator’ to advance my argument.

“An originator or a founder is an individual who, on his/her own thought, initiates an idea and takes measures to bring that idea into reality or fruition.”

The all-important question then is: did Dr Nkrumah actually initiate the independence process?

In my humble opinion, if he did, then, there should be no qualms as to whether if he is the founder of Ghana.

On the other hand, if indeed, Dr Nkrumah did not initiate the independence process, how could anyone then argue forcefully that he is the founder?

As I have stated earlier in this periodical, I shall do away with all the extraneous intricacies with regard to the moot question of who actually founded Ghana.

Metaphorically, Dr Nkrumah took the final baton, then uncharacteristically dismissed the views of his compatriots and boldly skipped through the finishing line.

Could we then conclude that since Dr Nkrumah ran the final lap independent of the rest of the team, he did the job in isolation?

Of course, the notion that Dr Nkrumah met stiff opposition from his compatriots leading to the attainment of independence is not farfetched.

But that said, it is worthy of note that working teams are synonymous with conflicts, and, the fact that there were unresolved conflicts among the team does not mean that Dr Nkrumah is the originator or founder of the entire process.

Apparently, it is well-documented that some true patriots initiated the idea of independence from the British long before the timeous arrival of Dr Nkrumah from the United Kingdom.

It is, however, worthy of mention that the umpteenth group back then, was the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), which was formed on 4th August 1947.

According to the available historical facts, the organisers magnanimously extended an invitation to the equally intrepid and patriotic Dr Nkrumah in London to take an important position as the secretary of the organisation.

To his credit, though, Dr Nkrumah graciously obliged and took the position. But as it is with any other working team, unexpected dissonance ensued and the members unfortunately parted ways.

Consequently, Dr Nkrumah, together with a few disgruntled UGCC apologists broke away and formed the Convention Peoples Party (CPP).

While the other remaining members of the UGCC formed a new party called the United Party (UP).

It is, however, worth stressing that the collective purpose was to attain the elusive independence from the colonial masters by any means possible.

The point of departure, though, was how to achieve the ultimate from the colonial masters.

Without sounding garrulous, Dr Nkrumah’s approach appeared pragmatic and thus fast-tracked the process which contributed largely to the attainment of the elusive independence from the British on 6th March 1957.

Make no mistake, Dr Nkrumah took the final baton and estimably guided it to the finishing line in spite of the enormous exigencies along the way.

But all said and done, I do not want to believe that Dr Nkrumah founded Ghana (whatever that actually means), if we were to go by the existing acceptations of the Queen’s English vocabulary called founder.

Based on the available evidence, it is crystal-clear that Dr Nkrumah could not have instigated the process, so what is all the farce about him being tagged as the sole founder of Ghana?

Let us therefore be honest, despite the profound divergence of opinions among the patriots back then, it is monstrously unfair and unconscionable to confer founding status to only Dr Nkrumah.

Without doubt, the deliberate and unpardonable refusal to celebrate the other patriots gives credence to the cliché: ‘a nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for’.

It is, therefore, boundlessly irrational for a few people to convene and decide who actually founded Ghana and then go ahead to celebrate only one contributor and shamefully and conveniently ignored the rest.

In sum, for the sake of fairness, we should rather celebrate the founding fathers’ day and not the founding father’s day.

By K. Badu, UK.