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Politics of Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Be cautious in attributing achievements to J. B. Danquah – Baako to NPP

Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper Kweku Baako has asked the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be cautious in how they eulogise the late Dr J. B. Danquah as it celebrates his 50th anniversary.

He said the significant political contributions of J. B. Danquah cannot be overlooked but in seeking to sing his praises “we must present the facts as they are, a certain sense of caution must be brought to bear in our historical ‘discourse’.”

In his view, the circumstances under which J. B. Danquah and members of the big six died was unfortunate, especially because they were not given a fair trial but relying on that to peddle falsehood was improper.

Speaking on Peace FMs’ morning show Kokrokoo, the veteran journalist said the NPP should properly cross-check their facts to ensure that they do not deceive the citizenry.

He said the party, family, friends, colleagues and associates of the late statesman have every right to celebrate him but should do so truthfully.

Mr Baako’s observations follow comments by Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North and some other members of the NPP that J. B. Danquah was the brain behind the Volta River Project.

Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu also said the late statesman played a pivotal role to prevent the separation of the Asante Kingdom from Ghana and was instrumental in building the University of Ghana.

But Mr Baako said, “attributing the Volta River project to Dr Danquah is a distortion of history.”

He noted that documents available to him indicate that the decision to undertake the project was conceived as far back as 1915 where the site of the Volta River was noted in a geological survey as suitable for the purpose.

This according to him means that the vision and idea to undertake the project had already begun.

He acknowledged that Dr Danquah had stressed the importance of the project but standing on a correct premise and drawing the wrong conclusion by crediting the construction of the dam to him was wrong.

Dr J. B. Danquah died on 4th February 1965 at the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison where he was serving a jail term under the Preventive Detention Act.

The exhumation, reburial and final funeral rites to celebrate his 50th anniversary are slated for Saturday February 7. It will be preceded by national symposium at the Accra International Conference Centre on Wednesday February 4, 2015 on the theme, “Service and Sacrifice in the birth and growth of Democratic Ghana.”

The J. B. Danquah Memorial Lecture Series was instituted in 1968 in memory of Danquah, who was also a founding member of Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

There is Danquah Institute that was set up in commemoration of his work and to promote his liberal democratic idea posthumously.