General News of Saturday, 12 May 2018
President Akufo-Addo has been criticised for consistently exaggerating his family’s role in history after he claimed his uncle founded the University of Ghana.
“When you exaggerate the truth, the essence of the truth is destroyed and undermined”, veteran journalist Kweku Baako Jnr said on Newsfile Saturday
Once again, President Nana Akufo-Addo has stoked controversy after crediting his uncle and nationalist Joseph Boakye Danquah in the establishment of the premier university in 1948.
Giving a speech at the establishment of an endowment fund at the university, the President said it is “wholly appropriate” and “not far-fetched” to say JB Danquah founded the university.
The Gold Coast nationalist backed a motion in parliament to set up an Elliot commission that led to the establishment of the university during British rule.
He is also played a role in persuading farmers to provide £867,000 as seed money for the university.
But a historian and researcher at the University of Ghana, Kweku Darko Ankrah while praising JB Danquah’s role says the president’s view is exclusionist.
He said leading personalities like Sir Arku Korsah, Nene Azu Mate–Kole and Otumfuo Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh, pressed the British rulers to cite the university in Gold Coast and not Ibadan in Nigeria.
But he paid a glowing tribute to the farmers as the true founders of the university.
Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency in the Volta Region, Kwame Agboza said he has observed that Akufo-Addo is using his new status as president to push a revisionist history of Ghana.
The NDC MP noted the President once used his Independence Day speech to trigger a debate over whether Ghana has a founder or founders.
The President’s party, the New Patriotic Party belongs to the Danquah-Busia tradition – a political lineage of lawyers and liberals which maintained a strong and lasting rivalry with the Nkrumahist tradition of Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.
The Danquah-Busia tradition does not accept the popular view that Kwame Nkrumah founded Ghana.
With this background, the NDC MP Kwame Agboza said the president feels a personal need to correct an “injustice” done his family in the recording of Ghana’s history.
“He is determined to claim an unclaimed territory of his family history”, the opposition NDC said.