A country worth its salt honours its forebears in recognition of their contribution towards the making of the nation of which they are citizens.
Before taking their destinies in their own hands they belonged to an old order, British colonial authorities. The feat of the lowering of a colonial flag to be replaced by a newly independent one can neither be undertaken by one person nor be achieved in a day.
Today through a welcome Executive Instrument passed by President Akufo-Addo, we are celebrating the names of all those who made this status change possible. In some cases such as this, an omnibus approach is not only welcome but it also addresses many shortcomings of historical significance.
As we have stated before, it was not necessary engaging in a debate as to who founded the sovereign state, Ghana, to the extent of descending into sometimes polemics which only served to aggravate our polarized country.
The Executive Instrument was a welcome development as it put paid to the rancorous and divisive non-issue ‘Ghana was founded by one person and beyond that figure.’
The struggle for independence could not have come about without a certain historical occurrence setting the tone for it to happen eventually.
Those who seek to appoint an individual as one who made it all happen are distorting the facts of history and would not be pardoned by posterity.
The first step towards independence was taken when the Aborigines Rights’ Protection Society (ARPS) was formed in Cape Coast. The 4th August 1897 date of its formation is a fact of history and indisputable; as it stands, it constitutes an important chapter in the chronicle of our journey to Ghana.
Farmers, chiefs, educated Gold Coasters and merchants the details of some of them long buried with their remains were part of the history of the beginning of the journey which was the ARPS. It is their memories and those of the known, the Pa Grants and the latter ones who built upon their toils until the final touchdown of 6th March 1957 that we are honouring today.
As it is with facts of history, there are bound to be dissenters but their stance notwithstanding we like others who would continue to present the story as we know it so that in future when other occupants of this country take their turn to review the arguments they would be better informed.
The history of the holocaust continues to be one of the most divisive chapters of world history as the ‘it happened’ and ‘it did not happen’ schools maintain their positions in the trenches of academics.
The best we can do to their memories is to set the records straight and share the honour among them and not selfishly restrict it to one personality.