Address by His Excellency the then Vice President of the Republic of Ghana John Dramani Mahama to the Chiefs and People of Nzema as part of activities to mark the Centenary Celebrations of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah held on Saturday, 19th september, 2009 at Nkroful.
Members of the Council of State
Ministers of State
Members of Parliament
District Chief Executives
Heads of Departments
Distinguished Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is anhonour for me to be here in Nkroful on the occasion of this colourful durbar of chiefs and people of the Nzema traditional area to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, a distinguished son of this area.
It also see my presence here as that of one performing a political pilgrimage to the birth place of an icon who has inspired many Africans and their kith and kin from the diaspora by awakening their consciousness, self respect and dignity as equal partners of mankind.
Ladies and Gentlemen, no one will believe that this humble and serene environment could have produced a son of the stature and fame of Kwame Nkrumah.
We all know by now that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was at the fore front in the nationalist struggle for Ghana’s independence and self determination for Africa’s liberation struggle. He laid a solid foundation by providing our nation with infrastructural facilities and social amenities which are still visible today and attest to the vision he had for Ghana.
I mentioned a few days ago that Nkrumah was not just an individual but institution in Africa and the diaspora. His contribution throughout his lifetime to African political thought and dignity of the black man remain lasting memories and legacies for generations yet unborn.
That is why he was rightly named Africa’s man of the millennium and voted by the BBC amongst the first hundred most influential people the world over.
It is against this background that we need to immortalize the ideas, works and unfinished agenda of this visionary leader and patriot. By bestowing this honour on the Osagyefo we would be sending the right signals to the present and future generations that this country is worth fighting and dying gain.
Nkrumah’s life should teach us particularly when in public service to avoid graft, corruption and plundering of public resources for private benefit when given the opportunity to render services to our compatriots. I believe ideas, god deeds and meritorious service to one’s community and country can leave an enduring legacy after one’s death. Great men and women who contributed ideas for the advancement of humanity like Kwame Nkrumah never die. That is what we mean when we say Nkrumah never dies.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe this centenary celebration has great hope for our country. It should re-enkindle in us all the spirit of unity and patriotism. This year long celebration is also a call to all of us particularly the youth to aspire to higher values of sacrifice and commitment to the ideals of service to ones nation.
Unfortunately today that spirit of patriotism and sacrifice is lacking. And understandably so! Decades of leadership following Nkrumah in which persons entrusted with leadership have just been focused on self enrichment rather than service to the people has left our people with a deep sense of distrust of their leaders. The result has been a certain sense of aloofness or indifference in our people. We can only change our nation’s circumstances if we all put our shoulders to the wheel and give a little shove to move our nation in the direction of progress and prosperity.
There are three main events in the year-long celebration: 21st September 2009 – his 100th birthday, 6th March 2010 – Ghana’s Independence Day and 25th May 2010 – African Union Day. It is expected that we will all observe these days in a very special way in our communities and towns beyond the national activities identified by the National Centenary Planning Committee as an honour to our great leader and national hero.
I have also been informed of the flood waters that engulfed the whole Nzema area in July this year thereby worsening the already bad situation of the road network in the area.
I am happy to note that NADMO and the District Assemblies acted promptly to bring some relief to the affected people. Let me state that this unfortunate situation could be attributed to adverse climatic conditions but also due to more people building in low lying areas and in the course of water bodies. I therefore urge all those living in flood prone areas to move to safer grounds to avoid the future destruction of property and loss of lives.
The Minister of Roads was in the northern parts of the region a fortnight ago to assess the condition of the roads that suffered a similar fate like yours. I am sure he will make a similar assessment in this area soon. His findings from these tours will enable government map out a strategy to tackle the problem within the shorts, medium and long term.
Mr. Chairman, the attention of government has also been drawn to the need for the maintenance of certain infrastructure associated with the First President such as the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the Nyaniba House and other monuments dotted throughout the country.
As I speak now, rehabilitation work is ongoing on the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra. Also rehabilitation work on the mausoleum here in Nkroful has already been awarded on contract and work is ongoing.
I am also aware that National Planning Committee on the centenary celebration will work out something for Nkroful including your request for assistance to brilliant but needy students. Who knows some more Nkrumah may be produced for the nation through such as assistance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, let me use this opportunity to advise the Nkrumah family and the Nzema District Assembly to take advantage of the publicity that has been made as a result of this celebration to package whatever is attractive for the needed attention of tourists.
Awulaemo, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the chiefs and people of Nzema area for their smart and colourful turn out. We are all proud that your area has produced a legendary leader who has made Ghana, Africa and the Diaspora proud of his accomplishments.
Long Live the ideas of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah! Long Live Ghana.
via – kwamenkrumahcentenary.org