'Angry' Sekou storms off Nkrumah’s Birthday celebrations…
Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, son of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, says he ‘boycotted’ celebrations honoring his late father in Accra because he felt slighted by the ‘political vindictiveness’ on display at the Founder’s Day.
Last Updated on
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:44
Thursday, 22 September 2011 02:42
The Founder’s Day, instituted two years ago, is marked on 21st September to commemorate the birthday of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
President John Evans Atta Mills endorsed 21st September of every year to be celebrated in memory of the first President of Ghana. This is in recognition of his foresight and fortitude which led to Ghana's attainment of independence from British colonial rule in 1957.
An influential 20th century advocate of Pan-Africanism, he was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union- AU) and was the winner of the Lenin Peace in 1963. With Ghana independent of its colonial masters, Nkrumah worked hard to liberate the whole of the African Continent. He supported and financed liberation struggles and nationalist movements throughout the continent.
According to Sekou, after a rather late invitation to Wednesday morning’s event, he arrived to realize that the usual seating arrangement with his elder siblings on the podium had been changed to a ‘corner because someone felt he did not deserve to be on the podium this time round’.
“I thought that the family should be seated in one place…who in the family they felt should do this or so on that is really up to them…I don’t think this is a question of playing politics. I thought we were recognizing the role Nkrumah had played…it’s not for us to divide and rule among the family. I thought that was not proper,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with Peacefmonline.com, Dr Sekou Nkrumah said he believed the unfortunate and cold treatment towards him was as a result of his criticism of President Mills.
Asked why he did not draw the organizers attention to the error, he stated that it might seem like wanting special attention and he was not ready to do that, hence his decision to boycott the ceremony with his wife.
“We decided to leave the ceremony and watch it on TV like any other Ghanaian…it wasn’t my place because I don’t choose who sits where and who doesn’t…but wouldn’t you feel slighted…?” he questioned.
Dr. Sekou Nkrumah said he felt very slighted and was worried that the founders day celebrations instituted by the Mills led NDC Government to unite all Ghanaians is rather being used to divide the Nkrumah family because he had been critical of the administration.
“That is the vindictiveness and petty politics at play. It’s not fair. That function is not a partisan function, but the way it’s created if you’re seen not to be with the gov’t or critical of gov’t then they don’t want to give you a certain recognition or respect…I don’t need the NDC gov’t or any other gov’t to give me a platform to raise my profile…I don’t need that. I do politics because of my passion to better the lives of Ghanaians…I don’t do it to raise my profile or feel like a big man or whatever.”
“But I think they feel they are in power and if you’re not with them they won’t give you the platform…There were diplomats there, dignitaries and so on…so if you slight some of Nkrumah’s children, don’t you think they will raise questions?” he rhetorically asked. A staunch Nkrumaist, the third Son of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, on Tuesday, September 13, caused a stir when he announced his resignation from the NDC, because he felt his role in the party had become somewhat insignificant.
Other reasons he assigned for his resignations were that his continuous stay in the NDC is a stumbling block to the progress of her sister, Samia Nkrumah, who was recently elected National Chairman of the Convention People’s Party; to rebuild the party.
Known for his bluntness in speech, Sekou Nkrumah in July 2010, gave a damning verdict on the leadership of President John Evans Atta Mills.
In an exclusive interview with the influential Africawatch magazine, Dr Nkrumah said Prof Mills lacks the charisma, dynamism and strong will to lead Ghana. In the brutally frank interview, Dr Sekou said the NDC government has so far failed Ghanaians.
“A lot of people see Mills as an academic and a gentleman. But, in the political arena, you need to be strong-minded, and it looks like this leadership quality is missing in Mills. So I guess we need a more strong-willed, dynamic personality, a charismatic person to inspire national confidence, and also to let the population see the national agenda and feel part of it….there is the impression that he is not able to make decisions. But again if you do not go through the democratic process, you are not strong enough to handle such a situation because those small battles that take you to the top shape you, they make you strong, and give you the courage to face the challenges that come your way in office.”
Within days, he was sacked by President Mills.
But perhaps his comments following his dismissal as acting National Coordinator of the National Youth Council was what shocked political pundits when he posited though the President had the right to sack him, he regrets the manner in which he was booted out of office, saying categorically 'in fact I will never accept any job from Professor Mills' and would “never campaign for him”.
“…because of that publication in the Africa Watch magazine, within three days, I was fired; I thought that was not very fair. Yes, you can have the right to fire me; because you gave me the job, but the point is that, I expected you to call me, we sit one-on-one and then you explain the situation… I’ll have no problem with that”.