“Were I to inherit a prestigious family political tradition like our President, I would probably feel threatened by Nkrumah’s incandescent monopoly of the Founder’s heritage, and worked assiduously to resurrect the memory of others, including my own illustrious dad.”
His Excellency, President Akufo-Addo recently celebrated his 77th birthday anniversary with some noticeable aplomb.
Born on March 29, 1944, the president is seven years older than the First Lady, whom I am informed celebrated her own birthday in the same month of March, but some seventeen days earlier than her darling president. You can imagine for yourself the importance of the month of March in the First Family’s household!
By the time of his birth, the Second World War was raging in severe ferocity. Nonetheless, his parents were undistracted from the policy of making and raising babies, war or no war.
Thus, while multitudes lost lives and limbs in fierce battles across Germany, Russia, Italy, Great Britain and the rest of the world (thanks to Hitler’s empirical madness) the flames of love burned continually strong in the Akufo-Addo family, particularly throughout mid-1943, the year of his conception.
These domestic ecstasies culminated in the birth of Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who rose to become the Fifth President under the Fourth Republican Constitution of modern Ghana.
Not much has been published about the president’s upbringing, his concept of life, his life-defining moments, the inner struggles that came to define his identity, or the motivations for which he lived. Nevertheless, we all know him to be a strong, charismatic, ebullient personality
Akufo Addo is the only president in Ghanaian history whose father, Edward Akufo-Addo, a member of the Big Six, and a former Chief Justice also occupied the office of president at least for 2 years (1970-72). Having a father with such lofty credentials would shape, influence and motivate the dreams and aspirations of any diligent, enthusiastic character, like our president.
This backdrop should explain His Excellency’s disgust and revulsion for the Founder’s Day celebrations that idolised Kwame Nkrumah as the Founder of Ghana, and consigned the rest of the independence political activists to the forgotten pages of history books and fading memories of school children.
Were I to inherit a prestigious family political tradition like the President, I would probably feel threatened by Nkrumah’s incandescent monopoly of the Founder’s heritage, and worked assiduously to resurrect the memory of others, including my own illustrious dad.
Such a profile should also explain the burden on our president to find jobs for a tall list of family members and political friends associated with his past. It was not possible to re-ignite some of the old acquaintances, many of whom have been with him since the good old days of his dad. This is how democracy works in Africa!
Those who accuse him of running a “family and friends” government (I have not heard much of this slogan of late) should sympathize with his past record. Not everyone had a father for president in Ghana!