Ghanaian businessman, Alhaji Asoma Banda, on Monday launched a foundation in Accra to rescue the heritage of the country's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Dubbed “Save Nkrumah's Nkroful Fund” the foundation is to raise money for the development of Nkroful, the birthplace of Dr Kwame Nkrumah. An amount of ¢260 million was realised at the launch.
According to Alhaji Banda, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Antrak Group, the objective is to renovate the family house of Dr Nkrumah, that of his mother, Nyaniba, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and the royal palace to serve as tourist attraction.
Alhaji Banda provided a seed money of ¢100 million for the establishment of the fund and said it was sad that the birthplace of Dr Nkrumah, the Founder of Ghana, had been neglected in spite of its significance to the history of the country.
He said the house of Dr Nkrumah must be of great importance to Ghanaians, Africans and the world at large, adding that similar places for less significant leaders in the world were preserved and managed for purposes of natural reflection and tourism with impressive and encouraging results.
“Unfortunately, successive governments have played politics with the rehabilitation of Nkroful and some people even contemplate doing business with Nkroful. As I speak to you now, a foreign company has been granted gold concession to mine in Nkroful,” he said.
Alhaji Banda said that was not the way Nkroful should be treated since it was a national asset, and its position in the context of the country's history must be properly set out.
The neglect of Nkroful, he said, had created the impression that other Africans and even non-Africans understood and appreciated Nkrumah better than Ghanaians.
He said, however, that there were still many Ghanaians who were close to Nkrumah and, therefore, prepared to oversee the rehabilitation of the legacy of the first President of Ghana.
He said the first President left office without landed property, the chattels and items of clothing he left in the Flagstaff House were looted. The remnant was desecrated and burnt after the inglorious coup d'etat of February 24, 1966.
He said earnings from his compulsory savings on his salary and that of his wife and children were also confiscated by the military junta which overthrew him.
He said the only property Dr Nkrumah could lay claim to was his family house at Nkroful, which was also in a state of disrepair.
Alhaji Banda said the house in which the late President, the most selfless leader in Africa was born, ought to be of great importance to Ghanaians, Africans and the world at large.
He said as Ghana was promoting tourism in the country the first port-of-call ought to be Nkroful because Ghana was associated with Dr Nkrumah and Nkrumah, with Ghana.
The Head of the Nkrumah Family, Nana Anye Amoapong Ntabrako II, thanked Alhaji Banda and other Nkrumaists for setting up the "Save Nkrumah's Nkroful Fund.”
He appealed to the Trustees of the Fund not to limit the fund to Nkroful but spread its benefits to other nearby villages and towns in the Nzema East District.
Mrs Abena Pokuaa Ackah, a CPP activist, who bought one of the portraits of President Nkrumah for ¢2.8 million, appealed to Nkrumaists to exhibit the qualities of Nkrumah and stop flirting with other political parties.
Story by Abdul Aziz
& Emmanuel Bonney