German-based Ghanaian says he wrote lyrics of anthem and pledge
A German-based Ghanaian scientist says he wrote the current lyrics of the National Anthem and Pledge and has petitioned the presidency for official recognition as the author.
Dr Michael Kwame Gbordzoe, 67, told the Ghana News Agency that he wrote the new lyrics of the National Anthem during a competition and realized much later that his lyrics, beginning with “God Bless our Homeland Ghana”, had been adopted and had replaced the original lyrics written by the late Dr Philip Gbeho which started with “Lift High the Flag of Ghana”.
He lauded Dr Gbeho for the original lyrics and said all that he was asking for was recognition of his works as was accorded Dr Gbeho.
In a petition to President John Evans Atta Mills dated March 2, 2009 written by his solicitors, W.H. Augustt and Associates, “he only realized in the late 1970s that his text had been adopted but was wrongly attributed to the Honourable Philip Gbeho with no official reference to the true author of the lyric”.
“The petitioner also states that in the 1990s he made an unsuccessful attempt to contact the Director of State Protocol at the time in order to take up the issue with the view to getting the historical records straightened and for official recognition as the author of the lyric.”
The petition has also been sent to the Speaker of Parliament, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Copyright Administrator, Minister of Chieftaincy and Cultural Affairs, National Commission on Culture, Minister of Information, Minister of Education and Director of State Protocol.
Dr Gbordzoe said in his search for means to prove that he was the author of the National Anthem, Mr Greg Mingle, a journalist of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, investigated the matter and confirmed his claim.
He said he also contacted the [email protected] Secretariat about the National Pledge saying that the idea came from him in a suggestion to the National Redemption Council (NRC) in 1973 under the late General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong while he was the President of the Ghana Students Union in Europe.
Dr Gbordzoe said Mr Mingle found the lyrics of the National Pledge at the National Archives, but found no name attached to it.
“This leaves the question of the National Pledge unresolved except to seek help from Colonel Paul Nkegbe (Rtd), who was the Commissioner for Education at the time and was a major discussion partner … when Colonel Paul Nkegbe was in office.”
Dr Gbordzoe said the discussions he had with Col. Nkegbe also included the National Service Scheme, Environmental Protection, Standardization in Ghana and reactivation of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.