As we celebrate this day, it is important to remember one thing. Ghana is for Ghanaians and Africa is for Africans. That is the significance of this day. The NKRUMAISTFORUM congratulates all Ghanaians as we celebrate the 49th anniversary of our independence from British colonial rule. Special greetings to all organized labour, the youth, farmers, women and the numerous hardworking Ghanaians whose sweat and toil go unnoticed.
As we celebrate this memorable day, the NKRUMAISTFORUM calls on all Ghanaians to reflect on the ideals that we set ourselves on the dawn of Independence. Let us ask ourselves how well we have fared. We also need to ask if we have any cause to celebrate after 49yrs of “self rule”. The NKRUMAISTFORUM also calls on Ghanaians to ask the fundamental question: why did we fight for independence? Was it so that a few people would amass wealth for themselves to the detriment of the larger populace? Was it so that we could re-package this country, it's natural resources and people to sell for a pittance of portage to our former colonial masters under the guise of privatization and disastrous IMF/WB policies of impoverishment? Was it so that our citizens would wake up at dawn and line up at the embassies of foreign countries and pay huge sums of money only to go and “slave” in those countries, even though some say it is much better than “slaving” at home?
On this day the NKRUMAISTFORUM asks all Ghanaians to take a hard look around them and ask who the real owners of this land are. Do we as a people own the means for creating and distributing the wealth of this land such as the gold mines, construction firms, factories, etc? Are we really masters of all that is around us or are we being played like pawns in the big game of chess? What really do we produce as a people when wherever you pass all you see are loads and loads of imported goods and commodities being sold? Our country has become a massive dumping ground for all types of imported goods.
It is hard to believe that in the midst of all the rich natural resources of this land, most Ghanaians are living a wretched and lowly life. Our independence has become so meaningless that a few years ago the sitting President (J. A. Kuffuor) of this dear nation preferred fraternizing with our former colonial masters than to be here reminding us of the true meaning of Independence and the essence of the blood and toil that out forebears shed to attain political independence.
Have we as a people stooped so low? Have we no pride? Have we no dignity? Why has mediocrity taken so much hold of us as a people? Our independence has become so meaningless that most of our children do not understand or give reverence to our national symbols such as the flag or coat of arms. Most of us Ghanaians do not even know or sing the second and third verses of our national anthem and therefore have forgotten the ideals that we as a nation set before us on assumption of independence. It is sad to see how our youth have come to believe that wearing or flying an American Flag is more important or fashionable than a Ghanaian flag. Meanwhile, our youth are dropping out of school at an alarming rate with some selling dog chains and things such as "PK" everywhere to survive. Educational standards are falling at an alarming rate, schools cannot cope with the increasing population of students due to limited facilities, adult and childhood malnutrition is rampant, hunger and disease keep plaguing our nation. A sense of despair has gripped the land while at the same time the leaders of the land are riding in their flashy cars and allegations of corruption in high places keep surfacing every now and then.
True independence will only come to us if we as Ghanaians heed the clarion call made by the illustrious son of Africa Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah on the declaration of Independence. He said and we quote, “From now on today, we must change our attitudes and our minds; we must realize that from now on, we are no more a colonial, but a free and independent people.” The reggae legend Robert Nesta Marley also once sang “emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.”
It is important as we remember this day to recall the dreams the CPP and masses of Ghanaians shared at the dawn of independence. We dreamed of a Ghana where Freedom and Justice would be administered to all regardless of tribe, political affiliation, complexion or family background. We dreamed of a Ghana where each man would work according to his capability and receive according to his needs. We dreamed of a country free of violence. We dreamed of work and happiness. We vowed to resist the oppressors rule and to cherish fearless honesty. We dreamed of a united Africa. Alas! 49 years on it is as though we did not have a dream when we set upon the struggle for independence. Today we have no one to speak for Africa. President Mugabe of Zimbabwe, in spite of his shortcomings, stands alone in Africa and our leaders look on and say nothing when our former colonial masters are massing up against one of our own. On this fateful day, we urge all Ghanaians to keep the dream alive. We urge all Ghanaians not to lose hope, for a people without hope are a lost people. We of the NKRUMAISTFORUM do not think that all is lost; we have faith in our innate abilities and the people of this country. We believe in our dreams of independence, we believe that the Blackman is as capable as any other person and let nobody tell you otherwise. We believe that given a situation of good visionary leadership, in which leaders do not place their selfish material and personal interests above national aspirations of the entire people, this country will move forward as envisaged in our dreams for independence. The NKRUMAISTFORUM will today ask all school pupils, students and the youth of this country to go back and reflect on all three verses of our national anthem and redirect all their strengths towards fulfilling those dreams. It is time for all Ghanaians to take stock of ourselves and ask the hard questions of where and why we have gone wrong and what we have done wrong. It is truly an irony of fate that the Danquah/Busia tradition that so much resisted our attempts to gain independence should preside over the 50th anniversary milestone of this day next year. But as Nkrumaists we have learnt our lessons and as written by Comrade Eric Heymann in his book The Men Nkrumah Left Behind, “We take our flight as if in a helicopter flying through time like a golden eagle and reconstructing before the mind's eye our hopes and aspirations, our flights and fears, our Kulungugu's, our Arena's, our Hanoi's, our Conakry's and our Romania's of yesteryears. Yes, we look achingly across the years without bitterness, for our grief is beyond measure. Hatred of flesh and blood has left our hearts, for it is unproductive and destructive. Instead we see concepts, systems, cultural levels, ways of life that distort or elevate the human frame and are behind our rise and fall as a people. Systems, cultural levels, ways of life worth our combat or worth our living for, worth our dying for.”
The NKRUMAISTFORUM calls on all Ghanaians again; above all, the farmers, women, the youth, academics and all those men and women whose contributions go unnoticed to unite behind the NKRUMAIST family in order to lead this country towards true economic independence. Ghana and Africa need a new kind of leadership in this third millennium - a visionary corruption-free leadership. We have shown the way before, and we can do it again. There is victory for us. Forward Ever, Backward Never. God bless Ghana, God bless Africa.
From the Co-ordinating Committee of The NKRUMAIST FORUM
Kofi Nani Kosi Dedey George Kweifio-Okai Emelia Arthur Niagia Santuah Evans Afenya Andy Kwawukume