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Only young Ghanaians criticized my independence speech – Nana Addo

President Akufo-Addo has dismissed allegations that he distorted Ghana’s political history in his speech at Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary parade.

The president has been accused of giving a biased account of Ghana’s independence story, giving prominence to J.B Danquah and other members of the United Gold Coast Convention, rather than highlighting the role of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

But Nana Akufo-Addo says such criticisms were coming from people who “came much after the independence era.”

Speaking at a dinner on Thursday [March 9, 2017], the president insisted that his speech accorded the necessary recognition to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and was appreciated by the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, 93, who had closely monitored Ghana’s progress towards independence, and the country’s history after independence.

“I made a speech to the country which I tried to speak about how Ghana became Ghana. Everything I say has ended up to be a controversy, but that is how it should be. A politician who doesn’t generate controversy is a dull politician ,and that is not an interesting politics. The amusing part of this is that, the people who did not live through the independence era, young people who came much after, claim I distorted the history of Ghana and belittled the role of Kwame Nkrumah.”

“The one man who lived through the era [Robert Mugabe] was here in Ghana at the time, [he] embraced me for having enhanced the image of Kwame Nkrumah. And that tells you everything about Ghanaian politics as President Mugabe gave me a big hug.”

Akufo-Addo said the disagreement about his speech was an indication of the beauty of the country’s democracy.

He added that having varying contributions and ideas on issues in the country helped to promote the country’s development.

“It tells you about the nature of the controversy and how it is so important that we continue to cherish our freedom, our capacity and ability to be able to speak our mind and give our different point of view about what is going on in Ghana.”

“We should cherish that and hold on to that fast because it is the best way we would develop our country. Then all the best of ideas will come forward when the different views are expressed, and that will enable us to progress and progress faster,” he said.

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