The Executive Director of Think Tank, the Danquah Institute, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko has stated that it will not be out of place to rename the University of Ghana after the uncle of the president, Dr. J.B Danquah.
President Akufo-Addo told an audience at the launch of an Endowment Fund to commemorate the university’s 70th anniversary that: “It will be wholly appropriate and not at all far-fetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this University.”
In the president’s view, the British colonialists who built the university, were inspired by J.B. Danquah, because they initially intended to build for British West Africa, a single university in Nigeria.
“How felicitous was that decision and how greatly it has contributed to the growth of modern Ghana, it will be wholly appropriate and not at all far-fetched to describe Joseph Boakye Danquah as the founder of this University…the fact, which on the 70th anniversary of the university’s existence, should be vividly recalled that all of us are the beneficiaries of his work.”
But the president’s comment has been met with ridicule and severe backlash by a section of Ghanaians and alumni of the university on social media.
However, speaking on Starr Today Wednesday, Dr. Nyarko said history suggests that JB Danquah played a very significant role in the establishment of the university in the country.
According to Dr. Nyarko, “nobody complained when the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) were renamed but when the president comes to make a simple statement to revise the facts, there are agitations.”
Dr. Nyarko added that instead of harshly criticising the president’s comments, Ghanaians “must sit down…and debate the issue before we come up to talk.”