Founders’ Day requires unity for common good

BY: Daily Graphic
The Big Six
The Big Six

All over the world, nations set aside specific days to honour their past heroes, especially those who have contributed in diverse ways to the development of those countries.

As the saying goes, a nation that does not honour its heroes/heroines is not worth dying for.

Although the country has a number of public holidays, the institution of Founders’ Day, which falls on August 4, every year, is to encourage the citizenry to reflect on the sacrifices of their forebears who fought for Ghana’s independence.

Known as the ‘Big Six’, the nation’s founders are Dr Kwame Nkrumah, who later became the first President of Ghana; Joseph Boakye Danquah, affectionately called J.B. Danquah; Edward Akufo-Addo, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta and Ebenezer Ako-Adjei.

The choice of August 4 as Founders’ Day was informed by the fact that it was on that date in 1897 that the Aborigines Rights Protection Society (ARPS) was formed by John Mensah-Sarbah and the date in 1947 when the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) was formed by J.B. Danquah and George Alfred “Paa” Grant.

The commemoration of the day is also to encourage the current generation to appreciate the sacrifices those leaders made to help the then Gold Coast attain independence and push its development agenda forward.

While marking this day, the Daily Graphic believes that it should motivate all of us in whatever fields we find ourselves to also sacrifice for the nation.

It means committing to the right cause by putting aside our differences to contribute to the development of the country.

Indeed, demonstrating a special affection for and being proud of the country will also help push the national agenda forward.

This will require imbibing patriotism, sacrifice, service and other values that promote national cohesion, development and the willingness to promote the country’s good. We need to remind ourselves that this is the land of our birth, and that we all have a role to play to hold it together for future generations.

Just as the country’s founders laid the foundation for its independence, so must we also come together to work for the economic emancipation we so desire. The Daily Graphic thinks we need to use the day to unite as a country for the common good and reflect on.

We entreat the government to endeavour to come up with activities that enlighten the citizenry, especially the youth, and create a greater sense of bonding among the people.

Our leaders must also demonstrate the sense of selflessness displayed by our forebears and lead by example. Let us see our leaders demonstrate humility, honesty and sacrifice and eschew flamboyant lifestyles.

As a mark of reverence to our forebears, we must work to free ourselves from the economic arrangements designed by the colonial power to serve its particular purpose at the time, which continue to bind us.

We must continue to work assiduously to provide each Ghanaian with decent education, a decent healthcare system, a decent job, a decent home, an adequate safety net for the vulnerable and the marginalised, decent retirement and to live in an atmosphere of freedom, security, law and order.

That is what the founders of our nation envisioned for us as our goal.

Let us all put our shoulders to the wheel and drive our nation to its desired destination — a united, developed, prosperous, free, democratic and independent Ghana.

It is a charge we must all keep to move this country forward. We must think through the words of the National Anthem and the National Pledge. If we do that, Ghana will continue to shine. We wish all Ghanaians a Happy Founders’ Day.