Avowed Nkrumaist, Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa has on the occasion of the celebration of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s 101st birthday asked that the name Kotoka be taken off Ghana’s International Airport.
The President of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation who believes Dr. Nkrumah’s recognition and rehabilitation is incomplete, is of the view that Ghana should not hail a man who overthrew a democratically elected government by naming him after an important national asset like the Airport which is the country’s gateway.
Lt. Gen Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka was a member of the National Liberation Council which overthrew Ghana’s first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on February 24 1966.
In marking the 101st birthday of Dr Nkrumah on Tuesday September 21 2010, which is recognized as Founder’s Day and a National Holiday, Professor Badu Akosa, told Citi News Kotoka’s name on Ghana’s Airport is a slap in the face of democracy and tantamount to glorifying coup makers.
“As a country we are in a big conundrum and I am saying we cannot be democratic and yet have our gateway named after Kotoka. In Kenya, it is Jomo Kenyatta Airport, in Botswana and South Africa, Airports have been named after people who placed their lives at the disposal of the countries to make them what they are” he said.
“So I am saying that the rehabilitation of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is incomplete until and unless we change the name to Accra International Airport” he said.
Professor Akosa also charged various learning institutions started by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to show recognition towards him. He called for the revamping of the defunct Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute to propagate the rich ideas of “Nkrumaism.
“Kwame Nkrumah University has erected a statue in front of the entrance into KNUST and I commend them for that. Cape Coast University has instituted the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lectures; University of Ghana has the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies, Winneba came out of Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute, University of Mines and Technology came out of the School of Mines and UDS came out of Nankpala Agricultural Institute.”
“All these antecedent institutions were built by Osagyefo and what are they doing to recognize the Founder? GIMPA was established by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and it is now an institution of excellence and I believe that they must also recognize the hero of the institution” he added.
“The Central Bank has immortalized Kwame Nkrumah, what about National Investment Bank, ADB, SSNIT, SIC, GHAPOHA, BOPP, TOR, Goil and all the other institutions and organizations that he established. I am asking that they all contribute into a Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Fund and I will be happy to serve on the Board of Trustees of this Memorial fund to support brilliant and needy children in this country,” he said.
However, Dr. Arthur Kennedy of the NPP disagrees with Professor Akosa’s arguments that Nkrumah deserves sole recognition for founding Ghana.
“It is a historical fallacy to call it a Founder’s day (which refers to Dr. Kwme Nkruumah alone). It is inaccurate. If Nkrumah were alive today, he wouldn’t have accepted the idea that he fought for Ghana’s independence. Historically and factually, Nkrumah did not alone find Ghana” he said.
Dr. Kennedy does not also share in the call for Kotoka’s name to be scrapped from Ghana’s International Airport. He said Kotoka equally deserves to be honored since he forms a part of the country’s history.
Likening Kotoka’s situation to ex-President Rawlings, Dr. Arthur Kennedy said although Mr. Rawlings similarly overthrew a government he is honored by many Ghanaians although others disapprove of his act.