Founder of UG: Akufo-Addo Exaggerating – Baako
Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has indicated that President Nana Akufo-Addo is embellishing the truth about the establishment of the University of Ghana by exaggerating the role of his uncle, J.B. Danquah.
“The president virtually made Dr J.B. Danquah more or less the founder of the University of Ghana, Legon. That’s what we heard but that’s contestable based on other records. Even those records still mention a role J. B. Danquah played. So it’s not a question of absolute exclusion of the role or contribution of Dr J. B Danquah. It’s a question of what the President said [which] amounts to exaggeration of the role of J.B. Danquah. When you exaggerate a truth, the essence of the truth is destroyed or undermined.
“J. B. Danquah from all the accounts that I have read including what is on the University of Ghana’s website, if you put all together, bottom line, I think what the president said amounted to an exaggeration and an exaggeration that if you are not careful destroys that truth of a certain role played by Dr J. B. Danquah,” he stated on Newsfile, a current affairs programme on Accra-based Joy FM on Saturday, 12 May 2018.
Mr Baako was reacting to comments by President Nana Akufo-Addo who told an audience at the launch of an Endowment Fund to commemorate the school’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 when 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,” Akufo-Addo said.
His comments has sparked controversy with some critics suggesting that he could be conceiving the idea of renaming the university but government has refuted such suggestions.
Others have also maintained that the establishment is a collective effort from Chiefs, the Gold Coast intellectuals, and cocoa farmers.