Information Minister Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s reference to his uncle, Joseph Boakye Danquah, one of the Big Six, as the founder of the University of Ghana, should not be propagandised as his intention to rename the school.
The president 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, 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,” the president said.
Ever since his comments, the president has been trolled and criticised on social media by critics who suspect he was testing the waters about possibly renaming the university after his uncle, especially coming on the heels of the recent renaming of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) after its founder.
Responding to the critics, however, Dr Abdul-Hamid told Accra-based Joy FM that: “The president was only speaking about history and to historical facts and we should leave it at that.”
He expressed disappointment about how “people are making inferences and attempting to cause unnecessary debate.”