The Chiefs and people of Nkroful, the hometown of the first President of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region have appealed to government as a matter of urgency develop the area.
They made the above utterance during a communal labour exercise organised towards the preparation of this year’s celebration of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s birthday slated for Friday, September 21, 2018.
Kwame Nkrumah was born on September 21, 1909 in Nkroful, Gold Coast to a poor and illiterate family.
Nkroful was a small village in the Nzema area, in the far southwest of the Gold Coast, close to the frontier with the French colony of the Ivory Coast.
His father did not live with the family, but worked in Half Assini where he pursued his goldsmith business until his death.
Kwame Nkrumah was raised by his mother and his extended family, who lived together in traditional fashion, with more distant relatives often visiting.
He was the first prime minister and president of Ghana, having led it to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962.
Speaking to GhanaWeb after the communal labour exercise, the Chief of the area, Nana Kwasi Kutuwah V expressed worries over how the community has been neglected by successive governments.
He said Dr. Kwame Nkrumah fought for the independence of this country and needs to be recognized as a hero but added that his hometown is underdeveloped hence has made the youth disappointed.
“Dr. Kwame Nkrumah fought for our independence and we all have to appreciate that and honour him. Not all of us participate in honouring him which in some way is not the best for us”, he lamented.
To honour the first President, the Chief of Nkroful and his elders and some concerned citizens of Nzema led by one Mr. Kojo Emmanuel have decided to celebrate Nkrumah’s birthday in a massive way and make it bigger in the coming years.
On that note, they are appealing to everyone not government alone to support in order to make the town beautiful and attractive and well prepared to celebrate the ceremony bigger this year and coming years.
Road network linking to the town
The eight-kilometre road from Esiama to Nkroful is in a deplorable state and this situation has made movement of goods and people very difficult.
This road has been in a terrible state for many years despite promises by the previous government to fix it.
The family of the first President and other users of the road have on many occasions pleaded for some elevation of the stretch, considering that the area attracts tourists.
The erstwhile NDC government responded to the calls but could only attempt uncompleted works on drainage system. But the contractor after the 2016 general elections left the site for unknown reasons.
Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting last two months, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Hon. Kwasi Bonzo made it known to the gathering that before he assumed office as a DCE, he was told the terrible 8 kilometre road from Esiama to Nkroful had been awarded on contract for partial construction.
He noted that after being in office for close to two years, nothing showed that the road would be fixed and that his investigations revealed that funding was the problem.
“I agree that the road from Esiama to Nkroful is in a deplorable state, but let me assure you that steps are being taken to repair it”, he stressed.
Nana Kwasi Kutuwah V, the Chief of the area has therefore appealed to government as a matter urgency to fix the road for them as a sign of recognition for the first president.
“In fact nothing shows that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was born in Nkroful, the road network linking to this place is very terrible and what is most painful is that we always as a country celebrate his birthday but nothing has been done in his hometown, we are appealing to this government to come to our aid and fix the road for us”, he expressed worries.
The Chief expressed his worries about the deplorable state of the Kwame Nkrumah museum which serves as a tourist attraction for the District and therefore appealed to the government to develop the place to attract more tourists and boost the local economy of the people.
Other challenges facing the town
The Chief used the opportunity to appeal to the government create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth to make their lives decent.
He also appealed to the government to give some educational scholarship to the youth in the area to further their education at the tertiary levels.
The Chief also used the opportunity to remind the government of its commitment to build new District Assembly Hall and Administration Block for the smooth running of the Assembly.
“Nkroful is the capital of the Ellembelle District Assembly and this District was created in 2007 but as I speak now, the Assembly doesn’t have its own Administration Block and Assembly Hall, it is only using residence of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and I’m appealing to the government to build new ones for the Assembly”, he said.
He, therefore, appealed to the youth especially the students among them to use their education seriously and avoid partisan politics.
Activities for the celebration
Mr. Kojo Emmanuel the President of Concerned Nzema Citizens said a number of activities such as Clean-up exercise, Candlelight procession, Gospel Rockshow, Osagyefo Tour, Fun Games, Quiz Competition, Chorafest, Osagyefo Lecture, Quiz Competition.
Other activities are, Health Fair, Osagyefo Football Match and Grand Durbar of Chiefs and Lovers of Nkrumah to remember their ancestor (Kwame Nkrumah) would be performed on specific days from Saturday, September 15 to Friday, September 21, 2018.
According to him, Prof. Edmond Delle, the National Chairman of CPP and Paramount Chief of Esikado Traditional Council will be leading the Health Fair on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
He added that artistes such a Joe Mettle, Francis Amoo, Bro. James Ackah Kenyah among others will entertain the people through gospel rock show.
The celebration would be finally climaxed by a football match dubbed “Osagyefo Football Match” between Karela FC and Nzema Kotoko FC and a Night Street Jam which would be featured by Kofi Kinata among others.
He, therefore, used the opportunity to appeal to residents living outside the country to visit home to help to mobilise funds for development of the area.
The celebration which has been named, NkrumahFest 2018 Durbar of Chiefs and Lovers of Nkrumah is on the theme, “Returning to our root, a Journey to Nkroful”.
It is expected to bring these personalities to Nkroful to climax the celebration, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Hon. Catherine Afeku, Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, the DCE for the area, Hon. Kwasi Bonzo, Prof. Edmond Delle, the National Chairman of CPP, Nana Kobina Nketsia, Paramount Chief-Esikado among others.