She said: “In fact, my standard responses to those who say that Osagyefo was a dictator is that how can a dictator invest so much in education as a pioneering president with so many resources at his disposal”.
Madam Nkrumah who is a daughter of the first President, said her father chose to invest those resources in the people and their education and left himself with virtually nothing, a self denial even to the detriment of his own nuclear family.
The products of is sacrifice are the Ghanaian men and women who benefited from his policies and who are carrying this nation today, she said.
Madam Nkrumah said at the Centenary Lectures of Dr. Nkrumah at the Wa Campus of the University for development Studies, on Thursday. It was on the theme: “Dr. Nkrumah’s Ideas”, his Vision, his Times and the Record.”
She said Ghanaians should appreciate that Dr. Nkrumah‘s vision for education in Ghana immediately after independence was part of an overall comprehensive plan to bring about social justice, economic self-reliance and national cohesion.
Madam Nkrumah said the launch of the Seven Year Development Plan in 1964 was a deliberate plan that sought to give a balance development to all parts of the country.
Under the plan, special attention was to be paid to the modernization of agriculture in the Savannah areas of the north to turn the area into major sources of food for the entire country, Madam Nkrumah explained.
Alongside the building of schools came the building of factories such as the meat factory at Zuarungu and the Pawlugu Tomato Factory to enhance the livelihood of farmers there.
Unfortunately, Madam Nkrumah said most of the buildings that once housed factories were in ruins while some had been sold out to churches.
Madam Nkrumah said her father had planned to build the Bui Dam which was designed to be bigger than the Aswan Dam in Egypt to provide electricity for the northern sector of the country to complement Akosombo Dam but this was condemned by his opponents.
“We have revisited the Bui Dam Project and it is now being constructed but with a reduced capacity,” she lamented.
She said 50 years ago many schools were established by the Ghana Education Trust Fund as part of a national policy to expand educational facilities through out the country.
It was, therefore not a coincidence that many schools in the country were celebrating their 50th anniversary these years, she said, and urged Ghanaian to give credit to her father and stop calling him a dictator.
Mr. Kale Cezar, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, said it was the government’s view that if the nation had any dues to pay to any body in the country it must go to Dr. Nkrumah.
He said any attempt to denigrate this fact would never fly in the face of history and posterity.
Mr. Cezar, therefore, urged the youth to learn about Osagyefo and to imbibe in themselves the whole spirit of nationalism, patriotism, selflessness, sacrifice and handwork, which he said, were the greatest legacies of Dr. Nkrumah.
Relatedly, Madam Samia Yaaba Nkrumah, daughter of former President Kwame Nkrumah, has observed that the under development of the north should be blamed largely on the 1966 coup d’état that overthrew her father.
She said her father had a policy of building more schools and giving more scholarships to the people of the area.
Madam Nkrumah who is a Member of Parliament for Jomoro in the Western Region, made the observation at Nkrumah’s Centenary Campus Lectures at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Wa on Thursday.
She spoke on “Education and Development: the importance of primary and secondary education; Revisiting Nkrumah’s Vision”.
Madam Nkrumah said the objective of providing free and compulsory education for all Ghanaian children would have been achieved if Dr. Nkrumah had been allowed to continue.
She said investing heavily in human resource development as an essential component of the national development agenda was Nkrumah’s goal.
She expressed regret that education was now going to the highest bidder to the detriment of the less privileged, saying it was a complete departure from Nkrumah’s vision.
Madam Nkrumah said: Education is a democratic right and should be readily given from primary to university or tertiary level and there should not be any compromise on this principle.”
“Democracy is not only concerned with multiparty elections, but it is gender equality, civil rights and social justice,” she said.
Mr. Bernard Mornah, a member of the Kwame Nkrumah Centenary Planning Committee, said President Nkrumah had played his part appropriately in the building of the nation.
He said the pursuit of the industrial revolution to emancipate the people from colonialism was curtailed as a result of the 1966 coup d’état.
Mr. Mornah, who is also the general secretary of the people’s national convention, urged the youth to cherish Kwame Nkrumah’s vision and ideas so that they could use them to facilitate the development of the country.
Father Cletus Segtub, registrar of the University for Development Studies, said some people did not simply die but went to sleep and so is Nkrumah.
He said even though Nkrumah was said to have died, he was always present to speak to Ghanaians in all sphere of endeavour. – GNA