Mr Speaker, 50 years later, on the 4th August, 1947, was the formation of the first national party, the party that covered the whole. It was the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).
It is important to note that before I even mention the names, that the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, became the General Secretary of the first national party --So, this party brought together patriotic Ghanaians -- farmers, chiefs, entrepreneurs, clergymen, lawyers and traders, et cetera.
Therefore, the names that come up, illustrious figures were George Paa Grant, Joseph Boakye Danquah, R. S. Blay, Francis Awoonor Williams, Joseph W. S. De Graft-Johnson, Emmanuel Obetsebi Lamptey, William Ofori-Atta, Ebenezer Ako Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, and Kwabena Kesse who set the ball rolling.
As I indicated, they were later joined by Dr Kwame Nkrumah who became the General Secretary and later went out to form the Conventions People Party (CPP).
Mr Speaker, it therefore means that for these two historical events, 4th August, therefore, marks an important day to signify and recognise this collective effort of our forefathers. Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President, earlier a member and General Secretary undoubtedly played a dominant role in the realisation of independence when he went out and formed the CPP.
It is therefore appropriate that we honour him. That is why 21st September is proposed to be designated as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
Mr Speaker, we have the histories of other great nations to look at. In the case
of the United States, we have George Washington Day in recognition of the prominent role he played. Therefore, Dr Kwame Nkrumah's birthday, 21st September, should be designated as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.
Mr Speaker, there is a point of view that the day should be called Founder's Day, a singular founder's day. I would want to submit that no country in the world has been founded by one person. Indeed, the units of founding a State, families are not founded by individuals. Basically, they are founded by a man and a woman. Therefore, it is not all that there should be one founder.
Mr Speaker, let me also put in context the history of Ghana. The Ghana that we see today was not put together in one day. It started with the Gold Coast, and it got to the Ashanti and to the Northern territories in 1901.
Therefore, I, a citizen of Ghana, from the Upper West Region, my being part of this country is not owed to one man. It was owed to the leadership of that group. The Northern Peoples Party, at the time, that was given the choice to join or not to join. If those leaders of the north at the time had taken the decision not to join Ghana, I would not have been a Ghanaian.
Therefore, in talking about the founding of Ghana, we must be sure that we recognise all those who played a part. The Volta Region, as it then was, also joined, and there were leaders at the time who played in that. So, it would be erroneous for anybody to think about Ghana being founded by one person.
Mr Speaker, we also have the Bill providing for 7th January as a national holiday. 7th January, 1993, was the day on which the Fourth Republic was inaugurated.
It has served for us the longest period of time that we have had multiparty constitutional rule. It is not an issue of ideology.
The first leader in the Fourth Republic is the former President Flt. Lt. (retd) Jerry John Rawlings of a different ideology, if you would want it said so. Over the twenty years, there has been a smooth transfer of power three times between the two major parties.
Mr Speaker, it is important to emphasise that we have had seven successful Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. We have had five Presidents from both Sides of the political divide. So, this 7th January is to celebrate the collective achievement of all Ghanaians.
What we must not take for granted is our multi-party democracy. This day should be a day of reflection and a day for us to think of deepening our multi- party democratic dispensation.
I hear people say that 1st July is the First Republic, yes, Mr Speaker, 1st July was the first constitutional Republic. After the 24th February coup d'état, the Military took over and it continued to be a Republic.
Mr Speaker, we must begin to distinguish between constitutional multi- party system Republic, as distinct from a Republic. The Second Republic came in 1969 and was overthrown on 13th January,
When the soldiers took over under the leader Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheam- pong, it continued to be a Republic, but it