The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to rescind his decision to name the University of Development Studies (UDS) after late President, Jerry John Rawlings.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has been advocating that the University for Development Studies (UDS) be named after the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Addressing congregants of UDS at a graduation ceremony in Tamale, in the Northern Region, he said that Mr. Rawlings deserves to be praised for his immense role in the establishment of the school.
President Akufo-Addo revealed that the former President had earlier declined the offer for the school to be named after him.
“He respectfully declined the honour and offer because of his principle not to have national monuments and facilities named after him.”
“Notwithstanding these sentiments and with all due respect to him, it is my strong belief that such an honour should be accorded him,” he said.
The president praised the management of UDS for their effort in transforming the University from a last resort to one of the premier Universities in Ghana.
This move, the PPP in a statement said is laudable but reminded the President that Jerry John Rawlings never wanted the UDS named after him.
“In as much as President Akufo Addo may have the best of intention in this agenda, it is absolutely significant to note that it would be inappropriate for Mr Akufo-Addo to disregard the wishes of Ex-President Rawlings in this attempt to rename the UDS after him,” the statement read in part.
Below is the full statement:
17th November, 2020
For Immediate Release
PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES AND MUSEUMS
We have noticed with deep concern the decision by President Akufo-Addo to rename the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale after the late Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings.
It would be recalled that in 2019 when President Akufo-Addo decided to re-name the University of Development Studies (UDS) after Ex-President Rawlings, he rejected the offer and made us understand that in 2015, when a similar offer was made by Ex-President Mahama to name the Offshore Cape Three Points FPSO vessel after him he rejected that as well.
We wish to place on record that the reason Ex-President Rawlings’ assigned for declining the offer was because “he had a long-standing principle not to have national monuments and facilities named after him”.
In as much as President Akufo Addo may have the best of intention in this agenda, it is absolutely significant to note that it would be inappropriate for Mr Akufo-Addo to disregard the wishes of Ex-President Rawlings in this attempt to rename the UDS after him.
It is our considered opinion that we need to begin focusing on a tradition of encouraging the construction of Museums and Libraries for our Ex-Presidents and not allow the determination of same to be made through the patronage and benevolence of any sitting President. Our Ex-Presidents would be required to lead in raising funds to build these archival and museum structures, which will subsequently, preserve our history and serve as tourist attractions to welcome millions of visitors each year. They would also become anchors for local development built in their hometowns or place of choice. The facilities would also enable people to take advantage of research opportunities, and to participate in educational and public programmes.
We recommend that Parliament should begin a discussion on a Presidential Records Act, which will mandate that our Presidents hand over their papers, artifacts, memorabilia and other archives to the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) for preservation and maintenance when they leave office.
Paa Kow Ackon