President Nana Akufo Addo made a petition to the governing body of University For Development Studies (UDS) to name their noble institution after late J.J Rawlings during their most-recent graduation ceremony he attended.
History has it that, late Chairman Rawlings dashed the prize money he received from the WORLD FOOD organization which is $50,000 to the university during its early establishment.
Legend also has it that, Rawlings honourably declined the proposal from the university officials after they suggested to put his name on the institution.
These past events have made the PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE’S PARTY (PPP) to wade into the ongoing brouhaha.
According to a press statement released by the PPP, if Rawlings disagreed for his name to be labelled on the university when he was alive, it makes no sense to do otherwise when he is dead.
Read the full statement below:
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 the local development of monuments built in their home regions. The facilities would also enable people to take advantage of research opportunities and to participate in educational and public programs.
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.
Signed: Paa Kow Ackon