Political activist and Outgoing TESCON president of the University of Ghana, Mr. Abdallah Matin has pleaded with the president of the republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to publish a memoir while alive.
This comes on the occasion of the president’s birthday. Born on 29th March, 1944, Nana Akufo-Addo turns 77 today and is being celebrated by Ghanaians within and outside the country.
Mr. Matin in an open letter to the president, said it’s an undeniable fact that the president has amassed an enviable amount of experience in his almost four score years of life and would be regrettable if he didn’t publish a biography or memoir for posterity to learn from him.
He urged the president to get the memoir published while alive so he can supervised to ensure his story isn’t distorted, considering the propensity for people to adulterate history.
“AN OPEN LETTER: MR PRESIDENT; HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUT SIR…writes Abdallah, Matin
Let me set the tone of this piece by sending my warm wishes of your 77th birthday to you. You have, by your industrious character, given a tangible expression to the labelling of age as just a number. I must apologize for conveying this message to you through this medium. If I had any other practicable and convenient channel of communicating with you, I would have graciously explored it.
We celebrated the birthday of Mama Rebecca some few days ago in this same month and today is yours. On the flip side, I will pat you on the back for having the third eye to have cherry-picked a life partner you share many commons and similitudes in historical narratives.
Sir, it is an uncontestable fact that the level of experiences, hindsight and acumen you have amassed has rare equivalents in our country today but rather ruefully, we celebrate your 77th birthday today without any book/memoir to your name, either by yourself , or a biography you officially commissioned. You have, in a rollercoaster manner, travelled the ups and downs of life and you emerged unscarred, stronger and sterling.
The Ghanaian youth today and posterity should know and be inspired by how you made it happen. As a roll model figure to me and many a youth, it will mutually serve the youth and your legacy best when the youth appreciate the particulars of your days in Legon, stint in England and France and to your triumphant but difficult stay in politics.
Your Excellency, you have been a spearhead in the promotion of human rights and the restoration of dignity of the Ghanaian through the formation of a civil rights organisation called Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights in the 1990s and the repeal of the criminal libel law. As a frontrunner in the Alliance for Change and People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice you clamoured for the reestablishment of democratic governance which gave us true independence in 1992. How many young chaps know these historical facts about you sir? Allow us to know the records before they die off with the wind.
In this age of high adulteration of history, you have to tell your own story to posterity as soon as practicable. Remember the fate of your great-uncle and the Doyen of Gold Coast politics Joseph Boakye Danquah and do not also forget the endless struggle to accord him his rightful place in Ghana’s political annals. The African proverb that “Until the lion learns to tell his own story the tale of the hunt will always glorify the weak hunter”, captures my proposition better.
Many past and present leaders across the globe spread their experiences and expectations on pages for the consumption of prospective leaders. We saw My Transition Hours from Goodluck Jonathan, A Promised Land from Barack Obama, My Watch from Olusegun Obasanjo, The Gold Coast Boy from Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor and The Biography by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah just to mention but a few. We have even stumbled on the penned experiences of people of less renown in their fields.
We have you as an erudite and workaholic President turned 77 years today, filled to the brim with experienced tales worthy of guiding the youth today and posterity; up to now, we are yet to have the full benefit of your lessons from traveling the arduous path to the Jubilee House. The unerasing strength and legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stems from the fact that he wrote and wrote. To this day, what he did and did not are intact in his memoir and cannot be skewed or distorted. The works and writings of Nkrumah still shape the ideology and guide the lives of many of his admirers.
A hundred years from today, when those who come after us meet the need to celebrate the President who introduced the Free SHS policy, 1D1F, fought the Coronavirus Pandemic, they may do so with books, articles or works whose authors when you were alive castigated for writing falsehood and pieces of dubious credibility about you. At best, they will feed on speeches you delivered; all that may not alone reflect what you stood for, for that generation’s understanding. Sir, there is no better occasion to remind you to write than this very day that marks your 77th year of your existence on earth.
Happy birthday Sir, President of the Republic , a prosperous and fulfilling stewardship in your second term – but Sir, you should write. This to me, should be a more befitting birthday message to you as we celebrate your 77th birthday.
These, I am humbled to say, are my sincere thoughts; here is to seventy-seven years of unparalleled determination, zeal, truth, patriotism and candour!
Abdallah, Abdul Matin