GHBase.com not long ago reported that Ghana’s incumbent president has urged the Governing Council of the University for Development Studies (UDS) to revisit his proposal to name the university after former President Jerry John Rawlings, who used his World Food Prize money of $50,000 to establish the university.
The President said when he proposed to name the university after him, former President Rawlings had declined the proposal.
“If Rawlings’s own sense of modesty probably compelled him to decline such a proposal while he was alive, let the people’s voice now prevail, on his passing, to enable us to put on record: The J. J. Rawlings University for Development Studies,” he proposed.
But in the wake of things, Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has told President Akufo-Addo not to disregard the wishes of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings in his attempt to rename the University of Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, after him.
In a statement, the PPP noted that the former president blatantly turned down several calls to rename state monuments after him because he had a longstanding principle to that effect.
In view of the PPP, it’ll be proper 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.”
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
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