Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, has criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s suggestion to rename the University of Ghana after one of the ‘Big Six’, J. B. Danquah.
During an interview on GHOne TV on August 16, 2023, Ablakwa expressed his dissatisfaction with the president’s focus on renaming facilities instead of contributing to Ghana’s university infrastructure.
Ablakwa pointed out that President Akufo-Addo would be remembered as the only president in the 4th Republic who didn’t initiate the establishment of a public university. He highlighted the contributions of past presidents in building universities, such as President Rawlings’ establishment of UDS, President Kufour’s elevation of the Tarkwa campus, and President Mahama’s creation of universities in various regions.
He criticized President Akufo-Addo for not initiating any significant university infrastructure projects and accused him of only renaming existing universities. Ablakwa questioned why President Akufo-Addo wasn’t concerned about his legacy in terms of university development.
President Akufo-Addo had suggested the possibility of naming the University of Ghana after J. B. Danquah, one of the ‘Big Six’, during an event marking the university’s 75th Anniversary. He highlighted Danquah’s instrumental role in advocating for Ghana to have its own university and challenging the British recommendation for a single university in West Africa.
President Akufo-Addo mentioned that in other jurisdictions, naming the university after Danquah might be considered due to his historical contributions. However, he acknowledged the political context and the potential for controversy in such a decision. He speculated that someday, naming the university after Danquah might be a possibility.