Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, the Member of Parliament for South Dayi, has been facing criticism after claiming that the elephant symbol on recently awarded National Medals was a recent decision by the government. In a series of tweets, he expressed his displeasure with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) emblem being used as a national symbol.
Dafeamekpor’s tweet received a strong backlash from pro-NPP individuals and some government appointees who challenged his claims. They presented evidence in the form of a photograph of a copy of the medal that was awarded in 1960, which featured the same elephant emblem.
The controversy surrounding the use of the NPP emblem on the National Medal has caused a heated debate among Ghanaians. Despite the evidence presented, Dafeamekpor’s criticisms have not been completely silenced, and many still question the government’s decision to use a political party emblem as a national symbol
On June 29, 2006, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) reported that concerns about the elephant symbol on the medal had been raised previously under the Fourth Republican dispensation. The John Agyekum Kufuor-led government had explained at that time that the elephant symbol had historical significance and was not a decision based on party politics.
The GNA story, which was carried by GhanaWeb, stated that the government had addressed the issue in response to concerns raised by members of parliament. The article did not provide further details about the nature of the concerns or the government’s explanation, but it did indicate that the matter had been discussed previously
Images on National Grand Medal is not the creation of NPP Govt – Awuni
On June 29th, a statement was released in Accra signed by Mr Andrew A. Awuni, Press Secretary to the President and Presidential Spokesman, clarifying that the National Grand Medal, including its images on the Obverse and Reverse sides, has been in existence since Ghana attained its Republican status in 1960 and was not created by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government. This statement was made in response to criticisms from some individuals and political parties regarding the image of an Elephant on the Obverse side of the medal. The critics had alleged that the NPP government was responsible for the Elephant image and called for its replacement. However, the statement confirmed that the image of an Elephant has always been on the National Grand Medal and previous recipients of the medal under past governments would also have the same image. The statement further clarified that the Elephant on the National Grand Medal is not the creation of the NPP government nor is it the symbol of the party. The statement concluded that the image of an Elephant on the medal is part of Ghana’s national heritage that has existed since 1960
What Dafeamekpor said:
His tweets read: “Today, this Govt has made the Elephant, the Political symbol of the NPP, our National Symbol so much that it sits on Medals being awarded at a State Event. Even Dr. Kwame Nkrumah didn’t change our National Symbols to reflect the CPP Cockerel when he declared a 1 party state. Sad.
“Our famed and favourite National Colours of Red, Gold and Green with a Black Star to match have been discarded in favour of the NPP colours of Blue, Red, White and Black.
“We are being taught very harsh & bitter lessons in governance by this Prez and his Appointees,” the MP wrote.
The tweet had a picture of the medal which had the Ghana Coat Of Arms on one side and the elephant symbol of the NPP on the other side.
Akufo-Addo gives out National Awards
At the National Honours and Awards 2023, held at the Accra International Conference Centre, individuals, institutions, and partners who played significant roles in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic were recognized and honored by the State.
Apart from those who contributed to the pandemic response, members of the legal team who ensured that Ghana’s maritime boundary dispute with Cote D’Ivoire ended in Ghana’s favor were also awarded.
The awards ceremony saw a total of 19,557 frontline health workers receive certificates and plaques in recognition of their dedicated services in the line of duty.
In addition, the Order of the Volta – Companion awards were presented to about 50 individuals and entities. These included Members of the National COVID-19 Taskforce, Trustees of the Ghana COVID-19 Private Sector Fund, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) Technical Team and Legal Advisors.
The National Honours and Awards recognize individuals who have made significant and notable contributions in various sectors, including civil service, military, prisons service, education, public health, agriculture, commerce and industry, the judiciary, scientific and other research, sports, culture and the arts, and the financial sector