On the occasion of the Memorial Day of the brutal dictator known as Francis Kwame Kofi Kwabena Nwia Ngoloma Nkrumah, we Ghanaians must recommit ourselves to the true legacy of democracy which the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition fought so hard to bequeath to our great nation Ghana. Indeed, these forebears shed crimson blood and endured great tribulations and humiliation so that we can live in true liberty, dignity, democracy and independence.
For Ghana’s independence under Nkrumah was a complete sham which only empowered the masquerader to assume untrammeled power to imprison without trial, abolish all opposition, declare a one-party state, dismiss the chief justice and declare himself life president. Under these terrible conditions, the pertinent question to be asked is, “Exactly what was the meaning of the word “independence” or “freedom” Ghana is claimed to have secured on March 6, 1957?” Or “What did we mean by the appellation of “founder and father of the nation” bestowed on this wicked individual who imposed such a nightmarish regime on the country?”
When we ponder these questions, we must not forget that the brief regime of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia was truncated on January 13, 1972 by a young pioneer air-head called Ignatius Kutu Acheampong who was himself executed by another young pioneer air-head called J.J. Rawlings. This latter person interrupted our constitutional rule twice through unnecessary coups and still holds sway over the evil ideology of a party of air-heads seeking to rule our dear country. He must always be watched carefully because he is an avowed enemy of all democracy!
The point of all the foregoing is that the ill-advised invitation by the UGCC of Nkrumah from his self-imposed exile to participate in the struggle for our independence resulted in a concatenation of treasonable usurpations and fraudulent revolutions whose far-reaching ramifications will live with us for another generation. Nkrumah himself was a fraudulent hustler, having concocted an evil plan to supplant the true leaders of the nation right from the beginning; and having succeeded in imposing a sham independence and freedom whose actual meaning intelligent analysts will forever find confounding.
But the more egregious legacy of this impostor is his ability to have seared the conscience of his then youthful followers to see no wrong, hear no wrong and speak no wrong about him. Thus when this remnant of blockheads shout “Nkrumah never dies”, alert critics of this great pretender and impostor must construe it as a rallying attempt to abolish our hard-earned freedoms: Take away our franchise, mortgage our sovereignty, abolish our speech, put us in prison without trial and impose a one-party dictatorship upon us. But if these misguided young pioneers intend to abjure these dangerous legacies of their puppet master, they must so speak; they must tell us of their different agenda for the nation or else be perpetually associated with his evil machinations…….
And if we are assailed by any temptation to become somnambulist victims of the great fraud perpetrated upon us since time immemorial, let us remember J.B. Danquah, the man who was imprisoned by the evil genie over fifty years ago. His letter, recently published in newspapers across the globe, must put to rest any self-fulfilling doubts about this dangerous man who some people mistakenly cherish and adore. Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah spent thirteen months in the Nsawam Prison under the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) before his death tragic death in a six by nine feet prison cell.
Below is the letter he wrote to Dr. Nkrumah by courtesy of the Danquah institute:
His Excellency, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, P.C., LL.D., etc.,
President of the Republic of Ghana, Flagstaff House, Accra.
Dear Dr. Nkrumah,
I am tired of being in prison on preventive detention with no opportunity to make an original or any contribution to the progress and development of the country, and I therefore respectfully write to beg, and appeal to you to make an order for my release and return home.
I am anxious to resume my contribution to the progress and development of Ghana in the field of Ghanaian literature (Twi and English), and in Ghana Research (History and Culture), and I am anxious also to establish my wife and children in a home, to develop the education of my children (ten of them) and to restore my parental home at Kibi (Yiadom House) to a respectable dignity, worthy of my late father's own contribution to the progress of our country.
You will recall that when in 1948 we were arrested by the British Government and sent to the North for detention they treated us as gentlemen, not as galley slaves, and provided each of us with a furnished bungalow (two or three rooms) with a garden, together with opportunity for reading and writing. In fact, I took with me my typewriter and papers for the purpose, and Ako Adjei also did the same, and there was ample opportunity for correspondence.
Here at Nsawam, for the four months of my detention up to date (8th January to 9th May 1964), I have not been allowed access to my books and papers, except the Bible, and although I was told in January that my application to write to my wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Danquah, could be considered if I addressed a letter to the Minister of the Interior, through the Director of Prisons, I have not, for over three months, since I wrote to the Minister as directed on the 31st January 1964, received any reply, not even a common acknowledgment from the Minister as to whether I should be allowed to write to my wife or not. As I had no opportunity to make any financial provision for my wife and children at the time of my arrest, this delay in the Minister's reply has made it impossible for me to contribute to the progress and maintenance of my wife and also for the education of my children as is my duty to the nation.
Secondly, you will recall that barely a month after our detention in the North in 1948 we were brought down to Accra and released to appear before a Commission of Enquiry set up to investigate the justice or otherwise of our arrest and detention. We duly appeared before the Watson Commission and made history for Gold Coast and Ghana. It resulted in the finding that the Burns Constitution was outmoded at birth, with a recommendation that our country should attain its independence within ten years, and that a Constitutional Committee (the Coussey Committee) should be set up to lay down the foundations of such independence and the steps to be taken towards its attainment.
In the present case, since I was arrested four months ago, I have not been asked to appear before any Judge, or Committee, or Commission, and, up to now, all I have been told is contained in a sheet of paper entitled "Grounds for Detention" in which I am accused that "in recent months" I have been actively engaged in a plan "to overthrow the Government of Ghana by unlawful means" and that I have planned thereby "to endanger the security of the State" (the Police and Armed Forces).
As no particulars of any kind were provided in the grounds for detention to indicate how the Government of Ghana came to formulate such a disgraceful charge against me, I spent in the prison here the greater part of January and February 1964 to write a review of the whole of my activities in "recent months" (roughly, from June 1962 [last release from detention] to January 1964). This writing was done by way of "Representations" in answer to the charge...
I confidently assure you, Sir, that when my representations reach you, it will be realized that my contribution in the said period of "recent months" to the intellectual and cultural achievement of the country was such that what should have been sent to me on January 8, 1964, was not a hostile invasion of my home and family, like enemy territory, together with my arrest and detention, but rather a delegation of Ghanaian civil officials and other dignitaries to offer me the congratulations of the nation and the thanks of the Government...
This, however was not to be, and I find myself locked up at Nsawam Prison in a cell of about six by nine feet, without a writing or reading desk, without a dining table, without a bed, or a chair or any form of seat, and compelled to eat my food squatting on the same floor where two blankets and a cover are spread for me on the hard cement to sleep on, and where a latrine pan (piss pot) without a closet, and a water jug and a cup without a locker, are all assembled in that narrow space for my use like a galley slave...
I am required to sleep or keep lying down on the blankets and a small pillow for the whole 24 hours of the day and night except for a short period of about five minutes in the morning to empty and wash out my latrine pan, and of about ten to fifteen minutes at noon to go for a bath. I am occasionally allowed to do a short exercise in the sun say once a week for about half an hour. That is all I have been engaged on in four months with my talents, such as I possess, going waste and my health being undermined and my life endangered by various diseases without being allowed to be taken to the Prison Hospital for continuous observation and treatment...
I am now left in a prison cell at the Special Block at the Nsawam Prison reserved for "dangerous criminals", and I am being thereby effectively prevented from making any original contribution to the intellectual and cultural progress of our country...
I end as I began. I am tired of being kept in prison kicking my heels, and doing nothing worthwhile for the country of my birth and love, and for the great continent of Africa which was the first to give the entire world a real taste of civilization... I trust you will accept this appeal for my release from detention in the spirit of utmost confidence and cordiality in which it is written, and I look forward to my early release from prison with the greatest possible faith, expectation and confidence.
Believe me to be,
Yours Very Sincerely and Respectfully,
Never shall we forget the disturbing undertones of this letter: the fact that the colonial government treated its native opponents far better than Nkrumah treated his benefactors and latter-day opponents; the fact that those who opposed Nkrumah were cruelly incarcerated and maltreated without trial; the fact that the ideological giants who bested Nkrumah’s miserable life were made to waste away in prison; the fact that Nkrumah learned nothing about democracy, freedom and independence despite his long stay and education in America and the UK.
Under the foregoing circumstances, the greatest tribute we can pay to the forebears who fought so hard and sacrificed their lives so that we may live in true freedom and independence is to abolish all forms of Memorial Days, institutional recognitions and vestiges of tyranny and dictatorship which Nkrumah’s misrule has spawned in our great nation, and to swear a terrible oath, that never again shall the people of Ghana allow the likes of Nkrumah, his evil ideology, his party, heirs and assigns and progenies to become leaders of this great country of ours. We must be prepared to shed our very blood to consign to perpetual oblivion the ideas of the great impostor and fraudster, so that our great democracy shall thrive, and that the sovereignty of our people will truly reside in the people. We must abolish all celebrations by all these mountebanks, masqueraders, young pioneers and Nkrumaist boneheads who stand ready to abolish our freedoms while binding us in the chains of tyranny.
The government should neither be shy nor remiss to overturn the great tragedy and catastrophe that descended on this country when this evil genius arrived to join those working hard to gain independence for the country, His name must be scrapped from the historical records!
Samuel Adjei Sarfo is a Doctor of Laws, Attorney and Counselor at Law, a Teacher of Lore, Certified High School English Educator, Researcher and Scholar. He can be reached at [email protected]