He may very well be afflicted with an acute case of dementia, that is, were he not already infamous for being a congenital and a pathological liar and an irredeemable buffoon. We are here, of course, talking about Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jr., the Editor-Publisher of the nondescript rag called The Insight. To be certain, if, indeed, the graduate of the Nkrumah-founded Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) has any “insight” into or about anything worthwhile to impart or disseminate to the general Ghanaian public, it is definitely absolutely nothing substantive about the Danquah, Grant and R S Blay-founded United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the very first seminal and formally organized mass movement for the liberation of the erstwhile Gold Coast Colony from the morally depraved and wantonly exploitative tentacles of British colonial imperialism, an establishment of which Mr. Pratt’s own maternal uncle, Mr. Kojo Botsio, was a quite significant operative.
It is therefore nothing short of inexcusably blasphemous and downright lunatic for the Agona-Nsabaa, Central Region, native to criminally assert that the highest rank of the man who indisputably drafted the Constitution of the United Gold Coast Convention, was “merely” that of the Eastern Regional Chairman of the UGCC (See “Founders’ Day: J B Danquah Can Only Be Compared with Wontumi – Kwesi Pratt Jr Sets the Records Straight” Ghanaweb.com 8/6/22). For starters, even if we hypothetically assume that, indeed, Dr. Danquah was the Eastern Regional Chairman of the United Gold Coast Convention, the incontrovertible fact of the matter would still be that the extant Eastern Region, whose capital was Accra, was the indisputable and inescapable nerve center of political agitation and ferment vis-a-vis the national liberation struggle in the then Gold Coast Colony.
Of course, the present-day Greater-Accra Region was also the national capital of the Gold Coast Colony and had been established as such since 1876, when the British colonialists relocated their administrative capital from Cape Coast, the present-day capital of the Central Region. Now, what the latter statement means is that Accra as the national capital of the Gold Coast Colony was the nerve center of a relatively vast region that comprised of the extant Gold Coast Colony Proper, including the present-day Greater-Accra Region and the Anlo-Ewe enclave of southeastern Ghana, that is, the southern tip of the present-day Volta Region, the Central Region, the present-day Western and Western-North regions; the Asante Federation and the erstwhile Northern Territories. The Asante Federation, of course, included the present-day Bono, Bono-East and Ahafo regions which, until very recently, constituted the Brong-Ahafo Region; and then, of course, the present-day Four Northern Regions, namely, the Northern Region Proper, the North-East Region, and the Upper-East and the Upper-West regions. And then, shortly before Independence, the Volta Region or the erstwhile Trans-Volta Togoland, which also included the recently Akufo-Addo-created Oti Region.
We must also highlight the fact that both the Coussey (Kusi) and the Korsah (Akosa) constitutions that midwifed and shepherded the erstwhile Gold Coast into an Independent Ghana, were almost single-handedly drafted by Dr. Joseph (Nana Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye-Danquah. Now, is there any wonder that the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the government of President John Agyekum-Kufuor, would also single-handedly draft the landmark Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, a British colonial instrument of “legal repression and torture” of ardent and formidable opponents of British imperial subjugation, which would decidedly and effectively usher into practical reality and existence Ghana’s present enviable democratic political culture?
Equally significant, we also find a newly elected and redesignated Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah fiercely contesting what the first postcolonial Ghanaian leader bitterly claimed to be dastardly and mischievous attempts by Danquah partisans and associates in the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly to trivialize or devalue the proverbial and legendary African Show Boy’s yeomanly contributions to the institutional establishment of the United Gold Coast Convention which, by the way, the then-Prime Minister Nkrumah, having already founded and firmly established his Convention People’s Party (CPP), was still very proud to have been a major part and a key player of. To be certain, Nkrumah staunchly envisaged the institutional establishment of the UGCC to be his ideological alma mater and the unignorable crucible of the making of his fairly long distinguished political career. Mr. Pratt can be forgiven for his unspeakable anti-Danquah blasphemy because even by the standards of his own generation, the man is not intellectually and scholastically very well equipped or educated well enough to competently take on the subject of our discourse here.
Indeed, were he alive and still with us today, President Kwame Nkrumah would be the very first postcolonial Ghanaian leader to promptly remind Mr. Pratt of this most pedestrian and obvious fact. One only needs to read the authoritative treatises of Profs. Dennis Austin and David Apter, respectively, in particular “Politics in Ghana: 1946-1960” and “Ghana in Transition” in order to healthily arrive at these widely acknowledged and indisputable facts. As well, any interested student of the present subject would do themselves great good to read Mahoney’s “J F K: The Africa Ordeal,” another authoritative source from which to garner an authentic appreciation of the phenomenal stature and place of Dr. Danquah in relation to postcolonial Ghanaian history, as well as in radical relation to the latter’s sometime political protégé, “Dr.” Kwame Nkrumah.
Now, in terms of scholastic standing or stature, even staunch Nkrumah disciples and adherents with a remarkable modicum of integrity and forthrightness would be the first to point out the preceding verifiable facts of colonial and postcolonial Ghanaian history. You see, when it comes to the respective roles of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Danquah vis-à-vis the development and the shaping of postcolonial Ghana, Dr. Danquah is indisputably the veritable Architect of Ghana’s institutional establishment, even as President Nkrumah is also aptly conceded the accolade of being the First Resident of the House that Danquah Built. Of course, the architectural design of Modern Ghana owes its provenance and substance to a Danquah-headed team of formidable patriotic statesmen and women. There is also a redoubtable team of pioneers and precursors who long preceded Dr. Danquah and his crackerjack team of nation builders.
Now, we can quibble over the purely ideological question regarding which of our national leaders and s/heroes deserve to be celebrated or not celebrated on our National Calendar of Holiday Observances and Festivities. As for the forensically and canonically established facts of the history of Ghana’s Independence Struggle, only clinically certified basket cases like Mr. Pratt can smugly presume to play fast and loose with the same. For example, why did the then-Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah need to be sternly cautioned by his foreign consultants during the process of his founding and establishment of the Ghana Academy of the Arts and the Sciences, to the effect that the establishment of any authentic and institutionally credible Ghana Academy of the Arts and the Sciences without the membership inclusion of Dr. J B Danquah was decidedly an absolute nonstarter? I bet my proverbial bottom-dollar that Mr. Pratt does not know the answer to the forgoing question. Which is precisely why the Insight’s editor and publisher cannot be taken seriously on any momentous discussion of the present subject.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 7, 2022
E-mail: [email protected]