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17.08.2022 Feature Article

The Fallacious Prattle of a Brat Called Pratt

The Fallacious Prattle of a Brat Called Pratt
17.08.2022 LISTEN

On the videoclip titled “Facts from Lies: Kwame Nkrumah Never Dies,” which was recently WhatsApped to me by an in-law, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jr., the nearly 70-year-old brash Nkrumah fanatic and editor-publisher of the so-called Insight newspaper, peddles quarter-truths and pure and sheer mendacities in the specious name of “Setting the Records Straight.” Predictably, it soon becomes clear that Mr. Pratt is not the least bit interested in the truth at all but merely to blaspheme and irreparably tarnish the globally indelible revered image and reputation of Dr. J B Danquah vis-à-vis this firebrand nationalist’s signal achievements and yeomanly contributions towards both Ghana’s and the Continental African Liberation Struggle, in a systematically malicious bid to irreparably negating the historically accurate and all too appropriate establishment of August 4, 1947, the year of the watershed founding of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), the country’s very first mass-following nationwide organizational movement for the reassertion of the sovereignty of the erstwhile Gold Coast Colony from British colonial imperialism.

For example, the rabid anti-Danquah critic’s assertion that the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Modern Ghanaian Politics’ initial proposal for the renaming of Ghana as “Akanland” is not even a half-truth; rather, it sheer and patent mendacity because as a poet of first-rate talent and genius, as well as a playwright of remarkable dramaturgical achievements, Danquah was also phonetically astute enough to realize that “Akanland” clearly and critically lacked the sort of phonetic felicity that would be readily subscribed to by any well-educated or scholarly Ghanaian citizen. Consequently, what Danquah had actually proposed, among at least a half-dozen possible names for an Independent Gold Coast, was “Akanaland,” and not “Akanland,” as unfelicitously or awkwardly characterized by Mr. Pratt whose own maternal uncle, Mr. Kojo Botsio, the well-known Nkrumah lieutenant, was among the prime suspects and villains prominently featured in President Nkrumah’s globally renowned Dawn Broadcast Address to the Nation (of Ghana) on Saturday, April 8, 1961, that is, on the very day and morning on which yours truly was born or had been born.

In that landmark address, in the main, President Nkrumah boldly and fiercely confronted rank official corruption in the government of his Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the key players and cabinet appointees whom he found to be most guilty of the reckless and wanton perpetration of this most unpardonable crime against Ghanaian humanity and the Ghanaian citizenry at large. If I vividly and accurately recall from my quite extensive studies and research in this area of the history of the immediate post-independence period of Ghana’s political culture, the University of Durham, England, educated Mr. Botsio was one of the officials arrested by President Nkrumah and briefly expelled from his cabinet. Like the rest of the hoodlum pack of CPP cabinet appointees, Mr. Botsio, a former tutor at the Akyem-Abuakwa State College (Senior High School), under the administration of Mr. William “Paa Willie” Ofori-Atta, would shortly be pardoned, rehabilitated and returned to the Presidential Inner Circle of the legendary Honorary Doctor Nkrumah.

We must quickly point out that this was largely due to the fact that in 1961, Ghana continued to woefully lack a critical mass and pool of highly educated intellectuals and technocrats, with a sizeable majority of whatever existed or was available of the latter at the time having intransigently elected to stay within the main opposition political establishment, to wit, the Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia-led United Party (UP), largely a unified collection of ethnically oriented political groupings healthily, albeit ironically, forced to unify by President Nkrumah’s Anti-Discrimination Law/Act which both peremptorily and preemptively proscribed all political parties formed and operated in the country that visibly and palpably lacked ethnic diversity of the kind that characterized both Nkrumah’s own Convention People’s Party and the latter’s institutional antecedent of the Danquah- and Grant-led United Gold Coast Convention. I also don’t know that Mr. Pratt has any problem with the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s being oftentimes referred to as “England,” although the British Isle is composed of a multiplicity of ethnicities and cultures.

In particular, Nkrumah appears to have unmistakably targeted the Asante-dominated National Liberation Movement (NLM), led by the Chief Linguist or Spokesperson of The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Agyeman-Prempeh, II, Baffuor Akoto, and the leadership of the Northern People’s Party (NPP). Among the possible names proposed for an Independent and Sovereign Ghana by Dr. Danquah was “Fergusonia,” after Mr. George Ekem Ferguson, the legendary pioneer, professionally trained surveyor and cartographer who assisted the British colonial authorities to demarcate the present-day territorial boundaries of Ghana. Not surprisingly, Mr. Pratt only chose to mention or go with a highly tentative nominal label that obviously reflected his malicious objective of making Dr. Danquah seem like an unregenerate ethnic chauvinist or an Akan ethnic supremacist. At any rate, what was even more flabbergasting and inexcusably disturbing was the fact that absolutely none of the other half-dozen, or so, co-panelists on the talk-show on which Mr. Pratt appeared seemed to be adequately prepared or the least bit interested to promptly counter or shoot down the patently criminal falsehoods that were being so viciously and venomously peddled by Mr. Pratt.

The critic also claimed rather shockingly, but not the least bit surprisingly, that the Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union, practically the very first phase of President Nkrumah’s decidedly quixotic attempt at creating a Union of African States (UAS), African Socialist States, that is, and one that was strikingly patterned after the corporate and geopolitical contours of the United States of America, where the Ghanaian leader had undertaken both his undergraduate and graduate studies, had survived up until the eve of the historic overthrow of the Convention People’s Party. In reality, as readily accessible records are there for all to see and verify, the factual reality of the matter or the history of the time is that the Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union had only lasted from 1958, shortly after Guinea attained her independence from France, to 1961, shortly after Mali also attained her independence from France with the so-called Francophone Alliance.

Now, what this simply means is that the latter veritable pipedream, at least based on the clearly premature exigencies of the times, effectively collapsed a full half-decade before the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party regime. So, why do self-proclaimed compendiums of CPP and Ghana’s postcolonial history like Mr. Pratt find it so extremely difficult to tell their children and grandchildren, as well as the general Ghanaian public, the plain and unvarnished truth about the history of the period herein discussed?

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

August 10, 2022

E-mail: [email protected]

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