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25.04.2007 Feature Article


He has already been immortalized with a life-sized statue on a giant pedestal erected on the foregrounds of Ghana's sole international airport, which is also named after him. And so when we came across an article recently posted on the website of, titled “Anlos to Immortalize the Memory of Kotoka” (4/24/07), it was quite puzzling as to exactly what the anonymous Ghana News Agency (GNA) reporter meant.

The five terse paragraphs of which the aforementioned article was composed, however, made one thing starkly clear – and that is, the indispensable need for charity to begin at home. And home, the people of Fiaxor (pronounced “Fiaahor”), in the Volta Region of Ghana, apprised us, that is, when one talks about the personality and heroism of Lt.-Gen. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka, is Fiaxor. And it goes without saying that nobody can begrudge the people of Fiaxor – or Fiaxorians – this inalienable much; their well-deserved pride, that is. And on the latter score, the Regent of Fiaxor, Togbui Sri III, aptly intends to lead his people in the construction of a clinic – or health center – and a town hall, both of which would, presumably, be named after this distinguished son-of-the-soil upon completion.

At this, particularly with regard to the naming of Ghana's aviation gateway after the indomitable revolutionary that was the personage of Gen. Kotoka, some of us, naturally, could not help but wonder why it has become so difficult, if not virtually impossible, for Dr. J. B. Danquah's own ideological offspring of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to righteously rename the University of Ghana, the country's flagship academy, after the phenomenal personality who made Legon the reality that it became in Ghana's cultural history in the moment that it did.

But that even the sole significant monument which has, to-date, been erected in honor of the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics is a statue which, ironically, was erected by an Nkrumaist-leaning military junta, rather than the popularly elected Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party, should shame all human-rights- and democracy-loving Ghanaians.

Indeed, if for nothing at all, we must make bold to highlight the fact that, as the late Nigerian president Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe did in a glowing tribute in the wake of Dr. Danquah's prison assassination by President Kwame Nkrumah, the Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics was also the first continental African in the twentieth century to “earn” the Doctor of Philosophy Degree, in the Philosophy of the Mind (or Analytical Philosophy), from any modern, Western university. And here also, purely for the sake of historical records, must be noted the fact that the deservedly celebrated Dr. J. E. K. Aggrey (on whom we intend to publish a book in due course) had his Doctor of Education Degree posthumously conferred.

Interestingly, the anonymous Ghana News Agency reporter was also cynically quick to point out that the Kotoka-led Revolution that heroically and righteously toppled Life-President Kwame Nkrumah in 1966, was executed “with funding from the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States” (just as, it bears pointing out, Nkrumah's so-called Akosombo Dam project [more on this shortly] had been funded with substantive support of the C.E.O. of the CIA).

But even more significantly, our anonymous GNA reporter could also have enriched the memory and knowledge bank of his readers by dispassionately adding that Life-President Nkrumah was also generously backed by the Russian Central Intelligence Agency, the KGB, in his perpetration of untold atrocities against Ghanaian citizens and other African governments with whom our “Pan-Africanist Osagyefo” and pseudo-Marxist ideologue disagreed.

In the end, though, what matters more than anything else is that Gen. Kotoka get celebrated beyond the parochial confines of Anloland. For, needless to say, a national hero is a national hero, be the subject of heroism, or glory, an Akyem-kwaa of Kyebi-Adadientem or a Togbui-ga of Keta-Fiaxor.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., teaches English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana.” E-mail: [email protected]
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2007

This author has authored 4567 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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