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13.03.2009 General News

Translate ideas of Nkrumah into action

Translate ideas of Nkrumah into action

A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the University of Ghana, Legon, Mr Kwesi Jonah, has petitioned the government to fully translate the ideas of Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, into effective action in order to achieve the country's development agenda.

"Most of his ideas have now found their way into state policies and principles," he noted, and said the country could only move forward if Dr Nkrumah's ideas were firmly integrated into the country's development strategy.

Mr Jonah made the appeal when he addressed an audience at the second public memorial lecture on Dr Nkrumah and his centenary celebration which was held at the Arts Centre in Accra on the theme, "Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah at 100: Celebrating the Life and Legacies of a Pan African Legend".

"Because of the foundation Dr Nkrumah laid for us, we can boldly say that we are a solidly united country," he said, and stressed that Dr Nkrumah's initiatives were not an end in themselves because years after his death most of his achievements were what most Ghanaians depended and prided themselves on.

"The unity of African countries - USA was more important to him than Ghana," he said, adding that Dr Nkrumah was of the view that “even the richest African country could not survive alone politically, economically and socially", and that was why, during the proclamation of Ghana's independence, Dr Nkrumah stressed the fact that "the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of the African continent".

He indicated that in the process, Dr Nkrumah discovered that three things needed to be firmly implemented if Africa could ever be united, and they were "one currency, one army and one foreign policy", but Kenneth Kaunda, the then President of Zambia, and other African leaders suggested co-operation along functionary lines and regional unions, which for Dr Nkrumah was not a proactive strategy.

He recounted one of Dr Nkrumah's legacies, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), through which Dr Nkrumah tried to bring all independent states not only in Africa but also other parts of the world, particularly those in Asia, to pursue their own objectives other than following the East and Western blocs to achieve their development agenda.

Mr Jonah said though some of the members of the movement openly aligned themselves with either of the blocs, NAM could never be sidelined from Dr Nkrumah's achievements because it formed a forum for solidarity across the world.

"Dr Nkrumah, by all standards in the world, was a great person," he stated, and pointed out that years after his death Africans around the world remembered him for his persistence struggle against colonialism across Africa.

Mr K. B. Asante, a retired diplomat and educationist who was a minister of state in Dr Nkrumah's government, bemoaned the fact that years after the Kulungugu bombing, no commission of enquiry had been set up to find the culprits behind the attack.

Recounting his experiences with Dr Nkrumah, Mr Asante recalled that as a political science student he once took the opportunity to ask Dr Nkrumah why he wanted a one-party state when he had two-thirds majority in Parliament and Dr Nkrumah made it known to him that though there were talents in the Convention People's Party (CPP), he wanted to appoint the best and most relevant Ghanaians into positions, hence his resolve to tap into all parties in a one party state.

He said he did not even have a CPP card and did not refer to himself as an Nkrumahist but Dr Nkrumah believed and trusted in him, adding that that was why Dr Nkrumah appointed Mr J. H. Mensah in his administration.

The President of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, justified the legitimacy of the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) passed in July 1958 by Dr Nkrumah. He said the Act was justifiable, even if the life of one person was saved, noting that innocent people were killed and maimed during the political tension at that time.

Prof. Akosa explained that the Act was in no way different from the 'Patriotic Act" and the 'Terrorism Act' that had been passed in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK), respectively, but no questions had been raised against the passage of those acts.

The President of the Kwame Nkrumah' Memorial Park, Mr Kwaku Manu-Asiamah, said Dr Nkrumah was great among his peers and so his ideas should not be left to die and expressed the belief that efforts at ensuring Nkrumah's mortality should be the joint commitment of all Africans.

He advised the government to negotiate with Panaf 'Books Litnited, the publishers of Dr. Nkrumah's books, to publish the books locally for the benefit of the general public and visitors who visited the park in order to defuse false charges against Africa by Europeans that Africa had no history or philosophy.

On problems associated with the park, he said the museum, a key component of the park, had its roof and floor leaking badly.

"The cracks in the museum floor were hidden for the celebration of [email protected] with" a carpet. Now the leakage from the floor has exposed our cosmetic attempt to solve the problem once and for all. If you enter the museum today, stains on the carpet will tell an unfriendly story," he emphasised, and stressed that "Nkrumah was a builder and, therefore, for any building associated with his name to go to ruins is unpardonable".