To paraphrase a Ghanaian Times' editorial on the allegedly deplorable state of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, in about seven months, the fake birthday of our ace KGB Africa Regional Director, LENIN PRIZE laureate and first premier of neocolonialist Ghana would be celebrated by some regressive charlatans and troglodytes called NKRUMAISTS.
Already, the brazen pontiff of these charlatans and incumbent Ghanaian president John Evans Atta-Mills, has been unctuously calling for that fake birthday of September 21 (see Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah) to be declared a national holiday on our nauseatingly fraught calendar of public holidays (Ghanaweb.com 3/10/09).
What makes such call immitigably criminal is that the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, located adjacent to the Accra Arts Center, has been fast deteriorating, particularly the museum section of the mausoleum. And what is even worse, contacted for his comment on such state of abject neglect, Professor George Hagan, quondam chairman of the National Commission on Culture, decided to pass the buck. Interestingly, however, Professor Hagan, implicitly, placed the buck on the oversized desk of Mr. Jeremiah John Rawlings, the monstrosity of a premier whose 20-year's apocalyptic mis-governance of the country put Ghana into a decidedly mortifying state of Western-donor-aid receivership, otherwise known as HIPC or Highly Indebted and Poor Country.
According to Professor Hagan, also a former director of the University of Ghana's Institute of African Studies, the P/NDC's unconscionable railroading of the Ghanaian economy almost singularly ensured that the Kufuor government would be unable to secure the requisite funding for the necessary rehabilitation of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
Still, it was the architect of the mausoleum cum museum project, Dr. Don Arthur, who put the proverbial horse smack before the cart, as it ought to, by wondering aloud about the caliber of a mausoleum management that would, literally, use floor carpeting to hide structural defects from visitors and tourists to the Nkrumaists' shrine. And, of course, the man being directly fingered here by Dr. Arthur is none other than Mr. Kwame Manu-Asiamah, the director of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. But here, too, unfortunately, the buck is one of gross and abject misdirection. For in the final analysis, it is those clueless and loudmouthed self-proclaimed Nkrumaists, going by such vacuous and cynical labels as the Socialist Forum, Convention People's Party (CPP), Kwame Nkrumah Revolutionary Guards (KNRG) who ought to be unreservedly ashamed of themselves.
But that these Nkrumaist loudmouths would visionlessly, squarely and exclusively look up to the Government to foot the reportedly, though unspecified, humongous cost involved in rehabilitating the mausoleum, may not be wholly the fault of these shameless charlatans. Indeed, the African Show Boy himself, by singularly and in an abjectly Neo-Nazi “Final Solution” manner seeking to thoroughly root out Ghanaian private entrepreneurial initiative, pretty much ensured that it would be next to the impossible for his ideological scions and disciples to figure out creative means of effectively preserving his legacy, or whatever may be left of the same, short of blind and total reliance on the central government for such initiative. And it goes without saying that such epic, albeit wholly predictable, failure that is strikingly reflected in the evidently abject neglect of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, is indisputably integral to the Nkrumaist legacy.
In his submission to the editorial staff of the Ghanaian Times, Professor George Hagan also noted that in the wake of the country's emergence out of its deeply embarrassing but necessary HIPC status, “there was an initiative [underway] to institute an institutional reform of the [Nkrumah Mausoleum's managerial apparatus] so that [this national landmark] could run under a private management” (Ghanaweb.com 3/10/09). Obviously, at the time of the afore-referenced editorial publication not much that is palpable had been done.
And on the latter score must also be quickly noted that a Kwame Nkrumah Foundation existed at the time of this writing (3/22/09) and had, in fact, been in existence for quite some time before. If concerned readers may thusly know, precisely what is the role and function of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation? And why has the latter organization, at least to-date, apparently failed to take over the managerial apparatus and rehabilitation of the mausoleum bearing the name of the very same personality whose name, honor and dignity it claims to be about the sacred business of preserving?
It is also embarrassingly funny that except for the pro-forma granting of the public land on which it sits, from what we have learned from reliable sources, the Ghana government, including our incumbent and ever-morally grandstanding President Atta-Mills, had absolutely no hand in the funding, design and construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. And from what we have been able to gather, it was the leaders of such well-meaning countries as China, Italy, Libya and Japan that made the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum the landmark reality that it is today. Legend even has it that called upon for help in preserving the evidently badly embalmed and decomposing remains of Mr. Nkrumah, then-President Jeremiah John Rawlings pooh-poohed any such outrageous venture, or initiative, and instead, sneered and cynically snarled that it made far better sense to take care of famished Ghanaian citizens than morbidly contemplate the patent fatuity of expending huge sums of hard currency preserving the useless body of a dead dictator. Now, this is a really tough language coming from the very man who destroyed more innocent Ghanaian lives and careers than any other Ghanaian leader in our postcolonial history.
Ultimately, though, the right question to ask is: Whatever happened to the daily fees collected from individuals and groups of visitors to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum? A still more relevant question is: When will a similar shrine be erected for the undisputed architect of modern Ghana and, perhaps, the greatest legal mind and wit of his generation, Dr. Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye-Danquah? And when will the University College, Ghana's flagship academy, he almost singularly midwifed be named after him?
Indeed, as Mr. Joe Appiah poignantly recalls in his remarkable autobiography, Joe Appiah: The Autobiography of an African Patriot (1990), wretchedly, wickedly and criminally incarcerated and suffering a deliberately induced slow death at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison on the orders of President Nkrumah, Dr. Danquah was to ask the following of his fellow inmates: “Is Ghana, really, worth fighting for?”
And as has now widely become public knowledge, the Ofori-Atta Family would be given barely six hours within which to conduct Dr. Danquah's funeral and burial. Interestingly, however, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah would be accorded two weeks, a whopping 336 hours, of televised state burial! Even far lesser lights in the Ghanaian political firmament have, in recent years, been accorded days-long state burials.
But that the Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics should be accorded the undignified burial of a common criminal and given short-shrift treatment by ex-President John (Kofi Diawuo) Agyekum-Kufuor, the first self-proclaimed Danquah-Busiaist to serve the full constitutionally stipulated two terms of his tenure, is an unpardonable moral blight that would continue to haunt our fledgling democratic Republic of Ghana in perpetuity.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of twenty books, including “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: [email protected]
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