Ghana’s Founder-Father: My Pride And My Shame–Where Are We Drifting?
Since January 7, 2017, when President Nana Akufo Addo delivered his speech after being sworn-in as President of this Republic; and his address of March 6, 2017, I have not felt the ‘Ghanaianness’ in me until I settled to do this piece.
I have observed with much discomfort, some political stalwarts within the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, following the two speeches of the President, who are seeking to undo the political stature of the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Founder and first President of the Republic of Ghana, and a towering iconic Pan Africanist.
This is the agenda H.E. Nana Akufo has set for his subordinate members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to work on. What the President finally did to put this country into a needless intellectual confrontation was when he chose August 4, to be legislatively passed as Ghana Founders’ Day.
The pride in me as a Ghanaian, diminished – and shame stood in its stead I heard him say so. It worsened when a whole Professor in political science chose to discard intellectual objectivity in reasoning, to elevate academic hypocrisy. Is this what the Osagyefo classified as “…the educated illiterates…”?
Looking at Ghana today, it saddens me – and rather unfortunate that at age SIXTY (60) a nation state can still dwell on what pulled us back in our decades' journey of retrogression; we still find comfort in this advanced age of nothingness, to still peddle pettiness and absurd engagements.
Why should a nation at age 60, engage ourselves as to – who foundered GHANA? Is it the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, or the entire Big Six who have had their place of honour in the history books of Ghana and the British archives?
This is what the current political leadership want Ghanaians to engage ourselves in an endeavour that will not bring industrialization or economic emancipation to this country. The sustained agenda by the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition to run down the outstanding stature of the Osagyefo, so far has not seen them make any progress. It is worth recalling [email protected], and specifically on 6th March, 2007, when the then African Union (AU), Imminent Personality, Alfa Konare delivered his speech at the Independence Square.
When he began by eulogizing the Osagyefo, and about ten to fifteen minutes into his speech, Ghana Television went dead and not to come back until he ended his speech. That is a former Malian President who valued what Kwame Nkrumah did – not only for Ghana, but Africa as a whole.
The Danquah-Busia-Dombo (they are now gradually ‘whipping’ out the names of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia and Dombo) tradition have made it a project each time they find themselves in political leadership to dwarf the Osagyefo in their elevation and glorification of J.B. Danquah.
It is, however, consoling that the more they try to 'bury' the name of Nkrumah, the more they fail and his stature, even in death – stands taller than the personality J.B. Danquah they have been projecting. The agenda of the sitting President is not honour the “Big Six” – but his uncle
Truth be told, that the history of the man (so-projected) is limited to the political corridors of Ghana, only – not even our closest neighbours; Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Togo, can one hear of the man J.B. Danquah. That of Kwame Nkrumah goes even beyond the African Continent in which he is much revered, as well as his global iconic appeal/acceptance.
Those who are advocating for Founders' instead of Founder's Day can go ahead to do so. But they should do well to go to the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa and take off the imposing statue at the forecourt of its Headquarters.
September 21, was already declared Founder’s Day when the Osagyefo was in the political leadership of Ghana. It was taken off when he was overthrown by the military junta on February 24, 1966.
However, it took a whole continental body, the African Union, to recognize to contribution of the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to the liberation struggle of Africa – hence the honour of his birthday, September 21 each year to be continentally observed as AFRICA DAY.
A positive-thinking citizenry of a country would have been so proud to have such an illustrious personality being their own – but not in Ghana. And it is the very negative posturing that has 'inured' to our BACKWARDNESS, which we have refused to learn lessons – but keep threading the path of “…total destruction…” (apologies to the legendry Bob Marley).
We have chosen to rather bring the negatives of the 1950s and 1960s of the 20th to the 21st Century. And we feel no shame to be referring to our failures as against the now advanced economies of Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and others.
If we decide to remain static in thinking retrogressively just as the current needless and useless antagonisms over Founder's/Founders' Day politics, we will remain where we have been, and are now – whereas the Osagyefo is taking his eternal rest but still GIGANTIC in international physical politics both in research undertakings, and Pan African activism in this generation and generations to come.
We have taken this path of destruction to the extent that constituting anniversary Planning Committee which is supposed to be of national blend, has been made a wholly New Patriotic Party (NPP) affair. The [email protected] celebration was also made a single political party affair, just as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) did when [email protected] was celebrated in 1997, during its reign in government. Celebrating Ghana's independence must be a unifying occasion and, therefore, should have the various political parties and other stakeholders participating in the planning of such events.
OSAGYEFO’S GLOBAL STATURE
Due to the masquerading agenda by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition to destroy anything which has something to do with Nkrumah’s name, I have no alternative than to re-enforce the stature of the Osagyefo, Dr.Kwame Nkrumah and his global appeal.
Understandably, the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-set agenda to diminish his name must be given place in the negative pages of history – because they have been so-established even before and after independence, and achieved their destructive aims in the February 24, 1966 violent overthrow of his government.
After the retrogressive move by the junta led by Col. Emmanuel Kotoka, tacitly supported by the ‘Agents of Doom’ (Danquah-Busia-Dombo) and remotely controlled by the Western ‘Aggressor’-Powers, Ghana has never had its best breath again. They succeeded in undoing Ghana, under the honest leadership of the Osagyefo, and as the path-finder to her economic/industrialization agenda, which vision was to be extended to the whole Continent of Africa – after political liberation.
The ‘Agents of Doom’ did not stop at that. They took a step further to destroy anything Nkrumah. The effort at industrializing Ghana was effectively truncated in an effort to erase the name Nkrumah.
However, as a compatriot once said, that “God’s signature – no eraser”, and to wit whatever God has destined man – no one can change. The above proves why they could not change the course of history when immediately after the coup that overthrew him; President Gnasingbe Eyadema of Togo visited Ghana, and what happened gave meaning to it.
The illegal governors of the country at the time, shamelessly drove him round projects that were planned and executed by the Osagyefo – and especially the Tema-Motorway and all the way to the Akosombo Hydro Electricity Dam (which is the biggest man-made lake) with the adjoining modern city. Surprised at what he saw, Eyadema asked, “…Who did all this?” Everything they looked at, they had to reply that Kwame Nkrumah did it. Eyadema then asked, “…Why then did you do this coup? There was no need for this coup!”
The source of this reference, “Kwame Nkrumah; The Conakry Years: His Life And Letters”; stated further that relations became instantly strained and a state dinner arranged in his honour later that day was cancelled and he returned to Togo earlier than scheduled.
In an attempt to placate Eyadema, the leader of the so-called National Liberation Council (NLC), Col. Kotoka, paid him a visit in Lome, and for whatever reasons was shot and Killed on his return at the only International Airport in Ghana which has been named after him – a traitor? Such was the stature of the Osagyefo, to the extent that an adversary of the like of Eyadema could not hide his admiration for the achievements of the man so vilified by a handful of his countrymen.
These detractors who did not only slow the wheels of progress but almost stopped it all together – even went further to ban every available literature material of the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. That is understandable, because one of the reasons the Western powers had against him which led them to sponsor his overthrow was that – Nkrumah was making the African – POLITICALLY CONSCIOUS. It was through his writings/speeches – and to them, that was a huge political crime to have been committed by a personality of the sort.
And they did then, succeed in making the African and particularly the Ghanaian – POLITICALLY UNCONSCIOUS.
But, whereas the flame was put off in Ghana, the African flame of liberation he lit was held aloft across the Continent. He so much believed in the African Liberation agenda to the extent that after his overthrow, that conviction was never destabilized in his thinking, for as he once stated, “…I gave them (Ghanaians) their freedom and built the country up for them. If they want to throw it away, it is their affair. There are two reasons why I must go back – African unity and socialism”.
Just before his overthrow, his then Private Secretary, Erica Powell in her book “Private Secretary (Female)/Gold Coast”, posits that he once confided in her shortly before his overthrow, that he was contemplating resigning from the Ghanaian political landscape to concentrate on the African liberation struggle. That is how he thought out of the Ghanaian box to the outer horizon of the Continental Political Emancipation. However, his vowed enemies then and now, have refused to accept this naked fact that political activism which built him that stature did not emerge from his involvement in Ghanaian politics. Ghana – is a very narrow aspect of his political life.
The natural heat of in-born Pan African orientation in the Osagyefo, was, and is what make him an outstanding global figure. At the time of his deposition, the Black Militants of BLACK POWER in the United States of America, had this to say about him when they advocated for him to be made President of Howard University. “…Despite his fall from [political] power, Nkrumah is still a popular figure among American men, there has been no diminution in his PRESTIGE (my emphasis). It was his tenacity, his courage and indefatigable labour that ushered in a new era of freedom and independence in Africa…” They went further to emphasize that “…Nkrumah is more of a SCHOLAR-PATRIOT (mine) than a politician…” Sourced from Chicago Daily Defender of June 14-20, 1969 from the same diary of his “…The Conakry Years…”
The selflessness of the towering figure of the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his Pan Africanist activism which later led to his discovery by the then political movement in the Gold Coast, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), cannot be wished away. Way back in his struggling student days in the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK), he had the vision of organizing Africans in the diaspora as an effective weapon in the future fight for the Continent’s liberation. This vision led him to, even though a student at the time, struggle and make savings which enabled him purchase a building for African Students in the United Kingdom and named after his mother, which later came to be known as the “Centre of African Students Activities in Europe”.
This is what the Pan African Students in the Americas drew his attention to when they were inviting him after his overthrow, to grace its Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, on August 24 – 27, 1966. It is worth capturing in parts what the Organization put on paper to the Osagyefo. It goes:
“The members of the Pan African Students Organization in the Americas are holding their Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, on August 24 through 27th, 1966. This is the highest council of African Students in this country.
The main objective is to arouse consciousness among African Students to the idea of African Unity. Consequently, the theme for this year’s conference is ‘In Search of an African Ideology’.
“Osagyefo The President, it is the general opinion of the student body in this country, and I dare say Africans and people of African descent everywhere, that you are the most dedicated champion of African liberation, progress and unity, no matter the events, as history will definitely prove [and history has indeed proved].
“With your permission, Osagyefo, I would remind you of how much you struggled to form this very organization while you were a student in this country three decades ago. This is the same organization with only a change of name. We therefore attach a deep sentimental value to your presence at this conference.
“Osagyefo The President Sir, we are well aware of the contribution you have made especially the purchase of a complete building for African Students in the United Kingdom and named after your beloved mother, Madam Nyaniba, and this has come to be the centre of African Students Activities in Europe. Despite recent events, the record is still there.
“Again we are aware of the pressure of work on you at this time, but we still consider your presence essential. We take this opportunity to thank you for your kind gesture in our last conference” (emphasis owned but sourced from “Kwame Nkrumah; The Conakry Years”).
Thus far did the Osagyefo, in his advancing youthful years, aspire with zeal and passion in his Pan Africanist vision/activism in the desire then – to see a liberated and United Africa as the concluding project of the Continent’s road to progress. This is the man who was, and is so vilified in this country called Ghana, which he sweated to bring her name to the top of the global arena when it comes to geo-politics in Africa – so far as the black race is concerned.
It is comforting however, that his Socialist inclination that has always been the target of condemnation, sank well into the thinking and beliefs of the sitting President, H.E. Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo Addo, who is the current leader of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition. He was so-consumed in the Socialist beliefs of the Osagyefo until the great man’s overthrow when he was sought for to be arrested. That was the point of conversion when his father’s influence was brought to bear for him not be arrested.
Thankfully also, his vice, H.E. Dr. Mahamadu Bawumya, has the Nkrumaist concentrated blood in him until he was poached by the tradition under reference in 2008. The pretentious masks have been worn by the two for us to see. And I want to believe that all the negative propaganda being waged by them, on the Osagyefo’s image and stature is a matter of pleasing the ‘God Fathers’ of the tradition, both dead and alive, and not coming from the bottom of their hearts.
LOCAL LIES OF CONVENIENCE AND WESTERN HYPPOCRISY
In order to inform the sub-younger of my generation who may have read bits of literature about the Osagyefo, albeit, lies – I wish to throw more light in this direction, as well as expose the hypocrisy of the West when it comes to geo-global politics of the Third World – and especially Africa.
When the Convention People’s Party (CPP) government led by the Osagyefo was overthrown by the close/remotely controlled uninformed military/police officers, an agenda was put in place as stated elsewhere earlier, to undo whatever was achieved over a short span of his reign.
He was accused of all kinds of rights abuse, and especially the undertaking of TERRORIST ACTIVITIES which led to the introduction of the Preventive Detention Act (PDA). To this, the detractors said he had introduced the ‘rule of fear’ in the country – making it insecure for the citizenry to go about their businesses.
As these accusations were on-going with their Western Media Propagandists led by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) – they ‘conveniently’ failed to use the same media to let the international community know what occasioned the introduction of the PDA. The Propagandists never-ever, ‘conveniently’ tell the world what the Osagyefo and his government went through. They ‘intentionally’ failed to accurately report on the occasionally well-planned acts of TERRORISM which were tele-guided by one of the then opposition which was led by one of the opposition leaders, Obetsebi Lamptey – after their main leader, J.B. Danquah was detained on traces of similar influences of TERRORIST acts. In all those dastardly acts, many Ghanaians lost their lives as many others were partially/permanently maimed.
They finally succeeded through the coup to get Nkrumah out of the way – and ruined this country from the progress made. BUT – as the saying has it, that one reaps what one sows, so did it happen to the then Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition. For after their covert/overt activities which gave birth to the coup of February 24, 1966, they became beneficiary-technocrats for the junta which, in preparation for one of them to lead this country – appointed Dr. Kofi Abrefa (K.A) Busia, Commissioner for Civic Education.
An offshoot of the tradition, the United Party was led by the same Dr. K.A. Busia who later won the general election of 1969 to become the Prime Minister of this republic, with the current sitting President’s father, Edward Akufo Addo becoming the ceremonial President. But this is a political tradition that prides itself as strict adherents of the so-called “rule of law” who benefitted from acts of ‘miss-rule of law’. The same adherents saw it as part of democratic practice to have been comfortable – banning the CPP from contesting that elections, and detained functionaries of the Party.
Why did they choose to thread this path of denying the right of the CPP to contest the election if Nkrumah’s Party used dictatorial tendencies to continue winning at the polls – now that the man was no longer in the scene? Was their act in itself an admission that the man used his grass-root connection with the masses to continuously win elections – and that even in his absence the CPP would have gone ahead to win the elections had it been allowed to contest? And these are the self-acclaimed and trumpeted democrats?
They were, and are the so-called protagonists of the rule of law who masterminded the overthrow of a legitimately elected government of Ghana under the CPP of Kwame Nkrumah. After having contradicted themselves by influencing his deposition – the Busia government was also kicked off by the Col. I.K. Acheampong’s coup of January 13, 1972.
For whatever reasons, and even though Col. Acheampong fell short of mentioning names, this is what he said on January 13, 1973, his first anniversary celebration which was taken as an insinuation at Dr. Busia. He said; “…The unity we desire and which we must struggle [to achieve], is not the unity of one region, not the unity of one tribe, nor the unity of one clan, but the unity of our whole country. The indivisible, unchangeable unity of Ghana…”
We know that prior to our independence, the Danquah group believed in a federal system of governance as against the unitary system espoused and later won by Nkrumah. The Busia government, though could not change the status quo, the homogeneous system in which the country was governed drastically changed.
He was also accused for introducing a Socialist/Communist economy which was not good for the country without private sector participation. This was another gargantuan lie which was told by the junta and their academic/intellectual crooks who conveniently chose to lower their academic laurels into the gutters of crude politics.
Kwame Nkrumah was never against private capital investment in the Ghanaian economy. On March 24, 1963, Kwame Nkrumah is on record to have hosted foreign entrepreneurs to Ghana at a Civic luncheon and assured them of an enabling business environment for them to tap into.
At a dinner with some business men in the country on February 22, 1963, the then President had this and said to them: “The government will continue to encourage private investors to establish and operate in Ghana. Our government has no plans whatsoever to take over industries in the private sector; it’s neither its wish to do so nor its aim or policy. When private investors enter into fields where state enterprises operate, they will compete on absolutely equal terms without discrimination.
“As I have said earlier, our idea of Socialism can co-exist with private enterprise. I also believe that private capital and private investment capital in particular, has a recognized and legitimate part to play in Ghana’s economic development. We are consistent in these ideas. I have never made any secret of my faith in Socialist principles, but I have always tried to make it quite clear that Ghana’s Socialism is not incompatible with the existence and growth of a vigorous private sector in the economy”.
From the above, where is the justification of tagging him an anti-private business advocate? It is however, understandable – that the now ‘Danquah Tradition’ (DT), aside the Danquah Institute (DI) which has effectively succeeded in exorcising Dr. K.A. Busia and Dombo from the trio in order to glorify their Numero Uno, must do well to get the Osagyefo out of their way. It will never happen.
It will not happen because he himself (Danquah), in his living days and in one of their engagements with some Gold Coasters at the time, is referred to have assured them that even if they fail them – Kwame Nkrumah will not fail them. And, indeed they failed them, but he (Nkrumah) did not fail them. It was they who influenced a failed state when and after they forced him out of government.
So, this conscious attempts to historically subordinate him to J.B. Danquah will go nowhere. It is their right, however, to advocate Danquah as the founder of modern Ghana. Equally, it is the right of Ghanaians and Africans and those of the diaspora to see him as the true FOUNDER of GHANA and FATHER OF AFRICAN PERSONALITY AND EMANCIPATION.
Now to the Western Hippocrates. As captured elsewhere in the fore-runner paragraphs of this write-up, the local traitors who caused his deposition, had the Western powers funding them as well as using their media to propagate the countless lies they said of him. They claimed he was a dictator who abused the rights of Ghanaians ‘at will’, by the introduction of his Socialist beliefs in the country, as well as being against private capital investment in the Ghanaian economy. At the top of all the accusations was that he had declared Ghana – a One Party State.
“Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adulatory or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job”. British Novelist and Play Write W. Somerset Maughan (1874 - 1965).
Yes – hypocrisy is a whole-time consuming job, and when one misses a second of time in guarding it, one exposes oneself to ridicule. And that is how the Western media played out their acts of hypocrisy from the days of Nkrumah to date.
The One Party State Nkrumah adopted was the biggest ‘crime of all the crimes’ they claimed he committed – and that was worth funding the coup. The West has never known what is called shame in their acts of hypocrisy – as emerged/emerging One Party states which has, and are still having the blessing of these same world powers.
Mobutu Sese Seko of then Zaire, Eyadema of Togo, Omar Bongo of Central African Republic Houphouet Boigny of Ivory Coast, Yoweri Museveni were, and are all moderate dictatorships that survived under the protection of these same Western Powers. They survived their decades of rule because they had agreed to do their biddings. This is Africa!
Every now and then, reference is always made of the Asian Tigers, some of which started their economic journey with Ghana in the late 1950s. However, those who easily make such comparisons by seeing this country as being backward, are not even ashamed whenever they make such statements.
‘Na who causam’? The Danquah people listened and obeyed their ‘Masters of DeceptonDestruction’ (MDD) who influenced the 1966 illegal take-over. That was the beginning of our economic fall-back – whereas Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore, and the rest of such moved on progressively to where they have reached.
Lee Kuan Yew, ruled Singapore just about the same time Kwame Nkrumah founded and began to rule this country. The West said he was a dictator and dictated his unlawful removal. The leader of Singapore led his country for several decades since 1960s to 2015, and despite his record of human rights abuses, the same hypocrites of the West saw him as a hero (which indeed he is).
“…His stature is immense…” A novelist and frequent critic, Catherine Lim –said of Lee in an interview. “…This man is a statesman. He is probably too big for Singapore, on a level with Tito and de Gaulle. If they had Lee Kuan Yews in Africa, that continent wouldn’t be in such a bad state…”
Ghana, and Africa – did have a Lee Kuan Yew, in the person of the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He thought beyond Ghana – Lee, thought within Singapore. Lee’s own believe in Nkrumah as a continental personality was made known when he wrote to Nkrumah on March 11, 1966, upon his overthrow. This was what he said; “I have taken two weeks to compose my thoughts to tell you how disturbed I was at the shocking news of what took place in Accra so soon after we last met.
“I am sure you know that there are many people who wish Ghana and you all the best. The Ghanaians are a vigorous and lively people and they deserve all the vision and leadership which you strove to give them, to make Ghana into a strong modern part of Africa, whose unity you always espoused…May what you stand [for], a united Africa and a great Ghana [be realized]”.
Singapore is now a global giant in ship-building where we go for our FPSOs, whereas at the time of his dislodgement, Ghana had a shipyard for vessels repairs – a precursor to ship-building as then was the ambition.
Lee, ruled for several decades and transformed his Third to a First World economy – and he saw in Nkrumah, a bigger stature whose vision went beyond Ghana, to the entire African continent. But some of his own sons and daughters who claimed to have been ‘educated’ do not see this in him. And all was driven by their parochial, narrow-mindedness, greed and selfishness that made them skew and circumvent the realities of his reign, to achieve what their imperialist masters (robbers) desired of them to do.
I wished progressive-minded Ghanaians/Africans treated the scheming of the Danquah-Busiaists with a well-deserved contempt – but I think we will be doing the younger generation of Ghanaians and Africans the world- over, an act of injustice if the lies are not reacted to. In concluding this long article therefore, I wish to state the following that but for his overthrow:
- Ghana would have been a ship-building country way before the touted countries mentioned here
- Ghana would have been a hundred percent literate state which would have driven the massive industrialization project he was so ambitious of achieving
- Ghana would have had one of the best health delivery systems in Africa
- Ghana would not have had her citizens travelling out of it to do degrading jobs outside for especially the American Dollar and the British Pound and
- Ghana would have been a First World country as compared with her peers at the same period of independence.
If the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had not been overthrown, Africans would have:
- emerged from their independence struggle earlier than they did, and would have been a truly United States of Africa, than what is happening now
- The African High Command would have been in place thus preventing the numerous conflicts that is almost engulfing the continent
- Famine, which frequently afflicts Africa would not have occurred since we would have been economically united to boast of a commonwealth of East, West, North and South Africa and
- Africa, above all would have been a world power in all spheres of geo/political and economic considerations.
Finally, it is important to draw the attention of the Danquah-Dombo-Busiaists, (which is now ‘Danquah Tradition’) that in their quest to project J.B. Danquah in whatever way, they should be told that the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is not a ‘limited liability’ to Ghana. He is a human resource asset to Ghana/Africa.
It is worth reminding them that one of the global media stations, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which supported their course of destroying Nkrumah, ended in failure.
The BBC, for whatever reasons – and without promptings from Africans, chose to conduct a year-long opinion poll of Africans (NOT GHANAIANS) on who we think is the greatest personality of Africa of the past millennium. Nkrumah’s name came up as indeed, the GREATEST, surpassing the then living icon, Nelson Mandela, who was recognized as the second most prominent personality.
That is the man, Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah; and the Danquah advocates for his ‘greatness’ – ought to know, and know this very-very well.
Some well-meaning Ghanaians believed decades back, that KWAME NKRUMAH NEVER DIES – and truly he is dead but the name lives on, to the disdain and chagrin of the Danquah projectors. May the Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and the Global Progressives “forgive them for they know not what they do”.
GHANA, indeed is my pride and my shame – and which direction are we drifting as a people?
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi