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07.08.2019 Feature Article

Ghana Is Not the Property of Kwame Nkrumah

Ghana Is Not the Property of Kwame Nkrumah
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A couple of hours ago, I came across an opinion piece captioned “Adulterated History Has No Place in Modern Ghana” ( 8/6/19). The article had the byline of a Mr. Baba Musah, and directly below it was one of the standard file-portraits of President Kwame Nkrumah. So, it was quite clear that the writer intended to pick a gratuitous fight with the decision by the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to rectify the proprietary arrogance of the Nkrumaist ideologues, who have occupied the seat of power for most of the past 62 years of the country’s postcolonial era and have used the privileged position of their power to falsify the true history of our country, particularly vis-à-vis the Independence Struggle.

I was a little boy in class one/first grade when I both had the chance to meet the then increasingly autocratic Ghanaian leader and lucky as well to see this megalomaniacal “Executive President” driven out of the country by unarguably the most justified military putsch in Ghana’s history. By 1965, the year before his salubrious overthrow, for example, Nkrumah had converted Ghana into a one-party dictatorship like North Korea and had a rubberstamp Parliament knight him as “President-for-Life.” Almost any bold and progressive and democratically minded politician who had dared to challenge his tactical destruction of Ghana’s British-inherited Westminster system of democratic culture was either dead or in prison, under the India-borrowed and Krobo Edusei-imported Preventive Detention Act.

There was absolutely no privately-owned press or media establishments in the country; everything was CPP-controlled, including the Ghana National Flag, which was now the Red-Cockerel Flag of the CPP. This is what the diehard Nkrumacrats, now jampacked into the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP), and a few others, would have twenty-first-century Ghanaians be returned to. This was also the period when all the history taught in our primary and middle schools was in the form of a series of junior readers on the life and upbringing of the fast-rising dictator. All the postage stamps and our monetary currency, The Cedi, had the image of President Nkrumah on them, and even government-distributed drinking cups. It was almost as if Ghana was in the prehistoric era of the Dark Ages before, in the evergreen words of the late Prof. Kweku Folson, the erudite Oxbridge-educated University of Ghana’s political scientist, like Tarzan, Kwame Nkrumah appeared from literally out-of-nowhere and led a ragamuffin bunch of loincloth-clad black savages into the daylight of modern civilization.

We also have politicians and party apparatchiks of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress, who callously and unconscionably removed the subject of history from the public school curriculum, now telling us that they want to protect the history of Ghana which is, somehow, being distorted by the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party. There, of course, can be no gainsaying that Nkrumah made a lot of quality-of-life improvements in the country in such fundamental sectors of our lives and the economy as education, healthcare, agriculture and road transport.

The irony for people like Mr. Baba Musah, who would have the rest of the world believe that President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is poised to destroying Nkrumah’s legacy, is the fact that “Rhetorical Nkrumaist” politicians like former President John Dramani Mahama have done insignificant little towards the improvement of the legacy of his much-touted political and ideological hero, including helping to dismantle the Nkrumah-established Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), and the reckless and incompetent management of the country’s energy resources, that led to the collapse of nearly half of all business enterprises in the country. Indeed, it was former President John Mahama who would have direly needed the “bread-and-butter” advice from Baba Musah, and not President Akufo-Addo who is managing the economy in unarguably the most efficient manner since the equally progressive tenure of President John Agyekum-Kufuor.

Then also, both at home and on the African continent, President Akufo-Addo has done far more to uphold the legacy of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah – the man had no earned doctorate or any legitimately conferred traditional royal title – and improve the lives of Ghanaian citizens at home in under three years than the erstwhile Mills-Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress achieved in 8 years. Indeed, so thievish was former President Mahama that the man even wanted to be gifted the traditionally official residence of the Vice-President of Ghana as his private property. Now, let’s talk about the preservation of legacies and patrimonies.

Isn’t it also scandalous and even criminally unsettling that till this day, the former Atta-Mills’ right-hand man has yet to officially inform Ghanaians about the precise circumstances under which his former boss met his death. Instead, we would have the Bole-Bamboi native publicly and euphorically celebrate the “mysterious” passing of President John Evans Atta-Mills as an auspicious and an opportune act of Divine Providence, one that was strategically aimed at paving the way for the first post-independence-born Ghanaian citizen to accede to the presidency.

Well, I have said this before and hereby repeat the same, that we may very well have a cold-calculating assassin gunning for the presidency for the second time around. We need to have an inquest opened into the death of the former University of Ghana’s tax-law professor as a matter of urgency, and for the security of the country at large. (And, by the way, if Baba Musah cares to know, I have a feature article that was published right here, on, as far back as Sept. 10, 2013, on the very issue discussed herein; it is titled “Samia, Your Father ‘Found’ Your Mother”).

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 6, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]

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