If the anti-Danquah propagandists thought that they could facilely fudge up the history of the foundation of the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Legon, and get away with the same, well, I have news for them: which is that they may bitten far more than they can chew, as it were (See “7 Figures Who Did More to Found Univ. of Ghana Than JB Danquah” AfricaNewsAnalysis.com 9/7/19). Indeed, the author of the afore-referenced article may have regrettably bitten more than he could chew because just weeks before he transitioned into eternity, Mr. Kwesi Armah, President Nkrumah’s own High Commissioner to Britain and a well-known passionate Nkrumah partisan, told a packed audience of guests, parents and students at the Ghana National College, Cape Coast, that had it not been for the unique efforts of Dr. Danquah in campaigning for the establishment of the erstwhile Gold Coast Cocoa-Marketing Board (GCCMB), renamed the Ghana Cocoa-Marketing Board (GCMB), and presently COCOBOD, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah could never have located adequate funding for many of the massive projects that he undertook with his Convention People’s Party (CPP) government.
And those massive projects, of course, included the development and expansion of infrastructural facilities of the University of Ghana and later the present-day Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the University of Cape Coast (UCC), both of which originally began as departments on the campus of the University of Ghana (UG). Indeed, if he really cares about the truth of the foundation, development and modernization of Ghana, the author of the aforementioned article herein being discussed would access the news article in which the late Mr. Kwesi Armah paid tribute to the putative Dean of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics for leading the efforts that precipitated the auspicious establishment of the Cocoa-Marketing Board, the veritable cash cow of Independent Ghana. You see, Dr. Danquah was no “one-trick pony,” as it were, when it comes to discussing his multi-varied contributions to the development of Ghana, including his dogged, systematic and meticulous championing of the campaign for the historic renaming of the erstwhile Gold Coast as Ghana on the eve of the latter country’s reassertion of its sovereignty from British colonial imperialism.
What I am clearly saying here is that anybody, including the anti-Danquah critic, who calls her-/himself a Ghanaian, owes this proud identity to the immortalized Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye Danquah. It is also quite clear that the author of the article in discussion is not an Akan or if he is an Akan, obviously, not an Akan from any of the cocoa-growing regions of the country, thus his inexcusably preposterous proposition that at the time of the founding of the University of Ghana, so apocalyptically devastating had the swollen-shoot epidemic consumed all the caocao – or cocoa plants – in the Eastern Region, especially the Akyem-Abuakwa area of the Eastern Region, that absolutely no substantial revenue or fiscal resources could have been tapped from the Akyem-Abuakwa State or Okyeman to facilitate the establishment and development of the University of Ghana. Well, maybe those of us who grew up in the Cradle of Ghana’s cocoa industry need to remind the inveterate Danquah critic that by 1947, or thereabouts, the Akyem, Akuapem and their relatives and neighbors of the Eastern Region had been at the forefront of cocoa production for at least 60 years, dating, conservatively, from 1890, the date given by Danquah for the beginning of the cocoa industry in Ghana as a global enterprise.
It can scarcely be gainsaid that such temporal industrial longevity could not be equally said about the establishment, growth and development of the cocoa industry in other parts of the country. For a fuller account of Danquah’s unrivalled contribution to the growth and development of Ghana cocoa industry and the necessary financial security of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer, any interested reader or researcher should read Prof. LH Ofosu-Appiah authoritative political biography of the man titled “The Life and Times of Dr. JB Danquah” (Waterville Press, 1974). As well, anybody who wishes to credibly and authoritatively refute the veracity of Danquah’s prime and vanguard role in the foundation and development of the University of Ghana, as well as his advice to then President Nkrumah for the establishment of the Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital, in honor of the indigenous Ghanaian citizen who is officially credited with founding the cocoa industry in Ghana, would need to produce concrete documentary evidence beyond the hearsay from people mischievously using longevity as proof of historical authenticity of their fraudulent and apocryphal attempt to revise the canon in cynical furtherance of their patently anti-Danquah agenda.
In other words, the anti-Danquah propagandists will have to, perforce, produce written documentary evidence or similar forensically verifiable evidence of any correspondence exchanged between the British colonial authorities, both at home and abroad, that precedes Danquah’s spirited campaign for the establishment of the University of Ghana, produced by any of the “7 Figures” who are alleged to have contributed significantly more to the conception, foundation and development of the University of Ghana (See the Academic Catalogue of the University of Ghana for the official account of the history of the foundation and establishment of the same institution.
You see, Dear Reader, broadcasting the aspiration of the erstwhile Gold Coasters for the establishment of a University College, as the author of the mendacious propaganda tripe under scrutiny claims to have been done by Dr. FV Nanka-Bruce may, indeed, be a quite remarkable achievement by every measure. But, of course, the real and most practical question to ask here is as follows: In 1946, or 1947, how many Ghanaians owned radio sets in the privacy of their homes to have been readily able to access the same? In short, the real business of convincing Ghanaians to rally behind the auspicious establishment of the University of Ghana took place in the streets of our towns and villages, such as the vituperative critic contemptuously and contemptibly claims the putative Dean of Gold Coast and Modern Ghanaian Politics to have done. In other words, merely sitting on committees was not how a savvy community organizer and an astute, albeit strategically devious and mischievous, political propagandist like Mr. Kwame Nkrumah got to lead the erstwhile Gold Coast to Independence.
You see, Ghanaians are not this naïve or that stolid not to fully appreciate the factual realities of our history. It is also rather amusing that the critic of the afore-referenced article decided to include the canonical or officially sanctioned source of Legon’s founding well after he had written and published his pathetic version of the history of Legon’s founding into the “Works Cited” or “References” section of his paper in bolded/highlighted type, although it is scandalously clear that he had not familiarized himself with this very basic and most obvious source of reference at the time of the composition of his propaganda piece. At any rate, we shall, in due course, respond to any false information put into the public domain by these scholastic charlatans as we deem the same to be necessary and appropriate.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 10, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]