By far and large, Kwame Nkrumah is the most popular African political leader of all time, not even in the last century alone. The vision, ambition and works of Nkrumah may represent the embodiment of a dedicated, selfless leader whose story is always told with great respect and pride. However, no matter how illustrious Nkrumah's political story looks like, it should not be discussed to cast a slur on those who did not share his philosophies and ideas.

I say so bearing in mind, attempts by Kwesi Pratt to present Nkrumah as the maker and founder of Ghana. I also say so taking into account Pratt's comments on Radio Gold in 2007 that 'the United Gold Coast Convention (U.G.C.C) was nothing but a bunch of literate drunkards'. I also recall with fury, Pratt's relentless agenda to create a history for Nkrumah and very disgracefully do so by slitting those who were not necessarily with Nkrumah either by the reason of generation or philosophy.

When Kwesi Pratt speaks it is infectious taking into consideration his weight-class in local and international socio-political commentary. However, Kwesi Pratt cannot be allowed to rewrite his own history for Nkrumah and Ghana in an intellectually civil society like ours. To say the U.G.C.C. was nothing but of literate drunkards is offensive to Ghana's pre-independence history. Pratt said so I suspect, to amplify his heroic claims for Nkrumah.

No one including Kwesi Pratt and Nkrumah himself can lay claim whether by reference or preference that Nkrumah and the Convention Peoples Party (C.P.P.) were makers of Ghana's pre-independence history and eventually the founders of Ghana. Never! By the time Nkrumah arrived in the Gold Coast to embark upon his political career, the U.G.C.C. had laid a solid foundation for political take off. In fact, the U.G.C.C. was the first recognized political party which requested for self governance in the Gold Coast without Nkrumah.

The idea for self governance and the struggle for it was created by the U.G.C.C and belongs to it and no one can claim that for Nkrumah and the CPP. It was the U.G.C.C. that teased out the political consciousness towards colonial emancipation at least in the Gold Coast. It was also the U.G.C.C that first chastised the discrimination that went with colonialism especially in the areas of employment, the public sectors as well as in the political governance system. The cries of the poor farmers and that traditional leaders were echoed by the U.G.C.C first.

Nkrumah believed in ,shared with and participated in the activation of these aspiration and ideas as a core member of the U.G.C.C. Was he a drunkard then? When Nkrumah described the 1946 constitution as 'bogus and fraudulent' he was still a member of the U.G.C.C. and not the C.P.P and I believe he was not a literate drunkard then. In fact, Kwesi Pratts comment, I presume was borne out of fanatism and not objective reasoning.

Undoubtedly the role of Nkrumah in the quest towards independence was enormous and no thinker can deny that but in the laws of team work the goal is more important than the role. Members of the U.G.C.C formed the goal for independent and gave it a vision which directed the consciousness for self rule.

The idea for self rule and the attempt to realize it manifested long before the birth of Nkrumah. Early manifestation for independence culminated in the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society which sought to protest a land bill that threatened traditional; land holding. The formation of the National Congress for British West Africa ( N.C.B.W.A) by J.E. Caseley Hayford was also a landmark effort for self rule and whether Caseley Hayford achieved independence with the N.C.B.W.A. is not the issue. After all, no where in Africa did colonized states attain independence through a coup detat. Founders are not already made. In the relay race of Ghana's roadmap to independence, Nkrumah was the last in the set but was and cannot be a set himself. Ghana's history is not written on the surface of water.

In the making or the founding of Ghana, historians and political analyst need not distort the facts. J.E.Caseley Hayford, Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh, Tetteh Quarshie, Yaa Asantewaa, Joseph Boakye Dankwa, John Mensah Sarbah, S.R.B.Attah-Ahuma, William Ofori-Atta, Sir Arku Korsah, Private Odartey, Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Kwame Nkrumah (just to mention a few) contributed in diverse ways to the founding of Ghana and their souls will forever not forgive Ghana should we forget the selfless sacrifices they made.

Pratt, historians and political analyst alike should think right and plan their thoughts before speaking or writing about the past. Nkrumah is neither the creator nor the maker of modern Ghana. What Pratt said about the U.G.C.C was not only a error but abusive and unpardonable. Indeed, Pratt failed the exam on Ghana's pre-independence history at least by the implication of his comment and shown go for a re-sit.

Oti-Asirifi Mensah Joseph
Takoradi Polytechnic
0278 291261
([email protected])

Development / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com