Nkrumah was visionary but ambitious – Christiana Plange
By: Francis Asamoah Tuffour
A member of the Young Pioneer Movement during Dr. Kwame Nkrumah era, and foot soldier of the CPP, Christiana Plange, 97 described Dr. Nkrumah as a visionary person but over ambitious.
He said though Dr. Nkrumah had a hand in spearheading the attainment of the country’s independence, he became very powerful and later focused more on international matters, for instance, on the Organisation of African Unity rather than building Ghana.
This, she said, also contributed to the country’s under development compared to other emerging countries.
Madam Plange, her voice tremulous because of old age, said the history of the country cannot be well told if the remaining five who formed the Big Six were not honoured.
She said she could recall the struggles of the five – Ako Adjei, Obetsebi Lamptey, Akufo Addo, William Ofori-Atta and J. B. Dankwa – years back before Dr. Nkrumah was invited from abroad by Ako Adjei into the party.
Madam Plange was of the view that government should institute a day for awards to the families of the five who also contributed immensely to the attainment of independence so that their families would not think that they have been relegated to the background.
She said that the fact that there are monumental establishments or facilities like the Kwame Nkrumah Danquah, Obetsebi, Ako Adjei, Akufo Addo Circles and an overpass was a sign that they played their role and have to be commended.
She noted that the day should have been designated Founders Day rather than narrowing it only to Nkrumah.
Dr. Nkrumah became very powerful to the extent of introducing the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) to detain people perceived to be his enemies.
Mr. Robert Tawiah Addo, 63 another Young Pioneer said administratively, Nkrumah was very good but he became power drunk especially when he arrested and imprisoned some of his men without trial.
Mr. Addo, a retired staff of the Electoral Commission said though he appreciated and acknowledged the government to honour Dr. Nkrumah on his centenary anniversary, the celebration should have been a Founders’ Day.
“If that is not done the relative of he remaining five who also contributed to Ghana’s independence would feel slighted, considering the toils and sacrifices they made before, during and after independence which we are enjoying today,” he said.
I am speaking as a Ghanaian, a member of the Young Pioneer Movement who was an eye-witness to most of the things that happened and not history.
He was good but power drunk
I think it will be fair that we do something for the remaining five, else they will cry in their graves,’ he said.
He described as ‘the era of terror’, where people whom Nkrumah suspected as his enemies were imprisoned.
Mr. Addo said before the attainment of independence, Dr. Nkrumah was seen more friendly and in the mobilisation of people to fight for independence, but just after independence, Nkrumah became power drunk.
‘Even though I was a strong member of the Young Pioneer movement realised some of his actions were dangerous but “who were you to talk”, he asked?
Reacting, Mr. Ladi Nylander, Chairman of Convention People’s Party, said though there were some allegations against Nkrumah, especially on the introduction of the Prevention Detention Act, he did that to protect his life.
He recounted instances were coup s d’etat were plotted against Nkrumah with bombs being thrown at him.
“There was a coup plot at La ‘T’ Junction by Major Awaiey and others but one of them got wind of it through Col. Ameya”.
Another bomb was thrown at him at the Accra Sports Stadium, another at Mary Villas at Palladium before the last bomb attempt at Kulungugu which, according to experts, gave him cancer body.
“If all these should happen to you, then of course you must be careful and protect yourself”, he said.
The Ghanaian Times - Page: 21 Monday, September 21, 2009