REHABILITATION OF OSAGYEFO DR. KWAME NKRUMAH IS INCOMPLETE
By: Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa
HANA’S day of shame February 24,1966 was followed by an avalanche of well orchestrated falsehoods to attempt to justify the dastardly deed and demean the independence of the nation.
The struggle was pivoted on the declaration of positive action which gave Ghanaians the opportunity to show their abhorrence for the system of colonialism. That was the point of separation between those who were prepared to stand up to be counted and those whose brief was incremental participation in the governance by the Governor and his cohort of collaborators and compradors.
The falsehoods included taking gold bars to Egypt for Madam Fathia, looting the nation’s coffers, consulting ‘Kankan Nyame’ and the practice of occultism, killing Ghanaians and throwing them to the lions in the flagstaff zoo and so many others. The reality of the situation was that there were no gold bars in Egypt and poor Madam Fathia struggled beyond recognition in her life thereafter. It is public knowledge now that Nkrumah died with not event a plot of land to his name and yet subsequent.
It is worth mentioning that the land on which the Peduase Lodge is built was a gift to him and members of the Convention People’s Party contributed to the start of the building for him but he characteristically was to give the building to the state as Ghana’s Camp David.
The fertile figment of his detractors’ imagination conjured many images of Nkrumah that was to make many Ghanaians form a damaging impression of the man who liberated them. The Ghanatta cartoon series were to cast a very critical and psychologically damaging picture of Nkrumah and yet he was a disciple of theology and a practicing human-centered individual who cared for Ghanaians beyond measure. His government’s chief pride was the welfare of the people and at every turn he told Ghanaians he would work hard to abolish poverty, ignorance and disease. ‘Kankan Nyame’ existed as a fetish shrine in Guinea but Nkrumah did not consult it. It is however, a shame that Ghanatta has died not apologizing to the country for misleading Ghanaians.
RECOGNITION AND REHABILITATION
In 2007, when Ghana hosted the AU and chose not to have and campaign for the position of continental unity, His Excellency Alpha Konare, Chairman of the AU clearly stated that Africa had not begun to honour Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The establishment of the Founder’s day holiday in Ghana and the continent wide recognition has been heart warming and a good redeeming start. Nkrumah staked his leadership on achieving the unity of Africa and everything on achieving the unity of Africa and everything he predicted would happen if we failed to unite has come to pass.
Africa with 60 per cent of the world’s natural resources, control only about one per cent of the world’ money. Africa has a greater disproportionate share of the world’s extreme poor and is the only continent that did not make progress in the last decade. The Statistics continue to be gloomy and yet the rich nations continue to exploit our lack of unity to plunder our resources under the guise of the latter day neo-colonialism and imperialism agenda called globalization.
The celebration of the centenary of his birth was cleverly divided into three by the Centenary Planning Committee made up of upright Nkrumaist eminent men and women who believed in the ideals of Nkrumah. The birthday cluster in September 2009, the independence cluster in March 2010 and the African Union (AU) cluster in May 2010. The divisions recognized the man and his achievements. All three clusters were successfully executed.
The high level participation of the African Union in the AU cluster in May was commendable. The celebrations have gone a long way to correct a great wrong and rehabilitate Nkrumah in the public domain. Many who did not know him or of him have now heard about the man. Many who knew him but had forgotten have been reminded and even those who knew and had heard but did not wish to acknowledge have been re-educated.
The colloquium organized as part of the AU cluster with speakers from Ghana, the rest of Africa and Ghana’s eleventh region, the Diaspora , demonstrated the man as an academic, philosopher par excellence, original thinker, emancipator of the black race and a man who could be bound by the history of time. His ideas are even more relevant in Ghana and Africa today than probably during the period under his leadership.
The re-naming of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) must also be commended. It is interesting to note that the old students of Nsein Secondary School want the school name to revert to Kwame Nkrumah Secondary School. Nsein but not Axim as it was originally.
The University of Cape Coast has instituted Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lectures which straddles his birth date. This year’s lectures, begins from Monday September 20, for three days ending on Wednesday September 22, 2010.
KNUST has unveiled his statues to the everlasting memory of Dr. Nkrumah. The University of Ghana has invested the Kwame Nkrumah Chair of African Studies and the Academy of Arts and Science organizers an annual founder’s day week which includes the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Lecture and the author delivered the centenary year lecture on ‘Ghana the house Nkrumah built’. Incidentally, for those who do not know, the Academy was founded by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
What does the University of Education, Winneba, University of Development Studies, Tamale and the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa intend to do for the memory of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, since all their antecedent institutions were established by him. What has the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) done or intend to do? This institute was also established by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Then there are the many other organizations such as Bank of Ghana who have created the new Ghana two cedis to immortalize him but what about State Insurance Company. Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Ghana Commercial Bank. Agricultural Development Bank, National Investment Bank, Telecom. Ghana Post, Cocobod. Produce Buying Agency, Cocoa Processing Company. Ghana Ports and Harbour authority (GHAPOHA), Dry Docks, GOIL, BOST and all the many organizations he founded which have provided many jobs for people some of whom do not even believe he is worth the recognition.
It is said that a country, and by extension an organization that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for. All these organizations must come together to set up the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Fund that can support the many needy but brilliant children through Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools and also through University. It can be done and we look forward to hearing the announcement. The author will be glad to serve on the board of Trustees of the Fund.
The President, John Evans Atta Mills, has demonstrated his Nkrumaist credentials by the bold decision to create the Founder’s day and also celebrate the centenary of his birth. However, the continued glorification of the man paid by the Central Intelligence Agency of USA and M16 of Britain to overthrow the democratically elected Government of Ghana and halt Ghana and Africa’s forward match leaves a lot to be desired and cannot be condoned. Why on earth have successive governments of this country shied away from taking the bold decision to change the name of the international airport.
There was no way the Busia government was going to do anything about it. As accomplices to the coup d’etat and political advisor to the Military government of the NLC, they were at home. Surprisingly the Acheampong military government, who we are told were sympathetic to Nkrumah, did not do it either.
May be their military instinct took the better part of them. The part that baffles me more than any other is why the Limann government did not change the name of the main entry into Ghana but chose to keep it as it was. I do not think they needed more than twenty four hours to effect that change. Twenty seven months later they were out of government and the name of Ghana’s only international airport continues to bear the name of the usurper Kotoka.
It did not surprise me that the Kufour government did not do anything about it. It was however represented by the Deputy Attorney General at the unveiling of the statue of Kotoka at Atimpoku to add further insult to Ghana’s already festering injury. They revel in it and unashamedly as a tradition demonstrate their generational hatred for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in so many ways.
The President must show that democracy has come to stay in Ghana. Our democracy has come to stay in Ghana. Our democratic credentials are enviable. The smooth transition from one political party to another on two occasions has been very well received by the world at large. We therefore cannot continue to revere people who took the people of this country to ransom and brought an end to self determination, self reliance and pan-Africanism and the fight for continental unity but deepened our dependency.
The rehabilitation of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is surely incomplete with Kotoka International Airport are but a few. Even if Ghana chooses not to name the airport after Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, it must be named Accra International Airport.
The country must not give any comfort to those who through the barrel of the gun have held this country and all in it hostage; promised liberation, redemption and revolutionary heroics all to no avail. We must march forward recognizing those who genuinely sacrificed to get as free. Freedom!
The author is an avowed Nkrumaist.
Daily Graphic Page: 10 Tuesday, September 21, 2010