Feature Article of Saturday, 18 August 2012
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
The suggestion by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra for the mortal remains of President John Evans Atta-Mills to be buried at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, as a prelude to converting the sanctuary into a national presidential mausoleum, errs on two counts (See “Bury Mills at Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum – Palmer-Buckle” Ghanaweb.com 8/1/12).
First of all, the preceding grossly misreads the Totobi Quakyi-led Funeral Planning Committee’s egregious intention of burying the late president at the Flagstaff House in a characteristically “revolutionary” bid to thumbing its nose at Ghanaian citizens, in general, and the Danquah-Busia-Dombo founders of postcolonial Ghanaian democracy, in particular. But as to whether the dictatorial operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress have finally decided that, indeed, the late President Atta-Mills is “chicken” enough to be interred on the compound of the “chicken coop” or “poultry farm” that is the Kufuor-built Presidential Palace of Ghana, remains to be seen.
You see, the fundamental philosophy of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), the direct progenitor of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), is an odd and sinister mixture of “Afropean” Supremacy – clearly attested by the names of the first two NDC presidents in Fourth-Republican Ghana – and a faux-socialist agenda by the key operatives of the criminally anti-intellectual NDC to subject their ardent political opponents and democracy-loving and civically-minded Ghanaians to a virtual, and perpetual, reign-of-terror a la Al-Qaeda.
The second error in the suggestion of Archbishop Palmer-Buckle for the conversion of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum into a burial ground for all presidents of postcolonial Ghana, also grossly misunderstands the fundamental reason and purpose for which the Mausoleum was constructed, in the first place. And, of course, it goes without saying that the latter decision was also heavily tinged with the indisputable philosophy of Nkrumaist Supremacy. Else, the first personality whose remains would have qualified for interment at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum would have been the globally renowned and celebrated African-American scholar and literary giant Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, whose mortal remains were originally interred in the forecourt of the Osu Castle by, you guessed it, President Nkrumah himself!
Ironically, it was the same NDC operatives who are now hell-bent on interring the mortal remains of President Atta-Mills in the courtyard of the Flagstaff House who, rather sacrilegiously, exhumed the remains of the celebrated author of the Souls of Black Folk (1903) from the Osu Castle and reburied the same at their president site, the so-called DuBois House, on the dubious grounds of national security.
Rather amusingly, among the salient reasons given by the Mills-led National Democratic Congress government for its initial refusal to move the seat of national governance, from the old slave castle at Osu, to the present site, behind Broadcasting House, was security vulnerability. In other words, and strangely and paradoxically, the key NDC operatives flatly rejected the Kufuor-built Jubilee House/Flagstaff House for strikingly the very opposite reason that President Nkrumah commandeered the property from use by the Chief of the Defense Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces in 1958 or thereabouts!
In sum, the preceding veritably constitutes the crux of the raging debate over the reposing of the mortal remains of the late President John Evans Atta-Mills; and it is squarely within the context of the foregoing observations that the entire circus of abject confusion ought to be perceived.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005). E-mail: email@example.com. ###