General News of Sunday, 25 August 2013
Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako Jr. insists the United Party (UP) – forebears of the main opposition New Patriotic Party - were the architects behind the Kulungugu bombing meant to assassinate Ghana's first President, contrary to claims by historian Prof. Mike Ocquaye that they were not.
The August 11, 1962 bombing incident was an assassination attempt on Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Kweku Baako says recent claims by the former Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana and former presidential aspirant that no “leading members” of the UP were involved in the Kulungugu bombing is “factually inaccurate”.
The assassination attempt at Kulungugu - a village in the Bawku West District of the present Upper East region - took place when Dr. Nkrumah was returning from the Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, after peace with President Maurice Yameogo.
Other historical accounts say Nkrumah had gone to the Upper Volta to negotiate the construction of the Volta Dam.
A bomb was hidden in a bouquet of flowers and given to a little school girl to present to Nkrumah on behalf of the people of Kulungugu, who had gathered and stood in the open for hours anxiously awaiting the arrival of the president.
No sooner had the bouquet been handed over to the president the bomb exploded.
Nkrumah escaped death by the whiskers after the detonation but suffered injuries nonetheless.
Several innocent people died in the explosion, and many others were left with scathing injuries.
According Prof. Ocquaye, who is also a Reverend Minister, “Our Founding Fathers were liberal-minded, peaceful people. They were not bomb throwers…”
Per his account of events surrounding the Kulungugu bombing at a lecture he delivered on Friday to mark the 21st anniversary of the UP’s progeny – the NPP – Prof. Ocquaye said: “Incidentally, those put on trial were leading CPP people – Ako Adjei (Minister), Adamafio (Minister) and Crabbe (Secretary-General of the CPP)”.
“No leading member of the opposition was involved. Indeed, they were all in detention with Baffuor Osei Akoto or in exile with Busia,” he claimed.
According to him, Nkrumah’s enemies were within the CPP and not outside it.
“The fact of the matter is that there was an open fight between the ‘Old Guards’ (those Nkrumah started with) and the ‘Socialist Boys’ (the new crop of younger ideologues and new entrants who had found fresh favour with Nkrumah),” he insisted.
“Nkrumah faced trouble from within the CPP. And how could the Kulungugu of 1962 lead to the PDA of 1958? Nkrumah had his ambition to monopolise power and men like Baffuor Osei Akoto opposed him. Baffuor, Danquah, Busia, Dombo and others all wanted independence, but not at any price!”
However, Kweku Baako Jr. has contested the account of Prof. Ocquaye.
He told private station Joy FM on Saturday that a former Member of Parliament of Amansie East, who stood on the ticket of the UP, Robert Otchere and another member of the same party, Yaw Manu, were convicted for the Kulungugu assassination attempt.
“…The Court, then made up of Arku Korsah, Van Lare and Akufo-Addo discharged and acquitted Adamafio, Ako Adjei and Kofi Crabbe, but they convicted Robert Otchere and Yaw Manu, incidentally two members of the United Party (UP). These are documented in the law report,” Kweku Baako revealed.