Feature Article of Sunday, 3 October 2010
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
Feature Article by Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.*
It is very strange that the J. B. Danquah followers never celebrate
the anniversary of his birth, but find time to undertake a series of
activities all aimed at undermining the celebration of Nkrumah's
birthday! We have had all sorts of articles written again this year by
this group, some of which they will live to regret! Gabby Asare
Ochere-Darko had to travel to an obscure university in Pensylvania to
address an audience of 30 people about how evil Nkrumah was. Okoampa
is again at it.
What makes me wonder is why these blokes did not even bother to
organize a centenary celebration of the birth of Danquah, which
occured whilst the NPP was in power, and Ochere-Darko was the
Executive Director of the Danquah Institute? Was Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe,
Jr., not then a member of the Governing Board of this very stupid
institute? I wonder what Gabriel Asare Ochere-Darko was hoping to
achieve by publishing the disgraceful preface of Danquah at this time
of the year, but I am very glad he did. In doing so, he unwittingly
exposed aspects of Danquah's political thinking and differences with
the Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, hitherto not much talked about. I
could therefore not help chuckling to myself whan I read Okoampa's
take on the silly work of Asare Ochere-Darko;
"Anyway, what is significant in Mr. Otchere-Darko’s presentation,
captioned “Danquah on Nkrumah’s Propaganda Climb to Greatness” (See
Ghanaweb.com 9/22/10) is the fact that it boldly and objectively puts
paid to the long-running criminal attempt by some of his most ardent
supporters and sympathizers to institutionalize Mr. Kwame Nkrumah."
(Read; Indeed, Brave Men Lived Long Before Kwame Nkrumah!, Feature
Article of Monday, 27 September 2010, Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe,
Danquah's Idea of What Independence Ought To Be:
The main difficulty Danquah had with Nkrumah was the easy acceptance
of his own role as Lord and Master of whatever he set his eyes upon in
the Gold Coast, and the inability to swallow the bitter truth that all
men were created equal, and that the new order was not about first and
second class citizens, but a fundamental equality and social justice.
The Insight Newspaper recently published what the paper called "The
confessions of Nyerere in which ex-President Nyerere declared, "Ghana
was the beginning, our first liberated zone." (See: CONFESSIONS OF
NYERERE, insightnewspaper.com/) I thus find it extremely fortuitous
that in the estimation of Dr. J. B. Danquah, writing on the October 2,
1961, could declare that the only liberated colony on the African
continent was Apartheid South Africa! This already speaks volumes, as
it comes from the horse's own mouth!
J; B. Danquah writes:
"The 1887 Bill never became a delegation of the Aborigines Rights Protection
Society was sent from Cape Coast to the Colonial office against it, and because
Joseph Chamberlain, the Colonial Secretary, explained to the Queen that the
delegation had come from the Gold Coast in West Africa notorious as the land of
the mosquito and the White Man’s Grave. Said Queen Victoria to Joseph
Chamberlain: “Tell my people of the Gold Coast, what I want is their loyalty,
not their lands.” It was this answer which saved Ghana from becoming a second
Kenya and which also made it easy for Ghana to lead successfully in the
liberation of Africa and to become the first free Colonial country in Africa,
(apart from South Africa) – By Dr Danquah."
It is very pertinent to the differences between the political views
and the ambitions of these adversaries in order to understand the
nature of the conflict that was raging between the two. Nkrumah must
have been extremely irritated just upon seeing the naive declaration
of Apartheid South Africa as an African liberated zone in its hey days
of 1961! If in the opinion of J. B. Danquah, Apartheid South Africa
was the "first free Colonial country in Africa", what was exactly his
vision of that freedom? Why was such an independence worht his "sweat
and blood"? "Independence for whom?", also becomes a legitimate
question. For the sake of brevity, I invite the reader to bear such a
bankrupt ideological orientation which would later lead many a Danquah
follower to consider Mr. Nelson Mandela as a terrorist in accordance
with the wishes of the colonial owners who indoctrinated them.
Apartheid became a serious problem in the late 1940's when it was
declared an official policy of the governing Nationalist Party of the
Afrikaners in South Africa to whom the Brithish granted independence!
It became a big international issue in 1960 after the Sharpeville
Massacre, awhich occured on 21 March 1960. If J. B. Danquah was any
African leader of any worth, he would never have considered South
Africa a liberated territory in 1961. In fact, I have read a lot of
stupid writings of the epoch, this is the only time I ever saw any
African leader describing the Independence of South Africa in 1910 as
anything resembling a "liberation"! Indeed, that statement alone goes
a long way to show not only how dangerously naive J. B. Dqnuah was, it
marks him out as a geninuine fool who did not even know his left from
his right! As far back as 1959, when Nkrumah organised the All African
People's Conference in Accra, there was a slogan that adorned the
streets from the airport right up to the conference centre. The
slogansimply read, "Self-government by peaceful means!" It soon became
apparent that in the case of South Africa, peaceful struggle was not
an option. The PAC which had already resorted to armed struggle as the
most viable way to liberating South Africa complained. All the slogans
were ordered to be taken down immediately and it was replaced with
"Self-government by every mens necessary!"
This was 1959!!! Three years before Danquah was considering South
Africa as a free African
country, other very correct African leaders were even considering it
as a special case that called for armed struggle rather than the sort
of agitations we saw in the Gold Coast to free our own territory!
The significance of this stupidity must not be brushed aside with "It
is only hindsight that affords the privilege of such linkages." It was
part of the agents of imperialism mantra that South Africa was indeed
a "free and independent country!" and people like Mandela were only
disgruntled "communists"! The fact that you never met the followers of
J. B. Danquah describing Mandela as a terrorist does not mean it did
not happen. I know people from the univerity days now in politics who
were of that opinion. When some of these people were student leaders,
they actually held such views. I know a very apolitical girl who
chased a Danquah-inclined student leader from her room in Volta Hall
for calling Mandela a terrorist! I once witnessed a fight between the
then NUGS representative at the AASU secretariat and the
Co-ordinationg Secretary of NUGS, I don't want to mention names yet,
because NUGS was insisting that AASU boycotts a solidarity tour of
Ghana by two leading members of the ANC Youth Wing! The reason this
man gave was that the ANC was a terrorist organization! Dan Botwe was
NUGS Secretary at the time. He opposed the boycott, but he was
nevertheless not that enthusiastic, even at that time in the 1980s.
What you need to know is that there is a clear pattern of the thinking
inherrent in the right-wing ideologues' friendliness with apartheid.
At a time when South Africans like the late Comrade Dennis Brutus
(1924-2009) were busy campaigning for a cultural boycott, culminating
in the expulsion of Apartheid South Africa in the Olympic games in
Mexico, our own neo-colonialist Busia would embarrass our nation by
calling for a dialogue! If you want to know more about this google "My
Century BBC, Cameron Doudu" and find out in details the nature of the
Busia stupidity! These are traitors. It is ingrained in them. They
follow the same school of thought of a very special strain of
indoctrinated African "intellectuals like Jacobus Capiteinne who, even
though a former slave, wrote his Doctorate theses defending slavery as
not contrary to Christian Ethics! Do not try to defend what you
obviously have no idea of. Danquah was
morally, ideologically, and spiritually bankrupt. This shows clearly
here in his own writings, no matter what spin you may want to put on
it! J. B. Danquah writes:
"How much “blood and sweat” or “personal sacrifices” did Dr Nkrumah expend in
liberating Ghana “From he oppressors” when, indeed for the 13 years that the
intensive intellectual battle for liberation of Ghana was joined between us and
Ghana’s “Oppressors,” from the 1934 Colonial Office Delegation of the
Ashanti, to the legislative union of the Colony and Ashanti in 1946 and the
subsequent formation of the United Gold Coast Convention in August, 1947, Dr
Nkrumah was a student in Lincoln University, USA, or at Gray’s Inn
and was not even known in Ghana’s politics?"
Unlike Danquah whose large educational fund allowed him expensive
clothes and shoes, exquisite board and lodging facilities, and even
the luxury of travels and tours on the European continent, all at the
expense of the purse of what was at that time the rich Akyem Abuakwa
State, Kwame Nkrumah was on his own in London and ever found himself
homeless on a cold winter nigh in London! As Kwesi Pratt puts it in
"Nkrumah and Pan-Africanism": "Given the fact that Nkrumah came from a
poor background, he had to work to pay for his education. He worked as
a waiter and sometimes as a dish washer. He did anything which would
put a few dollars in his pocket and help him fend for himself in a
land which was obviously strange to a village boy from Nkroful.
Nkrumah experienced racism at first hand. He saw that Africans were
all victims of racism no matter where they came from. In searching for
to questions about racism Nkrumah joined black students organizations
and became acquainted with the ideas of such activists as Marcus
Garvey. He read widely and was transformed into an activist."
Notwistanding personal challenges, Nkrumah linked up with others who
were engaged in the struggle for the emancipation of Africa, in the
belly of the beast. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. again: "When Nkrumah moved to
London in 1945, he joined other Africans and persons of African decent
in implementing the ideas he had formed. They worked in the West
African students Union and the West African National Secretarial for
the sole purpose of accelerating the independence process in West
Africa as part of the general struggle of emancipating the African
wherever he may be.
Nkrumah had established contact with George Padmore one of the key
organizers of the 5th Pan African Congress before he arrived in the
United Kingdom and it was indeed Padmore who found accommodation for
him at the West African Students Union’s hostel. Padmore guided
Nkrumah in his early days in London and together they plunged into
work for the 5th Pan African Congress held in Manchester in October
1945." How ridiculous: "in August, 1947, Dr Nkrumah was a student in
Lincoln university, USA, or at Gray’s Inn Road, London, and was not
even known in Ghana’s politics?'
The proto-nationalism that Danquah is confusing with the radical
nationalism and Pan-Africanism of Kwame Nkrumah is very normal and
expected, Nkrumah's radical ideas were like Greek to Danquah, who
confesses to having social justice and egalitarian ideas in philosophy
outside his intellectual compass. The attitude of these
proto-nationalists Danquah is boasting of to colonial rule was not to
end it, but to benefit from the system at the expense of their own
people. Like the ANNC wrote to the queen, at the begining of the last
century: "We are Africans but we are educated, we are not as
illiterate as the natives, thus we demand a right to vote and to be
represented." These were a class of colonial elites that grew up
through commerce, education, and the augmentation of the power of the
chiefs by the colonial powers through the principle of Idirect Rule".
They were literally fighting for thier own interests.
History has shown that only a self-perpertuation of the rule of an
elitist group as its post-independence outcome. The example of the
first black nation to defeat colonialism and to establish by
themselves an independent nation in Hati, in 1804 must guide us here.
In Haiti, even though an overwhelming majority of the population were
slaves of the white Europeans, mainly French, slavery was not
abolished in a post-independent Haiti! Indeed, other black people
stepped into the vacuum cause by the flight of the white slave masters
and took their fellow blacks as their slaves.
For people like Nkrumah, our independence was not merely having a
territory with a common anthem and flag, a black face as a president
in which we do business as usual. Even as student in London,
"Gentle" Danquah, "meak and mild", suffer me to silence thee!
I pity thy simplicity! But listen to thy half-brother ! ! !
Please let's stay in touch and on top of the NPP! Give me a follow on
twitter! I shall give you a follow!
"To all men of goodwill, organize, organize, organize! The struggle is
far from over!
We prefer self-government in danger, to servitude in tranquillity!
Forward ever, backward never"!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.