Feature Article of Monday, 7 February 2011
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
A Rejoinder To:
'“Osagyefo Dr.” Hosni Mubarak'
| by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. | Feature Article of Sunday, 6
"Anyway, throughout his adult career as a journalist with an axe to grind
with the perceived opponents and detractors of his father and his
neo-Fascist CPP government, Mr. Nkrumah has preponderantly highlighted the
pan-Africanist credentials of “Osagyefo-Dr.” Kwame Nkrumah. So, logically,
one begins to wonder why the younger Mr. Nkrumah has, this time around,
conveniently chosen not to equally highlight the positive aspects of the
Mubarak government which, fundamentally, is not very different from that of
- Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., '“Osagyefo Dr.” Hosni Mubarak', Feature
Article of Sunday, 6 February 2011
It is very strange, even by the decadent Okoampa standards, that of all the
monumental, unprecedented, and historic events currently unfolding in North
Africa and the Middle East, his first shot at it is to disturb our sense of
what is proper, by once more launching into yet another diatribe against
Kwame Nkrumah and his family.
There is however a very simple explanation to this rather bizarre attack on
Gamal. The puppets of US imperialism in Africa are having sleepless nights
in the wake of what is happening in Egypt today. What better way of damage
control than to deflect the puppet status that Akufo-Addo shares with
Mubarak and replace that with the great Osagyefo himself? I am sure I am not
the only person who is seeing through this. That is why we have so many
people in Tahrir Square today! People are smarter than they look!
In the first place, what is wrong with what Gamal said?*
Okoampa opens his latest attack on Nkrumah and Gamal thus:
"I was quite amused to read about the recent interview that Mr. Gamal
Nkrumah granted Mr. Paul Adom-Otchere of Ghana's Metro-TV (See “Gamal
Nkrumah: Mubarak Must Go…But Power Should Not Be Given to ElBaradei”
(Peacefmonline.com 2/2/11). What particularly amused me was the following
quote from the half-Egyptian son of Ghana's flamboyant first president and
self-knighted “Life-President”: “The West should…accept [the fact] that the
people of North Africa and the Middle-East desire more democracy and desire
to elect leaders of [their own] choice [choosing?] and not leaders that suit
Israel or leaders that serve Israel's interest.”'
Gamal was expressing his personal opinion on what was going on in a country
he knows well and loves as much as he loves Ghana. Indeed, the news story
Okoampa is referring to, Gamal Nkrumah backs Mubarak's exit but not
ElBaradei, begins this way:
"Gamal Nkrumah, son of Ghana's first president Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah,
has backed calls for Egypt President Hosni Mubarak to resign but insists
that the reigns of Egypt should be handed over to a more youthful person and
Strangely enough Okoampa did not give any explanations which made what Gamal
is saying wrong! He rather resorts to a puerile character assassination in
order to counter the political opinions of Gamal. J. B. Danquah used the
same technique to a dramatic effect in the course of the Akyea Mensah Murder
Trial. I know Okoampa is aware of the tactic because he has written
extensively about it.
And before anyone is left with the impression that the criticism of
ElBaradei, the man the US is probably hoping to take over from Mubarak, is
only a forlorn thought by Gamal Gorkeh Nkrumah. it is because they have not
been following what is going on very closely!
He was under tremendous pressure before he decided to leave Vienna for
Cairo. Those who watch Aljazeera are aware of the sentiments that are coming
from the people in Tahrir Square even before he addressed them a few days
ago. Democracy Now!'s senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous is in Egypt.
According to Amy Goodman, his "round-the-clock tweets are being read around
the world. Last night, CNN International highlighted one of them.
CNN INTERNATIONAL: Let's go to a trends map here that we're looking at to
see the trending topics out of Cairo on Twitter. Now, still at the top here
is Mubarak. But what's interesting to note is how ElBaradei has come up in a
popularity so much in the last few hours. That's referring to Mohamed
ElBaradei. Now, let's see what some Twitter users there are saying about
"Baradei seen as non-corrupt, is respected. But he lived away too long,
didn't join earlier protests & this revolt was done w/o his help."
AMY GOODMAN: That was CNN International last night reading one of Sharif's
tweets. Sharif grew up in Mubarak's Egypt. He was only three years old when
the current regime came to power. He comes from a prominent Egyptian family
with a long history in the arts, literature, film and politics."
I am personally very comfortable with these views! These are two young
Egyptians that I personally admire a lot. I have Gamal on my mailing list,
and I do follow Sharif on twitter. And they are very good examples of young
and extremely brilliant and principled Egyptians untainted by imperialist
flirtations that can rise to the occasion!
"If You Cannot Deal With The Testimony, Destroy The Witness":*
Instead of dealing with the message Gamal is presenting, Okoampa resorts to
invectives, name-calling, and character assassination, just as his mentor,
Dr. J. B. Danquah, had done before him. It is a tactic Okoampa is very
familiar with. He has even written about it concerning how Danquah used it
to destroy the witnesses to the case in which Nana Akyea Mensah was believed
to have been ritually murdered by eight of his own relatives. This is
Okoampa's own account of the silly tactic:
"Consequently, it appears that the first major, modern Ghanaian playwright
was forced by circumstances other than purely legal to proceed with his
Herculean role as a Defense Maestro or Conductor, for Danquah does not
appear to have personally mounted a spirited challenge against the
prosecution. And, indeed, as Rathbone wanly recalls: Danquah, who watched
the inquest proceedings which usefully rehearsed the prosecution evidence
for the defence as they were also implicitly commital proceedings, wrote to
the Okyenhene [- Nana Ofori-Atta II -] on 27 September 1944: The evidence
against the accused is very strong particularly the evidence of Botwe, Fosu,
Gyekye and Mireku. But I feel certain that very conclusive evidence is
available both at Kibi and in Ashanti against all these witnesses (Murder
And Politics 98; Ellipses appear in the original)." See: "The Enduring
Legacy Of Dr. J. B. Danquah PART 9", Feature Article of Sunday, 8 May 2005,
by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame.
If you cannot deal with the message, destroy the messenger. It did not work,
even though Danquah tried very hard to destroy the reputation of many decent
Ghanaians in order to save his brothers from the gallows! And it is not
going to work today, simply because it is Okoampa and not J. B. Danquah
doing a mischievous character assassination! I wish someone would be kind
enough to help this tormented soul wake up from his self-inflicted
nightmare, and smell the coffee! He must abandon the character assassination
Just as it did not save Asare Apietu, Kwame Kagya, Kwaku Amoako Atta, Kwadwo
Amoako, Kwasi Pipim, Opoku Ahwenee, A. E. B. Danquah and Owusu
Akyem-Tenteng, from being sentneced to death by hanging on the neck until
pronounced dead, it will not help in distancing an imperialist puppet like
Akufo-Addo from Mubarak.
I think it is about time that I take my grandson through some history
To begin with, I shall want to point out that there are significant
differences that even a mentally retarded individual could see between
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Africa and Mr. Hosni Mubarak of Sharm
el-Sheikh! What we see in Nkrumah, his life, political career, his goals for
the rapid development of Africa, as well as the very manner of his overthrow
are all very much different from the jaundiced picture my grandson Kwame
Okoampa wants us to believe!
My grandson points out that the overthrow of Nkrumah was executed by "the
gallant men of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Service, led by
[Messsrs.] Kotoka, Harlley and Afrifa." As to who engineered it, he was very
economical with the facts.
'While charges of U.S. involvement are not new, support for them was lacking
until 1978, when anecdotal evidence was provided from an unlikely source,'
writes Paul Lee, '—a former CIA case officer, John Stockwell, who reported
first-hand testimony in his memoir, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story.
"The inside story came to me," Stockwell wrote, "from an egotistical friend,
who had been chief of the [CIA] station in Accra [Ghana] at the time."
(Stockwell was stationed one country away in the Ivory Coast.)
Subsequent investigations by The New York Times and Covert Action
Information Bulletin identified the station chief as Howard T. Banes, who
operated undercover as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy"
There is definitely a big difference between a CIA-inspired coup d'etat and
what we are seeing in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, and other
major cities of Egypt today! This is not a coup d'etat resulting from a
conspiracy between our security forces and foreign imperialist interests!
Indeed, the Americans were very swift to recognize the National Liberation
Council which replaced the CPP after the coup, and amazingly clueless as to
how to respond to the on-going Egyptian Revolution. So, I am constrained to
diagnose my grandson's problem, within a severely limited range of
possibilities, as either as a result of political mischief, misanthropy,
ignorance, naivety, and or he is probably writing in his capacity as a
What do we see as the US response to the will of the Egyptian people? We
know from declassified documents such as the one compiled by Paul Lee. He
talks about preparations that lasted for years! Here we are nine months
before the coup:
'As it turned out, the coup did not occur for another nine months. After it
did, Komer, now acting special assistant for national security affairs,
wrote a congratulatory assessment to the President on March 12, 1966
(Document 260). His assessment of Nkrumah and his successors was telling.
"The coup in Ghana," he crowed, "is another example of a fortuitous
windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other
black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new
military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western."
In this, Komer and Nkrumah were in agreement. "Where the more subtle methods
of economic pressure and political subversion have failed to achieve the
desired result," Nkrumah wrote from exile in Guinea three years later,
"there has been resort to violence in order to promote a change of regime
and prepare the way for the establishment of a puppet government."' See:
Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow, By Paul Lee, Special to
"Mubarak Is Not A Dictator"!
It is clear Mubarak is not only their man, but their main man in the Arab
world. His dictatorship has been plodded on by a massive life-support of
almost two-billion dollar aid each year, for the past thirty or so years he
has been in power. Democracy Now! has an interesting interview with Chomsky.
When asked about President Obama's remarks the other night, February 02,
2011, on Mubarak, Chomsky said: "Obama very carefully didn't say anything...
He's doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook:
whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if
at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides."
"NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Obama very carefully didn't say anything. Mubarak would
agree that there should be an orderly transition, but to what? A new
cabinet, some minor rearrangement of the constitutional order—it's empty. So
he's doing what U.S. leaders regularly do. As I said, there is a playbook:
whenever a favored dictator is in trouble, try to sustain him, hold on; if
at some point it becomes impossible, switch sides.
The U.S. has an overwhelmingly powerful role there. Egypt is the
second-largest recipient over a long period of U.S. military and economic
aid. Israel is first. Obama himself has been highly supportive of Mubarak.
It's worth remembering that on his way to that famous speech in Cairo, which
was supposed to be a conciliatory speech towards the Arab world, he was
asked by the press—I think it was the BBC—whether he was going to say
anything about what they called Mubarak's authoritarian government. And
Obama said, no, he wouldn't. He said, "I don't like to use labels for folks.
Mubarak is a good man. He has done good things. He has maintained stability.
We will continue to support him. He is a friend." And so on. This is one of
the most brutal dictators of the region, and how anyone could have taken
Obama's comments about human rights seriously after that is a bit of a
mystery. But the support has been very powerful in diplomatic dimensions.
Military—the planes flying over Tahrir Square are, of course, U.S. planes.
The U.S. is the—has been the strongest, most solid, most important supporter
of the regime. It's not like Tunisia, where the main supporter was France.
They're the primary guilty party there. But in Egypt, it's clearly the
United States, and of course Israel. Israel is—of all the countries in the
region, Israel, and I suppose Saudi Arabia, have been the most outspoken and
supportive of the Mubarak regime. In fact, Israeli leaders were angry, at
least expressed anger, that Obama hadn't taken a stronger stand in support
of their friend Mubarak."
The current US Vice President, Mr. Joe Biden, even went as far as to say, in
the face of the massive opposition to Mubarak's rule, that "Mubarak is not a
dictator"! Here are his own words: "Look, Mubarak has been an ally of ours
in a number of things that he's been very responsible on relative to
geopolitical interests in the region, Middle East peace efforts, the actions
Egypt has taken relative to normalizing relationship with Israel. And I
think that it would be—I would not refer to him as a dictator."
I watch Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! every working day, and so naturally, I
did not miss the brilliant comments of Professor Juan Cole, professor of
history at the University of Michigan. Professor Cole writes regularly about
Middle East issues on his blog, "Informed Comment," which is found on-line
at JuanCole.com. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World. So, I
believe he has one or two things to say the people like my grandson need to
"SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: That was Vice President Joe Biden. Juan Cole, your
JUAN COLE: Well, Vice President Biden seems to be wanting to define a
dictator not with regard to domestic policy, but with regard to the
responsible role the regime plays in the international world system, you
know, from Washington's point of view. But certainly, from the point of view
of human rights activists in Egypt, there are strong dictatorial tendencies
in the Egyptian government. It's seen a lot of phony elections. It's used
Indeed, the tergiversative proclivities being displayed by the Americans,
the White House and the State Department is a clear indication yet, that far
from being the instigators, the US has not even managed to have a clue, as
to how to even respond to the popular demands of the Egyptian people. That
in itself is no surprise at all. What is surprising is any comparison with
Within a space of a week, the US policy on the Egyptian crisis has been
nothing but pussyfooting. First, the only thing they could find to say was
that there should be no violence on both sides. Then they quickly replaced
that with "Time for Mubarak to initiate reforms". Then came the talk of the
need for Mubarak to consider an orderly transition. If you add "Mubarak is
not a dictator", we have four in a week!
Okoampa writes as though the Danquah-Dombo-Busia puppets of imperialism and
neo-colonialism played a passive role towards the evolution of one-party
democratic centralism in Ghana. I once had the occasion to explain to him,
that a political party is very different from a political army. Political
Parties win votes. Political armies win wars. Ghana's constitution has never
had a place for political armies. The United Party which was the mother of
the Afrifa-Busia-Kufour tradition, also known as the "Mate Meho" meaning "I
have broken away [from Ghana]". That was how they called themselves!
With the "Mate Meho" colonialist zombies throwing bombs day and night, they
abondoned their role as a political party and became a political army. They
transformed themselves into a political army after failing to win votes even
when their colonialist owners had imprisoned Nkrumah and given them a free
range to campaign with cash and logistics.
To win a war that they themselves had declared, Nkrumah had no choice other
than chasing the elephant into the bush! Thus putting all the blame of Ghana
becoming a one-party state on Nkrumah's CPP is a completely insane
distortion of our history. In fact, in other West African states, just like
their support for Mubarak, the US support for the one-party states was very
strong, especially the over one hundred years old one party state of William
Tubman of Liberia.
Their current darling of West Africa, Alassane Ouattara was the last Prime
Minister in the 33-year one-party rule by Houphiet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast
which ended with his death in 1990! Mrs. Sirleaf Johnson was also a Minister
in the 100-year old one-party state of Liberia by the True Whig Party!
These, of course, in Joe Biden's words, were not dictators simply because
they were US allies! This is a history of an injustice that Liberians have
paid dearly for and continue to pay to this day.
It takes two political parties to make the two-party state that Ghana was on
the eve of the First Republic. Just as if you are lucky enough to have a
life-partner, you cannot be called "a single man", even though your partner
might not necessarily be a man, you cannot call a state a two party state
when one political party has vacated its post and turned itself into a
political army! In other words, if your partner leaves you, you can then
call yourself, a "one-party state", sorry, a single man!
This is what happened to President Nkrumah when the United Party abandoned
all civilities and embarked upon a campaign of deadly hostilities, including
bomb throwing, against a democratically and popularly elected President of
the Republic of Ghana. The verandah boy who warned the chiefs they would
"run away and leave their sandals behind" was not called "Osagyefo" for
nothing. If you ask for it, he would give it to you roundly and squarely. He
urgently had a nation to build. He did not have the time nor the choice.
Hence the One-Party state!
The reason he would not tolerate such thugs was clear:
“We in Africa who are pressing now for unity are deeply conscious of the
validity of our purpose. We need the strength of our combined numbers and
resources to protect ourselves from the very positive dangers of returning
to colonialism in disguised forms. We need it to combat the entrenched
forces dividing our continent and still holding back millions of our
brothers. We need it to secure total African liberation. We need it to carry
forward our construction of a socio-economic system that will support the
great mass of our steadily rising population at levels of life which will
compare with those in the most advanced countries” - Kwame Nkrumah, "Africa
Must Unite!", 1960.
The Osagyefo had the same dreams we see in the eyes of the demonstrators!
And we hear them say just that! Mubarak and Akufo-Addo represent some of the
still holding back millions of our brothers"! Did you see the alacrity with
which he was supporting the US-France led war effort on La Cote d'Iviore
I rest my case!
Please let's stay in touch and on top of the NPP! Give me a follow on
twitter! I shall give you a follow! Twitter: /twitter.com/TheOdikro
"To all men of goodwill, organize, organize, organize! The struggle is far
from over! We need Tahrir Squares in all our cities to make them world banks
for the Asomdweehehe! We prefer self-government in danger, to servitude in
Forward Ever, Backward Never"!
Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.