Feature Article of Thursday, 27 September 2012
Columnist: Thompson, Kofi
Kwame Nkrumah Is In The Pantheon of 20th Century Greats - Because He Was On The Right Side Of History
By Kofi Thompson
The late President Mills will always be remembered for making 21st September - the birthday of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah - Founder's Day in Ghana.
No politician in the Ghana of today, worth his or her salt, ought either to encourage or countenance the intellectually dishonest attempt, to make it appear that Nkrumah's conservative opponents, during the struggle to free our nation from its occupation by British colonialists, were somehow his equal.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah towered above all of them and deserves his place in the Pantheon of 20th century greats.
Unlike his conservative opponents - such as Dr. J. B. Danquah who sought narrow elite class interest - Nkrumah always sought what was in the overall interest of his nation and all its people - and above all fought hard to build a modern and egalitarian African society: in which there was equality of opportunity for all.
It is unfortunate that so many of those engaged in the shabby attempt to denigrate Nkrumah, and turn Danquah the quisling into a hero, lack the intellectual depth to understand that the verdict of history cannot be secured by endless spin; cynical propaganda; revisionist sophistry and pure fantasy.
No amount of dissimulation by today's progeny of yesteryear's colonial-era tribal-supremacist and elitist politicians, can belittle Nkrumah's achievements.
And neither will they succeed in turning Danquah - who incidentally despised ordinary people: and was tribalistic on top of all that - into a nationalist hero and icon of 20th century Africa.
Nationalist heroes do not collaborate with foreign powers that seek to subjugate Africa and its peoples.
And for good measure, dear reader, let those who say Nkrumah was a dictator also tell us what exactly President Kufuor, for example, would have done, had there been as many assassination attempts on him as there were on Nkrumah, during his tenure.
Let them also ponder why since September 11th 2001, the established democracies of the West, such as the U.S.A., the U.K. and Australia, have all passed laws to deal with acts of terrorism and terrorist suspects, which are even more draconian than Nkrumah's Preventive Detention Act (PDA) ever was.
No amount of PR mendacity today, will make heroes of those clever and tribalistic self-seekers, who opposed Nkrumah during the struggle for Ghana's independence.
The plain truth, dear reader, is that many of them only sought to replace the British colonialists - then subjugating our people - with what effectively would have been a system, which was in effect a plutocracy in which they, a privileged elite, would hold permanent sway.
They most certainly were not Nkrumah's equals. In the dark recesses of their minds, imperialism and neocolonialism had conditioned them to believe the big lie that Africans were somehow inferior to white people.
It is instructive that they chose to work hand in glove with the British colonialists who had occupied our country - and that they felt it somehow made them a class apart: superior beings born to lord it over the ordinary people of the Gold Coast, whom they held in utter contempt.
Nkrumah on the other hand was steadfast in standing with the ordinary people of the Gold Coast against the British occupiers of their country.
And it was not for nothing that Nkrumah's conservative opponents worked incredibly hard to accommodate the colonial regime - whiles Nkrumah fought them with mass boycotts and nationwide strikes, for example.
The pay-off for the collaboration of Nkrumah's conservative opponents with the British colonialists, was a deal that would have enabled them replace the departing British colonialists as our rulers upon Ghana gaining its independence.
The quid pro quo for the UK, was that in return for the Gold Coast's conservative politicians being handed the Gold Coast to rule till the very end of time after it became independent, they would continue keeping our nation in Britain's sphere of influence permanently.
And best of all, British commercial entities would continue to have unfettered access to our natural resources, and monopolise our local markets for their nation's manufactured goods.
In spite of the unrelenting propaganda to foist Danquah on Ghanaians as a national hero, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah will continue being an icon for the black race till the very end of time.
It is his reward for being on the right side of history - all the time voicing, in articulate fashion, the aspirations of ordinary people during the struggle to free the Gold Coast, and the rest of black Africa, from colonial rule.
Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's equal has not yet been born - and he will forever remain a hero to the entire black race.
Put simply, dear reader, Kwame Nkrumah is in the Pantheon of 20th century greats - because he was on the right side of history.
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