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Opinions of Monday, 27 March 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Ghana’s history does not belong to any Political Party

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is not clear what he means when the National Chairman of the rump-Convention People’s Party (CPP), Prof. Edmund Delle, says that he and his party intend to fiercely resist any attempt to rewrite the history of Ghana “in a way that discredits Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s significant role in Ghana’s independence struggle” (See “We’ll Resist Attempts to Rewrite Ghana’s History – CPP” / 3/26/17). What is clear, however, is that those days when the Nkrumacrats or fanatical Nkrumaists used their power and influence in government to tweak the standard version of the country’s anticolonial and postcolonial history, as presented in elementary, secondary and tertiary school textbooks to inordinately favor their icon are well behind us.

I also don’t know what Prof. Delle means, when the rump-CPP National Chairman says that although a multiplicity of Ghanaians significantly contributed to the country’s independence struggle against British colonial imperialism, nevertheless, the overall credit for the reassertion of the nation’s sovereignty from Britain on March 6, 1957 belongs singularly and uniquely to Mr. Kwame Nkrumah. And, by the way, calling Ghana’s first postcolonial leader “Mr.” Kwame Nkrumah does absolutely no discredit to the man who never earned himself the doctoral degree from any college or university that he is known to have attended, unlike Drs. J. B. Danquah and K. A. Busia. And yet, a visit to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum has tour guides falsely but proudly pointing at a black hardcover manuscript and claiming that it was a dissertation that Nkrumah had written and defended at the University of London but, somehow, never had the chance to appear before the academic dons of the university to be gloriously conferred with the same.

It is therefore rather amusing to hear Prof. Delle accuse his political opponents, largely adherents of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition, of “agitating over the consistent reference to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the founder of Independent Ghana” and also for “being selective with history.” Indeed, were their icon alive and well today, Mr. Nkrumah would, himself, be the very first person to globally acknowledge that it was Dr. J. B. Danquah, the man he would meteorically grow to resent and prison assassinate, who introduced the young and wet-eared Mr. Nkrumah into the mainstream of anticolonial Ghanaian politics, by appointing the hitherto London-stranded DuBois-mentored and Padmore-influenced upstart as General-Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).

Indeed, in December 1947 when Nkrumah arrived by ship to take up the only salaried appointment in the UGCC, Danquah and his executive associates, including Messrs. George “Paa” Grant, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, William “Paa Willie” Ofori-Atta, among a host of others, had already led the charge.

At best, Nkrumah could be aptly credited with having suavely hijacked the Danquah-led liberation struggle and movement by exploiting the abject naivety of the leadership of the youth wing of the UGCC, among them, Messrs. Kojo Botsio, Komla Gbedemah, Krobo Edusei and Victor Owusu.

Yes, not even many of his most ardent supporters are aware of it, but it is a fact that Mr. Victor Owusu was one of the UGCC youth leaders who followed Mr. Nkrumah to form the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP) on June 12, 1949. This may very well explain the 1979 split among the adherents of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Traditionalists.

The fact of the matter is that contrary to what Dr. Delle would have those who know no better than himself believe, Mr. Nkrumah led absolutely no charge for anything. He merely took advantage of a deliberately racially induced economic crisis situation aggravated largely by some Accra traditional rulers, most prominent among whom was Nii Kwabena Bonnie, to propel his vaulting ambition of being declared Ghana’s first postcolonial ruler. On this much, there is absolutely no contest.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 26, 2017

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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