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General News of Thursday, 29 September 2022

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The five assassination attempts on Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was Ghana's first president Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was Ghana's first president

Gaining independence for Ghana (then Gold Coast) should have sealed his place as a man whom all would love, but that was not so.

Many historical accounts have proven over the years how often Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, also courted the disdain of many people, including those very close to him.

In all, there were five assassination attempts made on his life, none of which was successful.

In this article, GhanaWeb looks at all the five times these attempts on the life of Nkrumah were made and the circumstances that surrounded them.

1956 Bomb explosion in Nkrumah’s house:

A year before he successfully led Ghana to gain its independence, Kwame Nkrumah faced the first major threat to his life.

In early 1956, there was a bomb explosion in his house in Accra while he was meeting with several government ministers.

Reports online say there were no injuries from this explosion.

Assassination attempt of 1962:

There was also an assassination attempt on Kwame Nkrumah on Ghana's northern frontier, near the northern parts of the Volta region, now known as the Oti Region.

On August 2, 1962, a grenade was thrown at him, leaving him injured.

According to link.springer.com, the grenade attack was orchestrated by "leading police officers" in collusion with Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, "one of the ringleaders in the plot to kill me."

Although Kwame Nkrumah escaped that major assassination attempt on his life, several people lost their lives, including a child. There was a total of 55 injured.

1962 bombing at Nkrumah’s residence:

The irony of this assassination attempt is that it happened not too long after the previous one and took place when Kwame Nkrumah and some guests met to celebrate his close shave at death.

This happened on September 9, 1962; a bomb blast exploded at the official residence of the president in Accra.

In that blast, another girl was killed, and several people were injured.

As stated above, at the time of the attack, Nkrumah's official residence at Flagstaff House was filled with close to 2000 guests who were celebrating Kwame Nkrumah's escape from a first assassination attempt in October.

The attempt was blamed on a new anti-Nkrumah organisation, the Kumasi Command; as a result, many militants throughout the country were arrested in order to calm down the growing opposition against Kwame Nkrumah's government, which had rejected multiparty rule in favour of one-party rule and "scientific socialism."

Failed assassination attempt of 1964:

This failed assassination attempt happened on January 2, 1964, at about 1:15 pm as Nkrumah left his office at the Flagstaff House to return to the Christiansborg Castle for lunch.

Nkrumah was walking toward his car outside his office with two security guards – Dagarti, a British-trained professional police officer; and another who was provided by the president's own party, the Convention People's Party (CPP).

Ghanaianmusem.com reports that suddenly, a shot rang out.

It was eventually found out that a policeman on guard at the Flagstaff House, who had just been transferred to duty there, fired the shots.

Identified as Constable Ametewee, he shot at Kwame Nkrumah at close range but was unsuccessful.

The assailant tried several other shots at the president, chasing him down to the kitchen of the Flagstaff House, but he was overpowered by other officers.

Kulungugu assassination attempt of 1964:

The assassination attempt of 1964 is perhaps one of the most famous and perhaps most deadly attack on Nkrumah's life.

At the Independence Day celebrations of Ghana on March 6, 1964, Dr Kwame Nkrumah was at Kulungugu in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

While there, another assassination attempt was made on him but again, he escaped.

The bomb was placed inside the flowers to be presented to him by a 13-year-old girl called Elizabeth Asantewaa.

Her leg had to be amputated to prevent the spread of the impact of the bomb explosion, an intervention that saved her life.

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