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Opinions of Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Columnist: Otabil, Kofi

50 years after Nkrumah's overthrow

Osagyefo I’m here to inform you that it hasn’t been easy for your beloved country Ghana since your unfortunate overthrow on 24th February, 1966. I read a piece of information about the visit to Ghana in 1964 by Lee Kuan Yew the then Prime Minister of Singapore where he criticized our way of governance and made pronouncements that he doesn’t see us transforming our country if we do not change our way of life. Alas the reality has hit us straight in the face as time caught up with us. Osagyefo from hindsight what would you have done differently?

We haven’t been able to add much to the Akosombo Dam in terms of power generation. I’m just impressed that you built it in 1965 with the foresight and knowledge that energy is the soul of a nation. The lack of power supply has resulted in power outages over the years which have been code-named Dumsor, however the situation has improved during these past few days. Osagyefo I’m sure you’re not happy about this situation and you’re therefore wondering why are we in this chaotic situation?
Osagyefo it is sad to let you know that most of the industries you built have been sold out largely due to mismanagement. Am I right to state that perhaps you were way ahead of your peers that’s why we couldn’t grasp your thoughts? I’m amazed to state that you built up all these infrastructural developments within 15 years; 6 years as Leader of Government Business; 3 and 6 years as Prime Minister and President respectively. Do we still lack the requisite selflessness and the needed managerial skills to keep the pace?
Please let me tell you about the status of the African Liberation Movement that was dear to your heart. I’m sure you remember the young chap called Nelson Mandela who came looking for you in the 1960’s with Oliver Tambo and co to solicit for your support against the apartheid regime in South Africa? He had to spend 27 years in prison for standing up against racial segregation. He was released in 1990 and became the first black African President in 1994. Nelson Mandela has thus completed your vision of complete and total liberation of the African continent from colonial rule. On the other hand, I’ll have to admit that we’re still fighting for freedom from Economic domination because we haven’t managed our economic affairs in the right direction. Please what counsel would you offer in this regard?
Lest I forget, one of your mentees in the African Liberation struggle in the person of Robert Mugabe has led Zimbabwe to gain independence in 1980 and has been their President ever since. He’s had his faults and achievements nevertheless I expected him to have retired from office and enjoy the fruits of his labour but that hasn’t been possible. One of the problems I’ve had with first generation African leaders was their inability to keep to term time thereby holding onto power perpetually. In fact these trends are still being practiced by some of the current African leaders resulting in strife and instability. Osagyefo I’ll have to brainstorm with you to find a lasting solution to this.

Osagyefo your vision of African Unity hasn’t still seen the light of day. In fact most African leaders are just comfortable with their individual interests thereby inhibiting the actualization of African Unity. One the brighter note, Kofi Annan a proud African and a Ghanaian was appointed to head the United Nations as its Secretary-General from January 1997 to December 2006. He was the first African south of the Sahara to have assumed such prestigious position. I’m sure you’re very proud of him and whispering to yourself that “yes we can do more!”.

On a personal note, I’ll want to inform you that your last two biological children in the persons of Samia and Sekou have tried to continue with your political legacy but they haven’t found their niche yet. Sekou started from your beloved CPP but left them midstream and have joined two other political parties thereafter. Samia on the other hand have been consistent with her political inclination which is the CPP. I must say that it is impossible for anyone to fill in your vacant political shoes because you were just one of a kind and unique. Osagyefo would you want to offer any helpful advice in this regard?

Osagyefo do you remember John IV the young boy who sat on your lap when you visited his father in the early1960’s? He’s now the President of your beloved Sikaman Ghana and he’s doing his best to transform the former Nkrumah Circle into a modern inter-change befitting your status as one of the foremost Pan-Africanist and a global political icon. He needs your inspiration and confidence to walk in the shadows of your footsteps. I’ll find out from him if he needs specific direction and guidance from you.

I’ll end here with the story of Apostle Kwadwo Safo one of the brightest spots in your beloved Sikaman Ghana. He is in the process of manufacturing automobiles thereby lifting the image of your beloved country. He has your can-do attitude and I can see you smiling and saying that “after all the blackman is capable of managing their own affairs”. I’ll do well to post some pictures of Apostle Kwadwo Safo’s cars for your viewing. He exhibits your passion and pioneering spirit signifying that indeed Nkrumah Never Dies!

Written By: Kofi Otabil