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Opinions of Sunday, 22 November 2020

Columnist: Dr. Samuel Adjei Sarfo, Esq.

Defining Nkrumah and Nkrumaism

Kwame Nkrumah is the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah is the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana

Nkrumaism is the suspension of one’s analytical reasoning for the cultic worship of Kwame Nkrumah in the belief that he never dies or does no wrong. It is also the wholesale and holistic inheritance of Nkrumah’s friends (if any) as heroes and the scathing criticism of his real or imaginary enemies as being demons and devils.

Within this ideology, the elements of Nkrumah’s dictatorship: his imprisonment without trial, his self -aggrandizement, his one-party state and his life presidency all constitute a catechism of faith which must be defended on the fake grounds of opposition treason and passionately extolled by blatant lies, or by reference to similar evils elsewhere. His disastrous economic policies which left a rich nation on its knees is seen as a great model, and his character as an ingrate and traitor and charlatan is deemed worthy of emulation.

To the Nkrumaists, unanswerable questions are made simpler by postures of diversion and deviation or simple distractions or gratuitous insults. And the most straightforward questions are resolved by the statement that Osagyefo Dr. J.B. Danquah was a CIA agent, or that Nkrumah was voted Africa’s man of the millennium; or that some persons somewhere praised him somehow, or that similar evils existed and were accepted elsewhere; or that all those against Nkrumah are treasonous “Mate Me Ho” nation wreckers and their descendants.

There is not a single question the Nkrumaists answer by dwelling on the salient issue of Nkrumah’s arrant dictatorship and class skulduggery, his utter rascality and unprecedented imposture.

No doubt, Nkrumah is the poison ivy of the African leadership conundrum and even its economic and political disaster. Having been extensively trained in the USA and in the UK, he returned to Africa as a lumpenproletariat, without any intention to replicate and emulate the democratic dispensation in those western civilizations, but rather to exploit the primitive leadership culture of tyranny for the purpose of his own perpetual self- aggrandizement. Thus he appropriated for himself the title of the Osagyefo hitherto reserved for chieftains, and conferred upon himself the permanency of traditional rule while abjuring its concomitant accountability. He also had a crier sing his appellations and described his feats in super-human terms at functions. He abolished free speech and hence suppressed criticism of his flaws and instituted for himself some kind of one-party state within which dissent became anathema in Ghana’s political context.

Meanwhile, he broached no competition from these traditional rulers, once threatening that he would make them run, leaving their sandals behind. In this, Nkrumah behaved as an absolute monarch with the divine right to misrule, and called his version of self-laudatory theocracy our republic, thus showing his total ignorance of what a republic really means..

As the poison ivy of the African leadership template, Nkrumah’s leadership became a dictatorial model for many African tyrants who oppressed their people. And his overthrow was also an adumbration to the many military coups in Africa that brought to power the likes of Iddi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Siad Barre, Yayah Jammeh and Eyadema. His greatest minion and student was Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who intended to rule for life but was eventually pushed aside by his own cronies.

As a pioneer in the African leadership experiment, he led in the abolition of the basic freedoms of the citizenry and trampled on their independence. He abolished the pluralistic democratic dispensation, the habeas corpus, freedom of the press, freedom of creative entertainment, the freedom of association and the freedom of the franchise, destroying the pride and dignity of the people to have a choice in their leadership, and subjecting them to a reign of terror hitherto unknown in the Ghanaian civil leadership.

Under these severe indictments, what do people mean by the scientific ideas of Nkrumah or his notion of the African personality? What science is found in emplacing one's effigy on the common currency and splashing one's images and statues on the streets? What is the science in imprisonment without trial, or declaration of life presidency or the imposition of a one-party state? What is the science in the dismissal of the Supreme Court judges?

And when people speak of Nkrumaism as the embodiment of Nkrumah's ideas, exactly what do they mean? Exactly what does it mean to have an African personality? Is it the unalloyed worship of that fake immortal? Is it the uncritical acceptance of his attempt to impose the template of his leadership under a United Africa? Or his disastrous economic policy that led a rich country to bankruptcy?

Or his waywardness in neglecting the affairs of the state in pursuit of some unfathomable albeit grandiose international prestige? The Nkrumaists must clearly explain this Nkrumacracy, the so-called science within the Nkrumaist philosophy, or forever remain silent.

Now all of a sudden, the death of Lee Kuan Yew provided the Nkrumaists with an impressionistic hero by which to measure Nkrumah's misbehaviour. To the Nkrumaists, this is their version of scientific thinking, that they will narrowly strike a similarity in Yew and Nkrumah’s dictatorships, gleaning the former's success and imputing it as a certain possibility under some futuristic, albeit phantasmagorical, Nkrumah leadership. They take no account of the fact that by 1966, the economy of Ghana had already hit reverse gear, and that Nkrumah and Yew were already headed in opposite directions: Nkrumah leaning toward communism while Yew remained a capitalist; Nkrumah hitting a slippery slope while Yew vaulted to economic heights. But this concocted analogy between Nkrumah and Yew is what scientific reasoning looks like to the lost tribes of the Nkrumaists…to those intellectual eunuchs, eggheads, cuckolds and somnambulists………

Now I dare say that if Nkrumah lived today, he would have shown remorse for his evil deeds and converted, like Buhari, to a true democrat to shame his followers. But this reality will not dawn on the Nkrumaists whose idea of progress is shrivelled in the daily praise of a dead and buried dictator. And this type of ardent incapacity to hear no wrong, see no wrong and say nothing wrong about Nkrumah lies at the corner of their own unscientific thinking. They cannot even put a working definition of a dictator and find that Nkrumah perfectly fits in. What else can they do?

And that is why I say that if all that Nkrumah did was to be a brutal dictator, our citizens would have lived past it by this time, because we are in Danquah’s democracy, and Nkrumah’s legacy of dictatorship is permanently consigned to the dustbin of history, never to be retrieved. But Nkrumah went beyond his dictatorship to destroy the minds of the people to accept tyranny as liberty, and propaganda as gospel truth, and revisionism as good history; and long after his death, our most educated citizens remain in self-doubt and full of inferiority complex, with their minds obnubilate by his fiction, and the truth is not something they can see, speak or hear. That is why the future of our country is bleak.

But our hope is now widespread insofar as the dark notions perpetuated by Nkrumah have all been effectively abolished. Our constitution is brimming with a bill of rights that guarantees the habeas corpus, the sovereignty of the people and their franchise, the freedom of speech and association, and the independence of the judiciary. In the coming years, Africa's respect in the world will be quantified by how closely the continent follows the democratic footprints of Osagyefo Dr J. B. Danquah, and how far it shuns the evil ideology of Nkrumah’s dictatorship, i.e the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) one-party state, a life presidency and the splattering of a dictator’s imagery on our currency, our streets and civil institutions. And within the context of the new democratic dispensation, anachronistic rants like that spewed here by these ardent Nkrumaists will surely find their way to the dung heap of history, to be cited as a true example of the morbid reasoning and incoherent ideation of the psychotic Nkrumaists, led by one dope head called Lungu or whatever…..

Indeed, for a person flaunting his scholarship to Africa and the world, Nkrumah was the alter-ego of several characters in fictional narratives or tragic dramas. In the first place, Nkrumah was pretty much like Kurtz, the character in Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” who set out to civilize the natives of Congo only to find himself sucked into the depths of their savage culture. The only difference is that Kwame Nkrumah was a Black man. Nkrumah was the Great Leader in Ayi Kwei Armah’s “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born”, under whose watch fecal corruption festered, and whose overthrow created catatonic joy among the masses of our people. Nkrumah was also Kongi, in Nobel Laureate Soyinka’s “Kongi’s Harvest”, the arrant dictator whose lust to subjugate traditional authority misled him to perform unthinkable rituals.

In spite of Nkrumah’s evil deeds against Ghana, he left a bunch of militant albeit hopelessly brainwashed followers who know how to criticize even Jesus Christ except Nkrumah himself. These lobotomized idiots follow a poisonous ideology in whose context Nkrumah does no wrong and never dies, and within which his ardent followers strain at the gnats of Nkrumah's perceived enemies and leave the evil logs of Nkrumah's eye-balls intact. But, in general, the Nkrumaist position is doomed ab initio: they must defend the terroristic rule of an arrant tyrant and a blatant traitor...his imprisonment without trial, his declaration of one-party state, his conferment of the power to overrule court judgments, his declaration of life presidency...

Even for an attorney professionally trained to defend both sides of an argument, I pity the awkward and contradictory position of the Nkrumaists. I really don't know of any leader that incarcerated both his foes and allies alike like Nkrumah or went all out on a suicide mission to fatally doom his own presidency as Nkrumah did. And if any other leader committed one percent of Nkrumah's evil deeds, his followers would be up in arms against that person. Remember how they profusely cite the injustices under Busia and Kufuor's regimes to cast them as non-democrats and to justify Nkrumah's cruelty to Ghanaians?

But their position regarding Nkrumah is understandable because they were indoctrinated to imbibe the propaganda that Nkrumah does no wrong, and that Nkrumah never dies. Fortunately for all of us, these people who are old and decrepit will soon die off with their shibboleth. But you and me, the younger generation, have a duty to dissect the truth and let it guide our actions. We must confess that PDA was wrong, that life presidency was wrong, that dismissal of judges was wrong, that betraying friends who helped Nkrumah to prosper was wrong, that indoctrinating children to snitch on their parents was wrong, that putting your effigy on a currency was wrong, that destooling chiefs and appropriating their titles was wrong.....

If we don't do this, my greatest fear is that somebody else will find a "good excuse" to abolish our freedoms and hard-earned rights, citing Nkrumah as a glowing example. Remember that Rawlings has done it before; and the only difference between Nkrumah and JJ was that while Nkrumah travelled the path from democracy to utter dictatorship, Rawlings travelled the path of utter dictatorship to democracy, and somehow left our present dispensation as an accidental and tangential albeit consequential and enduring legacy. Nkrumah has no such legacy…..His CPP is dead, whereas Rawlings’ NDC survives.

And so for these Nkrumaists to be taken seriously, they must confess all Nkrumah's evil deeds here or else make a fool of themselves by defending them.

They must learn the humble lesson of Nkrumah’s own son, Dr Sekou Nkrumah when he condemned his own father’s dictatorship. In the end, that is how they can gain redemption. This is because the typical Ghanaian's crippled intellectual ability, gullibility and vulnerability and lack of confidence and creativity all descend from Nkrumah's heritage which indoctrinated us in early childhood and made us receptacles to fakery and bad doctrines and took away from us the ability to ask questions and analyze incisively.

So when the Ghanaian is deceived by the fake pastors and political leaders or shamans and witch doctors and online scammers, the source of his child-like faith and acceptance of all imposture is traceable to his young pioneer days, when the end all and be all of his life was to subject his intellect to the worship of a conceptual idol called Kwame Nkrumah. and to praise and serve him for life.

This is the time to free ourselves from the psychological shackles imposed on our minds by the great impostor and to analyze and criticize and scrutinize these old assumptions which the great deceiver has implanted in our genes, making it impossible for us to decipher the good from the bad, the ugly and the evil.

And if we do this, Nkrumaist devil worshippers, Satanists, their agents, assigns, ideologues, praise singers, young pioneers, action troopers and hangers-on will be condemned to the darkest catacombs of political Erebus, from whence their ideological screeching will become akin to the whimpering of Cereberus, the mighty dog of Hades when tamed by Heracles. And when all these come to pass, sensible men will find better pastime for their talents, instead of spewing what is evolving here to be a trash heap the size of Mount Everest.

Samuel Adjei Sarfo, Doctor of Jurisprudence, is a legal practitioner in Austin, Texas, USA. You may email him at