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Opinions of Monday, 26 February 2018

Columnist: Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

February 24, 1966 revisited with anger

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

Folks, Saturday marked the 52nd anniversary of the dastardly move by the security services of Ghana to overthrow the Great Osagyefo (backed by the conservative, reactionary and self-seeking Ghanaian politicians and foreign interests, especially the United States’ CIA).

Ghana hasn’t found its bearing ever since, no matter what the offshoots of those reactionary forces say to attempt bastardizing the Great Osagyefo.

Backed by their hirelings in all spheres of life, they have made a career out of building sand castles. Such phenomenally persistent con-artists continue to plaster Ghana’s history, presenting themselves as the most ponderously enlightened elements of the Ghanaian populace—because of their noisy and aggressively proprietary approach to political indignation. I laugh them to scorn as they run around, sprinkling blame like a fairy dust on all others except themselves.

I have read some opinion pieces by some of such characters claiming that Feb. 24, 1966, was “Ghana’s day of liberation”. Fie on them!!

And they are fast wasting energy and resources, attempting to re-write Ghana’s history. In their efforts, then, they have begun giving us a truism through their kind of warped history:


Pooooooh!! Well-informed Ghanaians know better not to buy into such warped “history”. What did Nkrumah do to annoy his opponents to the extent that they would sacrifice human lives and everything about Ghana’s destiny to oust him? Nothing but his insistence on the “African Personality” driving everything African and to ensure that the black man takes control of his own destiny. Did that in him call for the dastardly bastardization of him, regardless of the spillover negative impact on Ghana as a whole?

Lest I forget. One of the most despicable things done to attempt erasing the impact of the Great Osagyefo was to burn his government’s official documents (including the 7–9-year development plan for Ghana), books and tapes at the GBC and other houses where his books and history could be found. They destroyed his monuments and pictures as well.

Yet, they were the very people claiming to be intellectuals who should have known the value of such artifacts or memorabilia (at least, if preserved at the museums for the good of future generations).

Visit other countries to see the huge collections from former leaders and prominent people whose contributions to national development cannot be undermined, regardless of political differences.

Not so for Ghana in the case of Nkrumah. Which other Ghanaian leader has written as much as he did? His legacy still stands tall.

They couldn’t erase his memory. Shamefully, they relied on his projects to sustain themselves in power until pushed to the backwoods for their worthlessness, where they stayed for 30 years before being redeemed by Kufuor’s electoral victory in 2000. What Akufo-Addo has ushered in retains the heavy anti-Nkrumah hue but will not register.

Those who wasted their energies on the campaign of vilification against Nkrumah in those days are no more with us, probably, languishing in the hottest part of hell reserved for characters of their ilk. Those following in their footsteps in our time can't succeed for as long as the accomplishments of the Great Osagyefo still dot the Ghanaian and global horizon. And such accomplishments are ineradicable. Those failing to add to them should bow their heads in shame!!

In all their boasts, what could they produce to outdo the Great Osagyefo? Not even in intellectual work. I have read most of the Great Osagyefo’s books and can stand anywhere to tout his greatness. What his arch opponents (Busia and Danquah, for instance) produced are mere irritants. Nothing to motivate anybody toward committing oneself to efforts at solving national problems. Mere self-gratifying publications on trivial issues of no consequence to the mass of the people or the country. Bombastic nonsense at best. To hell with their machinations in our time!!

These reactionary elements make me puke, even as I refer to what one of my students said in class two weeks ago: “This course also aims to get each student to respect the past while also realizing exactly what this will do for the people now and in the future. There is no sense in understanding the past if you do not know what it does for you”.

This student’s opinion is apt, especially when placed in the circumstances surrounding Feb. 24, 1966.

Those who value the Great Osagyefo know why. What he built for Ghana still stands tall. What Ghana would have been without his foundation isn’t difficult to fathom. That is the history standing tall. No amount of vilification will harm the Great Osagyefo. The cowards who kicked him out of power and their supporters in our time are the bane of Ghana; and they will continue to waste time and energy in their desperate efforts to downgrade Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the most influential leader of the 20th Century—a legend hard to ignore. Fie on his detractors!!

I shall return…