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Opinions of Thursday, 25 February 2016

Columnist: Danquah Institute

K.A Gbedemah's Letter to President Kwame Nkrumah (Full)

Introductory Notes.
1. The open letter to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was almost ready on Monday, May 28 to be submitted sometime in June and then published simultaneously. On that day, an official of an Embassy in Lome called at the house of my cousin Mr. Anthon Ajavon, with whom I have stayed whenever I have been in Lome since I left Ghana, to enquire at his Government’s request, whether I was in Lome or not. The official was informed that I had planned to leave on the next day but could postpone departure for a few days, if as he said, someone was looking for me who had been speaking t President Nkrumah about the possibility of my returning to Ghana to work again in his Government.
2. On Friday June 8, 1962 the representative of another Government informed me in Hamburg, that a gentleman wanted to come from London to see me. It turned out that this was the same person who was to have come to Lome to see me but could not arrive before my departure. Reluctantly, particularly because he did not have a letter from Dr. Nkrumah about his coming, I agreed that should come. He arrived the same evening and we met in my hotel room in Hamburg. He explained that he had recently been in Ghana and had talked to Dr. Nkrumah about me: that Dr. Nkrumah had expressed willingness for him to contact me and persuade me to come back and work under him.
3. I informed this gentleman, whose name is better left out of this letter, that I had completed only a few days before his coming, a letter which I was about to send to Dr. Nkrumah, telling him what I felt about his May 5 broadcast and the draft programme for Work and Happiness. He urged me not to rush into doing anything that could prejudice the chances for his getting a suitable arrangement effected for my return into Nkrumah’s Government. After a further discussion on Saturday June 9, it was agreed between us that is he could write to Dr. Nkrumah in terms of a letter, the contents of which he made known to me before dispatching, I would return as was wished. Nothing more was heard from my friend for a month until we met again at his request on July 12 in my hotel room in London. The discussion between us on this occasion forms part of what is contained in part 11.
4. On my return to Lome on July 31, the news was that the Convention People’s Party delegates’ conference, held in Kumasi on July 29, had given approval to the draft programme. The proceedings of this conference – now for the first time called the party congress – as reported in the Ghana press, showed that no serious discussion of this fantastic program had been held, before the approval was given. This of course means automatic approval by Parliament too. My worst fears had been proved correct – as can be seen in paragraph 3 of the open letter.
5. After reflecting for a couple of days, I decided that despite what had happened, the letter would be submitted as originally intended. I also decided no good could now come of my friend’s endeavours, since, his intervention had prevented my views being made known before the go ahead had been given to the draft programme. I felt myself therefore absolved from the undertaking I had given and free to proceed with my plans, although it would seem that whatever I could do now would be ineffectual, in view of the great C.P.P. approval now achieved.
6. In my view, this Development Plan will not bring Work and Happiness to all. It will result in more unemployment and unhappiness for many, it could not be more than one year from now before Ghanaians will find out whether they will all have work and be happy as a result of this programme, or whether it is correct that it will not be work and happiness for all. I have decided to call the pamphlet by this name. Meanwhile the delay caused by the intervention of my friend has made it impossible to submit and publish this letter until late in September; but whether late or not, what’s important is that the views in it, which should have been known in June, will be known before the programme is due to start in January 1963, if it will be started at all.
7. Between May and the possible date of publication however, a number of things have been happening on which one cannot help commenting. Most important of these is the bomb attempt on Dr. Nkrumah’s life at Kulungugu in Northern Ghana on August 1, three days after his Party, presumed to have spoken for the whole country, had given Dr. Nkrumah a mandate to bring work and happiness to all the people. One could also not overlook the significance of the mass arrests of some 800 Ghanaians, who were nowhere near the scene of attempt. After Dr. Nkrumah’s return to Accra, and following a broadcast by him, in which he laid the attempt on his life at the door of the imperialists!!!. Then after the first wave of mass arrests two of his ministers, and executive head of his party, a post considered to be of ministerial rank, were arrested and detained without trial. One begins to wonder after this, which are being referred to when the world imperialist is uttered. A few other matter of relevance to the letter is contained in Part III of the pamphlet.
8. Appendices A and B are two letters which speak for themselves. This is a suitable opportunity for the facts contained in the letters to be known. I will make no comment on them and leave readers to pass their own judgments.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

First President of the Republic of Ghana
Flagstaff House

Mr. President

Since I withdrew from Public Life in October of last year, I have refrained from writing to you personally except for the short note of protest sent you about my home being surrounded by Policemen on November 7, after the outrageous bomb incidents in Accra, with which your government sought to connect me in its White Paper “On the recent conspiracy” published in December. I have waited patiently these last 8 months for a suitable opportunity, justified by events to write to you at length on the manner in which you have handled and continue to handle the affairs of our country as its first President, since we helped you to establish the Republic only two years ago. Such an opportunity has now been offered by your May 5 broadcast and the issuance by your Convention People’s Party of a draft programme for “work and happiness” on which your government proposes to base a new 7 year Development Plan for Ghana.

2. Although your lack of generosity could make you deny me this, I can rightly claim that my work in your party and various government since 1948 until you dismissed me last September, can be taken by any honest man as proof of my interest in and love for our country. Thus I feel it my duty even today, to write to you on the May 5 Broadcast and the Development Plan proposals, particularly as yourself have invited “free” discussion from all. There are a number of thought-provoking and contentious points in your broadcast on which I purpose to comment.

3. I was dismayed to see a propaganda photo on the front page of the issue of the Ghanaian Times of Tuesday May 8 portraying “the masses hailing the party programme”, which had been released only a couple of days before. Those shown in Kumasi as hailing the programme in the picture published only 3 days after its release, could obviously not have given much thought, or any thought at all, to the 47 page document before hailing it. One would have thought Mr. President, that after all you claim to have achieved in Ghana, you could afford to eschew false propaganda from your methods to continue your hold on the turned our country today, there are those who will see nothing wrong with any proposal, no matter how involved it is, so long as it bears the stamp of your head on it. There are those also I am aware, who could see a lot wrong with these proposals, but for obvious reasons, care not, nor dare to say what they see wrong.

As is more likely than not therefore, the draft programme could soon be supported all round with resolutions, letters, telegrams, and even OATHS, and before we are aware of what is happening the programme will have received “formal” approval of “the party” and Parliament and become law for the governance of life in Ghana. That would be a very sad day indeed for our country, if on such a fantastic programme, likely to involve the nation in debt of hundreds of millions of pounds, sources of which very few would care to bother their heads about now, no Ghanaian inside or outside Ghana had anything of comment or criticism to offer, before the nation was saddled with it. I fear that mine is likely to be one of the very few or even the only dissentient voice, but in the interest of the nation I will utter it, no matter what the price for doing this is likely to be. Ghana’s salvation is worth making even the supreme sacrifice for, the way she is being rushed into disaster.
4. Four main considerations urge me to write this letter to you, which because of the publicity you have given to your broadcast and draft programme, I intend to send as an open letter, thereby giving me the only opportunity open to me of publicizing it. The four considerations are:

I. Your reference in your broadcast to your oath as President of the Republic;
II. Your release, following closely on the broadcast, of only a handful of those who have been detained without trial: coupled with this, your offer of an amnesty, if amnesty such an offer can be termed to those who have fled the country, to return;
III. Your obvious intention so evident in the draft programme, to turn Ghana permanently into a one party state, which you also see as the best form of government for all Africa;

IV. The effect your new 7 year “development” ideas will have on Ghana’s economic weal, and particularly, the chances of Ghana finding the huge sums of money, running into several hundreds of millions, assuming even that these is no shortage of “capitalists” willing to lend you money.
To me, the matters arising from these thought provoking points of discussion are so important that they should not be taken as lightly as the “masses” are shown to be doing in that propaganda photo published on May 8, three days after the programme was released. I shall deal with each head exhaustively without being too windy or verbose.

5. Before proceeding to comment on these heads of discussion, there are two or three side issues of importance that I wish to say something about. They are important, because they affect Ghana’s relations with other countries, and also with her sister African Sovereign States.

No one expects you, of all articulate nationalists, to show any generosity to the remaining forces of Colonialism and Imperialism, still dominating some parts of our African Continent, and anyone wanting to see the liquidation of these forces, has every right to attack them as vehemently as he is capable of. I was shocked however by your lack of courtesy in your references to “civilisation”, on which you are drawing so heavily for all kinds of help to build up the “paradise of Abundance and Satisfaction” that you have made many hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians believe their country is soon to become. You may be forgiven, as many have, if you do not appreciate the help Ghanaians have given to make you the “Great” man that you seem to be today, but you carry this trait to unforgivable bounds, when while you keep soliciting and accepting help from almost all the civilized nations (including some which by even our own standards, seem to be uncivilized) you do not see anything wrong with heaping insults, at every opportunity you can find or create, on the same civilized nations which you described in your broadcast as “Ideologically Bankrupt and in a state of Moral Collapse and Despair”. No matter what we may have against them, Ghana could lose nothing in my view by acknowledging what some of the civilized nations did to bring us to the very good start which our ship of state was launched on Marched 6th 1957. It is a matter of deep concern to many civilized peoples around the world where we are now heading from there, Mr. President.

6. Political Neutralism and Non Alignment for small nations such as Ghana, are ideally desirable and should be encouraged, but to stretch the right to be outspoken as a neutral into licence for unwarranted condemnation of those helping you so profusely to build up your own ‘civilisation’ too, while simultaneously you keep on taking loans, credits, technical and other forms of assistance from then does not only prove your inherent ingratitude to all and sundry at home and abroad, but also smacks Mr. President, of buccaneerism. If you could have been thinking of the East\West Arms conflict in nuclear and other mass destruction weapons, which constitutes a constant threat to mankind and therefore to civilization, are not the efforts being made by the Responsible Heads and Leaders of those nations, to avert disaster, enough to restrain you from making vituperative outbursts against the civilizations these nations represent, more so as you proudly claim to have succeeded in being the “friends” of both sides? It does not appear to me Mr. President, that you are doing Ghana any good in the world comity of nations, in pursuing such a policy; the sooner you could put an end to it, the better for Ghana’s relations with, and respectability among other nations – “in the civilized world”.
7. Your reference to unnamed African Sovereign States as “debtor nations and client states, adopting unreal attitudes to world problems, saying ‘Yes’ when they should have said “No” and “No” when they have said “Yes”, is, to say the least, even more unfortunate and unbecoming of you as Head of a sister state, than what I have commented upon above, and in a broadcast to your own people in Ghana, is quite unnecessary. You do not further the cause of African Unity, which you are loudest of all in professing and acclaiming, by such diatribes. Since however the states you could have had in mind in making this unfortunate remark, know better than I, what value to put on your statement, I will not take further issue beyond pointing this out. I would however like to end these side comments by saying to you Mr. President and this could go as well for other African Leaders who look at others in the same way as you do, that if African Unity is to make any sense, it must be the Union based on Equality of Sovereignty, irrespective of size or population, of all the States, and not of a few who claim unjustifiable superiority over others.

Moreover, it need hardly be said that mutual respect and tolerance toward one another’s failings, and restrained criticism, in private rather that in public, will be the basis on which African Unity, that commands the respect of others nations, can be brought about in our day.

8. I will now proceed to deal with the four main heads listed above. The first two are better taken together. Anyone who was present at the State House in Accra on that morning when the First Republic was inaugurated and heard you take your oath as President “to preserve and defend the Constitution and to do right to all manner of people according to law without fear or favour, affection or ill will” must have had great hopes for the new republic. In barely two years of Republican rule, if these persons have kept in touch with Ghana affairs, how sad and disillusioned they must be to contemplate what has happened, watching the gradual degeneration of the basic democracy we then had, into a totalitarian regime and a Police State. You however gave the impression in your broadcast on May 5, by the reference to it as if you had meticulously adhered to the oath you took to do right to manner of people without fear or favour, affection or ill will; one could almost sense the gloat in your voice as you said these words into the microphone.

a) Could that be the reason why so many hundreds of your people have been plucked from their homes, in the dead of night and thrown into jail without any trial or inquisition, under the now much abused Preventive Detention Act, which in the 4 years since it became law, has been used by you to show the near perfect example of how much power can be abused?
b) Could that be why when for the first time in your political career you decided to “temper justice with mercy” you could only release a handful of those whose incarceration must have sat very heavily on your conscience these last 8 or 9 months?
c) Could it be that it is honestly in the strict adherence to your oath “to do Right to all manner of men” that some of those detained for the same crimes of “subversion” and “plotting against the security of the State”, as were those you released, must continue languishing in jail “till the security position improves further”, because they do not belong to your all powerful and supreme party?

d) Can it be the reason why you have decided that the Preventive Detention Act; now shown in its application over 3-4 years, to be an inhuman and vicious law, capable of inordinate abuse, must however be retained on the statute nook unamended, so that “rumour mongers” and “unscrupulous persons” can take advantage of it to intimidate otherwise law-abiding citizens wither to pay heavy sums in order to be free and join in the chorus of shameful adulation of you, or if they will not do this, then to flee the country?

e) It must be in the strict observance of your Presidential oath that foreigners in our country, now matter how long they have been there or what stakes they have in it, can be arrested on the last pretext and bundled out of the country in a matter of hours without any allegations against then having to be, even prima facie, established in a court of law?

f) Can it be the measure of you “affection for all” that your party machine is constantly geared up, and at a moment’s notice, can produce a catalogue of crimes with which any of your close associates and party workers, who toiled with you to build it up, can be charged and summarily dismissed the moment they feel strongly enough over anything or policy as to oppose it, or the moment they are seen to be amassing great wealth, to be destroyed without any allegations against them, having to be proved by an impartial commission of enquiry, as is done in other civilized and advanced democratic countries?

g) It must be the measure of you “strength” that your Ministers, Members of Parliament, and other highly placed public servants can be “disgraced” and have their property seized at your command, all the service they have rendered to their country cruelly denigrated, when all they have to their discredit is that they have built themselves on or two houses, or have so called business interests that constitute no transgression of any law of the land, or breach of a government code of ethics, whilst at the same time, there are others doing the same thins to a disgusting and more obnoxious extent, but whose actions never come up for scrutiny or under the searchlights because of their very high connections?

h) Can it be the measure of your fairness to your people as their simple and modest head of state, the model of rectitude and fount of honour, that you allow more than € 350000 of the poor people’s money to be used to build yourself a private palace which, to avoid criticism, you the manoeuvre to make one of the official residences of the head of state, whereas the same poor people have already provided 3 other Palatial Residences and other accoutrements of office, that could make any monarch blush or the Head of a real Socialist State thoroughly ashamed of himself to live in such luxury at the expense of toiling masses?

i) It must be mark of your Presidential prerogative, conferred by the oath you took on Republic Day in 1960, that universities, colleges, schools, avenues and roads, parks, public house, youth centres and hostels, exhibition halls, factories and aeroplanes – almost everything that deserves to be named in Ghana – must be named after you and you alone, as the one man who planned and executed the revolution, in prison as well as out it, to bring Ghana her Independence, and in “gratitude” for which you must be loaded with all sorts of appellations, sacrilegious as well as not – Osagyefo, Fount of Honour of the Nation, Messiah, Teacher, Redeemer, Leader, Ideological Mentor, the Infallible, who approval must be obtained for everything to be done in Ghana. Truly President Kwame Nkrumah, you have succeed uniquely in making Ghana a land without glory for all but your high Dedication! Ghana Honours where instituted at Independence in 1957. Could you tell the world, or your own people how many of the thousands in all spheres of public service, either in politics, the civil service or even in private life have been honoured by you in the five years since we became a nation, Mr. President, Fount of Honour?

9. As to your defending and preserving the Constitution so far as can be remembered you have only seen this duty when some outspoken person or persons whose right to freedom of speech in Parliament out of Parliament, is seen as constituting “a threat to the security of the state”, whereupon such person or persons are soon detected to be engaged in a plot to either assassinate you or to overthrow the government by force. The consequence of detecting of “subversive activities” by such persons is too well known to be repeated here. I cannot remember any other occasion in the last two years when you have really defended the constitution or prevented a breach of it. In fact if I remember correctly, the only breaches of the constitution made have been by you yourself when you have seen fit to appoint non members of Parliament to ministerial rank in the Cabinet, contrary to article 15(1) of the constitution. If this is falsehood, Mr. President, please correct me. I do not have any status now to advise you as I used to do until I fell out of your favour, but I will venture even now, because I am a Ghanaian, to offer you this bit of advice: the civilized world which you denounce as “ideologically bankrupt and …….”, would be glad to see you showing the way and the example, by releasing all your people whom you thrown into jail without trial, really tempering Justice with Mercy, if justice was ever done under the Preventive Detention Act 1958. Let our sister African Sovereign States whom you aspire to lead, and the rest of the civilized world see that with the dawn of the era of Nkrumaism in Ghana, you saw the need to end the growing tendency to rule by jungle law. You could gain so much in their eyes, if you would do this, my one Comrade Leader!

10. Concerning the invitation to those who have fled or left the country to return and use their energies to useful purposes for the good of the country, I am able only to speak for myself, as I do not know the circumstances under which others left or fled the country. Unlike what you said, I did not leave because I had any bad conscience (no one should arrogate the right to himself to be a judge of other people’s consciences). Nor did any hoodlum or rumour monger intimidate me. I left because I realized, after what you did or allowed to be done to me in September and October 1961, that I needed quiet to meditate and take my bearings, since after 13 years of hard work and loyal services in both party and government you could not scruple to have me “denounced and disgraced” in your newspapers and by your propaganda machine. More than that I needed rest after my many travels and work in the national service all of which seemed to have gone by unappreciated. Being no longer tied to any one’s political apron strings, I felt I could go out and watch events quietly from the distance. Surely this can be no crime Dr. Kwame Nkrumah! When I have rested enough and decided what to do for the rest of my life, I shall return, as I fell bound to do to my country. The time for me to return, could be no concern of yours now, since while I have been away, it has been made more than clear by those who can judge that everything was moving much better than when I, the reactionary bourgeois Minister, was in charge of your finances!

About coming back to render useful service to our country, I feel you should be told one need not to be in Ghana before rendering her useful service. After you dismissed me in September last and I had left Ghana, my advice was sought by those with whom I had negotiated the loans for the Volta project, and I advised them strongly to go ahead and make the loans to your Government. This was in November while I was far away somewhere and your policemen were hunting for me all over the place in Accra and elsewhere. You can check up with the World Bank or the U.S Government lending agencies, if you wish Mr. President. I didn’t have to be in Ghana to do this.
And I think I also ought to remind you that during the 8 months that in have been away from home my business interest the poultry farm at Adidome, one of the causes for you dismissing me, has produced for the people to eat, more than 41/2 million fresh eggs and 700 tons of frozen meat, at prices well below what eggs and meat used to be imported for, beside saving for Ghana the foreign exchange value of these eggs and meat. Could one be of greater service to one’s country than this, I ask you Mr. President? I may add incidentally that during this whole period, I have not had one egg or one pound of meat or one Penny from the farm.

11. Since your broadcast and until I saw the official from the Lome, Embassy I told myself you could not be thinking of me too in connection with your amnesty offer, but it so happens that you had concurred with someone who thought he could contact me and persuade me to come back into your government. What could you be wanting me to come back to do for you that I did not do in the 13 years that I served you so loyally and well, only to be thrown out in “disgrace” after you felt you had got all you wanted and for which you kept me working till in no longer was needed? Please disabuse your mind of this hope, Kwame. Unlike some of those you disgraced in a similar manner, I will not come back to accept an apology of an appointment, while some people who have little or no claim to high office, people who were our detractors in 1948, when you and I slept on my humble bed in Farrar Avenue and planned how to liberate our country from colonial rule, now strut the corridors of Flagstaff House, planning nothing but evil against those to whom they ought to be grateful for what they, by evil influence and dishonest means now enjoy. No Kwame, I am not so wedded to pubic office that I must suffer the humiliation of coming in such company again, if even it is to serve my country. There well could be no another escape from their devilry. I will not return until either the crimes alleged against me have been proved (I am ready to present myself if a fair trial is assured), or if they cannot be proved, a suitable apology is rendered to me. Your assurances of protection and immunity from molestation are too watery for me not to see through their shallowness. Freedom to speak and write what ones feels is true and right, is too precious to be exchanged for a mess of unsavoury potage.

12. As to those other Ghanaians who have fled their country, I feel each one must assess the value of your assurances of protection according to their own experiences and the circumstances under which they left, and then decide for themselves, whether to return or to remain away, if even by doing this they stand the risk of losing their properties at home, or of the breakup and disintegration of their families, or of suffering untold penury and privations abroad, till it is safe again for them to return home, as it will surely be one day, soon perhaps.

13. I will now turn to the third of the reasons for writing to you. It is as important as the others I have already discussed above. It deals with a question that is very fundamental, to gloss over which could constitute dereliction of a duty to our people, and will therefore remove the very essence of this discussion. As you state clearly in your “work and Happiness” draft programme, your views, which in order to be put forward in such an important document, must have been very carefully considered by you, must not be taken, lightly at all by anyone.

Your ideas for establishing a one party State in Ghana (and to be stretched into all Africa) as propounded in “Work and Happiness” are very revealing indeed, particularly as they emerge in Paragraphs 9, 10,11, and 12. The reference to the Party in other parts of the document, show more than clearly, your intention, on the basis of the theory so loosely propounded in the paragraphs I have mentioned above, to turn Ghana permanently into a one Party State- i.e. only one political party which shall always be elected into office, and the possibility of an alternative group of citizens with different ideas about how the country should be governed, permanently eliminated. In fairness to myself, I must here say this: if critics should say that I, the writer of this letter, have been a part of this set up until a few months ago, and that I am only now condemning because I have been thrown out, I must state in reply that this one party ideology began to gain prominence only after your return from you 10 week visit to Russia, other Eastern European countries and China, in July, August and September 1961. Never before in all our previous 12 years of close association and collaboration had the one party regime been mentioned as your determination and goal, and it must be remembered that I was dismissed on September 26, 1961, only 10 days after your return. It has become belatedly obvious to me now that all along you must have been working steadily towards this goal without disclosing it to us your close associates, and only took the plunge after your “inspirational” tour, when you felt that we, who might be opposed to the idea could safely be eliminated without trouble. No one should be surprised at the dishonourable dismissals on September 29, 1961 of the most Cabinet Ministers and the degradation of others by their alleged admission to “give up” properties they never owned.

13. This is how I understand the situation Mr. President, about the one Party business. Ghana, or any country, could only become a one Party state when this is the will of the people, expressed in a referendum for which free campaigning is permitted for all, and which all interested in the country’s political development and future are allowed to canvass and to tell the people what they would be doing if they voted this way or that. The Ghana constitution 1960 is not clear on whether or not the people have the right to decide that they shall have one party which shall always be elected to Parliament. I think however that article 4 (2) of the Constitution permits of legal interpretation to cover the establishment of a one party and therefore totalitarian form of government. But may I ask: could a just and fair referendum be held when so many political leaders likely to be expressing a contrary opinion to yours, are either in jail or have fled the country to avoid unjust imprisonment and molestation? If you do wish to establish a one Party State, you can only do so legally after you have ordered a referendum, for which there must be a completely fresh registration of voters, the campaigning shall be free and Ghanaians allowed to say what they wish in canvassing voters (within the law, of course) and voters allowed to vote secret ballot, unhampered by intimidators and thus. And it should, for clarity of the resulting issues, be stated in advance of the voting, that unless 85% to 90% or more of the voters cast their votes in favour of the one part state, the issue should be declared undecided. Even so, a minority of dissenting voters should still be recognized a Ghanaians of politically neutral conviction, and should then be allowed to serve their country in any way they are best suited to do so, in a public or private capacity and not be subjected to the hounding, arrests and detentions or other forms of political persecution so prevalent today.

Without your having held such a referendum, you talk and allow your party to talk as freely as if the decision had already been taken to make Ghana a one Party State. No mention today is made in radio or press of political or government activity without reference to the party. President Nkrumah, you could have nothing to fear the results, so do go to the people to let them decide. The result will surprise you. I tell you.

14. In the attempts you are making to foist the one party state ideology on the whole continent as revealed in Paragraphs 11 and 12 of “Work and Happiness”, I only hope the African Sovereign States will sit up and take note of what you say and what your teachings are:

You declare in Paragraph 12 of the document that “for these reasons (in the preceding paragraph) a one party system provides the best answer for the problem of government in Africa”. Quite apart from the confusion of thought disclosed, I don’t see how you propose that the all Africa one party government is to be formed and to operate, if there is to be the slightest semblance on democratic form in this vast continent of ours.

There are today some 30 independent sovereign African states, whose governments in each country are responsible to their electors. By the time the rest, including South Africa, are free there would be 40 or 41 such small and large sovereign states, in varying stages of economic and social progress and development, some fairly well off and others not so well off. Assuming oil these 41 states, including the largest, the Federation of Nigeria with its well over 40 million people, each succeed in establishing a one party government, these will be 41 such one party government and states. Most probably than not, each one would have political problems related to the customs of their people and their particular circumstances. How all the large and small 41 states are to have a one party government for Africa, you did not dare, to promulgate. But does one need to look for or think deeply to find out? It is obvious or should be that your hopes are that the new found theories of socialism for Africa which in Ghana you succeeded to have named Nkrumaism, despite the fact that is has not been properly defined or dissertated upon anywhere for the curious to study except for the occasional effusions of your political catechist, are the bases on which you propose to have the African Socialist Revolution immortalize your name. the Marxist/Leninist teachings, on which many books are written for those who want to learn of them for their worth, of the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, will you hope, give way in Africa to the dictatorship of dictators. If it could be anything else, the matter is of so much importance and concern to all Africa that you ought to seriously write a book on it is nothing to be achieved by subterfuge and intrigue, if politician of Africa who will not owe allegiance to the leader are not to be eliminated, you ought to tell the world. You could have no fear in stating this in Black and White, for everyone to read, Dr. Nkrumah.
15. It surprises me that you can so soon put forward such dictatorship theories for gullible consumption by the unwary. It surprises me even further that so many thousands of Ghanaians still shout themselves hoarse in praise of your simplicity and democratic leadership after all you have done to Ghanaians in the few short years since you got power into your hands.

Cast your mind back to less than a decade ago when your clarion call on the C.P.P. platform was for the people’s help to you to throw out the colonial rulers and in their places set up a democratic “government of the people, for the people by the people”, which they, the people, would have the right to throw out and vote others in their place when they no longer ruled according to their promises, either through sheer inefficiency or even through over-ambition and megalomania. That was the democracy you called upon the people to support you to establish. You never called upon them to put you and your party into power for all time, by eliminating and crushing any form of opposition that could offer an alternative government to the nation when your own became bad and intolerable. If this was what we asked for, how different could the results have been! The one party state you now propose to force down the throat of the nation never was at issue till September 1961. With its establishment by evading the only legal method available to do so, as I have pointed out above, you are ensuring for all time or for many decades to come, unless it is earlier ended by a bloody revolution, which God forbid in Ghana, that only men of you party, some of whom are in it today more because of what they can get out of it than for what they put into it, will be always in power, since no other party is being allowed to be born, nurtured and to grow to such strength as to displace yours through the ballot box. The one man one vote theory which you have championed, and which you used to springboard to political supremacy and popularity would now become all men one vote, because there could never be a second set of politicians to vote for. This is in fact the latest political indoctrination you are planting into the country and how insidiously Ghana is being made to het intoxicated with the potent draught, by promises of plenty for all (and this promise to a poor people is enough) through Socialism or your Nkrumaism. As I have said before, you could have nothing to fear, so put the issue to the test. Go to the people to let them decide whether they will always have the same people to rule them no matter how badly, or whether they will have others when the government no longer knows where it is heading, and you will be shocked by the result.

But Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, if you will not consult the people on the one party issue if you will cling to power and put your party’s interest above the nation’s, then it can only be true here as it was elsewhere, when it was stated that “power tends to corrupt” and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. It would seem to me then, as it probably appears now to many hundred thousands of others, that Ghana has still to be liberated, and real democracy established for the people with power in the people’s hands to use as their political maturity directs them to vote for which politicians can have a convincing programme for their people’s welfare at election time, and when they have been elected but fail to carry out their promises or overcarry their promises, to vote others in their place. It is gruesome to realize after 12 years: that what we set out to do in 1948 and thought we had achieved in 1960 has still to be done. For Ghana’s sake, the people’s sake, it will be done, it must be done, in spite of you, President Kwame Nkrumah.
16. I now turn to the last of the points on my list on which I propose to address you:
“The new 7 years Development Plan to be based on the draft proposals in Work and Happiness”.
I must start this delicate discussion by making my position very clear, lest detractors and evil persons could well misinterpret to the masses any criticism of the contents of a development plan, as opposition by me to the development of the country for their benefit. Such a accusation would be at complete variance with my past record as the Minister of Finance who was responsible for providing the many millions spent on development from 1954 to 1961, thus laying the foundation that has made it possible for the present Government to presume that the rate of development over the last 7 years can be doubled or even trebled, without strain on the economy, in the next 7 years.
With the plans for rapid development of one’s backward and neglected country, no one can rightly, or in sanity, quarrel. The poverty, disease, economic backwardness and the illiteracy inherited from Colonialism not only in Ghana, but in many erstwhile colonial territories in Asia and Africa – the so called underdeveloped-countries where colonial rule has ended during the first half of this century, are the bane of our tie and existence. All the newly independent countries, are looking to their former colonial rulers and their economic and commercial partners who directly or indirectly enjoyed the fruits of imperialistic and colonial domination of other people, for whatever help they can be given in their efforts to repair the ravages and spoliation caused by their rule over them. Such help is being given by some of the erstwhile colonial powers rather grudgingly, and it is in the interest of the people of these newly independent countries themselves to make the maximum effort to develop their countries as quickly as feasible, without putting undue strain on their fragile economies, or collapsing altogether.
Any government therefore planning, whether in Ghana or elsewhere, for the reasonable and balanced economic and industrial development of their country, deserves to be lauded. There can be nothing wrong with such lofty aims. What I find wrong with your proposals as contained in the draft document Mr. President, is twofold: 1) the obvious intention to regiment and state control everything, and 2) the vastness of the proposals for the size and potentialities of our country, over the rather limited 7 year period.

17. Full employment (work for all), industry on the largest possible scale, including light and heavy industry, trade and commercial exchange, transport on land, sea and air on a scale hardly compatible with Ghana’s size and trade (both import and export), banking and insurance, handicrafts, social security, leisure and even happiness are all in due course to come under state control. With such a proposed programme as your declared aim, your continued talk of encouragement to private enterprise and investment ceases to have much meaning and interest. No private investor with money, either his own or borrowed, is going to be attracted to Ghana as a good investment field, when it is known that the state is a competitor in every field, and can, whenever convenient to herself, make laws to her own advantage but to the detriment of the private entrepreneur who is a keen competitor. Under such a condition, not only will new people turn deaf ears to your invitation to come help to develop the country, but those already in the country could, in desperation, pull out. It their capital already invested should be in danger of being lost, they might rather prefer to lose what is already going down the drain, then try to redeem it by pouring in more.

Ghanaians with money to invest (and these can be counted on the fingers of one hand) are not likely, under such conditions, to have courage to compete with State enterprises, and would simply not bother. You might soon therefore have a situation where everyone is employed by the state and one in Ghana is imbued with any motive to make a little more effort because of the extra little reward to be gained therefrom. This may be the ideal of Socialism, with the state only as employer, but Mr. President, where in the world has it worked to 100% perfection? Is Ghana to be the first country to achieve this? If this is your avowed aim then you could well stop bellowing about attracting private capital from outside. Such talk is not in practice compatible with your new fiscal, economic and development policies.
18. I consider the proposals in “Work and Happiness” overambitious. They are over-ambitious, not only for a 7 year period but wrong in concept for even a 14 year plan, because over a 14 year period, a lot of emphasis and new ideas, not presently foreseeable, might develop to throw the rest of the plan in any year, completely out of balance and thus wreck it. If may say so, I don’t think it is fair for a small country such as Ghana, unlike some other big countries with hundreds of millions of population, also to try to make a great leap forward. We can be original in our ideas and try to learn from the mistakes others have made before us, can’t we Mr. President?

Furthermore I have this to add to the above, on my statement that the proposed plan is overambitious. Ghana has only 7 million people, more than 75% of whom earn less than £ 200 per annum, an income rate hardly sufficient to give them the bare necessities of life. The remaining 25% of the population could have not more than an average per capita income rate of £ 500 per annum. If this is all the market Ghana is assured of in its intended leap forward to become a great industrial power, then the future is indeed very gloomy, it must be said that as a great industrial power with huge factories roaring at full capacity, Ghana is likely to be compelled to look outside its own confines for markets to dispose of production which its limited home cannot absorb. In these markets over which, unlike its own home market, it could have no control, Ghana would be competing with other industrial countries, as great as or greater than, herself. No amount of nationalistic or even internationalistic sentiment will make outside customers pay more for goods because they are the product of a particular country, assuming that qualities are identical. What is more, some of these competitors may have seemed generous to Ghana by extending “credit” to her in the form of machinery, that they themselves have used till they have become absolute, but which have been reconditioned to look like new. And if they installed more up to date machinery, they could then cut production costs, and be therefore more competitive in prices in the same markets in which “debtor” Ghana too would be endeavouring to dispose of her goods. More than this Mr. President, in the modern world in which all peoples are endeavouring to develop with own resources for their own use, you could well find that only markets ready and willing and needing your surplus goods, are those client states and debtor nations, who by the time your giant factories could be roaring away may have overcome their present disabilities and have learnt to No whey mean No or Yes when they mean Yes, and to your discomfiture, could say No to entry of your goods into their countries not to spite you but because they too have discovered that it is not a bad thing after all to be a “debtor nation” provided one can wisely use loans to develop one’s resources of raw material for the peoples’ use instead of using loans and credits for putting up prestige buildings and grandiose palaces and unnecessary review stands.
19. Mr. President, I think I must tell you, since you do not seem to know that Ghana’s population of 7 million, will not be able to absorb all the products of the large factories you are planning, assuming even that by the time your giant factories come into full swing, a higher average of per capita income has been achieved than the present low figures I have stated above, thus providing the means for higher spending by the masses. For Ghana’s sake I must tell you these facts and not keep my mouth shut or my pen idle: when I have told you in the light of them or in spite of them, you can take your decision to go ahead. History will know and record that you were told but could not care less. Now that I have spoken, if even it is the one voice of dissent, you can go ahead and persecute me, or go ahead and delude the masses into approving the plan for you to implement. I could only then wish you personally the safe completion of this fantastic plan and our poor country all good luck in her bid under your inspired guidance, to show that she became the first country in the world to succeed in making the “biggest forward leap” in history.

20. I now arrive at the most important point of all this whole discussion: “the ability of Ghana to find the financial means for implementing such a huge programme”. In the last ten years, Mr. President, Ghana was fortunate owing to high world prices for our major commodities, and to our relative prosperity generally, to finance both the public and private sectors of our development, which by any standards, has been spectacular, out of our own resources. Over the first development plan, through the sandwich plan to the first two years of the second plan, we have spent nearly 200 million pounds. We do not owe anything to other nations, except for few ill advised credits and agreements made in the last 12-16 months. Ghana therefore at this date does not have any outside liabilities to speak of, and our internal floating debt is still under £ 25 million; nothing to compare with our present capacity to generate wealth. So far as good. However, with this new proposal for a 7 year plan, on the scale envisaged, I have fears, grave fears indeed. But I may be fearing when there is nothing to fear. You may have found in the one year that I left your Ministry of Finance, new methods of producing revenue that I was unable in all my 7 years at the post, to discover. Perhaps that was why you decided not to even consult me before announcing in Parliament on the 18th of April last year that the Budget Bureau would come under your direct control immediately. You have most probably found how cash can be produced to pay for everything on an increasing and grand scale. If this is so Mr. President, I must confess my failure as your Finance Minister for 7 years and I must bow to your superior knowledge of what I spent 7 years trying to learn but failed to know.

21. At this juncture, all I can add is that there may be those more advanced countries who enjoyed the fruits of colonial domination of our country, and also some socialist friendly nations willing to give you genuine aid to help you develop your country and so give your people a higher standard of honest living. But they all will withdraw like snails into their shells, and the flow of their help dry up like a rivulet does in drought season, when these nations find, as they are bound to do soon, that Ghana’s actions are not governed by sober realism, or that we are not acting according to any accepted principles or economic rules, or also that you do not show any evidence of your ability to grapple with and solve your problems in orthodox ways, but keep postponing facing up to them till they crash on your head.

22. As to the workers of Ghana, no one must fool himself into thinking that they are different from workers anywhere else in the world. They must earn a living by their toil and sweat, and they have to sell to do this is their skill, no matter whether their employer is the socialist state or the private capitalist. Body and soul must be kept together even in the rigidly-controlled workers unions of the socialist or neo-socialist state, no matter what laws are passed to make strikes illegal, or no matter how much happiness they and their families are promised in order to mollify their feelings. They may be the most law-abiding and union-loving workers one could find anywhere; they may even be forced into docility by laws which threaten their freedom when they rebel against injustice, but when the pay pockets fail to buy their needs (needs mark you I said, not what they desire to have) or when the pay packets cease to arrive at scheduled times, then trouble begins to brew. When the situation has reached such a pass then I tell you Kwame, my once comrade bedfellow, not even the printing of hundreds of millions of bank notes unbacked by productive capacity or goods of economic worth and quick marketability, can be a solution to your problems. The end of the beginning could then just be around the corner, and your giant factories would soon grind themselves jarringly to a standstill.

23. President Nkrumah, time was not so long ago, when I considered myself so close as to assume the privilege of advising you on matters which I did not wish to raise in the presence of other but junior colleagues of ours; about some of these I wrote to you on a personal basis. You cannot deny this. The last of such letters was a nine page letter written on the plane on June 26, 1961 while I was on my way from Accra to Washington, as your special representative, to conclude the final negotiations on the Volta Project Loans with World Bank, the United States Government Lending Agencies, and other interested parties in the Great Project.
Today were it not because I love Ghana, I could spend the time I have taken to write this long letter to you, sleeping or doing something for my personal benefit, and would care little what you did to run you government. But my love for Ghana impels me to do this, rather than keep silent, knowing full well that I am likely to be railed at, insulted, condemned as traitor by your newspaper and party machine. I could even see myself being tried in absentia and sentenced to hang if ever hands were laid on me. I could not care less for my person because Ghana’s downfall is more important than anyone’s safety and must be avoided; but her downfall could not be far away the way things are being done or planned to be done. This programme will spell doom for her, and I appeal to you Kwame to desist.
Your present policies, goaded by overweening ambition, viewed alongside the consciousness of those who have money to lend to assist Development in the under-developed countries, are incompatible. It will be next to the impossible for you to get the hundreds of millions required to implement such a programme. You will not get the money in loans from either the capitalists or the socialists or from your own resources, no matter how austere or self denying on a national scale you make your budgets in the 7 year plan period.

Already you must have seen in the first year of socialist budgeting that there is such a thing in economics as the law of diminishing returns or the Cournot Point, and that your estimates for 1961/62 have come out heavily unbalanced.

How then you can hope to succeed the following year in more than doubling the rate of expenditure or the tax expectation is inconceivable. If even your friends in the East and West will all rush to lend you money they will not give you hundreds of millions; and do not forget, loans will have to be repaid unless they are given for political reasons.

24. Please alter your plans for Ghana’s sake and save her from precipitate collapse. The new development plan will not bring “work and happiness” to all, but unemployment and suffering to many. I implore you not to rush our dear country into disaster but to go step by step towards the land of abundance and satisfaction that you have promised the people and which will come if you don’t rush so madly into chaos and confusion. The impending disaster need not occur. It can be avoided, but you must listen and take honest and sincere advice. If in spite of this appeal, you should decide to go ahead and ruin the country, then all I can add here is that when Ghana is bruised and prostrate on the ground some of her dutiful sons and daughters will find courage to raise her up and nurse her back to convalescence and possibly again to robust health. The only pity would be that you and those politicians who work with you today, will not offer your honest advice because they know you will not listen to anything but flattery and adulation will have taken to your heels and left other to clean up the mess. But I pray and will continue to pray that you will arrest the downward plunge before our country is finished. And now that I have had my say, my conscience is clear. I can rest away in peace and when I come back to Ghana I can look everyone in the face and say I stood by my country in the hour of her need of advice. For the present I can do no more that.

25. I am aware that the statute books of Ghana will be combed for laws under which I could be charged for daring to write and address you like this, which to some of the sycophants I know around you, will be decried as treason. Whatever you anyone of them could do to me for this letter, I must consider my fate and suffer it gladly therefore, if only what I have said here will afterwards be found to have been the truth; and from the date this letter reaches you and is published, it shall be my prayer that whatever is true in it may not be undiscovered, be it soon or late.
26. Nothing I have said herein has been said in ill-will and hatred, or in order to bring you into contempt or ridicule. Nor have I written in retribution for the calumny and dishonorable treatment meted out to me and some of your earliest and closest associates. If I have been severely critical and sarcastic, it is because I felt it necessary to be so in order to bring home to you the seriousness of the situation. I could not afford flattery or soft words when so much is at stake for our dear country. I should be less of a politician, and nothing of a statesman, if I had written anything here with the motives I have name above.
27. As a matter of fact, since I am no longer tied to your political apron strings, or subordinate to you in government, I think this a suitable opportunity for me to pay just and deserved tribute to you for the great part you personally played to bring our country her Independence; and for the strenuous efforts you have been making for her social and economic emancipation. But it seems that you are being carried away by enthusiasm and ambition to achieve everything all at once and we as a nation are in grave danger of losing most or all of what we have gained. Someone should tell you this, and of all people I feel qualified to do this because of the part I played for so long to help you along.
28. If you should take seriously and desist from starting this fantastic programme you would still in time be able to achieve your goal of plenty for all. If you should ignore it and in spite of it order my further destruction by your party machine and newspapers, or proceed with plunging our country into precipitate disaster then I could only be further convinced that you indeed had “greatness thrust upon you”.

29. Let me assure you Kwame that Ghana will not suffer too long under the iron dictatorship you set out to build in 1949 under the guise and clarion call of “self government now” and “democracy”. The end is approaching of your intrigues and deception of the people. We who rallied to your side and suffered and worked hard to build you up, little dreamt that when it was all over, we would be the first victims in an unholy purge staged in a manner to make the people feel that we had committed heinous crimes and therefore they would not raise a finger of protest in spite of all they know we had done in service of our country.

We did not realize that some of our former political opponents or detractors, now you closest advisers, would suddenly summon up courage to pounce on us and destroy us, aided and abetted by you yourself, until it had happened. Those who could sense what was coming withdrew quietly, and got away to think what to do. It is because we are free in lands where refuges can find quiet shelter that I am able to write to you to point cut these things which I could probably never do if I were in Ghana, because even though I was speaking the truth, I would immediately be locked up or suffer worse. Thus my leaving Ghana gives me the chance to serve her in this way and so help you to save her from an unnecessary and precipitate doom.
30. After this I feel my burden unloaded and I can say I have done the utmost that I am at present able to do in the interest of my motherland. If I should live on, I shall consider it my further duty to strive in any way God shall give me the light to see in company of any countrymen of ours who shall see in the same way as I do together to strive till the real democracy we earlier promised our people, it established; and not an illusory and will-o-the wisp sort of people’s freedom, where in men are huddled in fear into droves of workers whose happiness and plenty for all are constantly promised but never achieved and who get poorer and unhappier with failure after failure of ill-conceived and megalomaniacal project after project.
Together, we shall strive till a system is established in Ghana wherein every responsible citizen shall consider it his inalienable right and civic duty to vote for whichever politician or whatever political party has a programme that appeals to him, or when he or she or they have failed, to consider it his unalterable right to vote for others n their place.

Together, we shall strive to build up a political fabric wherein every man and woman shall see his or her duty to criticize without fear of molestation or imprisonment, whatever government their votes helped to put into power.

We shall strive to build up a society in which each man or woman shall be free to work, worship and pursue happiness as best seems to them.

Together, we shall strive to build up a society in which the rule of law and not the party shall by supreme and where none shall forfeit life liberty or property, except by the fully recognized legal processes properly established by law and usage.
We shall strive to set up a community where man shall live in peace and harmony with his neighbor, irrespective of political persuasion or differences and where justice freedom and the right shall be meted out to and enjoyed in full measure under the law, by every citizen and foreigner in our midst.
Above all, we shall strive to build up a community led by politicians whose first and foremost conviction is that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and who believe that man is created in the image of God, and shall therefore not only be unsubjected to ungodly treatment, but also to inhuman treatment as well. So help us God.

Part 11 The letter to Mr. X. who since May, has been endeavouring to get me return and join Dr. Nkrumah’s government again.

Dear Mr. X

Eight weeks ago, on June 8, you came to Hamburg to see me in connection with a discussion you had in Accra with President Nkrumah, who had agreed to your proposal to him that you would try to contact me, and persuade me return home and to work with him again in his government. You will remember the reluctance with which I agreed to your coming, particularly when I was informed that you did not have a letter from him about his wanting me back:
2. After a discussion late into the night and again in the morning of the 9th June, we concluded that if you could write to him in the terms of a letter, the contents of which you made known to me before dispatching to him, and if he would as Head of State, which only he could do express regret at what had happened in the past I would consider your proposal with which he had concurred to return.

I also informed you that I had concluded only a few days previously a long letter I had written to him expressing my views on his May 5 broadcast and his proposals in the draft programme for Work and Happiness, released the same day, and generally on matters of national importance; this letter I told you was ready to be dispatched when you came.

3. You persuaded me not to rush into anything that could prejudice your chances of arranging things satisfactorily and I gave you an assurance that I would suspend what I had planned to do till I knew the outcome of you endeavours. When we met again a month later on July 12 in London, you informed me that you had heard from Dr. Nkrumah and also seen him again but that he was not prepared to express any regret for any injustice I felt had been done to me and in any case if I wanted to come back to Ghana, he did not see why I could not do so quietly. Furthermore you said he had hinted that if I wanted to return, I could write to him to say so.
Well Mr. X, need I tell you am not willing to do what he feels I ought to do – return in shame, without the wicked allegations against me rendered to me proved, or, if they cannot be proved, to have a suitable apology rendered to me? I think it must be made clear to Dr. Nkrumah and any other of his colleagues thinking like him that I am not begging to return into their company, nor am I dying for want of something useful to do.

4. What has irritated me considerably to make me write this letter to you today Mr. X, is that your intervention has prevented me from letting Dr. Nkrumah know my views on his broadcast and his draft proposals for a new 7 year Development Plan, on which I had not only comment and criticism, but also an appeal to offer, before his so called Party Congress approved it last Sunday, July 29.

Within the two months since