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Re Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow
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Opinions of Saturday, 14 March 2015

Columnist: Prof Lungu

Re Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow

The first paragraph from Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe's 2nd March essay on Ghanaweb told us things would not quite add up!


You see, the way we understand it, a military junta that "overthrows" an elected government is a dictatorship, as is the 2rd, 3rd, etc., military juntas that overthrow an elected civilian government. The first "overthrow" or "coup d'état", is what we could call the "maiden" coup d'état, "being or involving the first attempt or act of its kind". This is rather ironic because "maiden" is associated with "girl", "woman", "wife", etc., reverential in all cases. No prejudice intended here, please!


On the other hand, a coup d'état is always an aggressive act on a state (Nation). As such, we wouldn't be employing fully our critical faculties if we expected that the first (or subsequent) coup d'états would not negatively affect the fortunes of the ship of state from that moment forward, separate from the fortunes of the government and the political party that was the first to be overthrown.


So, the establishment of the first dictatorship by a military junta (and all subsequent ones, even), can never be a fresh start, nor can we reasonably expect to see the Ship of State continue easily, breezily, in a positive direction, however we may measure the opposite the opposite of "decline". That is one reason we have this other elementary concept, "unstable country", courtesy the disciplines of political science, economics, international relations, commerce, political-economy, etc.


We can define an "unstable country" as one where financial investments, government-to-government relations, economic and production activities, healthcare delivery, education infrastructure, transportation, communications, personal and national security, etc., are all relatively more risky endeavors from the point of view of those outside, and sometimes from the point of view of even those inside. Factoring into the equation your country's policy (acerbic vs. benign) towards those outside who are more interested in their own comparative advantage on any given matter, you begin to see how your country may be perceived as "unstable" by other countries outside your borders, as far as their interests are concerned.


That is why some nations, for comparative advantage, would even invest in "overthrows" of other governments they may view as a threat to their national interests. In the 1950 through 1980, it was more often than not. Short of outright invasion, they invested in "overthrows" by conniving with, and supporting military and/or political group(s) in the country against the government the "outsider" sees as a threat. Sometimes, they withdrew economic aid and credit, or would create campaigns of misinformation about that economy and their leaders. Other times, they paid for goods already imported into the country to disappear from local market shelves. On the other hand, benign governments, even if acutely repressive to their own peoples and those in their immediate environs, would generally be left to their own devices, alone, to control their corner, so to speak.


Add to that, your country's demographic trait (Black), its location (Africa), absence of shared history and culture (Ghanaian/African), its interests (Unitary Government), etc., were probably guaranteed to fast-track your country into a severely distressed (unstable) position from the perspective of those outside. Fast-track become a sure-fire way to distress for your country if (1) your country had as much as experienced a single "overthrow" of an elected government and (2) the interest of your country continued to be significantly diametrically opposed to those of the external country.


It is in that context that all Ghanians and Ghana supporters should read and carefully analyze this extract from the 1965 "Unclassified" Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) in the United States by GovernmentAttic.com:

"....Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah is the undisputed ruler of that country; which he in effect created and which he has pushed to a position on the world scene far out of proportion to its size, population, or strategic importance. No real challenge to his leadership is now apparent and he seems likely to continue in office indefinitely....(Nkrumah)...has attempted to insert himself in the Cuban missile crisis, the Sino-Indian border conflict, the Arab-Israeli venom. The US is regularly attacked by the press and radio as the leading imperialist power, for its alleged subversive activities in Africa, and for its policies throughout the world. Nkrumah's latest book, Neo-Colonialism: The Last stage of Imperialism, contained such scathing charges against the US as to provoke an official protest from Washington....(I)t seems likely that a successor government would probably be more moderate and adopt more truly neutralist policies than those followed by Nkrumah....It would probably still feel the compulsion to be no less nationalistic than the present government, however, and probably be less stable since any successor would lack Nkrumah's popularity and his identification not only with the people but with Ghana itself..."


Key Phrase and Sentence Interest:
1. "...Nkrumah...has pushed (Ghana) to a position on the world scene far out of proportion to its size, population, or strategic importance..."

2. "...(A)...successor government... would... probably be less stable since any successor would lack Nkrumah's popularity and his identification not only with the people but with Ghana itself..."


If you read the document and text above, you want to keep at the back of your mind that it is called "UNCLASSIFIED" for a reason - a use is intended that you may never know about. That is generally the types of document you get from a government that has a FOI regimen. In other words, chances are very good that there are "CLASSIFIED" documents on the same matter you are not allowed to know about. Further, if obtained via a FOI request, chances are the text of a CLASSIFIED document will be so severely redacted that the document becomes totally useless in your hand.

But enough of the diversion!


We must state that it is not nearly a critical mind that will assume that a 2nd, 3th, etc., "overthrow" of an elected government will be beneficial (opposite of decline) to the country of record. There is no guarantee that any of that event will usher in a "stable" state or Nation-State, let alone fast track progress regardless of the name of a subsequent political party, least of all in one's relatively short life span.


Thus, Dr. Okaompa Ahoofe's "Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow" falls disastrously flat on its face by logic, as well as by the words of Dr. Okoampa-Ahoofe in the essay itself. In fact, all of it begins to go downhill straight from the first paragraph, as we now allow Dr. Okaompa Ahoofe to speak for Dr. Okaompa Ahoofe on 5 (five) points:
...........................................................................................................................................................................................BEGIN...................................................................

Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow (1):
"...The unpleasant fact of the matter is that the socialist political course on which President Kwame Nkrumah took Ghana may well have effectively derailed the country's steady and salutary development for nearly a half-century...", (Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe).
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow (2):
"...Needless to say, it was not the Kotoka-led National Liberation Council (NLC) junta's ouster of the CPP dictatorship that caused the decline of the country, but the refusal of subsequent military adventurists and power-hungry soldiers like Cols. Acheampong, Agbo and Nkegbe, to name just a handful, to let democratic governance reign our land that engendered the socioeconomic and cultural rot and decline...", (Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe).
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow (3):
"...it was the regressive refusal of the largely inordinately politicized and Nkrumah-inspired Ghanaian military coup-plotters who prevented the Busia-led Progress Party (PP) from leading Ghana out of the Stygian economic mess into which our first postcolonial leader had plunged the country, that complicated matters and engendered our present socioeconomic, political and cultural doldrums...", (Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe).
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow (4):
"...Indeed, it is scarcely arguable that had he been afforded at least a single full-term tenure of four years at the helm of our country's affairs, Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia would have acquitted himself far more creditably than Nkrumah did during the nine years that he held the reins of governance as Ghana's maximum ruler or dictator...", (Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe).
..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Only CPP Declined With Nkrumah's Overthrow (5):
"...Inasmuch as the shortlived Busia-led Progress Party was not without its fair share of administrative foibles, the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition cannot be any significantly held responsible for most of the very fundamental socioeconomic problems presently besieging the country...", (Dr. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe).
.............................................................................................................................................................................................END....................................................................


OUR SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS:
Clearly, one does not need "scholarly, - if any - sources for the pontifical pronouncement" that Dr. Okoampa-Ahoofe was poorly up to the task of making his own case in the most fundamental and Ghana-centered way this time. As we've shown, his case defies logic based on his own words.

Nkrumah's overthrow may not have "initiated Ghana's Decline", as the CPP was reported to have claimed recently. However, it is an entirely different thing to posit, as Dr. Okoampa-Ahoofe does, that "Only CPP declined with Nkrumah's overthrow." In our mind, those are entirely two different propositions easily observed by any objective observer. Further, and more significant, no reasonable-minded person can fall under the brain-dead illusion that Ghana's "position on the world scene (is) far out of proportion to its size, population, or strategic importance..." today, in 2015, or ever since Nkrumah's "overthrow" nearly two generations ago, in 1966.


What happened to scholarship, logic, and balance in conversations and essays, on Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana?


©Prof Lungu is Ghana-centered/Ghana-Proud. Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA. Brought to you courtesy www.GhanaHero.com©5 Mar. 15.

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