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Opinions of Sunday, 25 October 2015

Columnist: Vallin, Henri

The Incomparable Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah 3

HENRI VALLIN

“It seems established that British and American imperialist circles, as well as the CIA and the British Secret Service, conspired with the military in bringing Nkrumah down. The former head of the Ghana Secret Service, one Khow Daniel Amihyia, who was dismissed from his job by Nkrumah and who has lived in London since 1961, boasted publicly of his part in the conspiracy. On returning to Accra, he was demonstratively put in jail for having given the game away.

“Terms do not exist sharp enough to denounce the role played by the “Labour” imperialists at the head of the British government in bringing about Nkrumah’s downfall. These gentlemen are against force and violence if it is directed at Ian Smith’s tyranny in Southern Rhodesia. As “humanitarians” they shudder at the very thought of an armed uprising against the inhuman fascist dictatorship crushing the majority of African inhabitants of the Union of South Africa under Verwoerd. But high diplomats, army officers and spies under their orders have calmly employed force to overthrow one of the few governments of Black Africa whose claim to be “socialist” – in the sense of the reformist welfare Social Democracy – was not completely unfounded.

“Heading the bourgeois state machine in Britain and administering the affairs of British imperialism, the leaders of the Labour Party have participated in some of the most shameful actions of world imperialism in the past eighteen months – the Belgian paratroop attack against the nationalist government of Stanleyville; the US imperialist aggression against the Vietnamese revolution; the toleration of Southern Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence behind the smoke screen of a fake “blockade.”

“For some time Nkrumah himself had felt that an imperialist conspiracy directed against his regime was underway. He issued public warnings about it. Several attempts were made to assassinate him. During one of them he had to use a gun in self-defense, so lax and unfriendly had the police become around him. As one conspiracy after another was uncovered and publicly exposed, the world bourgeois press sneered at his “persecution complex.” Events have shown that these warnings were only too well founded…

KOFI BENTUM QUATSON

“By breaking away from the elitist leadership of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), to form the Convention People's Party (CPP). Kwame Nkrumah had captured the political initiative to lead the broad masses of the people to achieve independence…

“Of course, the imperialists preferred the elitist politicians of the UGCC to Kwame Nkrumah. By their education, profession and borrowed Europeanized lifestyles, the political elitists of the UGCC were more at home with the colonial masters than the "common masses"…

“But no matter why and how you want to condemn Kwame Nkrumah, there is no way you can ignore the massive infrastructural development and his monumental achievements in the areas of education and healthcare. There are hundreds and thousands in Ghana who but for his progressive educational policies would have ended up "hewers of wood and drawers of water". They include academicians, intellectuals, and professionals.

“It is important to observe that the massive effort made to destroy Kwame Nkrumah had an intellectual component. Academics and intellectuals who were opposed to Nkrumah were commissioned to falsify and distort the nation's history to depict Kwame Nkrumah as a "thief, "illiterate", "immoral" even satanic. That was a poisonous strategy to mis-educate and mislead succeeding generations about the true stature of Kwame Nkrumah, the Founder of the State of Ghana.

“Indeed many of our people who were too young before the coup or born after that have been poisoned with the falsified versions of our nation's history by Nkrumah's detractors…Kwame Nkrumah is a national icon and should be allowed to remain on that pedestal.

“On April 22, 1962 Kwame Nkrumah made a profound statement to a CPP study group. Hear him: "Friends and comrades, Africa needs a new type of man. A dedicated, modest, honest and devoted man. A man who submerges self in the service of his nation and mankind. A man who abhors greed and deters vanity. A new type of man whose meekness in his strength and whose integrity is his greatness. Africa's new man must be a man indeed.”

Here is a short list of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s global accolades:

1) WORLD PEACE PRIZE (World Veterans Federation, 1954)

2) AFRICA’S MAN OF THE MILLENNIUM (BBC, 1999)

3) DOCTOR OF LAWS DEGREE (Honoris Causa, 1951)

Comment: Lincoln University also conferred honorary degrees on ALBERT EINSTEIN (D.Sc., 1946), NNAMDI AZIKIWE (LL.D, 1946, 1994), THURGOOD MARSHALL (LL.D, 1947), ROSA PARKS (LL.D., 1992), BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (LL.D., 1909), ), JESSE JACKSON (D.D., 1969), RALPH J. BUNCHE (LL.D., 1947), MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr., (LL.D., 1961), DESMOND TUTU (L.H.D., 1990), HORACE M. BOND (LL.D., 1941), JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN (LL.D., 1961), and on.

IN FACT, THURGOOD MARSHALL, AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK SUPREME COURT JUSTICE AND NKRUMAH’S CLASSMATE, MADE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE AUTHORSHIP OF GHANA’S 1960 NATIONAL CONSTITUTION.

What is more, Nkrumah received honorary doctorates from universities in Poland, East Germany, Egypt, and so on.

4) KWAME NKRUMAH ACADEMY (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Comment: School’s vision comes in two parts: 1) To be a global model of African-centered teaching and learning; 2) To be a center and community of academic excellence and uncompromised expression.

5) GOLD MEDAL AWARD (United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid, 1978)

Comment: For his contributions to the decolonization of Southern Africa (Apartheid South Africa)

6) AFRICA’S BEST BOOKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Comment: International compilation executed by the African Publishers Network (APNET), Book Development Councils, the Pan-African Booksellers Association (PABA), Library Associations, and African Writers Association; Nkrumah’s “GHANA: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF KWAME NKRUMAH” appears on the list. No book by J.B. Danquah or K.A. Busia appears on this list).

7) MILLENNIUM EXCELLENCE AWARD RECIPIENT: PERSONALITY OF THE CENTURY (Excellent Award Foundation, Ghana, 2000)

Comment: “The Millennium Excellent Awards is the most prestigious international Awards event that celebrates Achievement and Excellence by Ghanaians, Africans, and Citizens of the World who have sacrificed their lives, toiled tirelessly and served the Continent relentlessly thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of Africa and our Dear Nation, Ghana since 1900 AD.”

8) BIENNIAL KWAME NKRUMAH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Comment: Canada’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Lincoln University). The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Coca-Cola Foundation, the Office of Research and Scholarship and the Sociology Department of Kwantlen Polytechnic University have supported the conference.

9) AFRICAN UNION KWAME NKRUMAH SSCIENTIFIC AWARDS (African Union, 2008)

Comment: Created to push for the development of Africa via the promotion of research in all field, particularly science and technology.

10) MOORLAND-SPRINGARN RESEARCH CENTER (Howard University, Nkrumah papers)

Comment: Houses works by Nkrumah and others made available to researchers, students, professors, and the general public. Nkrumah’s correspondences with Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, one of the world’s most prominent thinkers of the 20th century, are kept here.

11) 100 GREATEST AFRICANS OF ALL TIME (“True Son of Africa”) (New African Magazine, 2004)

12) THE INTERNATIONAL LENIN PEACE PRIZE (1962)

Comment: Paul Robeson, WEB Du Bois, Pablo Neruda (Nobel Prize in Literature), Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Peace Prize), Nelson Mandela (Nobel Peace Prize) all received this Prize).

13) NKRUMAH HALL (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

14) NKRUMAH HALL OF RESIDENCE (Makerere University, Uganda)

15) THE KWAME NKRUMAH MONUMENT (STATUE) (Ethiopia, Addis Ababa)

Diplomat Kwesi Quartey has this to say: “The very statue that had been angrily knocked down by Ghanaians in blind fury after Kwame Nkrumah’s overthrow had been restored on a much bigger continental stage - the Headquarters of the African Union building, Addis Ababa. In the unforgettable words of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, it symbolized the New Rising Africa,—an Africa rising and on the move. Destination—a more perfect Union. With the honour done to Nkrumah by the African Union history had indeed come full circle.

“The stone that the builders rejected became the head cornerstone. Kwame Nkrumah truly never dies. The man, the mortal flesh may die, but his ideas, his vision continues to speak to us from the grave. But who really was Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and what did he stand for? The answer lies in that statue standing in front of the majestic AU headquarters: Nkrumah was and remains the most ardent voice of Pan-Africanism and a united Africa.

“Kwame Nkrumah was Pan-Africanist to the core. This runs constantly through his entire life’s work. He was a thinker, an organizer, orator and a journalist. He was also a politician of extraordinary commitment, animated by unsurpassed energy, completely and totally dedicated to Africa and the African people…”

16) GLO-CAF PLATINUM AWARD (Confederation of African Football, 2014)

Comment: Nkrumah was posthumously cited for his “contributions to the development of African football during his lifetime…Late Dr. Nkrumah believed and supported sports, not least football during his six-year reign as Ghana’s President, a period during which the Black Stars won the 1963 and 1965 African Cup of Nations tournaments. Dr. Nkrumah also donated a trophy for the organization of a club tournament for Africa’s top football clubs.”

17) KWAME NKRUMAH LEADERSHIP AWARD (West African Students’ Union)

18) THE SATMA AWARDS (South African Government, Ingwe Mabalabala Holdings, and the National Heritage Council of South Africa).

Comment 1: This award, also called “the founders award,” is given to “persons or personalities who have contributed immensely to the elevation and improvement of the living conditions of their society.”

Comment 2: Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensen, the then Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture who received the award on behalf of the Ghanaian Government, had this to say: “The role of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the independence of most African countries could not be under-estimated.

Comment 3: Mr. Enoch Ampofo, who represented event organizers, learned this fact in South Africa and had this to say: “Gaining perspectives into how Dr. Kwame Nkrumah has affected the lives of people in South Africa, I found out that back in the days of Apartheid, the oppressed people went to school and were taught about the principles of Kwame Nkrumah or Nkrumahism.”

19) FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT (NAM)

We shall return…