By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
He has been dead and gone and physically decomposed beyond the pathetic technology of embalming used to “keep him alive” for some 43 years now; and yet like the clinically demented eponymous fictional protagonist of William Faulkner’s short-story classic “A Rose for Emily,” Ms. Emily Grierson, Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah, one of the several daughters of Ghana’s first postcolonial premier, Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, wants Ghanaians to believe that her auspiciously deposed intransigent dictatorial father’s “philosophy,” for want of a better term, is the only valid systematic set of thoughts capable of being revived in order to facilitate the rapid and salutary development of the country (See “Unite Under Nkrumaists To Win Political Power – Samia” Graphic.com.gh / Ghanaweb.com 5/1/15).
Well, the first irony of ironies is that one cannot invoke the bald and naked varicose “philosophy” of a brutal dictator whose overthrow was more thunderously celebrated than his fluky emergence on the postcolonial Ghanaian political landscape, to clothe an equally morally, economically and culturally denuded polity, or country, with his patently nonexistent, albeit purportedly elaborate and colorful, fabric. If anything at all, one hopes that the memory and “philosophy” of this decidedly abominable excuse for ideal Ghanaian leadership would, by now, have been permanently laid to rest. I am a firm believer in the ideology of generational leadership independence. In other words, every generation has an inalienable right to its own choices of leadership and the determination of its own socioeconomic, political and cultural destiny. This is not to say that we cannot learn or appreciate the great and genius contributions of past generations to the national political collective. It is simply that this generation ought to be at the center and helm of our own destiny, not fatuously invoke the ghosts of those who have already done their bit in their time and salubriously moved on.
Much has been made of the fact that my first published volume of essays and articles, titled Sounds of Sirens: Essays In African Politics And Culture was dedicated to President Kwame Nkrumah, among several other Marxist African leaders of his time and the generation immediately after. At the time I wrote and published my book, I had not yet embarked on a more balanced and objective study of Ghana’s political culture during the transitional era of the late 1940s and most of the 1950, and the major players who pitched in, nearly equally significantly, to make our beloved nation what it is presently, for better or worse. The guidance for such constructive and progressive direction would come much later, relatively speaking, that is, and from my then-terminally ill mother, Dorothy Tomina Adwoa Ataa Aninwaa Sintim (1934-1998).
It was my mother who pointed out to my ardent Nkrumaist now-late father that it was past time the old man began “telling The Child” what really transpired in the so-called Nkrumah Era, and the truth and epic scam and patent fraud that was the extortionate regime of the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP). The old lady would pass on in less than two months after psychologically and intellectually liberating her second and younger son from the shackles and blinders under which he had clearly and fully languished since his impressionable preteen years but which, for quite obvious reasons, had hitherto never been explained to him by his father. Now it is quite tragically obvious to this writer that his father ought to have undergone a post-Nkrumacratic stress treatment of some sort, immediately following the auspicious liquidation of the CPP fraud on February 24, 1966, the birthday of one of his siblings.
In due time, albeit rather belatedly, on his death-bed, the old man would wistfully come to terms with the greatest “Transi-Colonial” and Postcolonial Ghanaian political and cultural fraud in the twentieth century of which he had unwittingly become a passionate foot-soldier, so-called. He would readily admit that “Nkrumah made a lot of political mistakes,” but then almost resentfully hasten to add that “Those errors were the inevitable errors of a pioneer.” Well, the fact of the matter is that Nkrumah had spent close to seven years under the direct political tutelage of the British colonial administrators, from 1951 to 1957. And the latter years were, undoubtedly, the best Nkrumah years at the helm of Ghana’s affairs.
But what has been mnemonically burnished and deeply etched into the recesses of my mind, however, regards that brief and solemn revelatory moment when the old lady had also added: “Kwame [that is the old man], tell me, precisely what ill-treatment did your granduncle [Dr. J. B. Danquah] mete you for you for you to have nurtured such rabid hatred and inveterate animosity against this most dignified, enlightened, foresighted, generous and erudite of Ghanaian leaders?” Of course, the foregoing recollection are only a loose English translation of the Akan original in which these at once profound and memorable exchanges took place.
It is very doubtful whether, even as Ms. Nkrumah would have many an unsuspecting and starry-eyed Ghanaian believe, had President Nkrumah not been happily deposed at the time and moment that he was, by the Kotoka-led junta of the National Liberation Council (NLC), that the country’s economy would have still followed the state-capitalist or socialist model initiated by the proverbial African Show Boy. The most successful Marxist economies around the globe in our time, notably China and Russia, are today predominantly entrepreneurially capitalist-oriented in much the same manner as the most advanced post-industrial economies, such as the United States, Germany, France, Canada and Britain. And so it is quite accurate to observe that pathologically impenitent and incorrigible Nkrumacrats like the late dictator’s own daughter are at least two-full generations behind the times, in terms of what are needed to healthily advance the economic development of present-day Ghana. Ms. Nkrumah and her cronies of the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP) cannot, therefore, be expected to fully appreciate the fact that it is a wholly new day in Ghana right now and, of course, that this new day is ideologically and politically far more in synch with the eudemonious Trinitarian spirits of Messrs. Danquah, Busia and Dombo.
Then also must be emphatically pointed out that about the only significant thing that Ghanaians lost in the wake of Nkrumah’s overthrow, was the undeniably morbid thinking that the central government was the economic equivalent of Santa Claus or Father Christmas. Unfortunately, with pathological Nkrumacrats of the basest sort at the helm of our nation’s affairs such as the key operatives of the Mahama-led National government of Democratic Congress, Ghanaians continue to be incessantly hoodwinked about the government’s being poised to supplying them with all their basic needs by a simple click of their thumbs and mid-finger, even when simple and such basic public function of government as garbage collection and disposal continue to demand the expertise of the Ghanaian equivalent of rocket scientists.
Well, for the incontestable information and moral edification of Ms. Nkrumah and her ilk, it bears recalling that barely four years after Ghana’s declaration of sovereignty from England, the country’s economy was effectively bankrupt and in a virtual state of receivership; and so it is any critically thinking Ghanaian’s good guess how President Nkrumah would have been able to continue overseeing the industrial development of the country without the solicitation of any direct assistance from the twin-institutions of the IMF and the World Bank, which Ms. Nkrumah and her “legally ignorant” associates so love to hate and malign? (See Frimpong-Ansah’s The Vampire State in Africa).
It is also quite amusing for Ms. Nkrumah to lament the effective decimation of the nation’s industrial base, at least that portion initiated by her father when, in reality, it was the same modern-day Nkrumacrats whom she would have unite to revive Nkrumah’s “industrial vision” who actually and unconscionably collaborated with the same “Western Imperialst” loan-sharking underwriters of the Akosombo Dam and the Tema Industrial Township to quarter up and scramble for prime pieces of what used to be known as GIHOC, the Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation? I told you, fellahs, that these Kwesi Nduom former proteges are “loco” beyond a locomotive train!
Source: By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]