I DEDICATE THIS PIECE TO THE OSAGYEFO, ON THIS DARK RECALL OF 24TH FEBRUARY, 1966
Ghana, my then proud country which won independence from the British on March 6, 1957, hit the ground – running under the able visionary leadership of the great Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkumah. By the turn of early 1966 when he was wickedly overthrown by a brainless junta, Ghana was already a success story of toast to the developing economies.
It was an emerging success reference country for both Africa and Asia. For a long while now, we have shamelessly been comparing Ghana’s failure to the success stories of the Asian Tigers. By the time of the Osagyefo’s overthrow, the Asian Tigers envied Ghana anytime they came visiting.
And at that time he had left behind, over 400 manufacturing companies spread across the country. A major relic is the Tema Shipyard and Drydock for vessels repair which was a precursor to a ship manufacturing enclave. One of the prime reasons they gave for the take over was that he was a dictator. The junta, supported by the so-called intellectuals of the Danquah Busiaists, sold out state owned enterprises to themselves. It was the beginning of the gradual murder of Ghana’s economy. They raped Ghana from then on until a so-called revolutionary government came, and upon the dictates of the International Monitory Fund (IMF) and the World Bank of the Britton Woods fame, dictated the unthinkable, privatization.
They shamelessly sold state properties to themselves, the wife of the leader of the said revolution inclusive. Ghana is now a multiparty democracy. The self-praising and pontificating democrats who are currently ruling Ghana, at the least opportunity praises, to mention just two of the Asian Tigers, Malaysia and Singapore. Singling out Singapore, we have read stories of the dictatorial element in Lee Kwan Yu, which he used to make the small country what it is today globally. Nkrumah never ever got people caned for spitting saliva or blowing one’s nose without covering your nose and mouth, which by all standards are bad habits. Social structures were put in place to promote national cohesion towards development by the Osagyefo.
The Young Pioneers, the Workers Brigade and others were put in place to galvanize the youth for nation building. The State Farms Corporation was in place and the youths had jobs to do. At the time they did not consider them as menial jobs. Kwame Nkrumah was focused on giving them an orientation on patriotism which was sinking well in them. However, all those laid down foundations were effectively destroyed as they were considered ‘Communist’ undertakings. Ghana’s economy then was thriving on cocoa exports, being the largest producer country in the world at the time, followed by The Ivory Coast. The Western capitalist states which saw Nkrumah’s socialist credentials as a threat to their interest/survival, machinated the dwindling price of cocoa at the world market. It ended up hurting the Ghanaian economy thus making the citizenry to experience hardship.
It so badly affected the emerging Ghanaian economy, forcing Nkrumah to confide in the then Ivorian leader, Felix Houphouet-Boigny. What for? A proposal to create artificial shortage of cocoa beans at the World Market, by building huge silos to store them. It is told Houphouet-Boigny rejected Nkrumah’s position and told him to go ahead with his Socialist undertakings, and allow him go his Capitalist direction.
Feeling disappointed, he came back and embarked on the building of giant silos in the industrial enclaves of what is now known as the Tema Heavy Industrial Area, and the Kaneshie Heavy Industrial Area. The Osagyefo had finished the construction, and some say fitted with the necessary machinery. Even though the thought of storing cocoa beans was was the prime reason, food stuffs could be stored as well. They were also not meant for storage for export only. He thought of adding value to our cocoa means and other variables. This spurred him on to establish the Cocoa Processing Company in Tema, which was originally and commonly known as Cocoa Processing Corporation.
It is adjacent the giant silos which was to supply the beans to the factory. Upon his overthrow, all Governments of Ghana, have left both the Kaneshie and Tema silos to irretrievably rot off. And this is the country, whose citizens are making comparisons to how we were far advanced with countries like Malaysia and Singapore, far advanced at the time – to our current rotten status. Nkrumah ruled Ghana as a ‘dictator’ for nine years. Li Kwan Yu, ruled Singapore for over five decades as a ‘dictator’. Even he, as a visionary of his lifetime, saw Ghana, and regarding Nkrumah’s vision, as too small for him. He was rather viable for a whole continent. That is exactly what Nkrumah stood for! However, all the so-called ‘Communist’ agenda he is alleged have introduced; we have shamelessly come back licking what we saw as bad practices. We are back, thinking we are smart, to give a new name to the WORKERS BRIGADE, GHANA FARMS et all that were abhorred by the Danquah-Busiaist.
What is “Nation Builders Corps? Is that not a Socialist offshoot? Fast forward, Ghana, in 2019, engaged the Ivorian President, Alasan Ouattara, on talks which led to the signing of an Agreement.
What is this Agreement about? The two countries have collaborated as the two major producers of cocoa, to determine the global pricing of the product. That is again over fifty years after the Visionary Leader’s first proposal. These two Capitalist leaders of the two countries, have suddenly become ‘SOCIALISTS’?. Wonders, indeed will never end. And how are they going to succeed in this direction when the silos have no economic value whatsoever.
And when the purchasers see through your plan and have stocked enough to face your bluff, what happens? ROT!ROT!! ROT!!! But they thought it was a smart move? Leadership of the Asian Tigers never ever thought the way we have thought, after the Osagyefo. Indeed l have all along seen BIG HYPOCRITES in Ghana’s leadership, shamelessly praising the Asian Tigers ala Ghana’s BACKWARDNESS. I cannot be proud being a Ghanaian, because Ghana has no Pride. But! Na who cause sam!
Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi
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