Monday, March 13, 2006

In Response to Koranteng's Toli on Kwame Nkrumah, and His Redemption Thereof

By way of Global Voices, I came across an article written by Koranteng on his blog. Pls check the link on the title. Koranteng is a very well-educated man, and I appreciate the arguments he raised about Nkrumah, but his intimation that Nkrumah was a dictator, because he made Ghana a one-party state is too explicit to be subtle!

Let's face it: Nkrumah made some mistakes, because he was human--and not super-human, plus the fact that he was also a politician, and did some things that are wont of politicians, but a careful assessment of his accomplishments should not go unnoticed. This was my response on his blog:

"deeply alienated from significant portions of the Ghanaian populace" That is a serious fallacy. Nkrumah was a man of the people. Even JB Danquah, hailed as the doyen of Ghanaian politics, as much supported this when he said that "even if we fail you, Nkrumah won't."

I know this, not just because my paternal grandfather worked with the Nkrumah regime [as Minister of Works and Housing], but also because I have in front of me the book, published by the Socialist Forum here in Ghana, entitled "The Great Deception: The Role of the CIA and Rightwing forces in the overthrow of Nkrumah".

It contains de-classified documents by the CIA, with extracts of letters written by Nkrumah to the US government about his aspirations for Ghana, and by extension Pan-AFrican movement.

Not only that, but documentary evidence of the same JB Danquah going to the new US ambassador to Ghana demanding why his pay from the US government was not forthcoming!!!!

I feel the heat here in Ghana, because somehow, somewhere, the acceptance by both parties that Nkrumah was a great man, with all his flaws--the Preventive Detention Act of 1958 for example was deemed a mistake, but was used in equal measure by the British over Northern Ireland in the seventies -- is coming into form.

Both the NDC, and even the ruling NPP, have recently accepted that Nkrumah was a great man.

Finally, I do not think that you have to be a socialist to appreciate the magnitude of social development Nkrumah brought to Ghana. SO, statements like "the economy tanking under the weight of socialist central planning nostrums, trusting in the show of force represented by military support" that amazeddad makes isn't just fallacious, it is a great disservice to the memory of not just the founding father of Ghana, but ALSO of Pan-Africanism.

I must preface all this by saying that I am an amateur diplomatic historian by training, so the ideas over bias are not lost on me. To boot I challenge anyone to provide PROOF that Nkrumah can be likened to those dictators like Mobutu and Bokassa who seriously regressed Africa.

That’s my two cents, cheers!!

I must even also add that Nkrumah was not power-hungry for the sake of it: this was an intellectual, who had studied for his Ph.D, as well as Theology. He was an enlightened man, who made Ghana what it is today by encapsulating ALL manner of tribes within government. Compare that to the Rwandans, and other parts of Africa, where the ethnic divisions were accentuated to disasterous levels.

Ghana has never had that level of violence--except in the Northern region. Apart from coups in Ghana, have you, in Ghana's 49th years, ever heard of a civil war in Ghana even when JJ.Rawlings ruled the country in 20 years?

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