Ghana: Nkrumah Deserves Perpetual Celebration

Yesterday was the 113th birthday of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and was celebrated as a national or public holiday.

Undoubtedly Nkrumah is one of the great human beings who would remain studied, known and remembered till thy kingdom come.

He was a Ghanaian born on September 21, 1909 at Nkroful in the Western Region, who grew to be a teacher, political activist, politician, political theorist, revolutionary and author.

His life affected humanity and every aspect of it is in itself an endless story.

However, as the nation celebrates him, we would like him to be remembered as a great patriot, nationalist, statesman, pan-africanist and global unity and peace advocate.

Let us chip it in here that when Nkrumah left Ghana on February 21,1966, three days after which he was overthrown, he had gone abroad for no other reason.

He was in Hanoi, Vietnam to seek a peaceful solution to the Vietnam War at the invitation of guerilla leader, Ho Chin Minh, and having been assured by the American government that they would do nothing to compromise his safety during his mission.

It must be recalled that Nkrumah left the United Gold Coast Convention, the first political party of the Gold Coast of which he was the General Secretary and formed the Conventional People’s Party (CPP) in June 1949.

In January the following year, his positive action campaign caused the British colonists to arrest and imprison him.

But even while in prison, the Gold Coast people elected him to Parliament in the country’s first general election held on February 8, 1951.

Subsequently, he was released on February 12, and the following day, Governor Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke asked him to form a government.

Nkrumah became the Leader of Government Business in a cabinet chaired by Arden-Clarke and as a result of progress made, the governor withdrew from the cabinet in 1952, leaving Nkrumah as his prime minister, with portfolios reserved for expatriates going to natives.

When the country gained independence and became Ghana, Nkrumah became its independent Prime Minister and subsequently as the first President when the new country attained republican status on July 1, 1960 and reigned till his overthrow on February 24, 1966.

Though we are eulogising Nkrumah, that is not to say he never had faults or failures.

In 1958, for instance, Nkrumah legalised the imprisonment without trial of those he regarded as security risks, an act that qualified his administration as authoritarian.

However, his achievements in education, health, road construction, establishment of industries and job creation under his Africanisation policy have so far not been equalled, not to talk about them having been surpassed by successive administrations, military or civilian.

The Ghanaian Times, though, stands to be proven wrong with evidence, not propaganda or empty talk.

As an individual, Nkrumah did all these for the love for his country.

The world is yet to hear about cases of stealing of public funds and using his position to amass wealth, acts now common among politicians and other leaders manning the affairs of the country today.

He was patriotic and his sense of patriotism must be imbibed and practised by the country’s current leadership — political, corporate, religious, traditional and even club, union and association, as well as all the citizenry.

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