Nkrumah Is Decidedly Passe, Uncle Annan!
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
When I say that I respect Ghana's foremost diplomat of global distinction and former Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization (UN), I radically understate the truth; the fact of the matter is that I actually revere the man. And this is why I find it to be rather curious to read the following statement from the man who definitively convinced me, sometime ago, that President Kwame Nkrumah was irredeemably and irrefutably a bad news item for Ghana at the time that he emerged and megalomaniacally commandeered the political landscape of the erstwhile Gold Coast. Nkrumah would eventually hold almost each and every one of his countrymen and women hostage, even as he paradoxically and pontifically preached a stentorian Gospel According To Immediate Continental African Unification Under The Manifest Ideology of Nkrumaism.
Well, in his just-published article, titled "Ghana's Second Chance" (See Ghanaweb.com 6/28/13), Ghana's sole Nobel Peace Prize Laureate draws the following conclusion: "In 1957, Kwame Nkrumah said, 'We are prepared to pick it (Ghana) up and make it a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world.' Let us live up to Kwame Nkrumah's aspirations today and show the world what we are capable of." Needless to say, Ghana's first postcolonial premier was not called a "Show Boy" for nothing; the man almost exclusively lived for the glorification of his audience and spectators, not the intrinsic essentiality of what he publicly and histrionically claimed to stand for and/or represent.
At any rate, the first problem that I have with the forgoing Nkrumah quote, is the fact that even by his own authoritative and eloquent testimony, clearly gleaned from the article in reference, Kwame Nkrumah doggedly pursued a vicious and virtually hermetic politics of exclusivity, rank corruption and immitigable vindictiveness. On the latter score, this is exactly what Mr. Annan means when he makes the following irrefutably poignant observation: "Elections are a means of regulating political rivalries in the broader interest of the nation. As the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security highlighted in its 2012 report, the importance of elections with integrity lies in the legitimacy they confer on the winners and the security they ensure for the losers. Democracy is not about winner-takes-all; it is about winner serving all his or her people and shoring up the rule of law."
In fine, why should any levelheaded patriotic Ghanaian live up to the aspirations and standards of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, even if Ghana's infamous and extortionate dictator did not care to live up to these aspirations and standards, however laudable, himself? For my part, I prefer to think that every generation is mandated to configure its own roadmap of destiny and futuristically live up to the same.
I also feel virulently revulsed by the Kenyan edge which the distinguished Chancellor of the University of Ghana anchors into the thrust of his argument, because I sincerely don't believe that justice was done to Mr. Raila Odinga, although I am not very heavily emotionally invested in the patent raw deal handed him by the Kenyan Supreme Court . My only regret is that the Indemnity Clauses inserted into Ghana's 1992 Republican Constitution preempts justice-seeking patriotic Ghanaians from doing unto Mr. Rawlings and his criminal National Democratic Congress Gang, what the AFRC and PNDC did to Gen. I. K. Acheampong and his associates.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
June 28, 2013