You may, like me, have been swamped with Whatsapp clips of the Joshua Attoh Quarshie Citi-TV interview that sought to cut Ghana’s first postcolonial Prime Minister and, shortly thereafter, President, down to size. Well, when one duly cuts out the exaggerations and flat-out lies of the scorn poured on the late Mr. Kwame Nkrumah by Mr. Attoh Quarshie, there is nothing much that is new about what the United Party (UP) traditionalist had to say about the African Show Boy on the aforesaid program that ought to raise any concerns of the sort predictably raised by some of the Nkrumah fanatics. But, of course, while I, personally, would not have gone as far down below the metaphorical belt as Mr. Attoh Quarshie was widely reported to have done, nevertheless, I was none the least bit sorry for those Nkrumah fanatics who felt great outrage against the ardent Nkrumah detractor.
For instance, nearly everybody who has done any remarkable level of research on the political activities and the political biography of President Nkrumah is fully in the know about the fact that the Lincoln University- and University of Pennsylvania-educated Ghanaian leader had never earned the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in any academic or political discipline. Rather, Nkrumah had been awarded several Honorary Doctorates, a couple of which he may very well have earnestly lobbied for, just as he was also widely known to have vigorously campaigned for the awarding of the Lenin Prize which was awarded him in Accra, instead of the routine ritual of flying to Moscow to be awarded the same, in 1961 by his Soviet patrons.
Indeed, I have personally wondered in several of my previous articles and media columns whether the Nkrumah fanatics would have tolerated or taken lightly to Dr. JB Danquah’s being given the accolade or title of “Doctor” by his followers, supporters and disciples, if the legendary Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics had imperiously flaunted Honorary Doctorates, as Mr. Kwame Nkrumah was widely known to be fond of doing, without having academically and/or professionally earned the same at any reputable university or academy anywhere in the world. But, of course, this is not where the real trouble began. Rather, the trouble began with the Sino-Italian-sponsored erection of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, which, somehow, well appears to have convinced revisionist Nkrumaist scholars and intellectuals that they could, somehow, pull a fast one over the eyes of many an unsuspecting average Ghanaian citizen.
I am also not the least bit sympathetic to the apparent disappointment of the Nkrumah fanatics with the patently jaded exposé by Mr. Attoh Quarshie because Mr. Nkrumah himself spent a considerable amount of the period of his political rise and dictatorial entrenchment in the seat of power propagating abject and scandalous falsehoods about Dr. JB Danquah, the man who mentored a largely idealistic and wet-eared Young Mr. Nkrumah in Gold Coast political culture. Among one of the many falsehoods that Mr. Nkrumah propagated against Dr. Danquah was that the latter and his associates of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), had taken huge sums of bribes from the British colonial authorities to mischievously stall or delay Ghana’s schedule for the reassertion of her sovereignty from British imperialism.
Ultimately, the rather uncharitable and unflattering attempt by Mr. Attoh Quarshie to deflate the admittedly remarkable achievements of the legendary African Show Boy is highly unlikely to do any massive damage to the indisputably progressive legacy of the man, contrary to what an understandably outraged Mr. Sekou Nkrumah, the younger son of President Nkrumah by his Egyptian Coptic-Christian wife, would have the Ghanaian public and the rest of the global community believe (See “This ‘Old Ga Fool’ Cannot Destroy Nkrumah’s Legacy – Sekou Fumes” Ghanaweb.com 10/11/19).
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York