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J. B. Danquah, the groomer and inventor for dummies!

Mon, 3 Oct 2016 Source: Lungu, Prof.

By Prof Lungu

"...No people in all of mankind's recorded and oral history ever united through a...National Liberation Movement (NLM)-United Party (UP)-Progress Party (PP)-confederation, let alone build a great civilization...In Ghana...Ghanaian workers, always free to work, constructed and built all the great infrastructure and institutions Kwame Nkrumah bequeathed to Ghana as the Chief Executive of Ghana//.......

It was Ako Adjei who recommended that Nkrumah is the right person to lead the struggle not Danquah...It was Paa Grant who paid for Nkrumah's return to Gold Coast not Danquah. It was Paa Grant who sheltered Nkrumah at his residence in Takoradi but not Danquah...... J. B. Danquah, the attorney, was the only principal member of the UGCC who did not contribute a single penny to fund Nkrumah's travel back to Ghana in 1947 to assist the UGCC in a project they were miserably failing at...

When the Great People of Akyem Abuakwa, through their taxes and sweat, paid to gloom Barrister J. B. Danquah in England, J. B. Danquah simply neglected them, and they, him...", (Prof Lungu/../BOY KOFI, in summary-commentary, 2015-2016).

Dear reader, no people in all of mankind's recorded and oral history ever united after independence through a National Liberation Movement (NLM)-United Party (UP)-Progress Party (PP)-New Patriotic Party (NPP)-confederation, let alone build a great civilization. It was not the case for ancient Egypt, not for Ghana Empire, not for Songhai Empire, nor was it the case for all the great civilizations of Mongolia and China that European Marco Polo marveled at during his travels in the mid-1200s.

Further, many of the greatest engineering and economic feats of mankind were invented and built through servitude, sometimes through part time conscription, most often through slavery, but all the time, of the conquered, or of fellow compatriots.

We are talking about Grand Canals, Harbors, Urban Squares, Dams, Cities, Highways, Road, Bridges, Libraries, the Pyramids, and yes, Universities, even. Such it is, even in the case of Christopher Columbus's Old America of the late 1400s, and in the case of Abraham Lincoln's United States of America, in more recent historical annals.

Those, dear reader, were "brutal" regimes and institutional arrangements of hyper-centralized direction. It was always about the city, change, adaptation, renewal, and degradation. And people died in the millions in the aggregate constructing and supporting those facilities and institutions. Largely immutable records are available to today's privileged, including you who are reading this essay.

In Ghana, with second hand knowledge of those records by expatriates, Ghanaian workers, always free to work, constructed and built all the great infrastructure and institutions Kwame Nkrumah bequeathed to Ghana as the Chief Executive of Ghana, who, in many cases, commissioned them. Nkrumah was, after all, elected by the entire Nation of Ghana multiple times, while J. B. Danquah was not elected, not even once, by the entire Nation. And Ghana needed every bit of that infrastructure, and more.

In all those ancient and new civilizations built through servitude we spoke about, the royal-born, the privileged, and the cunning professional (lawyers and accountants, mostly), benefited greatly. As such, they generally never had any compelling reason to challenge the political system, speak truth to the power, or lead credible political struggles.

Not with speed, and not by any means necessary. Thus, it was generally the outsiders who always "rocked the boat" for improvement in human conditions and freedom. Modern economic theory, now wayward and without balance or conscience in Europe, mostly, prove what we now state about the royal-born, the privileged, and the cunning professional.

Such is the case of royal-privileged-born J. B. Danquah who, in the 1960s, was already deeply entrenched in the colonial urban and economic life of the Gold Coast as a lawyer. J. B. Danquah therefore had no compelling, altruistic motive to seek a radical change from "colonial masterdom" to "Sovereign Statedom" for the benefit of the average Ghanaian.

No. But a confederation and pseudo-federal government, the records show, pretty well suited J. B. Danquah. Hence the sundry destructive energies and acts recorded in his solitary corner in the public annals, from Apedwa-Amantoo Miensa, to Kyebi, to Accra, to the United States Library of Congress, to Embassies of foreign countries, to University libraries, and all places in-between.

To use a tired old phrase, needless to say, when J.B. Danquah was plying his profession in colonial Ghana under the auspices of the masters, Grand Canals, Harbors, Urban Squares, Dams, Cities, Highways, Road, Bridges, Libraries, the Pyramids, and yes, Universities, even, had all been conceptualized and built in all those Great Civilizations.

And in all the minor Civilizations such as existed in England where "royal" J. B. Danquah, supported by taxes levied on every Akyem Abuakwa native and their goat, was a student at some point in life, in the 1920s.

The records were, and are available on/in cloths, parchment papers, manuscripts, books, microfiche, vinyl records, tapes, DVDs, and now increasingly, digital internet-ready media on desktops, laptops, servers, and Clouds, as in Cloud Computing entities of all types. J. B. Danquah did not invent any of those ideas, facilities, or institutions.

Not Legon!

Not Akosombo Dam!

Not Tema Harbor!

Not Bank of Ghana!

Not Ghana!

To say that J. B. Danquah invented and created all these things for Ghana is to say that Tetteh Quashie invented cocoa in Ghana. Or that your late grand-mother invented any number of your family rituals she educated your mother on, because, well, she was the first in the world, compared to your dear mother and you.

That, we submit, is patently pedestrian and moronic!

So, if we are to be charitable, J. B. Danquah simply borrowed some ideas from any number of existing privileged sources and floated them around on occasions, as the "Been-To" he represented himself to be (read the two so-called Danquah Prison Letters), but without properly attributing from whence he borrowed, even as the Danquah-Deathknell-Palanquin Supporting Sub-Prelates continue to do same, today. Worse, today, they edit and hide records in matters they claim are super-important where the history of Ghana is concerned.

And on the other side, Ghana-style, such is the case of Kwame Nkrumah, born without all the pretentions of an urbane Ofori Attah. Nkrumah was so deeply entrenched in the vision of many a Great African (Marcus Garvey, W. E, DuBois, etc.), that even before he could fully complete his self-sponsored education in the United States and England in the 1940s, he was invited to the Gold Coast to assist with the quest for independence and sovereignty. J. B. Danquah, the attorney, was the only principal member of the UGCC who did not contribute a single penny to fund Nkrumah's travel back to Ghana in 1947 to assist the UGCC in a project they were miserably failing at.

We'd expect that as an "outsider" and with the background of US history and politics and knowledge of African heroes and those from other regions of the world, that Nkrumah would see the independence and sovereignty project as a quest and struggle for the speediest results, with significant power at the center to counter all dis-orienting centrifugal forces.

After all, political-economy teaches us that newly independent necessarily does not mean that your old colonial master suddenly loses all interests in their own permanent interests and development. On the other hand, a Ghana strong enough to ease the former masters' access to the produce and markets of the old colony, that, the old masters saw in the Nkrumah vision of a centralized government.

That would be a source of respect for Nkrumah, as the records in history show.

Respect, after all, should always go to a principled enemy, than to an unprincipled friend who will never do what you would do, if you owned the football, the country, or were in their shoes, so to speak.

Further, any American college student who paid attention in "American History 101" required of all college "Freshmen" will tell you that a confederation has no chance at all of supporting an agrarian economy, let alone an industrial, and post industrial, knowledge-based economy.

As well, the astute American student will tell you that the second best option that was adopted for the new state in North America, the federal system, continues to wreak havoc on the life chances of a large segment of the American population even as multitudes on other sides profited and continue to benefit from slavery, racial politics, wealth, gender inequity, and even from the names of the States in which they live.

The idea that there is no stronger role for the national government is now being rendered asunder, in multiple ways and platforms.

As well, dear reader, the history of Nigeria ought be instructive to all of us as things stand today. Having opted for a federal form of government for Nigeria in 1960, Nigerian (and Liberian) politicians would be at the forefront of the group that strongly resisted the United Africa vision of Nkrumah. Later, in 1967-1970, Nigeria, with its federal system, would be plunged into a civil war that resulted in nearly 2 million Nigerians dying from the war, many from war-related diseases and starvation.

To be continued......

Reference:

1. Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame, Mahama Yahaya, it was Danquah who groomed Nkrumah, Ghanaweb, (https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Mahama-Yahaya-it-was-Danquah-who-groomed-Nkrumah-472627).

2. Cameron Duodu. Dr J B Danquah's Tragic Death Sticks In The Throat Of Some People Like A Dead Rat, (http://www.modernghana.com/news/600004/dr-j-b-danquahs-tragic-death-sticks-in-the-throat-of-some-p.html).

3. Mumford, Lewis. The City in History, 1968.

4. Building The World - The Grand Canal, (http://blogs.umb.edu/buildingtheworld/waterworks/the-grand-canal-china/).

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.