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K. B. Asante: Nkrumah Deserved His Ouster

Sun, 1 Mar 2015 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York

Feb. 24, 2015

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

On the 49th anniversary of the auspicious overthrow of his Convention People's Party (CPP) government, one of President Kwame Nkrumah's long-surviving aides and sometime impenitent apologist frankly observed that one great weakness of Ghana's first postcolonial leader was that President Nkrumah could not abide public criticism and challenge of his attitude and policies from his political appointees (See "Nkrumah Hated Being Challenged Publicly - K. B. Asante" Starrfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 2/24/15).

Actually, the 90-plus-year-old Mr. Asante could have forthrightly added that Nkrumah simply resented any form of criticism, public or private, and not only from his political appointees, but from nearly every Ghanaian citizen, in particular his ardent and inveterate political and ideological opponents. Which fundamentally explains the diverse ideological shades and stripes of Ghanaians incarcerated by deposed Ghanaian dictator.

Indeed, not only did he studiously and Machiavellianly scheme relentlessly against his internal ideological and political opponents, beginning from his days of executive membership in the Danquah-led and seminal United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), Nkrumah also used the Russian KGB to destabilize the governments of his rivals on the African continent. Among such personalities were Presidents Houphouette Boigny (Offei-Boahen) of the Ivory Coast, Sylvanus Olympio of Togo, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya. Indeed, legend has it that Nkrumah may either directly or indirectly have had a hand in the brutal assassination of Kenya's Mr. Tom Mboya, who was swiftly liquidated by elements alleged to be very close to President Kenyatta shortly after Mr. Mboya returned from an official visit to President Nkrumah.

In the case of the equally brutal assassination of Togo's President Olympio, Mahoney offers convincing proof in the form of a politically defensive statement issued by the Ghanaian leader in the wake of the military-engineered assassination of Mr. Olympio (See JFK: The Africa Ordeal). Indeed, as a result of Nkrumah's shenanigans and intrigues against his government, the Ivorian leader would categorically refuse power supply from Ghana's Akosombo Dam, until well after the landmark removal of the Nkrumah-led Convention People's Party from the helm of Ghana's affairs.

In essence, for both the moral and political edification of fanatical Nkrumaist adherents, it is perfectly incontrovertible to observe that the much-touted foremost proponent of the ideology of pan-Africanism did more to practically alienate his peers and disunite the African people in general, than the pontifical Ghanaian leader ever did to bring Africans and our leaders together. But what is even more significant to observe here is Mr. Asante's poignant characterization of President Nkrumah as a man who was temperamentally and psychologically wired tightly against the sort of democratic discourse required of a modern society. What this clearly means is that rather than being putatively "visionary" and ahead of his time, in terms of the political temper of the times, President Nkrumah was actually scandalously far behind the emergent African democratic political culture of the 1950s and '60s.

To be certain, democracy was only partially possible in Ghana while the British colonial administrators were on hand to meticulously supervise the same during the Transitional Period between 1951 and 1957. Now, on the annoyingly perennial question of the involvement of America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the landmark overthrow of the Convention People's Party regime, it is quite interesting to learn that it was the Russian KGB operatives who alerted the deposed Ghanaian leader to the reality of this momentous historical event well after the fact. And so, perhaps, the logical question to ask the Nkrumah fanatics is just why they think that it is perfectly legitimate for the Ghanaian leader to freely consort with and seek the active assistance of the operatives of the Russian KGB but, somehow, those wantonly oppressed and systematically persecuted by the self-declared Life-President of the "Republic" of Ghana had absolutely no legitimate right to call on either the United States or Great Britain for countervailing political assistance?

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame