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Nkrumah destroyed Ghana TUC

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It will take far more than jaded lies and abjectly pathological denial for the rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP) to regain the trust and confidence of Ghanaians, if the Greenstreet-led party is really serious about being proffered the chance to govern the country. For starters, by 1961, the fortunes of the unionized Ghanaian worker had been totally destroyed by President Kwame Nkrumah and his extortionate so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime.

And so Mr. Kofi Asamoah, the General-Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), indulges in unpardonable mischief when he asserts that the fortunes of the unionized Ghanaian worker only began to drastically dwindle with the overthrow of Nkrumah on Feb. 24, 1966 (See “ ‘Since Nkrumah’s Overthrow Workers Fortunes Have Dwindled’” Graphic.com.gh / Ghanaweb.com 2/21/16).

Indeed, by 1961, Nkrumah would introduce the Animal Farm-like policy of “Tighten-Your-Belt,” whereby every government employee had to compulsorily deposit 10-percent of his/her salary, deducted at source, in the bank. Supposedly, the latter measure was to make up for Nkrumah’s profligate bankrupting of the country’s economy in his gargantuan and megalomaniacal pan-Africanist project.

With skyrocketing inflation, the Ghanaian worker could barely make ends meet (See “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana.” Nebraska & Bloomington: iUniverse.com, 2005). We need to also highlight the fact that it was only the average Ghanaian worker who had to tighten his/her belt, while Nkrumah and his cabinet and cronies lived high on the hog and took lavish vacations abroad at the expense of the same economically hamstrung Ghanaian worker (See Basil Davidson’s “Black Star: A View of the Life and Times of Kwame Nkrumah” 2007).

Nkrumah would also use the justified Trades Union leadership’s agitation for improved working conditions as a pretext to round up his most ardent political opponents, whom he farcically faulted for instigating these highly intelligent labor leaders to overthrow his government and imprison them without the inalienable democratic right to a trial, not even a Kangaroo Trial, as Nigeria’s President Nnamdi Azikiwe bitterly lamented in his very moving tribute to Dr. J. B. Danquah, on the occasion of Danquah’s brutal assassination at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison by President Nkrumah. The supposedly revolutionary and independent-minded Ghanaian leader would import Nazi leftover doctors who had recently immigrated to Apartheid South Africa to do his dirty work for him.

Then also, by 1961, virtually every single member of the TUC would have been forced to assume membership of the Convention People’s Party. Needless to say, one had to be a card-carrying member of the CPP to continue making a living as a civil servant or government worker. In sum, being a civil or public servant had become synonymous with being a registered bona fide member of the CPP. There was absolutely no other alternative.

This is the kind of neo-slavo-colonial existence that the likes of Ms. Samia Yaba Nkrumah, Messrs. Kwesi Pratt and Kofi Asamoah, among an unfortunate legion of others, would have Ghanaians yearn to be returned to.

It also nothing short of the downright criminal for anybody to claim that Nkrumah ever unrolled something called “The Seven-Year Development Plan.” The fact of the matter is that nothing of the latter sort was ever implemented by the CPP. Besides, the so-called 7-Year Development Plan was shamelessly lifted from the Russians hook, line and sinker, with no attempt, whatsoever, to adapt it to the peculiar needs and circumstances of Ghanaians. There is also absolutely no evidence that Ghana possessed the requisite capital and human resources to implement this grossly oversized and practically unrealizable development plan.

To be certain, it is only those among us who were too either too young to appreciate the proverbial reality on the ground, or who have been blindly indoctrinated with the poppycockish Nkrumaist Myth, who believe that the neo-slavo-colonial Nkrumah era marked the Golden Age of postcolonial Ghanaian history. One only needs to read the erudite likes of Professors Dennis Austin, the longtime distinguished Ghanaian-resident British scholar, and Arthur Lewis, the first African-descended scholar to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, to arrive at a well-informed understanding of the total waste that was the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party regime.

And has any of our dear readers ever bothered to find out why the word “regime” has almost invariably been associated with the bleak and turbulent period between 1957 and 1966, when the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party literally held Ghanaians by their scruff? Indeed, no objective-minded Ghanaian citizen can doubt, for a moment, that Nkrumah bequeathed any legacy to the country. What is seriously in doubt is whether such a legacy entails much more than the political self-aggrandizement of this unremittingly ruthless dictator.

Call him “Africa’s Man of the Millennium” or what have you; still, at the end of the day, the incontrovertible fact of the matter is that Kwame Nkrumah was no emulative or model democratic leader worthy of the reverence and worship of a people steeped in the civilized ideals of liberal humanism, the way that highly enlightened Ghanaian leaders like Drs. Danquah and K. A. Busia may be aptly reckoned to be.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.