By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, August 24, 2013
My good friends, the revisionist historians in the NPP are doing overtime to plaster history; but we won’t allow them to.
The NPP’s Professor Mike Ocquaye has just turned my crank with an abysmal lie that should be exposed for what it is and its potential to poison the minds of the ignorant ones. Why do these NPP leaders like misrepresenting issues to keep people ignorant for manipulation and exploitation? It is the same thing they have been doing with this petition hearing!!
Ocquaye is reported to have said that J.B. Danquah, rather than Kwame Nkrumah, founded Ghana. “Ghana’s Famous Declaration [of self emancipation] was made in 1947 by Danquah (who the British came to declare as the Doyen of Gold Coast politicians). Nkrumah was not in the country at all”, Prof. Ocquaye asserted in a lecture to mark the 21st anniversary of the NPP.
I have read his entire speech to know that although he couched his claim in a “clever way”, the import cannot be missed that he considered Danquah and his cohorts in the UGCC as more relevant to Ghana’s emergence into statehood than Nkrumah is being credited for accomplishing.
And to top it all up, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the Kufuor regime has also downgraded Nkrumah as an opportunists, vowing to “personally spearhead a process to change the recognition bestowed on Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the Founder of Ghana.”
Prof. Ocquaye’s claim is an absolutely damaging lie to be treated with contempt! Nii Otoo’s is the effusion of a failed politician. Simply put, he is a shameless coward!! Nkrumah will continue to stand tall above all of them and follow them into their graves to torment them there too. On the Judgement Day, he will rise up to be appreciated for his deeds as against their misdeeds on earth!!
Now, let me take apart Prof. Ocquaye’s whitewashing of history to suit the NPP’s agenda. Did Danquah “found” Ghana in 1947 even before the country emerged at independence on Thursday, March 6, 1957? No one disputes the fact that Danquah and his fellow conservatives in the United Gold Coast Convention (founded by the Fante merchant, Paa Grant) had several agenda, one of which was self-government gradually (“in the shortest possible time”).
I cringe very much whenever I hear a Ghanaian intellectual distort the country’s history to serve narrow and selfish political purposes. Fighting to rehabilitate Danquah’s image in our contemporary historical times is ridiculous. Of course, Danquah was a brilliant lawyer; but beyond that, he left ugly footprints in the sand of time. A good thing sells itself, Prof. Ocquaye. Desperately seeking to uplift Danquah above the Great One, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah won’t wash with anybody who knows history.
Yes, Danquah had preceded Nkrumah in the political activism going on in the Gold Coast at the time; but it didn’t take long for Nkrumah to overtake him because he had what Danquah lacked to become a political leader of a country!
Nkrumah’s appearance on the political scene changed the dynamics of Gold Coast politics, and by 1948/49, the British authorities needed not be told that his Convention People’s Party was the political force into whose hands the destiny of a future country could be entrusted. Nkrumah and his “Verandah Boys” went for “Positive Action” and “self-government now”, preferring self-government in danger to servitude in tranquility!! And he appealed to the conscience of the electorate all over.
That was why in the 1951 and 1954 elections, he defeated the malcontents banded together into the National Liberation Movement (“mate Me Ho”) and all the other political forces scattered over the Gold Coast (Northern People’s Party, Muslim Action Party, and others in the Trans-Volta Togoland area).
Nkrumah never craved any credit as the founder of Ghana because he knew that he didn’t found the country. The territory had been in existence since time immemorial and only needed to be given a new identity and political autonomy to move in a new direction in the community of nations.
Osagyefo never arrogated to himself the honour of founding Ghana. He simply rolled along with the punches, knowing very well that it wasn’t an issue in contention. He wasn’t interested in self-aggrandizement, and he survived to become the most celebrated leader (acknowledged worldwide as the most popular African leader of the 20th century).
Yet, many years after the event of bringing Ghana into being, here we are with remnants of the discredited bomb-throwing “Mate Me Ho’ cabal arrogating honour to a J.B. Danquah whose name evokes rile in those who know all about his life and political intrigues. How did he found Ghana, in any case?
The operational word here is the verb “found”, which simply means to bring into being (especially as an entity). I want Prof. Ocquaye to answer this simple question: Before independence, had the territory called “Gold Coast” to be converted into “Ghana” existed in this world occupied by people? If it did, where does the “founding” by J.B. Danquah come in?
And what is Ocquaye’s definition of “found” or “founding”? What a warped view of history has he taken? In his dotage now, he needs to devote his time to other things than what he has embarked on to plaster history with damaging lies and distortions just to project the political tradition that Danquah spearheaded—a political tradition that lacks appeal because of its tumbledown “book politics”.
For the records, let it be known that Danquah is remembered for more negative things than anything positive that might be credited to him. The so-called accolade as “doyen” of Ghana politics was given him by those who recruited him to do their espionage work against his own country. No Ghanaian recognized him as such. Claiming such accolades won’t solve any problem for the Ghanaian.
Fellow Ghanaians, you see how political jingoism clouds the sense and judgement of those professing to be “interrectuals”? Does Prof. Ocquaye ever know of the existence of strong entities that the British would later bring together from their tribal origins in the Gold Coast to form the unitary state called Ghana? What dangerous selective amnesia is this?
I want to say at this point that the indecent haste with which these NPP people are spreading their unproductive revisionist history won’t help them, the country, or posterity. I wonder why they can’t face reality.
The distortion of Ghana’s history for political currency won’t help anybody. We know the truth about our country’s history and won’t be misled by these NPP “interrectuals”. Rather funnily, this same Prof. Ocquaye is credited with scholarship on Ghanaian history. But for him to be so dishonest in plastering that history with this kind of dangerous lie, he won’t be forgiven. He is acting in the same bad faith with which the NPP petitioners have been presenting issues all this while. This bad faith will create more credibility problems for them and dim their political light all the more.
Let it be known here that the very run-away ambition to put himself where he didn’t belong was what led to Danquah’s being snuffed out by the Great Osagyefo. He had become too much of a stink-bug in politics to be left alone to his ruses. We recall the intransigence with which Danquah led the United Party to confront the Establishment and why the Preventive Detention Act needed to be put in place to clip his wings. His arrest and incarceration in the Nsawam Medium Security Prison sealed his doom in 1962.
He died unsung and all attempts to elevate him by his praise-singers ever since have hit the snag. When he was being dealt with, his closest henchman (Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia) fled into exile in Britain, where he picked up the pieces of the sociology that he had used to carve a niche for himself as a scholar of repute. Although he returned after the dastardly overthrow of the Great Osagyefo, he suffered a worse fate on Thursday, January 13, 1972, and retraced his steps to Britain, where he took the singularly unpatriotic step to renounce his Ghanaian citizenship; and he died without regaining it. He died as a British citizen!! No wonder he has little respect in his hometown, Wenchi.
For J.B. Danquah, the situation won’t be the same. Not only did his unwise choice of head-butting with the established Osagyefo land him in trouble, but before then, he had been exposed as a CIA agent. Isn’t it, then, paradoxical that the very person that Prof. Ocquaye claims to have found Ghana would turn out to be the very person to sell it out to the external forces to be undermined?
No wonder that the CIA was instrumental in the overthrow of Nkrumah on February 24, 1966, to pave the way for the Danquah-Busia elements to rear their ugly political heads. But they had those heads cut off for them and suffered ignominy for 30 years in the political wilderness before a sudden turn-around put Kufuor in office between January 7, 2001, and January 7, 2009, to revive the Danquah-Busia spook.
As Fate would have it, though, Ghanaians who have seen the true colours of these Danquah-Busia Kwaku Ananses have not hesitated in pushing and shoving them out of the corridors of power again. They are wasting time and energy to remain in contention but won’t survive the whirligig. Once they have failed to endear themselves to the electorate—because their underbelly has long been exposed—they can’t expect to prevail. They can fish around for technicalities to bolster the sphinx in them but won’t succeed.
At this point, I want to say definitively that the very spirit that goaded Danquah on to swim against the current is what is driving his fellow-Akyem (this defeated flagbearer of the NPP, Akufo-Addo) to take on the Establishment after losing Election 2012. This belligerent spirit doesn’t bring success; it brings disaster to the one using it to press all kinds of buttons on the political terrain.
Ghanaians know who they are and won’t sit down unconcerned for their history to be distorted or for anybody to misrepresent issues for political jingoism. They will rise up to punish the liars wasting their time, doing overtime, to tempt Fate by challenging their defeat at the polls. That moment isn’t far off.
I shall return…
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