Tribal Politics: How Dr. Nkrumah Tackled It

Sun, 31 Jul 2011 Source: Sangaparee, Clement

How Dr. Nkrumah Tackled It From 1951 – 1966

Tribalism can be equated to Racism. However, unlike Racism with its external complexities, Tribalism operates internally within the State with greater disastrous effects on the lives and well being of the people and of the National Interests. In every community, the majority of the people accept popular views and current behaviour patterns.

Their minds and attitudes are not fixed. On the other hand, there are people or groups of people who hold so rigidly and pedantically to a false generalization because of their ethnic or tribal origins or backgrounds that even psychotherapy may not succeed in curing them. The evils of tribalism manifest themselves when ever that tribal group or people begin to promote or project their own narrow conception of rights and privileges in the society which they consider themselves entitled, to the complete exclusion of all others.

Obviously, the rest of the members of the society cannot be expected to take kindly to this type of TRIBAL SUPERIORITY or nonsensical behaviour. Their reaction would be one of resentment with resultant tension between the various factions. Now, having placed themselves in such an invidious situation, the tribal group or people begin to entertain certain prejudices which have no national basis or fact. They feel themselves threatened and entertain fears of insecurity and anxiety in the community. This unfortunate situation reared its ugly head in Rwanda and Burundi in the year 1994 in which over one million people who were described by the other “Superior Tribe” as COCROACHES that must be completely wiped out of the earth died. It was done while the World looked shamelessly on. It happened in Liberia, Kenya, Bosnia Hezgovinia and several African countries.


It was the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who banned tribal politics in Ghana by coining a slogan “One Nation, One people, One destiny”. Are we really one people with one Destiny as tribalism is practiced openly in the Civil and Public Service and the Church of all places in Africa and Ghana in particular?

During general elections where people vote to elect a President of Ghana, we have two Special Regions that always speak through the ballot box to express their tribal sentiments, and all you hear form Ashanti Region since 1992 is this; Manhyia Constituency, Polling Station “X” the election results are: NPP – 900 votes, NDC – 5 votes. A reply comes from the Ewes in the Volta Region saying Ketu South, Polling Station “F”, the election results are : NDC 800 votes, NPP 1 vote and we go to Ketu North Polling Station “G”, the election results are; NDC 600 votes, NPP – 0, Nil, no one voted for NPP. Back in Kumasi, Bantama Constituency replies thus; NPP 700 votes, NDC 18 votes.


Until an Asante citizen contests parliamentary election in the Volta Region and wins, until an Ewe man contests parliamentary elections in the Ashanti Region and wins in this country, we are hiding behind democracy by making mockery of democracy because these two regions vote on tribal lines yet both the Asantes and the Ewes have taken entrenched positions in these voting patterns since the days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and they seem to be no turning back as both Regions teach tribalism from Father to Son and their struggles continues unabated.

After 54 good years of Ghana’s independence, the mistrust and suspicion between these two tribes continue to rage on like wild fire while the other tribes look on helplessly. These two regions are the originators of tribal politics in Ghana with one of the regions even winning the first position through a bloody ethnic cleansing between 1951 – 1956 in their violent political fight with the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP government from 1951 – Feb. 1966 when he was violently overthrown finally.

Posterity will never forgive the Clergy, Leading Politicians and all Opinion Leaders of these two Regions if they fail to reverse this tribal politics. Incidentally, we have Ewes and Asantes who always contest parliamentary elections in the Greater Accra Region and win those elections, why is it so? Can’t we learn any lessons from that and stop playing the ostrich? Check it out, and think over this dangerous voting pattern of these two regions forever.

Tribalism killed millions of innocent men, women and children and still continue to kill thousands of people worldwide. It is an artificial man made disease of the love for Power and Superiority, but people refuse to stop practicing tribalism. A word to the wise is enough.


The following were some of the political organizations involved.

1) The National Liberation Movement (NLM) with “Mate - Meho” as its local name founded in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region for Ashantis and they were fighting for Federalism on a narrow tribal front since they described their Region as a Nation Up till now – 2011.

2) The Northern People’s Party (NPP) for Northerners with its headquarters in Tamale Northern Region.

3) The Togo land Congress Party (TCP) based in the then Trans-Volta Togo land now (Volta Region).

4) The Oman Party for Fantes with its headquarters in Cape Coast – Central Region.

5) The Moslem Association Party (MAP) with its headquarters in Accra. According to its founders, the Moslems had been ignored or marginalized generally in many sectors of the community. The Party was to ensure that Moslems obtained not only their rights and privileges but also their fair share of social and economic benefits in the society.


As soon as he became the First Prime Minister of the then Gold Coast (now Ghana) in 1952, Dr. Nkrumah believed that the welfare of a nation essentially, depends upon a Unite3d People who must be educated, enlightened through education to enable them move forward and progress in the modern age – and this could never be achieved by TRIBALISM, so he sent the Avoidance of Discrimination Bill to Parliament which was passed into Law Prohibiting Political Parties formed on Tribal, Regional and Religious lines in Ghana. After the law was passed – all the then opposition parties regrouped and formed the United Party (UP) with the late Dr. K. A Busia as the Opposition leader, and when he went into exile, Mr. S. D. Dombo from Lawra in the then Upper Region took over as the opposition leader. Dr. Nkrumah did very well in tackling the dreaded tribalism in Ghana politics as thousands of innocent men, women and children mostly settler farmers from the North died in the Ashanti Region as they were caught by cross fire in a battle between CPP members and members of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) “Mate – Meho” between 1951, 1954 and 1956 in Kumasi and Kibi when the CPP won all the three elections by brutally beating the NLM tribal grouping which the NPP represent to day 2011. Until his overthrow on 24th February 1966 Dr. Nkrumah never practiced tribal politics in Ghana. Nobody in his or her right senses must encourage tribal politics or tribalism in this country at all. EVEN GAYS AND LESBIANS WHO ARE WORSE THAN ANIMALS IN THIS COUNTRY WILL NEVER ENCOURAGE TRIBALISM BECAUSE THEY WILL ALL DIE IF TRIBALISM ERUPTS. I am done. Keep your fingers crossed, I shall be back when the need arise. “Jaanbie Iwaii”

Aluta Continua!

Clement Sangapaare

Municipal Organizer

United Cadres Front


E – Mail: clementsang@yahoo.com.

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement