‘Civitatis Ghanaensis Conditor’

If you were to find a pesewa coin minted in the Nkrumah era, you would see a head of Kwame Nkrumah, with the above Latin inscription which translates into founder of the nation Ghana.

It was part of the Ghananianisation or Africanisation independence agenda to claim the new status by replacing symbols and positions of colonialism by indigenising.

The pre-independence British currency that was in circulation bore the head of Queen Elizabeth II.

Poor Kwame Nkrumah, in spite of all his selflessness and the pain he had to go through to liberate a nation and even a continent from colonialism, he is the centre of acrimonious debate over his founder of Ghana status. The controversy that was created by his adversaries around his leadership seems to have persisted. His critics have not been able to restrain themselves because they have constantly been provoked by self-seeking congresspeople, who have adopted all of Nkrumah’s wrongs and discarded all that was right about him.

Sometime in the early 1970s, I ran into an ardent Busia-Danquah believer who had converted to socialist thinking. At the time, he was a lecturer and I was an undergraduate student. He had so converted because in his study of economics in a university in the United States of America, he had read some 77 books in all of which he had seen the name Kwame Nkrumah.

Some newspaper (on Wednesday, March 8, 2017), which pretended to be wading into the debate on the Nkrumah is the founder side, ended up uselessly carrying a Kwame Nkrumah portrait with his kente cloth worn left-handedly. The man was not left-handed. Maybe it is a statement that left of talk without action to back the words is a mistake.

Congresspeople must understand, as usual, that they have been tactically and strategically outmanouevred by their opponents. They should ask themselves how after being in charge 27 out of the last 35 years, they alone will still be contesting Nkrumah’s place in our history. If all you care about is constructing a structure you think you are using to honour the person is such that it causes flooding, all because you have to fill your pocket through contracted loans, you don’t promote let alone enhance Nkrumah’s image.

Smartly, the Danquah followers decided to deepen the intellectual articulation of their cause by establishing the Danquah Institute.

While both the Kwame Nkrumah and Busia Foundations wobbled, faltered and collapsed, the Danquah Institute persisted and is surviving. Rather than promote and nurture the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, congresspeople chose a USD20 million edifice and were talking about an ideological institute.

Maybe the foundation never fruited because there was no ideology to teach or promote. They obviously could not practice Nkrumah’s selflessness. And they appear to dream little against Kwame’s dream big. They couldn’t wait to benefit from a prosperous motherland, they chose to profit at the expense of the motherland. That is an ideology of kleptocracy. Luckily for them, they wouldn’t dare instutionalise that kind of ideology. So they go about parroting social democracy without ever telling anyone what it means.

Think tanks help to effectively promote ideology. They have them everywhere you go where people want to promote ideology. The Danquah people know it and use it. The Nkrumah people don’t seem to. Maybe there aren’t any Nkrumah people.

The debate will not stop; not today and not tomorrow. What they have been able to show in governance so far is create loot and share. Contract as much debt as you can; profit privately by it, and let the motherland go hang.

What I would like the proponents and opponents to reflect upon is what both men wanted for their motherland. If you can do Nkrumah’s dream for the motherland let us see the action. Similarly, if you can do Danquah’s dream for the motherland show us the action. One would be surprised it was a common dream, although a dream congresspeople have never aspired to. On the other hand, thankfully, two ɔsonomma (the one in charge and the one before him), showed, and is showing, clear evidence of an aspiration to turn that dream into reality.

However, if you didn’t listen to good old akonta (in-law) Bob Mugabe, formerly of Apowa St. Mary’s Training College, try and find out what he said at his post-60th independence anniversary press conference.

He said Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the reincarnation of Kwame Nkrumah. You want to debate that? I think that should end the debate.

Both men are big dreamers. Kwame Nkrumah was betrayed, chasing the big dream for the motherland, by the corrupt ones who surrounded him. What is of relevance today is how to stop any who might be corrupt around Akufo-Addo from betraying

the realisation of his lofty dream for the motherland.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh