Kwame Nkrumah: 46 years after

ON this day, 46 years ago, the torch-bearer of African revolution, Kwame Nkrumah, died in Bucharest, Romania. He was said to have died of cancer. There is nowhere African revolution is talked about that the name of Kwame Nkrumah will not ring to the high heaven. He, with great nationalists like the late Papa Obafemi Awolowo and the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, were men who lived and died raising the dignity of the African people.

Nkrumah from Nkrofu in Ghana led Ghana to independence on 6 March, 1957 standing on a dais in the old Polo Ground in Accra, Ghana, Dr. I. Archie Casely Hayford, Kwame Nkrumah, Kojo Botsio, Komla A. Gbedema, Koobo Edusei had declared the Independence of Ghana (former Gold Coast) from British Colonial rule.

Nkrumah had said on that great day “Ghana is free for ever….. The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of Africa.” On 6th March, 1957, Ghana became the first African nation to be rid of colonial rule in Africa. The Imperialist machinations to sack Nkrumah’s progressive government started that very day.

Osagyefo, Kantamanto Kwame Nkrumah, was radical, and revolutionary. He did not waste time in declaring Ghana a pan-African socialist state. Everything was done by him to advance the struggles for independence of all the African states. For example, the independence constitution of Uganda under Milton Obote was worked out in Ghana. The late Alao Aka-Bashorun and Kofi Batsa participated clearly in that programme. Under Nkrumah, Ghana was broken into revolutionary cells. There was the Youth programme under the late Comrade Sappong Kumankuma. There was the Young Farmer’s League. There was the Ghana Trade Union Congress with Comrade John Tettegah who in 1981 came to deliver the ObafemiAwolowobirthday lectures in Nigeria. There was the development of Sports in Ghana under the late OheneDjan.

The Imperialists immediately declared war on the progressive Nkrumah regime. All attempts were made to silence him. Nationalist fighters all over Africa converged on the tiny Ghana to provide them with leadership. The late Samuel Goomsu Ikoku, Chief Ayo Adebanjo (from Nigeria) and Robert Mugabe from Zimbabwe were all in Accra, Ghana. Mugabe had married a Ghanaian woman, Selly, in Accra. Their son died and was buried in Ghana. Selly died many years ago etc. . The Imperialists soon named Ghana as the nursery of African subversives.

The first major Imperialist attack on Nkrumah was made on Wednesday first August 1962 at 4.30p.m in a village near Tamale. It wasthe Kulungugu bomb attack on Nkrumah. The attack was on the entourage of Nkrumah coming from the Northern border of Ghana. Nkrumah had gone there to hold talks with the late Maurice Yemeogo, the then President of Upper Volta  now called Burkina-Faso. It was a decisive attempt to remove the border between Ghana and Upper Volta so as to hasten the independence of other parts of Africa then under colonial rule.

A young female secondary school student was approaching the car of her President (Kwame Nkrumah) when the bomb exploded. Nkrumah survived the attack but it proved clearly that the Imperialists would want him dead. The young female school girl survived the bomb attack. She was later flown to Britain by the Nkrumah government for treatment. Many people died in the attack.

Nkrumah was later transferred to a General Hospital in Tamale where he stayed for One Week receiving treatment from a British doctor. Nkrumah’s Information Minister, Tawia Adamefio, was named as the man that had sponsored the Kulungugu bomb attack. I met Ademafio years later in Ghana during the General Archeempong rule where he told me that he knew nothing about the bomb attack on Nkrumah.

The plot against the great Nkrumah continued until the February 24, 1966 coup in Ghana that eventually led to the down fall of the Nkrumah regime. The coup was led by General J. Ankrah, Colonel Emmanuel Kotoka and Major Amansa Akwasi Afrifa. The coup had taken place when Nkrumah was on his way to China on a peace mission.

Nkrumah eventually diverted his plane to Conakry Guinea where he stayed with his friend SekuToure then the President of Guinea. Nkrumah was in Conakry until he was flown for treatment in Romania in 1972 where he subsequently died.

It must be remembered that it was Kwame Nkrumah who in 1958 had granted an interest free loan to SekuToure’s Guinea when he later had declared independence unilaterally from France. Toure never left the side of his friend Nkrumah after the coup of February 24, 1966. Nkrumah had equally inspired the formation of the Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union. It was a union formed to put the interests of Africa first in the struggle to terminate colonialism in Africa. The late Modibo Keita was then the President of Mali. Modibo Keita died in prison.

The military moved against the militant Modibo Keita regime in a coup. The coup was a big blow to Nkrumah’s anti Imperialist struggle. Nkrumah used to make the dawn broadcasts to the people of Ghana. They were broadcasting the people of Ghana never to abandon the Pan-African struggle for freedom. A book, “THE VOICE FROM CONAKRY” was later released by PANAF PRESS in London putting together these broadcasts.

In a book titled “Dark Days In Ghana”, Nkrumah had said the following on the military coups that were then becomingthe Imperialist machine of terminating progressive governments in Africa: “The duty of the Army is not to rule….. If national interests compel the Armed forces to intervene, their intervention must not be long. If it becomes long then the military stay in power will become dubious and anomalies. And it will be a betrayal of the peoples interests”. Nkrumah also had a journal titled Africa And The World, then edited by Douglas Rogers. My friend Dr. David Ogunsade trained at the Regent Street Institute of Journalism in London worked in that Journal.

All those who had turned against Nkrumah and his revolutionary Pan-African politics later suffered from their crimes. General Ankrah was ignominiouslysacked as Head of Ghana Government after he had been exposed by a Nigerian businessman Arthur Nzeribe of planning to succeed himself. Colonel Emmanuel Kotoka who had led the infantry revolt against the Nkrumah regime was killed in an abortive coup led by Lieutenants Arthur Yeboah and Osei Poku. The body of Kotoka was found in a dust bin at the Accra International Airport that was later named after him.

Major (General) Amansa Afrifa who had assisted in the overthrow of the Nkrumah regime was later executed by a coup led by Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings. Today, Africa continues to mourn the passing away of OsagyeforKantamanto Kwame Nkrumah. He will for long be remembered.

“Kwame never say no!

Oh Yes, Yes, Never say No!!

Oh Yes, Yes, Yes!!! – That was the song with which supporters of Nkrumah remember him.




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