A true leader is one who pictures the future right from the present. The late Ghanaian leader Kwame Nkurumah happens to fall in the bracket of such African pioneers, having predicted in one of his books what he perceived about the Neo-Colonialism.
In his Book titled “Neo-Colonialism: The Stage of Imperialism” published in 1965, Ghanaian leader and perhaps the greatest African that ever lived – kwame Nkurumah emphasized on the message on African Unity as the only option for Africa’s total liberation from the Colonial masters.
Even After Independence, Nkurumah continued to call on African leaders to come together in formation of a united States of Africa, which according to him will help protect Africa from the colonial masters whom he said still had pernicious interests in Africa.
Through the formation of one Army, adoption of one Currency, application of Regional Integration and acceptance of a one African capital state, Nkurumah believed that Africa would be better positioned to grow as a people (which we truly are) regardless of our colonial roots; and be better prepared for the second coming of colonialism.
According to him, Africa was drifting into a more dangerous phase which sees the continent ruled through puppet leaders who do the bidding of the colonial masters, Comprador Bourgeoisies who serve as regent for the slave traders and help to carry out their orders.
To mark the Independence of Ghana – the first country to gain independence in Africa, Kwame Nkrumah, the hero of African independence and first president of Ghana delivered the first independence speech on March 6, 1957 to a large crowd of people including representatives from the British monarch and high ranking British delegates.
With the boldness of a lion and fire in his eyes, not minding the presence of colonial dictators, he roared: “We have won the battle and again rededicate ourselves, but our independence is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa.”
To conclude his speech on that blessed day, he said:
“Seeing you in this… It doesn’t matter how far my eyes go, I can see that you are here in your millions. And my last warning to you is that you are to stand firm behind us so that we can prove to the world that when the African is given a chance, he can show the world that he is somebody!
“We have awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now one, there is a new African in the world!”
Unknown to Kwame Nkuruma, the same people for which he was ready to lay down his life would in a few years on February 24, 1966 celebrate the military-police coup that overthrew him and bring down his statue.
The coup itself was welcomed in Ghana with far more enthusiasm than had been the case for independence. Only the Presidential Guard put up a brief resistance, and within 24 hours the coup was over.
Nkrumah’s statue outside Parliament House, which proclaimed him the founder of the nation, was battered to the ground and smashed into pieces. The bars were jammed with celebrants the night after the coup.
There were demonstrations of support for the new rulers, who styled themselves the National Liberation Council (NLC). Even members of the 74-man delegation that had accompanied Nkrumah to China deserted their former leader.
The then Foreign Minister, Quaison-Sackey, who Nkrumah had sent to protest the seating of the new Ghanaian government’s mission at the Organization of African unity (OAU) meeting in Addis Ababa, flew instead to Accra, where he pledged his loyalty to the new government.
Sadly, this great lion will die of prostate cancer on 27 April 1972 in a hospital in Bucharest, Romania while on exile in Conakry, Guinea.
According to reports, the Ghana government after Nkrumah’s overthrow led by Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia rejected pleas from Guinea between 1970 and 1971 to allow Nkrumah to return home for treatment after his ill health surfaced; and had it not been for the pleas of him mother who had said ““I want to touch the body of my son before he is buried, or I die”, this great African luminary would have been buried in exile.
The embalmed body of Kwame Nkrumah was exhumed and finally flown to Ghana on July 7, 1972, in a special Guinean Air Force plane after months of negotiation. All flags were ordered to fly at half-mast until the country’s first leader was buried.
Nkrumah’s body was again exhumed on July 1, 1992, and reburied at a mausoleum in Accra built on the same grounds where he declared Ghana’s liberation on March 6, 1957.
Today, the colonial masters are back! Within a space of one week and in what appears to be a battle to dominate Africa, Theresa May, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Angela Dorothea Merkel, Chancellor of Germany embarked on pernicious ‘trade’ visits to Africa. This was a confirmation of the internal battle over the dominance of Africa between Europe and the United kingdom post Brexit.
Kwame Nkurumah was right, the colonial masters are here again……and we are unprepared to put up a resistance; what next!
Historic Credit: The history of Ghana – Roger S. Gocking – ISBN 0-313-31894-8