Opinion: Prof. Oquaye Puts the Nkrumacrats in Their Place – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament Aaron Michael Oquaye

The writer of the JoyOnline.com news article that reported the lecture presented by, perhaps, the most erudite and authoritative political scientist and historian alive in the country, rather quizzically suggested that Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye’s edifying attempt to put together the scattered jigsaw-puzzle pieces of Ghana’s independence struggle, and the real actors and players who had championed the same, had “fired what may well be a trigger for a new ideological warfare between followers of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president[,] and his biggest opponent at the time, Dr. J. B. Danquah” (See “Nkrumah Founder of Ghana? That’s Propaganda – Speaker Suggests” 8/4/17).

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Well, anybody who had reasonably paid adequate attention to the contours of the history of Ghana’s independence struggle, is fully aware of the fact that there can be absolutely no “ideological warfare” between the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Nkrumah-inspired rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP). The fact of the matter is that both major ideological strands of Ghanaian political culture take their sources of inspiration from the Grant- and Danquah-founded United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). They, of course, have ideological divergences, but these are not radically discrete. It is largely on the question of how best to implement policy initiatives geared towards the development of the country where such differences arise.

Then, there is also the fundamental question of critical dedication. By the latter clearly implies the disparate levels of sacrifice and commitment to responsible leadership among the key players of both major ideological strands. At any rate, what most impressed me about Prof. Oquaye’s lecture was the fact that the substantive Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament essentially advanced some of the same critical factors that have prompted me to objectively impugn the credibility of Nkrumah’s designation by some of his followers and ideological adherents as “The Founder of Modern Ghana.” That accolade or title, as Prof. Oquaye authoritatively argued, is a phenomenon of collective ownership that actually goes well beyond the legendary “Big Six,” who were largely a British colonial creation.

Nkrumah, who would be invited from London to assume the salaried post of General-Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention, was not even present at the founding of the seminal political party of colonial Ghana. It was the leaders of the UGCC, led by Dr. J. B. Danquah, its most erudite scholar and theorist, that collectively mapped out the country’s independence struggle. Indeed, Mr. George Alfred “Paa” Grant is on record as having accused Mr. Kwame Nkrumah of having absconded with the policy blueprint of the United Gold Coast Convention, when in June 1949, a suspended Kwame Nkrumah, together with some rebels and political upstarts from the Youth Wing of the UGCC, broke away from the latter organization to found the tautologically named Convention People’s Party (CPP).

It was also quite edifying to hear Speaker Oquaye highlight the fact that as a purported founding father of Modern Ghana, it is rather strange that Nkrumah had had absolutely no hand in the renaming of the erstwhile Gold Coast as Modern Ghana. Likewise, unlike Dr. Danquah, Mr. Nkrumah had not been part of the collective that decided on the Eagle emblem of the new nation. As well, Nkrumah had not had any major input in the determination of the shape of the Red, Gold, Green colors of the Ghana flag and the Black Star in the middle or center of the yellow bar section of the same. But what may come as even more devastating for the Nkrumacrats is the knowledge that by 1964, the self-proclaimed Life-President of a one-party Ghanaian state had summarily discarded the Theodosia Asihene-Okoh-conceived and designed Red, Gold, Green and Black Star Ghana flag and replaced the latter with Red, White and Green, colors that looked as if they had been borrowed from one of the European-Union countries.

Indeed, I couldn’t help but fall off my chair with laughter, recently, when I came across an article titled “The United Gold Coast Convention Fought for the Independence of the Gold Coast,” by one of the defeated Trokosi Nationalist cynics who went into hiding in the wake of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s resounding electoral victory over Mr. John Dramani Mahama, his allegedly generous paymaster.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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