He may not be aware of this, but it increasingly appears that when Mr. Sekou Nkrumah makes public pronouncements on partisan Ghanaian politics, he rarely pauses to analyze the logical implications of his contradictory rhetoric. Recently, for example, the second son (and third child) of late President Nkrumah by his Egyptian wife was quoted to be saying that while he intends to vote for President John Evans Atta-Mills in Election 2012, primarily as a matter of partisan political principle, nonetheless, he does not intend to campaign for Tarkwa-Atta (See “I’ll Vote for Mills But I Won’t Campaign for Him – Sekou Nkrumah” MyJoyOnline.com 7/18/11).
The younger Mr. Nkrumah then went on to catalogue all the administrative deficiencies of the ruling National Democratic Congress that make both supporting and campaigning for the party a complete waste of time, energy and human resources. A striking example of such waste regarded the embarrassingly superficial attitude of the Mills-Mahama government towards basic education in the country. On the latter score, Mr. Nkrumah sarcastically observed: “If you move a school from under a tree to a [classroom] block, that is not education. We should be thinking about quality education.”
What clearly makes the Nkrumah scion the most hypocritical critic of his ilk, is the fact that the former coordinator of the National Youth Council (NYC) predictably and cynically refuses to recognize the far more visionary and constructive educational policy alternative put forth by the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which the younger Mr. Nkrumah shamelessly echoes in his pointed criticism of the Mills-Mahama administration.
Mr. Nkrumah also appears to be cognitively dissonant when he claims, under the patently specious guise of the imperative need to toeing the party line, that while it would be a contradiction of his conviction to campaign for President Mills in Election 2012, nevertheless, since Tarkwa-Atta was “chosen by the delegates representing the voice of the party,” perforce, the younger Mr. Nkrumah has no other recourse but to fall in behind the candidacy of the very personality whom he has time and again categorically described as one woefully lacking in both inspirational and leadership skills.
Well, the fact of the matter is that party affiliation or not, Mr. Nkrumah is far more obligated to voting on the basis of his conscience, and conviction, if he truly believes himself to be a man of principles. What is also quite curiously fascinating here is the fact that in the lead-up to the Sunyani delegates’ convention of the ruling National Democratic Congress barely a fortnight ago, Mr. Nkrumah had staunchly backed the farcical candidacy of Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, even while also publicly claiming that it was “ill-conceived.”
Our contention here is that Mr. Nkrumah does not have to vote for President Mills come December 2012, just as he had done at the Sunyani convention. What is more, it is all-too-natural to expect that quite a remarkable percentage of registered NDC members, supporters and sympathizers who feel grossly shortchanged by the policies of the Mills-Mahama administration are likely to cross party lines as a matter of principle rather than dogma, which clearly appears to be the motivating factor behind Mr. Nkrumah’s paradoxical decision to vote for President Mills, even while adamantly refusing to campaign for the man.
On the foregoing score, one can hardly fault the younger Mr. Nkrumah, since like the NDC, the so-called Convention People’s Party which his own father founded some 62 years ago, was known to be far more dogmatic than democratic in both ideological orientation and praxis.
It is also quite understandable for Mr. Nkrumah not to want to vote or campaign for the Danquah-leaning New Patriotic Party whose platform, by the way, contains precisely the sort of visionary educational policy that Tarkwa-Atta’s government gapingly lacks. It also goes without saying that Mr. Sekou Nkrumah appears to feel the bounden obligation to keep aflame that mordant historical streak of inveterate animus that his father harbored for Dr. J. B. Danquah, the celebrated Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics and the veritable father of postcolonial Ghanaian democracy.
But that the late President Nkrumah would viciously and systematically orchestrate the brutal assassination of the very man who introduced the African Show Boy to the mainstream of modern Ghanaian political culture, may very well have a lot to do with Mr. Sekou Nkrumah’s evidently schizophrenic stance towards principled political praxis.
I must, however, observe, at least in passing, that my refusal to open a recent E-mail copy of the younger Mr. Nkrumah’s maiden novel, The Fatherless Child, had far more to do with temporal strictures on the part of yours truly than any political qualms whatsoever. Besides, I sincerely felt that as the scion of a quite famous – or infamous – Ghanaian leader, Sekou Nkrumah’s novel is highly unlikely not to attract the rapt attention and sedulous interest of the legions of programmatic Nkrumah scholars and critics around the globe.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of 22 books, including “The Obama Serenades” (Lulu.com, 2011).