I have read the full-text of Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong’s specially solicited presentation to the democracy monitoring and fostering group headed by former Kufuor spokesman, Mr. Andrew Awuni, and find absolutely no merit in Mr. Kweku Manful’s irredeemably gratuitous attempt to both malign and impugn the sterling reputation of the Oxbridge-educated retired Roman Catholic prelate of Kumasi (See “CPP North America Replies Archbishop Sarpong” Ghanaweb.com 6/21/12). In the main, Rev.-Dr. Sarpong called for political tolerance, sacrifice, discipline, honesty and patriotism, elements sorely lacking in postcolonial Ghanaian politics since 1957. And, needless to say, Archbishop Sarpong was old enough to have lived and appreciated every aspect of Ghanaian political culture in the period discussed in his keynote presentation. Of course, he was also astute enough to anticipate intemperate attacks of the kind savagely volleyed at him by the CPP-USA Abongo Boys.
One thing, however, is certain: Mr. Manful, who signed the CPP-USA tirade, exhibits the kind of insufferable arrogance and surliness that is not ordinarily associated with a well-cultivated citizen of the country that Dr. J. B. Danquah named and got overwhelmingly approved at the polls by Ghanaian voters in the mid-1950s. It is also clear to any decent Ghanaian citizen that very likely, the author of the aforesaid tirade grew up without any remarkable parental discipline and guidance. But, of course, the latter fact, in of itself, does not either exonerate or mitigate the unpardonable repugnance of such tirade. In sum, Mr. Manful requires immediate psycho-spiritual redemption.
Needless to say, I have written and published extensively about the untold atrocities perpetrated by the Nkrumah-led and at once tautological and plagiaristically named Convention People’s Party (CPP) – talk of a flagrant violation of intellectual property rights – and would rather refer interested parties to this perennial debate to Google the names “Nkrumah and Okoampa” for an exhaustive detail of the same. Suffice it, however, to observe that the brazenly criminal attempt by Mr. Manful and his ilk to foist a luridly fabricated and execrably mendacious “Nkrumaist” version of modern Ghanaian historian on a largely untutored and unsuspecting Ghanaian youth, is woefully bound to fail. And for good measure, suffice it to also observe here, at least in passing, that the arduous struggles that culminated in Ghana’s attainment of sovereignty did not begin with Mr. Kwame Nkrumah – and neither would lying about Mr. Nkrumah’s academic and traditional credentials change the clearly immutable facts of history on the ground, as it were.
The glaring facts of history unreservedly point to the fact that Mr. Kwame Nkrumah never “earned” any doctoral degrees the traditional “brain-oriented” way, although passively listening to tourist guides at the Nkrumah Mausoleum gives the rather fabulous impression of the man’s having literally sauntered his way through the Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of London which, by the way, the man never attended! And neither was Mr. Nkrumah invested by any legitimate or nationally recognized traditional authority with the grotesquely oversized title of “Osagyefo.” And, indeed, as Brig.-Gen. A. A. Afrifa aptly pointed out in the wake of the 1966 putsch that auspiciously removed the malignant cancerous tumor that was the CPP from the august Ghanaian political landscape, so brazen and overweening was his arrogance that at the close of his veritable reign-of-terror, Nkrumah had virtually grown to envisage the Ghanaian State as his personal invention and our national coffers, his wallet.
Indeed, the preceding clearly explains the fact that on the eve of his self-appointed mission to Hanoi (See Fitch and Oppenheimer’s Ghana: The End of an Illusion), Nkrumah was able to so casually and cavalierly will his property – in essence, the entire Ghanaian State – to some key operatives of his one-party unlimited liability company, otherwise known as the Convention People’s Party which, by the way, the self-styled “Osagyefo” of Ghana envisaged to be one and the same with the Ghanaian State, and himself, of course, our beloved nation’s “President-for-Life.” The CPP’s red-cockerel insignia would also be made synonymous with our national, corporate identity. As a foreshadowing of his creeping dictatorship, as early as June 12, 1949, when he named himself “Life-Chairman” of the CPP, Dr. Danquah rightly predicted that a Prime Minister/President Nkrumah was certain to plunge the country into the ravine of a fascist dictatorship (See Danquah’s Voice of Prophecy). The Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian politics would dearly pay for his foresight with his life.
Is this kind of sacrilege what Mr. Kweku (Ananse) Manful and his so-called CPP-USA Abongo Boys would have Ghanaians extol and celebrate with Dionysian lunacy as one that typifies the quintessence of democratic governance, as it ought to be practiced in Africa? It is also rather pathetic for the CPP-USA Abongo Boys to presume to apotheosize their “Osagyefo” by deliberately seeking to criminally regress the history of arguably the most politically enlightened and economically advanced West African country in the last 200 years! In sum, it is unpardonably insolent for the CPP-USA Abongo Boys – I thought Mr. Manful would be writing from either Moscow or Beijing – to postulate the era of the CPP Cult-of-Personality (1951-1966) as the Golden Years of Ghana’s existence as a sovereign nation. And also to flagrantly landmark 1966 as the beginning of postcolonial Ghana’s season of misery as a polity.
Indeed, if Mr. Manful had read Dennis Austin’s Politics in Ghana: 1946-1960, he would have approached the history of the Ghana National College, Cape Coast, and the country at large, even as Ambassador Kwesi Armah did shortly before his death, with measured humility and unvarnished truthfulness. And if he had also bothered to educate himself about the history of such landmark institutions as Achimota, Nkrumah’s alma mater, the University of Ghana and Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, the CPP-USA upstart would have perfectly appreciated his own deafening moral and material insignificance vis-à-vis the foundations and development of postcolonial Ghana.
Anyway, the next time he decides to lecture Archbishop Peter Kwasi Sarpong on the context and implications of the Pauline admonition of 1 Corinthians 10: 23-24, he would do himself a lot of good to run the same by, perhaps, Ghana’s foremost exegetical scholar of the New Testament. Among the Akan, there is this maxim for lost souls like Mr. Kweku Manful (or is it Kwaku Amanfo?): “If you don’t know somebody, you call him/her a slave.”
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 Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Ghanaian Politics Today” (Lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: email@example.com
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