Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Nkrumaism: 1980's and beyond (Part II)

Kofi Owusu

The first part of KOFI OWUSU's article wondering how politics could be played without invoking one of the political ideologies, was published last December. This concludes the piece.
In the last paragraph (page 131) of the SPARK he wrote: There were attempts to draft the author as vice Presidential candidate, he started lobbying for some- one else. On page 97, last paragraph: I have been asked why I did not become a cabinet member... I wanted. to lead my own life as a businessman."

Mr Kofi Batsa was the chairman of Publicity Committee of PNP, on page 66 of the SPARK he was the chairman of the Legal and Finance Committee, on page 75, he was the vice chairman of the Project Implementation Committee. He was the chairman to oversee the activities of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance, on page 96, he was actively working on a diplomatic alliance with Nigeria. On page 98, he was engaged in moves to set up "Ghana's lobby in United States of America." He was a member of the Press Commission. He drafted part of the Ghana Investment Code. The author had misgivings on the one Party system in Ghana, although he became M.P. for Asesewa and cultivated grassroots solidarity which he later on used to help PNP win the elections in this area. Did it not occur to him that during the PNP era his postures reflected on the old habits exhibited by the Party officials of the First Republic? How could someone who was not in any way accountable to the Ghanaian Parliament of Third Repub- lic wield so much influence and hold so many positions of trust? How could an active private business executive in a developing country like Ghana combine all these duties while some useful and talented PNP members were even looking for part-time jobs that were non-existent? Was this attitude not undermining the philosophy of "we create and share"?

On page 90". Also some departmental ministers were relatively young and inexperienced men." Why should this be the case after long years of military rule and an open threat from J J Rawlings? Were surrogates of very few PNP top brass being appointed to head these ministries, regardless of their experiences in politics? Could not the inexperienced ones be made to learn from the experienced ones who should have been put in senior positions?

"If the mischievous propagators of these gospels took the trouble to think at all, they appeared to ignore or forget the fact that Nkrumah himself, had he been alive at the time and had remained in effective control of Ghana affairs, might have had his views and ideology on social control considerably modified and transformed in keeping with the changing and changed realities of the day" page 117.

Do true christians give up the precepts - of Jesus Christ, proclaimed two thousand years ago because they are in the 1980's? Do muslims or Mohammedans have to forget the teachings of Mohammed because we are in a permissive era in most parts of the world? A principled person does not easily forego his political beliefs and this does not mean he cannot compro- mise on specific issues. That is the more reason why probably it is stated on page 135 of the SPARK: "... Every Ghanaian must look to his own conscience". Late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah's aim would not have changed, they have been consistent while he was alive and have proved time-tested. His principles remained the same, his methods met differing situations, his tactics only kept on being re-appraised.

"If the mischievous propagators of these gospels took the trouble to think at all, they appeared to ignore or forget the fact that Nkrumah himself, had he been alive at the time and had remained in effective control of Ghana affairs, might have had his views and ideology on social control considerably modified".

In Towards Colonial Freedom, (1947) Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah wrote: "The basis of colonial territorial dependence is economic, but the solution is political. Hence political independence is an indispensable step towards securing economic independence. This point of view irrevocably calls for an alliance of all colonial territories and dependencies. Thus the goal of national liberation move- ment is the realization of complete and unconditional independence and the building of a society of people in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all. PEOPLE OF THE COLONIES UNITE: The working men of all countries are behind you".

The first President of Ghana never deviated from this stance, the priority of political revolution in the struggle towards Africa's unification and socialist recon- struction. He believed in non-violent pos- itive action. However between 1968 and 1970, he recommended armed struggle to defeat the insidious neo-colonialism, hence the publication of HANDBOOK OF REVOLUTIONARY WELFARE and CLASS STRUGGLE IN AFRICA.

On page 118, the reading public is informed by the SPARK, "Nkrumah for one thing allowed for the Euro-Judic-Christian, Islamic and other ideological, philosophical and cultural buffeting which the country had experienced within the period of colonial contact and sub- jugation." This view, among many others, also makes Nkrumaism intrinsically poli- tical ideology for the new Africa. For instance on External Affairs, Ghana's policy has essentially positive neutrality and non-aligned incorporated with the African liberation and unity; on the home front, for the first time in the history of Ghana many opportunities in all vistas of man's endeavours were being made available to millions of Ghanaians.

On the name of Nkrumaism "The grop- ing for a more fitting localised termin- ology than Marxism-Leninism accounted for the adoption of Nkrumaism as a matter of convenience" page 118.

Nkrumaism is not the wholesale appli- cation of Marxism-Leninism in Ghana or Africa. It has three strands anti-colon- ial and anti-neo-colonial facet, Africa- liberation and unity projections and socialistic instincts. What is the fuss in naming the thoughts of these developments after the man who has been the originator or coordinator of such lofty ideas?

The fitting stage Ghana has got to now is the question rightly put on page 135 of the Spark.

"How can we find a path of change?" the answer to this relevant question is on page 119 of the SPARK:

"... The CPP will be well-advised... to take to the country and re-organise the true CPP".

The political game must be played as the majority of Ghanaians wish. After all, even the one Party system was not imposed on Ghanaians, it was a democratic process. This does not mean that there were no flaws; for instance, the members of Parliament should have contested for their seats.

The CPP existed when there were other parties - NLM, UP, NPP, MAP to mention a few. So why can't the political game be played as the majority of Ghanaians wish? Now, there is the problem of military rule. Late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah told the Ghanaian National Assembly on 1st February, 1966:

"It is not the duty of the army to rule or govern, because it has no political mandate. The army operates under the mandate of the civil government. If the national interest compels the armed forces to intervene, then immediately after the intervention the army must hand over to a new civil government elected by the people and enjoying the people's man- date under a constitution accepted by them. If the army does not do this then the position of the army becomes dubious and anomalous and involves a betrayal of the people and the national interest."

General Afrifa handed over to Dr K A Busia to be overthrown by Late General Kutu Acheampong. The latter attempted to involve the military cum police in a kind of constitutional rule. This was nipped in the bud by General Akuffo's SMC II. AFRC took over power and after three months of house cleaning exercise dissolved itself to pave a way for constitutional rule.

The PNDC took over the government of Ghana in a coup. For four solid years, the council has ruled the country without the mandate of Ghanaians. The rule of Jerry Rawlings has become anomalous. It is no longer desirable to prolong the capricious regime's existence. The "betrayal of national interest" by the PNDC has also been tainted with fascist-like discord and disorganization of one of the once peace loving Ghanaian society.

No doubt, the Ghana Armed Forces like other Ghanaian institutions have to be fully re-organized. The sagging morale of Ghana's once proud soldiers need to be revamped. The military must be fully involved in any meaningful economic development of Ghana.

On the economy of Ghana, IMF is making the PNDC implement policies that consist of trying to dress up in the garb of reputable economic arguments, a programme which really springs from a prejudice to balkanize most of the developing countries and actually impoverish their people. For instance, the rate of devaluation of the cedi is untenable. A new economic policy has to be charted on an updated Work and Happiness programme. This economic development should not be to fight inflation or even to preserve the value of money. It must achieve the highest attainable output of all goods and services needed for the Welfare of Ghanaians, including those serving the unquantifiable needs such as health, education, leisure, caring for our old folks the rebuilding of Ghana's outmoded villages and towns and finally to attain minimum inequality in their provision or distribution.

A dangerous trend that needs a quick knock-out blow to clear the way for a fresh thinking and action is the essence of tribalism. That depressing tendency, retrograde in outlook, which makes some fellow country-men earmark certain tribes even if they are in the majority for attacks and unfair treatment.

The PNDC took over the government of Ghana in a coup. For four solid years, the council has ruled the country without the mandate of Ghanaians. The rule of Jerry Rawlings has become anomalous. It is no longer desirable to prolong the capricious regime's existence.

Tribalism should not be allowed to con- fuse issues affecting the destiny of mother Ghana. After all we are all Ghanaians with one great destiny. This destiny is being dragged further and further down into the mud by the policies of the Rawlings-Tsikata-Obeng regime of the PNDC.

There must be greater impetus to get back home in Ghana the flight of Ghana- ian manpower to be fully utilised for Ghana's upliftment.

The commitment to African liberation and unity has to be vigorously pursued, as well as playing our dynamic roles in the commonwealth as equal partners and make Ghana's presence felt at the United Nations and in the Non-aligned movement.

There must be decisive leadership assisted by those fired with sense of mission and dedicated purposes. Let the implications of the past make us adroit for the future because there is no country as ours except Ghana and there is no continent for us except Africa. Do not go in for sinecure appointments, propagatory in value, but be the decision makers or part of the decision-making process.

The late Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah has taught that "Organise, organisation decides everything" in 1949. This is also a valid slogan for the 1980's and beyond. Let us all give it more effective meaning than it has ever had in the past.

talking drums 1986-01-13 colonel gaddafi in ghana j.h. mensah arrested