106 Years since his birth in 1909, and almost 50 years since his overthrow in 1996, we have not stopped talking about him. But one may ask can we stop? Are there any signs of stopping anytime soon? No, and a resounding No it is. As a people, until we have attained the minimum standard of development, which was an aspiration of Dr. Nkrumah, then it is a No. Until the economic independence of Ghana is anchored in strong trade ties with sister African countries, then it is a No. Not until our leaders become selfless and focus their energies more on the welfare of citizenry, then it is NO! Many have been the writings about Ghana the Black Star of Africa. They painted the promise of this new-born nation upon attaining independence in 1957. The early leaders amplified these sentiments. As Nkrumah would have it on the evening of July 1, 1960 in his address to the nation: “What are our prospects? As you know, we are one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. For our size, our potential wealth is immense. We have a variety of minerals including gold, diamond, manganese and bauxite. Our undeveloped agriculture is stupendous and our soil is extremely fertile. Over seven million Ghanaians have a glorious opportunity for building a first class nation comparable to the best in the world.” Osagyefo was clear in his mind that it was through first class governance that a first class nation could be built.
This was his commitment and to this, he relentlessly labored. But have subsequent leaders committed themselves to this creed? In that same address of the historic republican status, he clearly marked out the plan to building this first class nation, thus: “…Our plan therefore must be to build up industries, heavy and basic, and to diversify and mechanize our agriculture, and we must do this with the utmost speed, if we are not to be overtaken by events. The pace at which the world travels today is so fast that no loafer nations can survive the rate of change…” Today, where are all those industries he started? Let alone to talk of new industries created! We paid dearth ears to Nkrumah’s admonition and we have been overtaken by events, sad as the reality is.
Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was a man who daily stood up to be counted. His exploits have earned him doubtless international praise and recognition. His passion to succeed and overcome obstacles is one trait Ghanaians and Africans seem to be losing in recent times. Even in his acts of omission and errors, one dares say that the premier President and leader of Ghana, stood up to be counted. He was passionate in belief and pursuit of his goals, for the common good of Ghana and Africa’s liberation struggle. Can the same be said about today’s Ghana and her citizens? Have we awakened from our “slumber” of anything goes with plenty room for mediocrity? Do our families reflect the spirit and fortitude displayed by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in his quest for Ghana’s independence and Pan-Africanism? It is on record that till his death, Osagyefo possessed no property. But what we see today, is people acquiring all manner of property, including petrol filling stations which are competing with residential areas for space. How they get money to acquire such property is shrouded in secrecy. There is a proof of pictures of clothes worn by the Osagyefo with inscription within as “Property of Ghana”!!!
As we commemorate the 106th birthday, of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our country should reflect and invoke the traits and positive values that guided his service to mankind while he was alive. Oh that, in the comity of nations, Ghanaian leaders can rise up and speak against tyranny and oppressor’s rule. Our destiny lies in our hands and may it not be written that it has slipped from our hands!!! In marking his 106th birthday today, there can be no better present for Osagyefo than to have all Ghanaians from Sankana to Accra, Axim to Aflao; public servants and private entrepreneurs; chiefs and their subjects; members of the executive, legislature and judiciary stand up for Ghana and be counted!
Y3n ara asase ni….bought at such a costly price!!!
BY: Bernard A. Mornah, General Secretary, People's National Convention.