44th anniversary of overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah commemorated
The Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, a society which believes in the tenets of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, on Wednesday commemorated the 44th anniversary of his overthrow with a call on government to rename the Kotoka International Airport, since its current name glorified coup d’états.
The Foundation also appealed to government not to leave the provision of basic amenities, such as water and housing, in the hands of foreigners since it was a display of our inability “to manage our own affairs”.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah, first President of Ghana, was overthrown in a coup on February 24, 1966 by a group of Ghanaian soldiers and police officers led by Colonel Akwasi Afrifa and Lieutenant General Emmanuel Kotoka, in a bloody coup which saw the death of many presidential guards and security officers at the Flagstaff House, then seat of government.
The perpetrators of the coup were purported to have been sponsored by the US Central Intelligence Agency and the MI5 of the British government.
In his submission, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, a leading member of the group, said successive government had not done much to uphold and implement the development plans of the first president.
He extolled the virtues of Dr Nkrumah and cited the construction of many districts and regional hospitals, primary and middle schools, training colleges and universities; the establishment of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and all its 13 research institutes as some of the achievements of the former President.
“The building of all these schools was done by Ghanaian contractors who became very marketable as other African countries became independent and they were invited to help build schools,” he said.
He also praised Dr Nkrumah for the establishment of the Workers Brigade, which provided skills training for persons with minimal education and the creation of Ghana Development Fund for development projects.
Professor Akosa praised Dr Nkrumah for turning Tema into an industrial hub and the establishment of the State Housing Corporation, as part of his party’s social housing programmes.
“Today, many Ghanaians have been reduced to sleeping rough. Provision of shelter in a poor country like ours should not be left entirely to market forces. Many citizens have been short changed and denied their fundamental human rights due to this,” he said.
The Group criticised successive governments after Dr Nkrumah for taking advice on the financial sector from our colonial masters and institutions, which did not benefit the country in any way.
“The Divestiture Implementation Committee, ill-advised by its consultants, has hastily sold off many of our companies to the detriment of Ghana and Ghanaians,” he explained.
Professor Akosa praised Dr Nkrumah for the unprecedented accelerated development of the country and the initiation of the seven-year development plan which became a bold defining document for any new country keen to develop.
“Many African and Asian countries have used the blueprint to develop their respective countries whiles successive governments in Ghana have shied away from it,” he lamented.
He cited the hostile opposition in parliament during the presidency of Dr Nkrumah for contributing towards his removal, due to their strong desire to rule.
Professor Akosa defended the enactment of the Preventive Detention Act of 1958 since it helped to maintain Ghana as a unitary state and also minimized the number of assassination attempts on Dr Nkrumah’s life.
“Nkrumah may not be a saint but all that he did was for the betterment of mother Ghana,” he added.
He appealed to our leaders to read books written by Nkrumah in order to know his mind and his development plans for the country.
These books, he added, should be used as textbooks in the primary and secondary levels.