Provocative Conscience: The unfair Speaker and the alternative history

Ghana Thinks

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Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye

History they say, has two sides. And mostly so is political history as power-hungry politicians, around the world, would never give way to truth.

However, history does not need to be balanced it only need to be the truth. No one should be deceived by the ‘dishonest’ shenanigans aimed at distorting history disproportionately in favour of UGCC, as against an excellent political organization of the CPP.

You would expect government to concentrate on the issues that will transform health care and other economic challenges including reducing the high youth unemployment that the World Bank pegged at 48%. But no, that was not to be.

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The government prefers to rewrite the history of their family members and political forebears by placing them on the front benches of Ghana’s history. Issues that will not cut butter has come to the fore and debates that would not stimulate any economic indicator has been stoked--This is the new competence.

In support of the August 4th celebration as Ghana’s turning point, government argues that the NDC faulted in instituting 21st September as the founder’s Day (i.e. Nkrumah’s birthday) instead of 4th August, the birth of UGCC.

However, history is not in their favour and the very lecture that was to mark the daybetrayed the very argument they arehiding behind. These are proponents of an all-inclusive founders’ day celebration, but all Prof Mike Oquaye did in his lecture was a display of open bias towardsDr.Dankwa.

The Speaker of Parliament who deliberately forgot that his current office demands some level of fairness, highlighted the weaknesses of Nkrumah against the strengths of Dankwa. And even the Paa Grant who was the convener and chairman of the UGCC was not the focus of the NPP.

 But as Mr. Speaker reminds us of the Preventive Detention Act, many remember Nkrumah who was terrorized and bombed by the elitist gangsters.  The bigots can bring quotable sentences of Dr. Dankwa from the archives of elitism but I want to remind them that “we are awakened. We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now on, there is a new African in the world”. History doesn’t record any major political event organized by the UGCC before Nkrumah joined them.

In fact, the unrefined display of bias by the speaker of Parliament gets me worried about the concerns of the minority in parliament that the speaker is not fair to them. This might be true as was confirmed in his Friday lecture. I am not too surprised that an academic like him would try to hurt our history. Both research and history have shown that higher education does not necessarily cure religious and political prejudice nor bias.

The Speaker of parliament according to some of his former students consistently demonized Nkrumah in the classroom.  Also when the NPP marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Dankwa’s death,Professor Mike Oquaye and late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey went on rampage by attributing almost every initiative, except judgement debts to Dankwa.

Indeed, Nkrumah jailed his opponents through the Prevention Detention Act. True. But this was Nkrumah’s way of preventing his opponents from bombing him. How many of us wouldn’t take this decision? Didn’t the US establish Guantanamo Bay later for its terrorists?

Ghana’s Day of Destiny.

The theme for the 4th August celebration was ‘Ghana’s Day of Destiny’. This is funny and betrays the intelligence of those pitching Dankwa against Nkrumah. Why? This is because, Dankwa, Busia and their colleagues opposed Nkrumah’s unitary state. Today’s Ghana is a unitary state as opposed to Dankwa’s federal state. In essence, the UGCC cannot credit itself with this Ghana that considers my part of the Volta region as its territory.

Secondly, Dankwa and his friends wanted a gradual process towards independence while Nkrumah wanted it NOW. Like my mother would say, ‘this people say they wanted independence but their dressings and everything they do shows they are not ready.’ Nkrumah had no time to romanticize the idea of independence with the colonial rulers as his colleagues in the UGCC did.

This was why Dr. Nkrumah left and he didn’t just leave alone; he left with Dr. Ako Adjei, the man who brought him into the UGCC. In short, there is a difference between gradualism and immediate actions. So this is Nkrumah’s Ghana and no bedroom conversations nor beer bar chatters will be swallowed as an alternative history.

The reason Nkrumah cannot be obliterated is that, he did not influence only Africa but he influenced marginalized races across the world.  And in Ghana, Nkrumah enjoys praises from members of all political parties.  

To end this, I would like to share a Facebook post by my friend, RapAmosum: “You people should not come and rewrite Ghana’s history for us…People played very vital roles in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa but when the word apartheid is mentioned, the only name that comes to mind is Mandela…”