Exactly 50 years ago, on February 24, 1966, the government of Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, was overthrown by his own armed forces.
Just a few months earlier, Kwame Nkrumah had ordered Ghana's army to prepare for a Rhodesia invasion, after European settlers illegally set up an autonomous government in 1965 to rule the indigenous people.
Nkrumah ordered his military to conduct simulation exercises in Ghana to ensure that they are ready anytime to respond at short notice to go and fight alongside fellow Africans to defeat the European usurpers in 'Zimbabwe'.
However, under the pretext of this very exercise, and with American (CIA) involvement, a plot was hatched to send over 600 troops from Kumasi to Accra to execute a coup d’état while Nkrumah was on a trip en route to Vietnam to mediate in talks to solve America's own war wahala.
Nkrumah heard about his overthrow in faraway Asia. Many African leaders offered him place to live, but he chose Guinea, where President Sekou Toure offered him post as honorary president. He never saw Ghana again.
K.A. Busia returned from exile in the UK and became Prime Minister of Ghana. He introduced the Aliens Compliance Order in 1969 which tagged other Africans as 'aliens' and drove them out on short notice. Most of them from neighbouring states like Nigeria, Mali, Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) and Niger were driven out of Ghana in the first 'xenophobic law' by an independent African state.
After '66, Ghana became weak due to weak leadership.
Kwame Nkrumah loved Africa. During his presidency, Ghana welcomed African people from all parts of the globe and funded liberation movements as well as developmental projects across Africa. Nkrumah loved every part of Africa just as he loved Ghana. And that led to his overthrow.
Nkrumah lived and died for African Unity. In his own words, "Africa must unite or die." Many times, I've heard folks simply say "it's impossible," but to me, that continues to elevate Kwame Nkrumah as a great thinker and one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen.
The Africa that ought t' be won't form from a simple process. It will be more of Africa, and less of Ghana — less Zimbabwe, less Guinea, less Nigeria, less Egypt, less Ethiopia, less America, less everything.
Source: Lord Kweku Sekyi is a freelance writer/Email: [email protected]
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