Nkrumah was wrong to reject opposing views, says Sekou

Osagyefo’s youngest son takes a cold-eyed look at his father’s legacy on Nkrumah Memorial Day and finds flaws

Sekou Nkrumah, the youngest son of Ghana’s first president, has said that his father was wrong to oppose divergent views, an opposition which led to the introduction of a one-party state during Nkrumah’s time in office.

“At some point he became a dictator – no doubt about that – with the introduction of the one-party state. That closed the door on opposing views and opposition generally,” said Dr Nkrumah Jr.

“I don’t agree with the Central Intelligence Agency … being involved in the overthrowing of Nkrumah. They had no business doing that. I think that in many ways retarded our progress.”

“Not the way to go”

He expanded. “People felt that he did that [introduce the one-party state] to unite the country and bring it together, but obviously from what we have researched into and investigated, I don’t think that was the way to go. But that was a possibility back then,” he said.

Sekou Nkrumah was speaking with Kojo Mensah and Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show today (21 September) in an interview to mark the commemoration of Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Day is the birthday of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. It is a special day in the national calendar to honour the first president of the newly independent Ghana.

Dr Nkrumah was overthrown on 24 February 1966 while out of the country on a trip to China.

The coup-makers cited as the principal reasons for their uprising Nkrumah’s Preventive Detection Act, corruption, dictatorial practices, oppression, and the deteriorating economy of Ghana.


Fine-tune democracy

Sekou Nkrumah however said despite the introduction of multiparty democracy in Ghana, there remains a great need to exert much effort and eliminate elitism from the country’s democratic system.

“I think the difficulty in the democratic process we have chosen, as against a one-party state, is that we need to fine-tune it. The political parties are fine, but I think they have been hijacked by individuals who have become a political elite with an agenda that benefits themselves.”

He told the Asaase Breakfast Show co-hosts that the emergence of independent candidates from major political parties partly reflects inherent challenges in our democracy which need to addressed.

Fred Dzakpata

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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