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Nkrumah’s Death 42 Years Ago (1) -How He Died In Sekou Toure’s Guinea -Busia’s Sadistic Refusal To Allow Him Back To Ghana


Photo Reporting: A Death of Nkrumahism?Nkrumah’s Death 42 Years Ago (1) -How He Died In Sekou Toure’s Guinea -Busia’s...

Last Sunday, April 27, 2014 marked the 42nd anniversary of the death of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, a man with dazzling political charisma that made people instinctively hail him, a man with ever-flowing sagacity, dynamism, broadmindedness and flawless vision who initiated and actively pioneered the movement for Africa’s continental union government by which much of the world knew and revered him as Africa’s ‘primus polilticusis’ –Africa’s number one politician!


Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was allegedly killed by skin cancer, an ailment which eventuated after the Kulungugu bomb blast in 1963 which was aimed at his total death or instant execution from the world, so that in the expectation of his enemies, the illuminating glories and achievements he was amassing for himself in Ghana, Africa and the world, might halt immediately. But this did not happen.

The expected death of him never occurred, thanks to his military bodyguard, Captain Buckman, who upon nasally sensing the scent of an-about-to blast bomb from a bouquet of flowers which a seven year-old girl was about to present to President Nkrumah, quickly wrestled him down to the ground to avoid the about four feet high execution range of the bomb. The ground-falling, sprawling spell of Nkrumah drew his instinct of self-defence, and thus, he halfway raised his legs up a bit for an advantage to be on his feet again, when the blast went off, killing all those who were standing up around Nkrumah and the young ‘flower’ girl.

The sprawled-down Nkrumah and Captain Buckman, plus those who were standing several feet away from the scene, did not die, even though some of them sustained injuries. Several people died, but Dr Nkrumah had some scrapes and injuries on the legs which he raised up a bit during the wrestle melee. He was taken to the nearest clinic, then to Tamale hospital and later flown to Accra where his special doctors attended to him. He was healed though, but since some poisonous fragments of the bomb had delved into the skin of his legs, they kept harassing him on and off until some local herbal medicine was allegedly applied to ward them off at intervals.

Unfortunately, when Dr Nkrumah was travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam, three years after that 1963 hazard, only a little quantity of the herbal medicine that would last him for the visitation period was taken along, and when the coup of February 24, 1966 happened, he could not come back to Ghana to continue with his herbal treatment, hence the poisonous bomb fragments in the legs began to negatively hold sway over the body, defying all medical treatment in Guinea and Romania.


When in 1970-71 Dr. K. A. Busia was the then Prime Minister, heading the government of Ghana, a Guinean delegation was sent by the President of Guinea, Sekou Toure, to plead for the return of Dr Kwame Nkrumah to Ghana to continue with his efficacious herbal treatment, since the disease of cancer had defied all medical treatment, and Dr. Nkrumah was dying, Dr. Busia cruelly refused that request.

In the late 1971, another emissary from Guinea came to Dr K. A. Busia to reconsider his position, but that plea was sadistically rejected. Busia was a well-known Christian who often attended church services, and his refusal and hardheartedness in respect of the need to allow Nkrumah to return home for herbal treatment exacted harsh criticisms from CPP and many other people in Africa.

Busia’s recalcitrance undoubtedly drew the anger of the Nkrumaist soldiers in the army, and Colonel I. K. Acheampong was thereby compelled to overthrow Busia’s government on February 13, 1972, thus paving the way for the return of the ailing Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was then domiciled in Sekou Toure’s Guinea as a co-President.

Efforts by Col. I. K. Acheampong (later General Acheampong) to see to the return of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah were not favourably responded to, since Nkrumah’s sickness had reached a fatal point, and Sekou Toure, acting as a good brother, had decided that in the event of Nkrumah’s death, his (Nkrumah’s) corpse would be embalmed to last some years and buried in Guinea.

Dr Kwame NkrumahDr. Francis Nkrumah, then a lecturer in Legon and later known as Professor Francis Nkrumah, the first son of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who then shuffled between Ghana and Guinea on account of his father’s sickness, was also of the view that at that stage of his father’s sickness he, as a medical doctor, would not recommend the return of his father to Ghana, for his conditions were deathly.

And therefore, within three months of Nkrumaist I. K. Acheapong’s reign as a head of state, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, sadly and pitiably died, not on the home soil of his own Ghana, but in the foreign land of Guinea, to the joy and happiness of his hate-filled, malevolent, rancorous and shamefully envenomed enemies in Ghana. That red-letter day was April 27, 1972 – a Thursday!

The news of his death immediately cut to the quick the rank and file of CPP members, and lots of people visibly mourned and shed tears; for, as we say in Fante, ‘the great oak tree had been devastatingly uprooted down’ (“odum kese no etutu ahwe fa mu”). Yes, the great oak tree of Ghana and Africa had prematurely been uprooted. The oak tree, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, had had his lifespan cut short on this earth, cut short by his enemies, who from the time he left the UGCC to form his own party (the CPP) in 1949, had sought to kill him through series of bomb blasts at CPP rallies, and through close-range shots at Flagstaff House, which deflected.

It is to be remembered that within the UGCC, which had been formed by no other person than Paa Grant, a great, wealthy merchant and businessman who was resident at Takoradi, and who was, by a twist of fortune, the uncle of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the lawyer-members (Dr. J. B. Danquah, Obetsebi Lamptey, Akufo Addo, etc.) were largely managing all the ongoing political affairs, through their own legal perspectives, but not with the necessary political knowhow.

Dr. Nkrumah was the only trained politician in UGCC, having already reached the heights of his Political Science upbringing with a doctorate degree. His Positive Action objective meant to be a conduit for a quick achievement of political freedom in the then Gold Coast, was misunderstood and disliked by the UGCC lawyers. And that brought about disparities and quarrels and the final exit of Dr. Nkrumah to form his own party, the CPP which he successfully led until the 1966 coup.

What is to be noted here is that during his political exile in Guinea, Dr. Nkrumah wrote more than six books, thus putting to shame the Danquah-Busia followers who parade some funny whimsicalities that Dr. Busia was a Professor and more learned than Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. But if you compare the over 18 books which Dr. Kwame Nkrumah wrote, with the less than seven books which Dr. Busia wrote, you can draw your own conclusion as to who was more intellectual.

Of course, in the academic world, the evaluation of one’s intellectuality is the ability to write books and articles which inform and educate people.

And remember, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah also wrote series of articles in his own newspaper ‘The Evening News’ and other newspapers, thus through his writing and publishing showmanship, Nkrumah remains an intellectual giant of all ages, an academic superman and a true “primus politicusis” of the African continent.

Therefore, it still remains a mystery why Busia, an intellectual, should choose to show a damnable cathartic cruelty to his fellow intellectual Nkrumah, who was sick and therefore yearned to go back to his native land to receive healing. Was Busia still afraid of Kwame Nkrumah? That’s a thousand-dollar question!

When Nkrumah died on April 27, 1972, I was still a professional teacher, who upon hearing the sad news, shut myself in my room, expressing my utmost grief in writing a poem (an elegy), which went into 38 verses within three days (Friday evening to Sunday morning). The poem was written in Miltonic style, with Shakespearean cultural flourishes; and when later I was employed as a Research Writer at Ghanaian Times, in 1974-76, I used to recite it at the Ghana Arts Council and people were moved to tears! Unfortunately, the bulk of the poetry is missing, but I hope to publish what remains, so to vividly present Africa’s unique personage, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, to future generations in order that they can know who Nkrumah truly was! He died at the age of 63, not yet an old man, but a person at the fringes of his middle age who still had the guts to bring his African Unification idea to fruition. Kwame, GOODBYE.


(Next week, we shall consider what have been tragically amiss in Ghana and Africa after Nkrumah’s death.)

03 May 2014

Source: By Apostle Kwamena Ahinful



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