Above photo: The late Osagyefo Dr, Kwame NkrumahMy Dear Kofi: I have just heard on the air that your government which came to power barely three years ago has been toppled by the Ghana Army. It is rather significant that most of the evils of which my government and I were accused and which were the main reasons for the overthrow of my administration were apparently the same reasons that motivated the army takeover of your regime. I am sure that you now realize that those who criticize other people without bothering to assign good reasons for their criticisms eventually end up as victims of their own circumstances. You will also appreciate the fact that those who sow a wind reap a whirlwind, and after you have finished spoiling other people, you will be surprised to find out that you have spoiled yourself.
Perhaps, you will agree with me in my assertion that during my tenure of office for 15 years, I did my best to improve the economic conditions of my people, although, admittedly, my policies brought unexpected difficulties which were inevitable and for which my people were unprepared. Nevertheless, there is evidence of some of my achievements in Ghana, which you, of all people, can’t pretend to deny — the fact that I made Ghana what you found it when the same army overthrew my regime. It would serve no useful purpose for me to recount some of these achievements, but suffice it to say that Akosombo Dam, Tema Harbor, Tema Oil Refinery, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, VALCO, to mention only a few are all my handwork. But the most important contribution I have made to the personality of the black man was that during my tenure of office as President of the Republic of Ghana, I made the African proud of his heritage.
Today, throughout the African world, many countries have attained political emancipation as a result of the torchlight I lit in Ghana which my own people including you (Kofi Abrefa Busia) did not appreciate. Thus my government and I were accused of a host of unprintable evils which sought to discredit me and to pave the way for you to establish yourself as a successful leader on the African political scene. Since my government was overthrown six years ago, and since you assumed the reins of authority in the latter part of 1969, I have been watching closely events in Ghana and I often felt that the way you were handling the affairs of the country, that is relying so much on colonialists, imperialists,capitalists and neo-colonialists, you will one day end up in the gutter with the same imperialists and capitalists nailing your coffin.
Your handling of the Aliens Compliance Order in which, for the first time in the history of Africa, a neighboring government drives out of its country fellow Africans like cattle and oxen in open trucks, your so-called DIALOGUE with the Apartheid regime in which you seek to create the impression that you are the only black man on earth who is capable of bringing pressure to bear upon the racists in South Africa and other diabolical policies too numerous to mention here.You will recall that just before the general elections in 1969, I broadcast on Conakry Radio to my people in Ghana, exhorting them not to vote for any other candidate for the Premiership but you. I do not know how you took this exhortation, but I could conjecture that you probably assumed that by exhorting the people of Ghana to vote for you, I was placing you above other candidates. If this was your way of thinking, then I am sorry to say you miscalculated and misconstrued the motivation of my exhortation.
I had imagined that you would have realized that the reasons for asking the people of Ghana to vote for you was not so much because I thought you were better than any or all the candidates involved in the electioneering campaign. My reason for exhorting them to vote for you was that I knew that being a political weakling, you would sooner or later expose your shortcomings. Let me refresh your memory about some of the events which culminated in the overthrow of my legitimate Government on February 24, 1966, and relate them to the events which led to the overthrow of your imperialist and colonialist-orientated government with a view of drawing a logical conclusion as to whether your administration or mine was preferable.
You will recall that while I was away in Hanoi to effect a peaceful solution to the capitalist aggression against the freedom-loving people of North Vietnam, the Ghana Army, led by insignificant and virtually unknown soldiers in collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), conspired to overthrow my government. You may also recall that the first thing these irresponsible soldiers did was to ransack my official residence and virtually steal my personal properties as well as cash I had left behind. To justify their illegitimate and criminal action, the imperialist stooges claimed that my Government was corrupt; that my Ministers had acquired ill-gotten wealth; that my Government had dissipated public funds in establishing “prestige projects” and a host of other accusations against me without any proof whatsoever. But any objective political observer would agree that the same evils of which you and your colonialist and neo-colonialist masters accused me, reared their ugly heads and assumed more heinous proportions during the days of your government. Thus, within a span of three years, you and your Ministers became richer and acquired ill-gotten wealth more than could be said of the Ministers in my Government which ruled Ghana for 15 years.
It is regrettable that your government, which you claimed to comprise mainly of “intellectuals and honest men,” had to be toppled within three years after assuming office. This indeed is evidence of your political immaturity. Now that your Utopia has crumbled under your feet, apparently due to the erratic policies you pursued with the assistance and full support of those who preach universal brotherhood yet supervise the obliteration of thousands of innocent souls throughout the world, may I offer you a few words of consolation. I would therefore recommend to you, my dear Kofi, that you take a long rest from the exigencies of politics in which you woefully failed after pursuing it for nearly two decades in just the same way as you cancelled your engagements in Monrovia following our confrontation at the funeral of the late President William V. S. Tubman (of blessed memory).
I have the hope that when I return to Ghana, as I surely will someday in-the-not too distant future to help rebuild the nation from the ruins and chaos you left behind, the dignity of the African Personality which was one of the legacies I left behind and which you handed over to the die-hard racists on a golden platter, will be restored. I commend you to the care of the Omnipotent God who has sustained me in my moments of isolation and reflection and hope that He will take very good care of you for the rest of your unsuccessful political life. Perhaps, I might just as well point out to you that it won’t serve you any useful purpose to dream of staging a come-back into the arena of politics because I am aware that the colonialists and imperialists will only be too happy to support such an attempt. Reasons for this assertion is that from reports I have been receiving from our compatriots in Ghana, the reaction of the people to the February 24, 1966 coup was less stupendous than their reaction to the January 13 coup which toppled your unpopular and capitalist-backed government which ruled my people under the direction and advice of the imperialists and colonialists.
It might be a good idea if we were to meet face to face as we did in Monrovia last year; then I would have told you: “KOFI, I TOLD YOU THAT YOU WOULD BE A COMPLETE FAILURE ON THE POLITICAL SCENE. “Finally, my dear Kofi, take heart and be of good cheer, for this is part and parcel of human life. But let the word go to all the imperialists, colonialists and neo-colonialists that my Ghana, with her Black Star of Africa, like Ethiopia and with Ethiopia, shall arise above the political horizon. I wish you God speed as you make your well-deserved exit from the political arena in Ghana.
I remain Faithfully Yours,(signed)
Kwame Nkrumah Source KWAME NKRUMAH
( Culled from: The Black Scholar Vol. 3, No. 9, BLACK BATTLES (May 1972), pp. 23-26Published by: Paradigm Publishers)