Endowing Nkrumah’s legacy does not furnish Ghana with her pristine past. As the true mechanism of the anti-colonial era remains clandestine; Ghana’s history and cultural drama continue to cast tragedies upon her very existence. Overshadowing our incompetence and mediocrity with anti-colonial sentiment is an ignominy to our eminence. Such a ridiculous attitude breeds debacles of misunderstanding in both culture and history. And on such an easy ground was where demagoguery politics which gave birth to Ghana’s independence was nurtured. Before asking how long can Ghana sustain Nkrumah’s legacy, first, we must ask how his legacy was coined and drawn. On which historical scale can it be weighed? And on which political ladder did it lean? These inquiries are not to be viewed from the spectacles of partisan eyes. Because the flaws of Nkrumah’s legacy had been the bedrocks of cheap partisan concert.
The bridge between history and politics is the defining curve for liberators. Liberators of nations, from either slavery or colonial pinnacle, have to merge politics to culture from the spirit of history. In history, only the American founding fathers stood between moral convictions and political defiance; with no cultural tenets, they were able to forge politics into quasi-history to create a morally justified constitutional republic. True statesmanship demands total commitment to indigenous principles. And such principles propel policies and strategies to be envisioned through the facets of culture and history. Politics, in its wholesomeness, cannot be used to heal historical wounds. Needless to say, it can’t be used to socialize a dispersed culture. Colonialism in history is tantamount to slavery ambitions. And it wasn’t only about rigging and exploitation, just like slavery, colonialism came to manipulate, quash and disintegrate Africa’s history and culture. Thus, all the colonial masters needed more than politics to achieve complete colonization. In the same way, all the anti-colonial masters needed more than political ideology to achieve complete decolonization. And so, Ghana needs to understand; that Nkrumah’s legacy, as an anti-colonial hero was a partially fulfilled one.
Nkrumah’s legacy; (1) is nothing more than a political achievement. Like the American revolution, Ghana’s independence serves as an iron curtain between her true history and the interruptions of it. (2) it was a legacy of self-centered political imperatives. His politics carried an imported ideology with backgrounds of European history and economics. But the sense of Black capabilities, hope for the African people, and the erudition of Africans cannot be sidelined. These strengths could have been used to reinvigorate our history, cultural and educational institutions. In so doing, we wouldn’t have been here reaping the woes of a deeply politically centered society.
Nkrumah was well-educated and politically motivated. The creams of his ambitions flavored the appetite of all political aspirants during his time. Such qualities are just a mere self-comforting political opportunist which any Marxist and Jesuit-trained demagogue can possess. Had his legacy not centered only on socialist means and ends of governance, the history of Ghana, perhaps Africa, could have changed. As if governance is a political orgy satisfaction, Nkrumah moved Ghana to the far side of politics without reservations. His autonomy of all state affairs and institutions created a free-flow channel for the devouring governments that followed. We have come so far to stand in the midst of oppression, corruption, theft, political bigotry, bloated bureaucracy, and rotten governance. These are the spoils of an exhaustive socialist regime.
Ghanaians virtually make merry on Nkrumah’s legacy only on their Independence Day. The real merry-making is reserved for those in government; their families, friends, and patriots. If such legacy is the epitome of our very existence, then why do we claim to be a nation-state since we have exchanged National identity for Political tickets? Such a disjointed legacy can only sustain the government and her cronies. The citizens can debate, fight, outrage, and suffer in poor conditions.
In the shadows of a true legacy of a statesman, there lived a spirit of national pride and historically grounded heritage; not emotions and sensations. Nkrumah wasn’t ignorant to these notions. It was his political and ideological backgrounds that shunned these maxims. During the anti-colonial era, no political party had the artilleries for self-government. Even the avow critics of Nkrumah; the UGCC, now the NPP who were waiting for the right time to strike, over these few years has proved that had they been the one to attain Independence for Ghana, things could have been worse. On such conundrums, Ghana defines her political existence.
Ghana hasn’t moved any step forward since Independence. The stagnation isn’t so because Nkrumah’s legacy was bogus. It is so because the tactics and strategies which embodied it was flawed and ideologically detrimental. Ghana exists only as extremely politically tolerant people, not because of a democratically advanced nation. Politicians like Nkrumah only knew how to use economic means to reach political ends; such socialist-styled strategy only pulls a country into a deep state. Countries with all State-controlled affairs stand a resistive measure against National unification. And Ghana can experience this right from her politically obsessed cultural and social mechanisms. The type of government, the embodiment of our politics, and the mechanisms of our bureaucracy come as a result of the spoils of Nkrumah’s legacy. Such legacy can sustain political actions, not a nation’s progress.