Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
Throughout African peoples’ history and struggle, our never ending quest for total liberation and unification, has always been matched with a hunger for the clearest understanding of both our resistance and overall experience.
When it came to sharing and recording our story for the entire world to absorb and appreciate, we discovered that our former colonisers and captors had not only taken the liberty to speak for us, but attempted to present their point of view as the sole and absolute truth.
Only after we began to pursue the path of political, cultural and economic decolonisation, did we realise how much time and energy that the colonialists and imperialists invested in this process.
What discourages and in some cases has broken the spirit of some who initially pursued this journey, was recognising at this historical juncture, Africans based on objective circumstances must wage this battle primarily in the seven colonial languages.
Our most fearless and determined fighters always recognised this was only a means to an end, therefore based on our long-term goal, using linguistics as an excuse for retreat would never be looked upon favourably by future generations whose quality of life will be determined by the tenacity we collectively display when waging this battle.
Once settler and classical colonialism was eradicated our widespread excitement and tears of joy, clouded both our vision and judgment, which made us vulnerable to neo-colonialism that within a blink of an eye dismantled virtually all the gains of the anti colonial movement.
By the beginning of 1970, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown by a CIA-orchestrated coup.
Comrade Patrice Lumumba of the Congo was brutally assassinated, Frantz Fanon had died mysteriously at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Felix Moumie had been poisoned in the Cameroon and Ahmed Ben Bella of Algeria was under house arrest and Modibo Keita of Mali was in prison. (Cde Keita died in prison in 1977). Three years into the 70s Cde Amilcar Cabral of Guinee Bissau was assassinated in cold blood.
In the 80s we lost Walter Rodney in Guyana, Maurice Bishop of Grenada, Samora Machel in Mozambique and Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso.
This includes the pan-African giant Ahmed Seku Ture succumbing to a heart attack, which ironically took place at a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, 24 hours after falling ill in Saudi Arabia.
After all these years most African heads of state, our most recognised literary writers, business leaders in the private sector, civil society groups avoid at all costs, addressing the full impact neo colonialism has had on Mother Africa since the 1960s.
Since they owe their very existence to the neo-colonialist paradigm and process, this would be very idealistic and wishful thinking on the part of those amongst our ranks diametrically opposed to this train of thought.
Equally if not more important than the role he played in leading the Ghanaian Revolution, was the Osagyefo’s numerous warnings, to our people at home and abroad concerning the dangers and trappings of neo-colonialism.
In the Osagyefo’s political and historical masterpiece “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism”, which unfortunately is dismissed by his detractors and confused bourgeois historians as a carbon copy of Lenin’s “Imperialism the Last Stage of Capitalism”, captured the very essence of reactionary thinking and activity at home and abroad.
For the record those who call the Osagyefo a Marxist-Leninist, dwell on the point that in his autobiography he claimed he was both a Marxist and a Christian, and saw no contradiction between the two.
Those who belabour this point, primarily in circles plagued and compromised by intellectual laziness, conveniently omit that by the time the Osagyefo wrote the philosophical masterpiece “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonisation”, he put Africa on notice that where Marx stressed the importance of economics, he placed the ultimate importance on political ideology.
One of the Osagyefo’s main political and intellectual incarnations, the pan-Africanist Kwame Ture, always discussed the scrutiny and mockery, those who attempted to build the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, were subjected to for calling themselves an Nkrumahist Tureist Party.
This antagonistic posture came from both Marxist Leninists and Maoists who were not yet comfortable embracing an all African political ideology. It is equivalent to our Christian sisters and brothers who throw tantrums, when the Caucasian image of Jesus Christ is either challenged or replaced, by one with the physical and biological characteristics that match his description in the Holy Bible.
The Osagyefo states: “ The essence of neo-colonialism is that the state which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from the outside.”
When writing “Neo-Colonialism” the Osagyefo left no stone unturned. All one has to do is look at the titles of each of the 17 chapters. The titles are as follows: “Africa’s Resources”, “Obstacles to Economic Progress”, “Imperialist Finance”, “Monopoly Capitalism and the American Dollar”, “The Truth About the Headlines”, “Primary Resources and Foreign Interests”, “The Oppenheimer Empire”, “Foreign Investment in South African Mining”, “Anglo-American Corporation Limited”, “The Diamond Groups”, “Mining Interests in Central Africa”, “Companies and Combines”, “The Tin Aluminium and Nickel Giants”, “Union Minere du Haut Katenga”, “Economic Pressures in the Congo Republic”, “Monetary Zones and Foreign Banks”, “New Industries: The Effects on Primary Producing Countries”.
Many who are familiar with the Osagyefo’s impact and countless contributions, too often overlook the fact that “Neo-Colonialism” was published one numerical year, before he was overthrown. Once US imperialism analysed the potency of the book’s content, the humanitarian aid slated for Ghana was vindictively withheld.
Without putting on our thinking caps, if 95 percent of the current grouping of African heads of state knew the political language of a book they were written would place the US-EU imperialism’s doghouse, would their book see the light of day?
This bold decision by the Osagyefo not to capitulate was similar to how Dr King approached condemning the Vietnam War, knowing that US president Lyndon Johnson would consider him persona non-grata. The question of Vietnam fuelled Johnson’s hatred for the Osagyefo and Dr King, which motivated him to have the FBI and CIA target deal with both of them separately.
Even though no Ghanaian head of state since the Osagyefo have been able to hold a candle to him intellectually or politically, all are guilty of exploiting his strategic and tactical approach, to engaging the Diaspora. Coincidentally this includes even the ones who are fully committed to neo-colonialism at all costs.
As this year marks the Year of Ghana, it is more than likely that the millions of Africans who either travel or turn attention to Ghana, know very little or nothing at all about the current president Nana Akufo-Addo.
Prior to assuming the presidency, Akufo-Addo was first Attorney-General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs under the administration of former president John Kufuor.
What stands out is Akufo-Addo’s bloodline has extremely strong neo-colonialist rootings. He is the nephew and grandnephew of William Ofori Atta and JB Danquah, who like the Osagyefo, were part of the big six.
Affectionately known in Ghanaian political circles as Pa Willie, Atta led the neo-colonialist United Party against the Osagyefo. Danquah was a founding member of the United Gold Coast Convention which prior to the Convention People’s Party was the main anti colonialist political outlet in Ghana. Danquah was soundly defeated when he ran against the Osagyefo in 1960 and was imprisoned for regime change activities the following year.
As we celebrate Ghana, we do not have the luxury of ignoring Akufo-Addo’s love affair with Washington, which explain why the diplomatic corps of US imperialism are throwing rose petals at his feet.
In the last three years Akufo-Addo has received the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice from the Harmony Foundation, an award for Exemplary Leadership from the Whitaker Group and, lastly, an award from the US Africa Business Centre of the US Chamber of Commerce in recognition of regional, diplomatic and economic leadership in Africa.
If Akufo-Addo sees the future of Africa as getting pats on the back from Rosa Whitaker, who Mr Clinton made the first assistant trade rep for Africa who is called the mother of the reactionary Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, nothing else concerning his interests and focus need be discussed.
For the so-called African-Americans in bed with Akufo-Addo is this a bad impersonation of Machiavelli because in their minds, the end justifies the means?
To the so-called African Americans who are converging on Ghana because it is their birthright, and never took the time to watch how Akufo-Addo is pan-Africanising neo-colonialism, they will either embrace the truth or dismiss it outright and say it is possible to enjoy Africa’s beauty at the expense of a callous endorsement of US EU imperialism’s rape and plunder of our homeland.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer to the Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association (ZICUFA). His email is [email protected]