June 14, 2024

In a moment of great turmoil and uncertainty, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, addressed his fellow countrymen with a heavy heart as he witnessed the damage inflicted upon the nation by what he described as a clique of neo-colonialist conspirators.

Despite being on a peacemaking trip in Hanoi, Vietnam, regarding the Vietnam War, Dr. Nkrumah’s government was overthrown by the National Liberation Council in a coup d’état known as “Operation Cold Chop.”

Reacting to his overthrow in a passionate speech published years later by Freedom Fighters on Facebook, Dr. Nkrumah vehemently rejected the claims made by those who had overthrown his government.

He called their assertions that Ghana was bankrupt and drowning in debt to the tune of 240 million pounds “stupid lies” and criticized their ignorance in assuming that the people would believe such falsehoods.

Dr. Nkrumah urged the people to open their eyes and witness the tangible progress achieved under the leadership of the Convention People’s Party and its government.

He invited them to see the magnificent Tema Harbour, the mighty Volta Dam, the well-built roads, the schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, and the emerging factories. To him, these were not burdensome debts but rather investments in Ghana’s future as an independent nation.

With conviction and determination, Dr. Nkrumah emphasized that these physical achievements were the guarantees of the bright, new future he had promised and worked for.

He called for unity and self-reliance, encouraging Ghanaians to create what they needed rather than relying on charity handouts from foreign powers who sought to exploit them and make them vassals to their interests.

Acknowledging the hardships and struggles faced by the people, Dr. Nkrumah assured them that he had never promised an easy road to independence. He respected their intelligence, their capacity for hard work, their pride, and their sense of national dignity.

The traitors and conspirators, whom he branded as liars and cheaters, were attempting to undermine Ghana’s political and economic independence.

Dr. Nkrumah also highlighted the irony of their actions, as just a month before the coup, Ghana had been on the brink of a new victory with the signing of an agreement to irrigate the Accra Drains.

Dr. Nkrumah further drew attention to Ghana’s historical role as a haven for the oppressed in Africa, emphasizing that it was a source of pride rather than shame. He spoke of the country’s support for freedom fighters and its staunch opposition to colonialism, which had earned Ghana the reverence of oppressed individuals across the African continent.

Despite his overthrow, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s unwavering commitment to Ghana’s progress and his belief in the potential of the Ghanaian people were evident in his speech. He rallied his fellow countrymen to stand strong in the face of adversity and work towards securing both political and economic independence.

The legacy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as a visionary leader and advocate for African liberation continues to inspire generations. While the coup marked a setback in Ghana’s history, his words serve as a reminder of the importance of unity, self-reliance, and unwavering determination in the pursuit of a prosperous and independent nation.

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