There is no Big Six…only a Big One – Kwesi Pratt
Managing editor of the Insight newspaper Kwesi Pratt says the recognition given to some members of the ‘Big Six’ who played roles in Ghana’s political independence struggle, is over-flogged.
He emphasized that there is actually no ‘Big Six’ but rather a “Big One” – Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president.
He was speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana on a brewing controversy over the roles played by some politicians in the struggle for Ghana’s independence in 1957. The debate was sparked by an essay presented by Prof. Mike Oquaye during the 21st anniversary celebration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) last week.
The term ‘Big Six’ refers to leading members of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. E. Obtsebi-Lamptey, Mr. Ebenezer Ako Adjei, Mr. William Ofori-Atta (Paa Willie), Dr. J.B. Danquah and Mr. Edward Akuffo-Addo.
Mr. Pratt suggested that the term came about after they were imprisoned after their vigorous agitation during the 1948 riots – a significant prelude to the granting of Ghana’s independence.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah broke away to form the Convention People’s Party (CPP), which later won independence for Ghana.
Kwesi Pratt recounted the various honours bestowed on the other five members by the New Patriotic Party under the John Agyakum Kufour administration, which traces its root to the UGCC.
He said that administration mounted effigies at the Kotoka International Airport and had their pictures embossed on various denominations of Ghana’s currency.
But Pratt said ‘in all honesty’, their roles have been ‘over-exaggerated.’
He explained that the other five made statements to the colonial authorities denying responsibility for the 1948 riots that led to their arrest. He said they blamed Kwame Nkrumah.
‘If they became the ‘Big Six’ because of that agitation which led to the riot and they themselves say they are not part of it, how then are they the Big Six?’ the Nkrumahist queried.
The managing editor said ‘they are not the Big Six, in fact if there is any big thing it is the big one, there is no Big Six’.
He said the whole of Africa has accepted Nkrumah as the ‘primus inter-pares’ and any attempt to downplay the contribution of Kwame Nkrumah is akin to ‘kicking against a rock’.
‘Nobody can sit in Labone or Kokomelemele and deride Nkrumah, that is impossible’, he said.
Nana Akomea, a deputy Director of Communications of the NPP wondered what would have been the contribution of Kwame Nkrumah if he had not been employed by the UGCC to be the party’s General Secretary. He said Nkrumah’s responsibility was to organize the party.
‘We may never have known Nkrumah’, he said.
He called for a closure of the debate by honouring other persons who have also contributed significantly in Ghana’s struggle for independence.
Nonetheless, he acknowledged that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s role is without doubt prominent.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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