General News of Saturday, 7 February 2015
Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah “cried passionately” upon hearing the news of the passing of Dr JB Danquah at the Nsawam Prisons, ace journalist Kwesi Pratt Junior has stated.
According to him, even though the two political stalwarts were at loggerheads, Dr Nkrumah maintained a healthy relationship with JB Danquah’s wife.
The narration over who played the most significant role in Ghana’s independence struggle has been a matter of historical controversy between the supporters of Dr Nkrumah and JB Danquah, both of whom were members of the ‘Big Six’- that led the struggle for Ghana’s independence. However, protégés of JB Danquah including members of main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), have often blamed his death on Dr Nkrumah since he (JB Danquah) died under his regime through the Preventive Detention Act.
On the 50th anniversary celebration of his passing Thursday, the three-time NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, who is also nephew of Danquah said the family has forgiven Dr Nkrumah for his death.
But commenting on the issue on Radio Gold’s ‘Alhaji and Alhaji’ Saturday, the managing editor of the Insight Newspaper said reports of Nkrumah’s involvement in Danquah’s death are erroneous.
“The historical record is, after independence, JB Danquah was one of the one of the first appointees of the Nkruamah administration.
“And indeed the very special relationship between JB Danquah’s wife and Nkrumah are well documented. She wrote letters appealing o Nkrumah to release her wife.
“The historical record is that, Nkrumah minuted and directed that Danquah be released on compassionate grounds by the 3rd of February.
“But for the delay of the cabinet secretary at the time, who decided to act on the order the following day because it was late, JB Danquah would have been released by 3rd February but unfortunately, he died the night before his release.
“It is instructive to read the accounts of those who were with Nkrumah on the 4th of February. The Account is that Nkrumah broke down and wept upon hearing the news,” Pratt narrated.