General News of Monday, 9 February 2015
Kwesi Pratt, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, has rebuked members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for their contentment over the public lecture held in Accra a couple of days ago.
The lecture was organized by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of J.B Danquah, who was one of the famous “Big Six” in Ghana.
During the lecture, the NPP flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo touted J.B Danquah’s heroic achievements and ideologies, which to him, would have benefited the country had he not had his life suddenly terminated.
But speaking on “Alhaji and Alhaji” on Radio Gold, Kwesi Pratt indicated that some statements proclaimed by the NPP about J.B Danquah’s detention under the Nkrumah regime are mere falsehood.
According to him, Nkrumah’s opponents have been peddling falsehood and giving a negative account of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President.
“The impression is given that Nkrumah was such a mindless and ruthless dictator. That he was just going about arresting his opponents and locking them up in prison for no reason. And indeed, only recently, the detention of Obetsebi Lamptey was also celebrated in order to give credence to this image of Nkrumah as a ruthless and mindless dictator who was just arresting his opponents and locking them up.”
Kwesi Pratt revealed that it was Nana Addo’s own father, Justice Edward Akufo-Addo, who presided over the case together with other two Judges, and convicted Obetsebi Lamptey of terrorism.
“I’ve done a little work on the case of Obetsebi Lamptey and how Obetsebi Lamptey came to be detained. Obetsebi Lamptey was tried by a competent court and sentenced to a prison term for terrorism.
“It was Akufo-Addo’s own father who tried Obetsebi Lamptey and came to the conclusion that Obetsebi Lamptey is a leader of a terrorist cell and decided that he probably deserves to be in prison and imprisoned him; not Kwame Nkrumah”, yet an impression is created in the minds of Ghanaians that it was Nkrumah who arrested him and “as if he was arrested and detained without trial,” Mr. Pratt said.
He continued; “He was properly tried. Akufo-Addo’s father was a member of that panel which convicted Obetsebi Lamptey for terrorism and you can do that for all the other cases and so on.”
Kwesi Pratt further discounted claims that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah masterminded the detention of J.B Danquah which eventually led to his death.
He stated that Nkrumah could not have assented to J.B Danquah being detained because Ghana’s historical account doesn’t provide such evidence.
“The account is that Nkrumah broke down and wept…Now, if that were the case; how could Nkrumah have been so vicious wanting to kill J.B Danquah and so on and then thereafter break down and weep and so on; having ordered his release the previous day and all. You see, there are all kinds of claims which are completely false and not supported by the historical record.”
So, “it is incredible how NDC people are jubilating. It’s as if this is a wonderful gift from Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP. This is a huge gift which has been landed on their laps and they’re gloating in it. They’re so happy that this lecture happened. What an unfortunate situation? And this is an own goal. This is a self-inflicted injury,” Kwesi Pratt took a swipe at the ruling party.