General News of Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Former President Jerry John Rawlings is not happy about the way and manner three of his successors pretentiously dealt with the legacy of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
“Mills, Mahama you all say you are Nkrumahists. You have chopped into the man’s name,” the former military leader said.
Mr Rawlings particularly, singled out his immediate successor, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, whom he alleged demeaned the legacy of Dr Nkrumah by desecrating his grave.
According to him, Mr Kufuor’s fault was when he buried Kwame Nkrumah’s wife, Fathia Nkrumah, at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra, the same place her husband was buried.
“That national monument became a family graveyard…do you see how his grave was desecrated,” he told the family of the late Joy FM’s broadcaster, Kwadwo Asare Baffuor Acheampong (KABA), when they went to inform him of his burial.
Fathia died on 31 May, 2007 at Badrawy Hospital in Cairo, Egypt, due to a stroke after a period of illness.
Fathia Nkrumah’s bodily remains was flown to Ghana for a funeral at the State House in June 2007 following her “lifelong request.”
She was subsequently buried next to her husband.
But the former Ghanaian leader was not enthused about how the ‘enemies’ of Dr Nkrumah paid pretentious respects to the man who was overthrown in 1966 by the military during the burial of Fathia.
“What did Kufuor do when Fathia Nkrumah died? He pretended to be crying and we were all following him, saying, oh Kufuor has done well for Fathia.”
“Then he took a shovel and dug a hole next to Dr Nkrumah and put her there…the compound is big, you could have dug 101 holes and put Madam Fathia also there.”
“You did not have to do that under the same monument under which Dr Kwame Nkrumah was. It fooled all of you,” he said.
He also took a swipe at late President Mills and former President John Dramani Mahama for using Nkrumah’s birthday as a national holiday for their personal gains.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) traces its ideological roots to the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) which was the political rival to Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP).
The rivalry in present day is playing out in an NPP promoted debate over whether Ghana has only one founder or several founders.