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Lost Nkrumah & Nigeria: The Safe Haven We Relied On

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What happened to Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana and how did Nigeria lose its Potential Power as the place to be for all Africans at home and from Diaspora? Seriously, both cease to exist when we need them most! It must not be left to Nigerians and Ghanaians alone to wonder how we lost both. All African countries must learn from that glorious past and use the lessons constructively before we can move forward progressively. 

We have had some successes in Africa but we woefully refused to sustain or build on them. Sustainability of progress takes successive generations to redouble their efforts, not to relax, live off the fat and be complacent as we face persistent enemies. We were told Nkrumah stole so much money, he had houses and girlfriends all over. He died with very little in his possession. 

One of Nigeria’s leaders once said the money was not the problem but how to spend it. The money he was bragging on was not ours but printed in Europe and America as vouchers in exchange for our resources. We could only spend them in their countries, on their terms, on their inflated finished goods and services creating jobs overseas while we got hooked as consumers and patrons.

African Youths have been led to lose focus because they hardly know the causes and contributions of Nkrumah as a world-respected leader, invited as peacemaker outside our Continent and Nigeria as the Potential Regional Power that could have displaced international powers’ menace in Africa. This generation has no respect for one another, they lack confidence in their own talents but are too eager to seek salvation from the same colonialists that kept us in the Dark for almost 500 years. 

Africans or Black people melancholy at home in Africa and abroad must not end in feeling sorry for ourselves but reinvigorate our survival spirits. How we survived after so much denigration to overcome is a testimony of our resilience itself. The George Floyd treatment has been going on for about three to five centuries but this one shocked the heck out of black and white conscience. Some blacks claimed most of the crowd protesting are black and white. 

But we must give credit to those few brown protesters as well, especially those that did protest in their own countries. It is time to unite all the ethnic races regardless of colour. Remember, they had divided us into colours to prevent further revolts and now to spite one another with the progress some of us are making. They used the Jamaicans as the richest at one point, then moved on to Nigerians. Now they are using the Indians and Chinese as evidence of progress in diversity.

While Nkrumah established reorientation schools for most professions including musicians in Ghana, a few countries like Nigeria stopped teaching history until it was reversed when most people raised alarm. The damage was already done because the notion that led to it is still manifested in our new generation of Youths.

Africans! We once had sterling leadership and country that were potential Regional Super Power. The world might not like Kwame Nkrumah because of his ideology and principles but they respected him. The same world was cheering on Nigeria as a regional power to take a black man’s burden off them. We lost both opportunities in Nkrumah and Nigeria as we watched the poverty basket of the world move from Asia to Africa. 

The world powers did it by Economic fiat unless someone can explain how a country that was named Gold Coast lost the value of its currency by Gold Standard or how Zimbabwe currency became worthless. Yet, our Oxford and Harvard trained economists have not got it right. What have we learned?

Nkrumah and Nigeria at the time had the foresight to look beyond Ghana and Nigeria to provide financial and material support for all African freedom demonstrators regardless of the country while confronting police and dogs trained abroad. Our local currencies had value then more than American currency. They used the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for Structural Adjustment to destroy our standard of living while providing “Foreign Aids” and loans from the huge profits they make in Africa. Who is fooling who?

It is surprising how ignorant some of our Youths still think that their talents are appreciated in Europe or America and are being “rushed” when in fact they sell themselves cheap as our raw materials. It is even sad when our best trained go abroad and refuse to come back because they enjoyed a higher standard of living outside when better conditions were provided to those that returned home when our countries were functional. Jerry Rawlings during his first coming actually detained at least one of them on vacation, as an example to others until he paid back his grants and scholarship.

There used to be a time when those who paid their ways, went to full-time school and worked full time, could not wait to come back home. Now those that leave with Government scholarships, whose exorbitant school fees depleted Foreign Reserves and those that laundered money as businessmen, abscond. It is debatable if one set of students should be pampered with money from home while other African students work to pay their fees and send money home to parents and siblings our Governments refused to take care of.

Africans have to study the reasons we lost Nkrumah and why we lost Nigeria as the Safe Haven for Africans before we lose it all. Only then can we discover how Africans were re-colonized again in the name of Foreign Aids and Development. Until we come to our senses and rescue Africa from within, our Youths will continue to self-hate, internalize derogatory names and no black folks worldwide will be respected.

It is difficult to distinguish the difference between activists, politicians and the militias that started as freedom fighters these days. They demand meetings and concessions from politicians. As soon as their bank accounts are loaded, they forget the causes that propel them to notoriety leaving their bases in the same shambles.

If we do not know where we are going, we must reach back and learn from where we are coming from. Unfortunately, Nigeria never had a conscientious President like Nkrumah.

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