Former President John Dramani Mahama says he is in a position to empathise with Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, over how key opponents directed attacks at him.
Mr Mahama in a Facebook post commemorating the overthrow of Dr Nkrumah in 1966, said just like the first president, he has been a victim of character assassination in the hands of the Danquah-Busia political tradition which gave birth to the ruling New Patriotic Party.
“57 years ago today, 24th February 1966, the Danquah-Busia political tradition conspired with external intelligence agencies to initiate Ghana’s first coup d’etat, which toppled the government of our first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
“This coup was achieved through a conscious and constant campaign of falsehood and calumny.
“As a former President of Ghana who has also been at the receiving end of the Danquah-Busia tradition’s campaign of slander and sabotage, I can empathise completely with the quandary President Nkrumah found himself in,” Mr Mahama wrote.
About Nkrumah’s overthrow, Mahama described the aftermath as dark days which derailed the course of the country and Nkrumah’s vision for the African continent.
“In 1966, I was a young boy still in primary school. But I remember highlights of the dark days that followed the February 24, 1966 coup.
“The perpetrators woefully failed to liberate Ghana as they had promised. They instead initiated a long nightmare that destroyed Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana and Africa,” he stated.
While urging Ghanaians and members of the country’s security forces to remain loyal to the current republic, Mr Mahama who has recently announced a bid recapture power called on Africans to embrace democracy.
“As today marks 57 years of that coup d’etat, I call on all fellow Ghanaians and our patriotic security agencies and armed forces to mark this day as one of reflection and to remain loyal to the 1992 Constitution as we begin the task of rescuing our dear nation from the dark pit the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has plunged us into.
“I further urge all Africans to give meaningful democracy a chance, the very reason for which I am presently here in Nigeria as Head of the West African Elders Forum on an election mediation mission, as the country votes on Saturday,” Mahama said.
The first ever coup d’etat Ghana experienced took place on February 24, 1966. Ghana’s very first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown while he was in Vietnam executing a national assignment.
Kwame Nkrumah in his book, ‘Dark Days in Ghana’, wrote that the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A) of the United States of America aided the Ghana Army at the time to overthrow his government.
Dr Nkrumah died on April 27, 1972, in Bucharest, Romania after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.