Read Nkrumah’s letter to Busia, telling him he was a ‘complete failure in politics’
Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia may not have been the closest of friends, but one unique thing puts them in the same room of similarities: they both experienced military overthrows of their governments. Even though this should have served as a reason for them to be able to share ideas and interact on the same level, Nkrumah rather found a cheeky, mocking way of ‘consoling’ Busia after the latter tasted his overthrow.
Nkrumah’s government had been suffering from criticisms from the likes of Busia, many of which had led to the army taking over power from Nkrumah when they had the chance. Having completely lost faith with the people of Ghana, the overthrow of Nkrumah was received across the country with a lot of joy, and so when Busia, one of the major critics, also experienced the same surprise of a coup d’état much later, Nkrumah could just not hold back speaking about it.
In a letter that Kwame Nkrumah wrote to Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia in 1972, right after the 1972 overthrow, he reminded Busia of all the similarities in their plights. Nkrumah wrote that “It is rather significant that most of the evils of which my government and I were accused and which were the main reasons for the overthrow of my administration were apparently the same reasons that motivated the army takeover of your regime. I am sure that you realize that those who criticize other people without bothering to assign good reasons for their criticisms eventually end up as victims of their own circumstances. You will also appreciate the fact that those who sow a wind reap a whirlwind, and after you have finished spoiling other people, you will be surprised to find out that you have spoiled yourself.”
As if to add more fuel to the fire, Kwame Nkrumah went on to detail some of the exact things that he felt Busia and other critics used against his administration and that have come back to haunt him. He also detailed some of the observations he had made of the Busia government and why he believed that the people of Ghana had lost affection for their style of rule.
“Since my government was overthrown six years ago, and since you assumed the reins of authority in the latter part of 1909, I have been watching closely events in Ghana and I often felt that the way you were handling the affairs of the country, that is relying so much on colonialists, imperialists, capitalists and neo-colonialists, you will one day end up in the gutter with the same imperialists and capitalists nailing your coffin. Your handling of the Aliens Compliance Order in which, for the first time in the history of Africa, a neighboring government drives out of its country fellow Africans like cattle and oxen in open trucks, your so-called DIALOGUE with the Apartheid regime in which you seek to create the impression that you are the only black man on earth who is capable of bringing pressure to bear upon the racists in South Africa and other diabolical policies too numerous to mention here,” he added.
Deepening his mockery of Busia, Kwame Nkrumah reminded him of something that he said he championed because he knew its outcome. Referring to how he (Nkrumah) had campaigned for Busia to be voted for as Ghana’s Prim e Minister, he reminded the freshly-ousted politician that he knew a day like that was definitely going to come.
Read the letter here