Dear Osagyefo,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have been contemplating writing you this letter for a long time, but I think the time is now right to have this correspondence with you.

I know you don’t know me because our paths never crossed while you were alive. You can just address me as a concerned Ghanaian.

This year marked the 41st anniversary since you were taken from this world. You know, the country has never been the same since you left. In fact, not only has a lot of water passed under the bridge since you left but the bridge itself has collapsed. Sad, right?

I know you have your own troubles where you are but Osagyefo, sometimes I pray you keep an eye over some of the happenings in this country. If you have some spare time, you can just check on us to see how we are faring.

Some of the things are definitely going to keep you turning in your grave. Sometimes I wonder why you toiled so much for nothing. Come and see for yourself how all the industries you built have turned into churches and warehouses for storing imported goods.

Even jute bags for our cocoa, yes I mean our cocoa, are imported. And Osagyefo, the saddest part of the story is that after killing all the industries you laboured to build, they are still crying about joblessness.

I hope you remember the Tema Motorway, the one you fought fiercely to construct? It still remains the only of such infrastructure in the country,but due to a lack of maintenance,“manholes” are common scenes on it.

Sometimes I question why you had to fight tooth and nail to gain independence only for our own people to stab us in the back. I know you can’t answer this because you were violently overthrown, but anyway I needed to ask all the same.

Over the past two weeks or so, there have been several debates about who really founded Ghana. Some people are saying you were just an opportunist who took advantage of the situation to throw yourself at Ghanaians. Are you surprised?

For those of uswho did not get the chance to meet you in person, our only option was to read about you and your deeds. Some were that bad, I admit, but I believe you were a mere mortal so you couldn’t have been perfect. But recently, the sorts of things they are saying about you are that bad and I don’t want to be the bearer of such unprintable words. I feel sad for you.

As for your Convention People’s Party (CPP) they are just there. Sincerely, I don’t think they can come back to power unless you are to be reincarnated and made the flag bearer. The people themselves don’t know what the problem is.

Last time I overheard someone suggesting that they should grill the red cockerel,I mean the CPP emblem, since it has come of age. That’s how bad it is. People were even calling for the replacement of the cockerel with a lion. Now that was funny.

While we wait for the CPP to come to power you will be surprised at the sort of things the two main parties have been subjecting us to. I don’t want to bore you so I will limit myself to only what happened in the Fourth Republic, ie from 1992-2013.

Osagyefo, I know you have been reading the dailies. So tell me how you feel about all that is going on now. I am talking about the GYEEDA saga et al. Osagyefo, I know you had so many vices but definitely gargantuan corruption was not part of it.

Come and see people chopping our money “nyafu-nyafu” and we can’t say anything about it. Surprisingly, those who are supposed to fight for the masses are themselves busy fighting for the crumbs. Doc, we are really suffering oo.

You know as for the judgement debts saga, if I tell you about it you will be annoyed. A certain “something something”Woyome alone has been given gargantuan monies he didn’t even do any work for. Recently, a court ruled that he should vomit the money. But Osagyefo, as I write to you now, he’s not even made his mind that he will vomit a shilling.

There are many problems facing Ghana but you see, I feel corruption denies the masses the basic infrastructure and amenities that they need. I know it will hurt you to know that even in this modern age some citizens are still sharing their source of drinking water with livestock. That’s sad, I know.

We have had a leadership paralysis since you left. Nothing seems to be working. In fact, Ghana is more or less now on auto-pilot. We are just at the mercy of the wind. Everywhere will do.

Just last Thursday, the Supreme Court announced its verdict in a matter of an election petition brought by stalwarts of the New Patriotic Party (NPP)—a party that traces its roots from the UP tradition–against John DramaniMahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which came out of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).

The petitioners argued that Mr. Mahama was not validly elected in the December 2012 election since a lot of irregularities benefit him, hence the Court should rectify the irregularities and subsequently declare him loser. But the Court would have none of that, dismissing the petition after eight grueling months of trial.

But I think you should commend us for not descending into the gutters to fight and kill each other when the Supreme Court gave its verdict. Everyone thought there would be a war but on the day of the verdict, Osagyefo, not even a single soul was found on the streets. Everybody just went into hiding.

Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, at this point I don’t want to sound boring with my long talk. It’s been a long while and, of course, I couldn’t have said all that has happened within the 41 years of your absence.

Anyway, I thought you should know that the African Union (AU), formerly Organisation of African Unity (OAU), has a new office in Addis Ababa, and you won’t believe who built it for them. Who else but the Chinese. I am not sure this is what you envisaged when you said the “black man is capable of managing his own affairs.”

Let me end here. I am sure you will be hearing from me often. Regards to the late Prof. Evans Attah Mills. Tell him we miss him badly.
Anyway happy birthday in advance!


The writer is the author of Rhythms of Thoughts, a column published in the Weekend edition of the Business and Financial Times (B&FT).