Africans are our own enemies (Part 1)
The Bible is full of truths expressed so aptly that they encapsulate life’s realities in an explicitly transparent and comprehensible manner.
Take for example this passage from the Old Testament, precisely, Micah 7:6. It simply says: “A man’s enemies are those of his own household.” The Lord Jesus quotes it in Matthew !0:36 to authenticate the Old Testament as He usually does in His teachings.
To put it in context, the scripture deals with the friction and strife that may ensue among family members over Jesus – a kind of schism between those who believe His claims of deity and those who do not.
However, the word household goes beyond the immediate family setting and connotes a more generic meaning. In a broader sense, a household describes people of the same cohort.
It could be classmates, schoolmates, members of a team, a church congregation, members of a political party, workplace colleagues, citizens of the same village, town, country, or continent.
In other words, wherever there is any group with members sharing similar characteristics, aspirations, objectives, ideals, and so on and so forth, if you belong to that body, that is your household.
United we stand, divided we fall, so the saying goes. Therefore, the greatest benefit of belonging to a household is that there is strength in numbers. Consequently, the most sensible and profitable thing to do in that household is to unite on all fronts to mould the group into a formidable force able to withstand and overcome any external aggression.
Ghana’s founding father, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, recognised that need and championed the tenets of Pan-Africanism as a vehicle to galvanise the continent into an impregnable colossus spitting fire and brimstone against the external saboteurs of Africa.
His clenched-fist determination and fierce resolve to lead Africa’s emancipation from the shackles of imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism, bolstered by his political savvy, charisma, oratory, and pervasive influence across Africa, made him a target of the imperialist West, led by the US and Great Britain.
Moreover, he had an expansive and ever-increasing constituency of adherents across Africa, and an unflinching, almost arrogant confidence in the ultimate success of his Pan-Africanist project.
That was during the Cold War between the West and the Soviet Union for greater influence around the world. Africa, in particular, offered more attraction, given its rich natural resources like oil, gold, uranium, copper, rubber, bauxite, diamonds, manganese, cocoa, and many more.
And with Nkrumah’s credentials, coupled with his perceived soft spot for socialism, the West viewed him as Russia’s go-to man in their agenda to spread communism in Africa and win the Cold War.
For that reason, America and its allies regarded him as an enemy and a real threat to their selfish ambitions and economic interests.
In fact, a declassified memo from the Accra station of America’s spying agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) described him thus: “Nkrumah is doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African.”
He, therefore, became a prey for the predatory imperialists who figured how to get him. This is where the Bible quotation fits into the equation.
The Western collaborators knew that: one, “a man’s enemies are those of his own household;” two, “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand,” and, three: they also knew what to do to disintegrate Nkrumah’s mass following across the globe: “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.”
So, those maxims became the rallying cry of the West as they sought to execute their plot to keep Africa divided, weak, vulnerable, dependent, and subservient.
They needed traitors to help them. Unfortunately for Ghana and Africa as a whole, the enemy has always been within from time immemorial, a situation that the West exploited to execute their diabolic scheme and undermine Nkrumah and Africa for good.
Unknown to Nkrumah, the hierarchy of his army and the police were in cahoots with the CIA, and their British counterparts, M16, planning to overthrow him through a coup d’état.
All was set for the kill. They were only waiting for Nkrumah to travel abroad, an itinerary which they knew was very imminent.
In fact, the very day Nkrumah left on his impending foreign trip, that is, February 21, 1966, Lt. General E.K. Kotoka and his gang met and selected Lt. General J.A. Ankrah as head of the junta thus, the head of state, even before the coup took place. How treacherous the enemy within can be!
The role of the US, and their Western allies, especially, Great Britain, has since been revealed in declassified documents part of which was quoted earlier.
As a matter of fact, Nkrumah was suspicious of the US and, on February 26, 1964, two whole years before the coup, wrote about his apprehensions to U.S. President, Lyndon Johnson, criticising what he described as: “two conflicting (US) establishments” operating in Ghana.
Explaining his point, he wrote: “There is the United States Embassy as a diplomatic institution doing formal diplomatic business with us; there is also the C.I.A. organisation which functions presumably within or outside this recognized body.
“This latter organisation, that is, the C.I.A., seems to devote all its attention to fomenting ill-will, misunderstanding and even clandestine and subversive activities among our people, to the impairment of the good relations which exist between our two Governments.”
And how true his suspicion turned out to be! With the CIA’s help, the junta, led by Kotoka, successfully staged their coup on February 24, 1966, three days after their secret meeting and ousted Nkrumah from office.
He was away to Hanoi in North Vietnam, to broker peace and try to end the Vietnam War. He could never return to Ghana, his homeland, and died as an exile in Guinea in 1972.
It is said that “a prophet is not acceptable in his own country.” And so, Ghana rejected their inspirational leader, but Guinea made him an honorary co-President with all the perks that the office offered him until he died.
And what were the coup plotters promised? Read what Robert W. Komer, a CIA operative deep in the know, wrote to US President Johnson after the CIA got rid of Nkrumah:
“In reaction to his strongly pro-communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western. The point of this memo is that we ought to follow through skillfully and consolidate such successes.”
He added: “A few thousand tons of surplus wheat or rice, given now when the new regimes are quite uncertain as to their future relations with us, could have a psychological significance out of all proportion to the cost of the gesture.”
Concluding, Mr. Komer said: “I am not asking for lavish gifts to these regimes – indeed, giving them a little only whets their appetites, and enables us to use the prospects of more as leverage.”
What a shame, Africa! The imperialists did not even deem their co-conspirators, the enemies within, worthy enough of a certain modicum of respect after beguiling them to betray their country. Surplus wheat and rice were what it took to dull the conscience of our educated military and police officers. There is no doubt that monetary inducement was part of the bargain.
Nevertheless, the language of the CIA memo is pathetic. It speaks volumes of how low the enemies within can stoop to destroy their own household. They know no shame. They are still at it.
Remember that the memo from the CIA referred to “these regimes” indicating that the operations of the spy agency and their cohorts are pervasive throughout Africa and other jurisdictions earmarked for their subversive agenda.
Next week, the discussion will centre on how another inspirational African leader, Patrice Lumumba of the Belgian Congo, now Democratic Republic of Congo, was literally hounded in his own country by the Western powers in tandem with his own compatriots.
It was this conscientious African militant nationalist leader who led the struggle to free his country from the tyranny of its colonial power, Belgium while he was only in his 30s.
But the people for whom he sacrificed so much to liberate from colonialism proved to be the enemies within the household just as it happened in Ghana.
By Tony Prempeh