DR.J.B.DANQUAH;-THE POLITICAL DOYEN OF GHANA. BY:YOMOBI AKRONG-NABI.

 

MEMORIES OF THE DOYEN :- ON THE 40TH. ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF DR. J. B. DANQUAH, WHO HAS BEEN DESCRIBED AS THE DOYEN OF GHANAIAN POLITICS, WAS COMMEMORATED. IN THIS ARTICLE, YOMOBI AKRONG-NABI, WHO WAS ONE OF THE POLITICAL PRISON MATES OF DR. J. B. DANQUAH AT THE USSHER FORT PRISON OF THE FORMER EUROPEANS COLONIAL REGIME ENSLAVED AFRICANS DUNGEON, CONCISELY WRITES ON THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE DOYEN.  

FEELING FAINT ALL OF A SUDDEN, I SADLY GAZED AT THE DEATH GRIMACE OF THE THICK IRON RING CAST FIRMLY INTO THE SOLID CONCRETE FLOOR, OF THE NINTH CELL OF THE CONDEMNED BLOCK OF THE NSAWAM SECURITY PRISON AND TO WHICH THE TWO HANDS OF THE DOYEN LEARNED DR. DANQUAH WERE FORCEFULLY CHAINED TO THE CELL CONCRETE FLOOR, THIS BROKE HIS MIGHTY HEART AND IN THIS SAVAGE CONDITION, THE LEARNED DOYEN GAVE UP THE GHOST.

I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY FEW AMONG THE CANDLE LIGHT PROCESSION FROM THE PRISON YARD TO THE CELL, WHERE HE WAS FORCED TO MEET SUCH A GRUESOME END. THIS CRUELEST IRONY OF FATE WILL EVER HAUNT ME FOR THE REMAINDER OF ALL MY DAYS HERE ON THIS CRUEL EARTH : FOR IT WAS DR. DANQUAH HIMSELF, UPON THE ADVICE OF AKO ADJEI WHO SENT THE MONEY FOR THE SO-CALLED FRIEND AND LATER FOUNDER AND LEADER OF THE CPP, TO TRAVEL HOME FROM LONDON.

DR. DANQUAH MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE, DEAD OR ALIVE WAS THE GREATEST INFLUENCE IN MY LIFE AND QUITE RIGHT FROM MY INFANT DAYS. I REMEMBER AS A LITTLE BOY IN THE EARLY THIRTIES, MY GRAND FATHER WAS HOLDING ME BY THE HAND WHILE HE AND NII MALE DADA IV. THEN THE LA-MANTSE WERE LEADING A WELL DRESSED GENTLEMAN WEARING A FELT HAT TO HIS EAR. CURIOUSLY HE RUFFLED MY RED HAIR WITH HIS SOFT HAND AND ASKED WHO I WAS, " THAT'S THE NABI OF YOMOBI AKRONG : THE LA-JAASETSE, HOLDING MY HAND," THURS ANSWERED THE LA-MANTSE.

AS A STUDENT AT ODORGONNO IN THE EARLY FORTIES, WE WENT FOR PRACTICAL BOTANY CLASSES DOWN THE ODOW STREAM AT ADABRAKA AND WE ALWAYS PASSED IN FRONT OF DR. DANQUAH'S DWELLING PLACE, JUST WESTWARDS TO OUR SCHOOL. AFTER COMPLETING OUR STUDIES AT THE SCHOOL, THE CAMPAIGN FOR POLITICAL INDEPENDENCE ENSUED, AND THERE HE STOOD IN THE LEAD AS CHAMPION OF THE " UNITED GOLD COAST CONVENTION ".

HE GAVE US THE NEW NAME GHANA TO DENOUNCE THE COLONIAL NOMENCLATURE, GOLD COAST. HE TOLD US THAT MOST OF OUR HISTORY WAS RECORDED IN ARABIC WRITINGS. VERY EAGER TO ABSORB MORE OF OUR PAST HISTORY, I IMMEDIATELY ENROLLED IN AN ARABIC STUDY GROUP UNDER THE TUTORSHIP OF A GA-MOSLEM SCHOLAR BY THE NAME : "ALHAJI LOMOKO ". HE MADE ME PURCHASED THE NEEDED ELEMENTARY TEXT AND EXERCISE BOOKS. BUT WITHIN THE FIRST WEEK, THE OTHER GA-MOSLEM STUDENTS ACCOSTED ME TO SAY WHETHER I HAD COME JUST TO STUDY ARABIC OR TO JOIN THE MOSLEM FAITH.

I ANSWERED IMMEDIATELY THAT I WAS A BELIEVER IN THE UNIVERSAL GOD WHO IS EVERYWHERE AND ADDED THAT OUR TRADITIONAL RELIGION WHICH OUR FOREFATHERS BROUGHT FROM ANCIENT EGYPT WAS ALWAYS FIRM IN MY HEART. THEY ORDERED ME TO GET OUT OF THEIR CLASSROOM AND ASKED ME NEVER TO STEP THERE AGAIN. THUS, ENDED MY WISH TO FOLLOW THE LEARNED DOYEN'S ADVICE. WHAT UNTOLD DAMAGE IS ALWAYS CAUSED BY RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE !

ON THE POLITICAL FRONT, MR. SOLOWAY AS THE ACTING GOVERNOR OF OUR COUNTRY, STATED OPENLY THAT " IMPERIALISM IS BAD-THOROUGHLY BAD ! " AT ONCE, THE DOYEN, DANQUAH, ANSWERED PUNGENT POLEMIC IN THE PAPERS, I SANG THE REFRAIN OF A 12 STANZA POEM, " IMP BAD-THOROUGHLY BAD, SAID SOLOWAY ".

NOW LET US RECALL THE ABDUCTION AND ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON THE LIVES OF HENRY THOMPSON, CARL REINDORF, OTINKURAN ANKRAH, IN THE MID-50s. IT WAS ONLY THE VIGILANT EFFORTS OF THE GHANA POLICE THAT SAVED THE DAY WHEN THEY WERE ABLE TO WREST THEM FROM THE CPP TOUGHS AT THEIR PARTY'S HEAD OFFICE AT OKAISHIE, ALL BATTERED, BRUISED AND BLOODY. WE TOOK THEM TO THE KORLE-BU HOSPITAL WHERE THEY WERE GIVEN AMPLE TREATMENT AND DISCHARGED AFTER RECEIVING HOSPITAL FORMS FROM THE POLICE. WE THEN LED THEM TO DR. J. B. DANQUAH'S RESIDENCE NEAR CIRCLE AT ADABRAKA.

THE DOYEN AFTER REPLACING THEIR BLOOD-SOAKED SHIRTS GAVE US SOLEMN INSTRUCTIONS TO ACCOMPANY THEM TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL HOMES BEFORE DEPARTING TO OUR PLACES OF RESIDENCE . THIS WAS RESPECTFULLY OBEYED. STILL ON THE POLITICAL FRONT, 43- OF US GA-DANGMES WERE DETAINED AS THE PIONEER VICTIMS OF THE PREVENTIVE DETENTION ACT OF ACCURSED MEMORY, FROM 1958 TO 1966. THEN IN 1962, THE RAILWAY WORKERS UNION NATIONWIDE STRIKE CAUSED THE ARREST OF THE DOYEN AND MANY OTHERS BES-DIES THE RAILWAY WORKERS.

WHEN WE MET AT USSHER FORT, THE DOYEN ASKED ABOUT MY CORRESPONDENCE STUDIES FOR THE LAW COURSE. " THE AUTHORITIES SEIZED ALL MY COURSE PAPERS ". I REPLIED. " DO REPLY " WAS HIS ADVICE. I OBEYED AND PUT IN ANOTHER APPLICATION AND NO RESPONSE REACHED ME UNTIL THE COLLAPSED OF THE "CPP" AND OUR REDEMPTION BY GENERAL KOTOKA. DR. DANQUAH WAS RELEASED FROM USSHER FORT, BUT ONLY TO BE SENT BACK IN 1964 THENCE TO MEET HIS FATE IN THE CONDEMNED CELL NUMBER NINE IN THE NSAWAM SECURITY PRISON.

YES !  DR. DANQUAH DIED IN CHAINS AT THE HANDS OF THE MAN, WHOSE HOME COMING PASSAGE HE PAID FOR. AND LOOKING AT THE DREADFUL DEATH GRIMACE CHAINS IN WHICH HE WAS LEFT TO DIE, THE BURNING TEAR DROPS ROLLED DOWN AND I WAILED NEVER AGAIN ! SUCH SAVAGERY SHOULD END HERE IN GHANA !.

 ON EASTER SUNDAY 1965, I WROTE THIS COMMEMORATIVE POEM FOR THE DOYEN

 

 

(1) MATCHLESS BARDIC SPEAR-SHAKES

 
 

HIS GOLDEN FEATHERS THAT MAKES

 
 

SUCH POESY ALL THAT CHARMS

 
 

THE FIRES MEN'S MIND AWAKE !

 
 

 

 
 

(2) BLOOMIN' POWER THOUGHT-GEMS PAINTS

 
 

EVER SHINING STARS THAT NE'ER FADES

 
 

IMMORTAL BARD O' AVON!

 
 

TO YOU MANKIND ALL DAY WADES.

 
 

 

 
 

(3) VOWED LIBERTY SPEAR-BURNING

 
 

WITH BIRTH-RIGHT ZEAL TURNING

 
 

THE DOWN-TRODDEN PROUD MASTER

 
 

THE COLD IMP' NOW SCOLDING.

 
 

 

 
 

(4) COME! NVISIBLE BURNING-SPEAR

 
 

YOUR BLACKMAN'S BURDEN BEAR!

 
 

LEAD HIM THRU THICK AND THIN,

 
 

HIS MISTY VISION MAKE CLEAR.

 
 

 

 
 

(5) HEAR! O JOMO KENYATTA

 
 

CHAIN'D DIED DOYEN GHANATTA!

 
 

ALONE BLUDGEON IN DUNGEON

 
 

BLACKEST BLACK HOLE O' CALO'TTA!

 
 

 

BY : YOMOBI AKRONG-NABI.

 

 

( YOMOBI AKRONG-NABI SERVED AS ONE OF THE POLITICAL PRISON MATES WITH DR. DANQUAH IN BOTH USSHER FORT PRISON AND NSAWAM SECURITY PRISON ) 

GA-ADANGBE.COM FOUNDER & PRESIDENT : NII NAI-TETE. Copyright 2016 All rights reserved. Revised: 06/22/17 18:34:24 -1200

GA-ADANGBE.COM FOUNDER & PRESIDENT : NII NAI-TETE. Copyright 2016 All rights reserved. Revised: 06/22/17 18:34:24 -1200