According to Robert Heinlein, a generation which ignores history has no past and no future. George Orwell also denotes that, the most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.
An article titled, “Book on J. A Braimah Launched in Accra” has been published by Chris Nunoo in the Daily Graphic and its online platform, Graphic Online, on Saturday 22nd May, 2021. The article captures the speech delivered by H.E. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana at the launch of the biography of J. A. Braimah held at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science on Thursday 20th May, 2021.
The presentation by the Vice President attempts to profess an erudite account of the history of the United Party’s (UP) tradition, but a careful assessment, evaluation and cross check against antecedent facts of authenticity establishes that the statement presented by H.E. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia incorporates historical distortions which are urgent for correction because David McCullough indicates that history is a guide to navigation in perilous times and as well depicts who we are and why we are the way we are. In view of this, if we allow distorted history and misinformation to persist and flourish, it would at an end change who we are, our tradition and what we ought to grow to become in future.
In the statement of the Vice President of Ghana, he sought to re-write the history of the UP tradition by attempting to eulogise and position J. A Braimah and Alhaji Mumuni ahead of the heroes of the tradition who sacrificed their all to ensure the sustenance and advancement of the tradition, while at the same time, downplaying the significance and peerless contributions of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) and others to the development of the tradition and its transition into the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The Vice President’s efforts to misrepresent and re-write history is inappropriate because “historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future” as quoted by Miguel de Cervantes.
It is interesting to note that, NLM was founded on 7th September, 1954 and not 1955 as indicated by H.E. Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. The party was birthed when Okyeame Baffuor Akoto led a large crowd of supporters to slaughter a sheep in the sacred
River Subin, which runs through the middle of Kumasi. It was later joined by political stalwarts like Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah, Dr. K. A Busia, Victor Owusu, Reginald Reynolds, Amponsah, Joe Appiah, among others, from the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the disbanded Ghana Congress Party (GCP) after its poor performance in the 1954 general elections.
Before the formation of NLM, no political party which evolved from the southern sector of Gold Coast and a root of the UP tradition had ever secured more than three seats in a general elections. The United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) during the 1951 General elections secured two (2) seats, the unsatisfactory performance eventually led to its disbandment. The GCP also during the 1954 General elections secured one (1) seat.
It is worthy to note that, during the 1956 general elections, the NLM secured thirteen (13) seats and one hundred and forty-five thousand, six hundred and fifty-seven (145,657) votes while the Northern People’s Party (NPP) secured fourteen (14) seats and seventy-two thousand, four hundred and forty (72,440). The above statistics explains that during the 1956 General elections, the elections preceding the formation of the UP, the Nothern People’s Party had only one (1) seat more than NLM while the NLM also had seventy-three thousand, two hundred and seventeen votes (73,217) more than the Northern People’s Party. This means that during the formation of UP, the NLM was the largest party in terms of the number of votes or supporters/members and the Northern People Party was the largest in terms of number of seats, making the two the nucleus during the formation of the UP on 3rd November, 1957.
More over, after the enactment of the Prevention Detention Act (PDA) by Parliament in 1958, the defection of some leading members of the tradition of the Northern People’s Party who as well held key positions in the UP, to the CPP, such as Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, Joseph Adam Braimah and others, among other negative effects, also led to the huge dwindling of the strength of the UP at the Northern sector of Gold Coast.
It is because of the then actions of these defectors that has subsequently resulted in the current weakness being witnessed by the modern New Patriotic Party (NPP) at northern sector of Ghana while the resistance of the founder of the NLM’s tradition, Baffuor Akoto and some of its other key leading members such as Dr. J. B Danquah, R. R Amponsah, Modesto Kwasi Apaloo, among others, to the abandonment of the UP to the CPP, is the basis to why the Ashanti, Eastern and Ahafo regions still remain the strong hold of the modern New Patriotic Party.
This vividly suggests that without the formation of the NLM coupled with the exhibit of the exceptional leadership dexterity and sacrifices by its founder, Okyeame Baffuor Akoto, there would have been no solid foundation for the UP tradition to strive on with till today. So it would be highly erroneous and injurious to the UP tradition for any to downplay the significance of Okyeame Baffuor Akoto and NLM to the existence of the New Patriotic Party.
Furthermore, H. E. Alhaji Dr. Bawumia’s description of J. A. Braimah as; “the most excellent specimen of the enviable Danquah-Dombo-Busia tradition, and this has never been lost on the New Patriotic Party” is an accolade very undeserving of the man. This is because if a person whose lack of selflessness got him expelled over disagreements with the party on its position to boycott National Assembly proceedings until UP members who were detainees under the PDA were given a fair hearing in the Court, and eventually his defection to CPP, would be accorded with such honor, then the Party risks breeding a future generations who would find no need to be selfless and sacrifice for the further advancement of the UP tradition.
As posited by Marcus Garvey, a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
Dr. Mumuni Adams
Credit: Dr. Mumuni Adams