Former president John Dramani Mahama has accused faithful of the Danquah-Busia tradition of the overthrow of Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
According to him, the Danquah-Busia tradition, from which the New Patriotic Party was formed, connived with agents outside the country to oust Nkrumah in 1966.
Mr Mahama said the uprising destroyed Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana and the entirety of the African continent.
The former President made these remarks in a Facebook post while commemorating the 57th anniversary of the 1966 coup on Friday.
He said: “57 years ago today, 24th February 1966, the Danquah-Busia political tradition conspired with external intelligence agencies to initiate Ghana’s first coup d’etat, which toppled the government of our first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
“This coup was achieved through a conscious and constant campaign of falsehood and calumny.”
He added that “as a former President of Ghana who has also been at the receiving end of the Danquah-Busia tradition’s campaign of slander and sabotage, I can empathise completely with the quandary President Nkrumah found himself in.”
Mr Mahama went on to say that “In 1966, I was a young boy still in primary school. But I remember highlights of the dark days that followed the February 24, 1966 coup”.
The former President used the occasion to urge Ghanaians to remain loyal to the country’s democratic path.
He also seized the opportunity to entreat African leaders to remain true to the tenets of democratic governance.
“As today marks 57 years of that coup d’etat, I call on all fellow Ghanaians and our patriotic security agencies and armed forces to mark this day as one of reflection and to remain loyal to the 1992 Constitution as we begin the task of rescuing our dear nation from the dark pit the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has plunged us into.
“I further urge all Africans to give meaningful democracy a chance, the very reason for which I am presently here in Nigeria as Head of the West African Elders Forum on an election mediation mission, as the country votes on Saturday,” the statement concluded.
Reactions of Danquah-Busia activists
Meanwhile, members of the Danquah-Busia tradition have consistently refuted the claims that they played a central role in Ghana’s first coup d’état.
Repeatedly, they have stressed that such assertions are false and should not be associated with the late Dr J.B Danquah or the late Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia.
In one of such rebuttals a few years ago, the then Director of the Danquah-Busia Institute, Gabby Otchere-Darko, took offence when a former Communications Minister, Dr Omane Boamah made that allegation on Newsfile.
In anger, Mr Otchere-Darko walked off the stage, describing the comments as ‘stupid’.
Here’s a video recording of that altercation: