- Dr Kwame Nkrumah, on February 24, 1966, was overthrown by a group led by 4 prominent men who were close to him
- When he woke up to the news of the end to his government, Nkrumah reminisced on the events and wrote down deeply sad words
- Nkrumah recounted how he related with his people and how the entire overthrow took place
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On February 24, 1996, the then president of the Ghana Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup led by Colonel E.K. Kotoka, Major A.A. Afrifa, Lieutenant General (retired) J.A. Ankra, and Police Inspector General J.W.K. Harlley.
Nkrumah was out of the country at the time his government was overthrown by people he least suspected to have had any ill thoughts concerning him.
When the coup happened and reality dawned on Nkrumah that his government had ended, the first president of Ghana reminisced on the whole event and wrote down very emotional words in his book Dark Days in Ghana as quoted by Ghanaianmuseum.com.
Kwame Nkrumah ‘s words about the coup which deposed him headed by Colonel Emmanuel Kwesi Kotoka and Major Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa:
“I left Accra on 21st February 1966. I was seen off at the airport by most of the leading government and Party officials, and by service chiefs.
I recall the handshakes and the expressions of good wishes from Harlley, Deku, Yakubu, and others. These men, smiling and ingratiating, had all the time treason and treachery in their minds.
They had even planned my assassination on that day, though they later abandoned the idea. I remember shaking hands with Major-General Barwah—to be murdered in cold blood three days later when he refused to surrender to the rebel army soldiers.
little thought then that I would never see him again, or that Zanerigu, Commander of the Presidential Guard Regiment, Kojo Botsio, Kofi Baako and other ministers who were there at the airport, would be shortly seized by renegade soldiers and policemen and thrown into prison.
After a week of so-called “manoeuvres,” the operation began early in the morning of Wednesday, 23rd February 1966 when the garrison at Kumasi, numbering 600 men, was ordered to move southwards to Accra.
On the way, the convoy of some 35 vehicles was met and halted by the two arch-traitors Colonel Emmanuel Kwesi Kotoka, Commander of the Second Infantry Brigade Group, and Major Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa of the Second Brigade.
Furthermore, a secret tunnel had been made from Flagstaff House, the presidential residence, to Accra airport, and for days Russians had been arriving. The only way to save Ghana, and to avoid being sent to fight in Vietnam, the troops were told, was to take Flagstaff House.
Several days after the military seizure of power, Kotoka and Afrifa appeared on Ghana TV congratulating themselves on their easy success.
One remark stood out unmistakable and clear: “And you know, we didn’t find any Russians at all— not one! Nor could we find any trace of that tunnel.” This was followed by peals of laughter at the poor soldiers who had believed their story.
In other news, Katherine Johnson, an outstanding NASA mathematician whose singular contribution made it possible for the 1st man Neil Armstrong, to land on the moon with Apollo 11 in 1969 has died on February 24, 2020, after living a full life of 101 years.
According to Nationalgeographic.com, for decades, Johnson, an African-American woman, was among NASA’s largely uncelebrated pioneers because she was a woman of colour but that did not stop her profound impact from being felt.
Due to her role in putting America on historical records for sending the first human beings to the moon, Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 by the then-president.
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