First Lady Margaret Kenyatta wrapped her four-day tour of duty in Ghana by visiting the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Museum to pay homage to Ghana’s freedom hero.
The First Lady who was accompanied by eight other colleagues from Africa made an extensive tour of the museum where the remains of Ghana’s founding father are interred alongside those of his Egyptian wife and treasured personal effects preserved.
During the tour, the First Ladies asked various questions related to the history of the fallen hero and the only former President with two separate graves in two African countries.
The late Nkrumah who won Ghana’s independence in 1957 is also the only former African President who enjoyed two funerals in two countries, one in Guinea and the other in Ghana.
Preserved at the museum as part of Ghana’s history and its posterity are Nkrumah’s books, audio materials, iconic photographs with world leaders of his time, memoirs, wardrobe, and a traditional stools from his late mother.
Also preserved at the museum is a wooden casket in which the late Nkrumah would have been buried in Guinea where he had also served as co-president after he was ousted from power during a military and police coup d’etat in his country on February 24, 1966.
He was overthrown in a Military Coup d’etat while on trip to Hanoi, North Vietnam.
He then left Hanoi for Conakry, Guinea on being informed of the coup. He lived in Conakry as Co –President of Guinea until he fell ill in 1972 when he was rushed to Bucharest, Romania for treatment and from where he succumbed to his illness on April 27 of that year.
Burial preparations including a grave , a casket and a funeral ceremony befitting his stature were made for Nkrumah in Guinea but patriots from Ghana would not allow the hero they had removed from power be interred in a foreign land.
Ghana finally held another funeral in Accra and buried their freedom hero and founding father of the nation at the historic museum on July 7, 1972 and years later erected the imposing mausoleum that stands over 50 feet tall, in his memory.
Standing forlornly outside the mausoleum is the desecrated statue of Nkrumah whose head and hand were chopped off during the coup d’ etat mayhem but which patriotic Ghanaians re-erected as two separate statues to remind themselves of their bitter history. The chopped hand of the statue is still missing to-date.
A firm believer in African liberation, Nkrumah pursued a radical pan-African policy, playing a key role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity in 1963, ahead of what he had dreamt of in unifying the continent into the United States of Africa (USA)
Nkrumah, a founding member of the defunct Organization of African Unity authored over 20 books and publications during his eventful life during which he studied in the United States before returning to Ghana as a revolutionary demanding freedom for his people from British colonialists.
He was among the first Africans to acquire the then coveted PhD education status which enabled him to lecture in some colleges in the United States before returning to Ghana to champion the freedom struggle.