Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, a Ghanaian Economist and Historian, has revealed that Joseph Boakye (J.B) Danquah, one of the Big Six personalities in Ghana’s pre-independence era, had an odd obsession with naming locations, much like President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo does today.
According to him, J.B. Danquah’s political career was effectively over by 1957, so it was Kwame Nkrumah who was in a position to propose the name for Ghana, then Gold Coast, which he did. He also stated that it is well-know that J.B. Danquah renamed that Gold Coast, to the name “Ghana” but he for instance, disagreed with it.
To prove this, he said that J.B. Danquah and the others had already challenged Nkrumah for selecting the name “Ghana”, and that Nkrumah had to justify his decision in his memoirs.
This information was revealed in response to claims made by some New Patriotic Party (NPP) members, including President Akufo-Addo, who claimed that the Akyems inside the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) should be given due credit for having suggested the name “Ghana.”
“Danquah, however, had a weird obsession for naming places, like the President does today. He had proposed, without any consultations, that the Northern Territories be renamed Fergusonia, after Ekem Ferguson, the surveyor from Anomabo who had done much work in the North.
“The idea was rejected by the British, much like his previous suggestion to rename the Gold Coast Akanland, and later Akan-Ga, when he was reminded that there were more than Akans in the colony. (He, like the president today and his fellow tribalists, was married to a Ga woman).”Dr. Nii Moi Thompson
Furthermore, the Historian cum Economist claimed that J.B. Danquah’s offer that he and his relatives be given control of the Gold Coast under the name “Ghanaland” during the 1948 riots was his most “valiant” effort at name-changing. He stated that the British ridiculed the concept.
Also, he noted that Danquah pioneered the tribalism that his inward-looking descendants are now perfecting with national resources as he made reference to the President’s previous statement, “Yen Akanfo” for which he explained as Akufo-Ado’s “desperate struggle to win power – and destroy the country.”
According to reports, President Akufo-Addo plans to rename the University of Ghana (UG) in J.B. Danquah’s honor, honoring his unshakable commitment and crucial role in the university’s founding. During the 75th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service at the University of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo expressed this goal.
However, the President’s decision to give his predecessors a significant place in Ghana’s historical narrative throughout his administration, has drawn criticism from many people.
We Need A Proper History Of Ghana
Additionally, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson said it would be wonderful if everyone learned about Ghana’s actual history.
He claimed that this sense of entitlement among members of the “peasant aristocracy, particularly those who held national office, poses a risk to social cohesiveness and the advancement of the country.”
Moreover, he stated that the public had witnessed enough of the President and his kin’s agenda of tribal supremacy, after the President’s recent suggestion that the University of Ghana might be renamed after his late uncle, Dr. J.B. Danquah, the Gold Coast lawyer and “nationalist,” which has sparked a firestorm of criticisms.
He claimed that certain people have a basic belief that they own the nation and are free to do as they like, adding that textbooks, for instance, had been altered and Danquah had been given an excessive amount of significance in Ghana’s history.
“So let us demolish forthwith a few myths about J.B. Danquah and the Big Six, and tackle other aspects of Ghanaian history that the tribalists have bastardized to drive this dangerous ideology of tribal supremacy. (For the record, I condemn the term “Akyem mafia,” or any term that demonizes an entire tribe for the folly of a few).”Dr. Nii Moi Thompson
Also, he asserted that George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah’s political advisor, had confirmed that the Big Six had not organized any protests. He averred that Nkrumah was not in Accra on the 28th, and Danquah and the other four at first, blamed the ex-servicemen for the unrest that had been sparked by a British officer named Colin Imray’s careless killing of unarmed protesters.
According to Dr. Thompson, the six politicians – Kwame Nkrumah, Ebenezer Ako-Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, J.B. Danquah, William Ofori-Atta, and Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey – were detained by the British, for their affiliation with the UGCC than for their actual role in the events of February 28.
“Who then was the architect of 28th February? That credit goes mainly to Mr. B. E. A Tamakloe, general secretary of the Ex-servicemen’s Union, who negotiated the demonstration with the governor; to whom the governor addressed all letters; and in whose name the permit for the demonstration was issued. He was supported by five other people, according to the Watson Commission’s report, making them the Real Big Six, but the five were not named.
“However, all eight executives of the Union who planned the demo were named, giving us the Big Eight: (1) B. E. A. Tamakloe; (2) S. A. Codjoe; (3) R. T. Dodoo; (4) J. S. Laryea; (5) R. P. Craig; (6) F. L. Adjei; (7) J. D. Ankrah; and (8) G. E. Lutterodt. We need a proper history of Ghana.”Dr. Nii Moi Thompson
Despite their individual contributions to the nationalist movement, he asserted that the “Big Six, as a group,” were unintentional beneficiaries of history.