The sudden emergence of a 55-year-old man claiming to be a son of Ghana’s first president and pan-Africanist, Dr. Kwame Nrumah, as well as efforts to reconcile former President Jerry John Rawlings and his chosen heir and incumbent President John Evans Atta Mills occupied the front pages of Ghanaian newspapers this week. “Nkrumah’s ‘secret’ son pops up” was the headline of the pro-opposition Daily Guide newspaper. It said a 55-year-old “unknown” man had popped up in Accra claiming to be the biological but secret son, apparently the second born, of Dr. Nkrumah.
Dr. Onsy Anwar Nathan Nkrumah said though many Ghanaians knew that the first President was married to Fathia and they had Gamel, Samia and Sekou, aside Prof Francis Nkrumah, he had remained the secret son of Nkrumah and that his mother was an Egyptian by name Isis Nashid, who was now 80 and resided in Egypt.
“It was a touching ceremony laced with tears when Dr. Onsy Nathan Nkrumah on Wednesday met with a delegation from the late President’s family after spending his entire life with his Egyptian mother,” the Daily Guide reported.
The newspaper said the family, who travelled from Nkroful in the Western Region to Accra, presented the new Nkrumah with some personal items used by the late Dr. Nkrumah.
“They gave the newfound son one of the favourite smocks worn by his late father as well as one of his walking sticks and a white handkerchief.”
Dr. Nathan Nkrumah said he was born on 17 March, 1957- some 10 days after Ghana attained political independence.
“Because I really cherish my privacy, I did not want to share much but I guess in the last few years, I allowed some people to get to me and to know me. I have decided to now settle down in Ghana,” he said.
The claim has been challenged by past students of the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute who want Dr. Onsy Nathan Nkrumah to subject himself to a DNA test to prove his claim.
It said the test should be supported with documentary proof to put matters in their right perspective.
The state-owned Graphic, reporting on efforts to reconcile President Mills and former President Rawlings, had the headline “Ministers move to reconcile Mills, Rawlings.”
It said Regional Ministers had initiated moves to reconcile President Mills and former President Rawlings to consolidate the peace and stability of the country.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mark Woyongo, said the initiative was also aimed at improving relations between the two statesmen.
He confirmed that a meeting of Regional Ministers was held in Kumasi to deliberate on the initiative and to mobilise a number of chiefs throughout the country to lead a team of mediators to help mend the relations between President Mills and former President Rawlings.
Mr. Woyongo said the move was not necessarily to woo the former President to join the campaign programme of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) but to work towards getting the two gentlemen to agree to sing from the same hymn sheet to facilitate peace in the country during the run-up to the polls.
He explained that the idea was conceived by the chiefs in his region and he discussed it with his colleagues from the Upper West and Northern regions who hailed the initiative which they put before other colleagues at the emergency meeting of regional Ministers on Tuesday.
However, Mr. Kofi Adams, an aide to former President Rawlings, said the premise on which the initiative was mooted was wrong because former President Rawlings was not a threat to election 2012.
Mr. Adams said party unity should revolve around values and principles but added that “the office of the former President will wait for a request for the meeting and draw his (Rawlings) attention to it and if his schedule allows it he shall do so”.
The Daily Guide’s headline read “NDC meets over Rawlings” with the story saying “linchpins of the ruling national Democratic Congress (NDC)” met in Kumasi “to hatch a plan to woo the Rawlingses to join the party’s campaign machinery for the 2012 polls”.
It said all 10 regional ministers and NDC regional chairmen from the length and breadth of the country attended the emergency meeting held at the Regional Coordinating Council.
The newspaper said the agenda was what the 10 regional ministers and chairmen could do to help bring the party founder Jerry John Rawlings back to the party.
The meeting considered the formation of a coalition of traditional rulers who would be mandated to broker peace.
An Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, reported on its website that “Rawlings needs no begging to be on campaign trail – Kofi Adams.”
The story said Kofi Adams, suspended General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress and aide to the Rawlingses, says the former president will only be back on the campaign trail if the values and principles he so much reveres are restored in the party.
He said whilst the ex-president was open to party unity, that unity would only be premised on the values and principles of the party.
The radio station quoted pollster Ben Ephson as saying he was convinced the coalition of chiefs to mediate between the two high-profile personalities was not the right way to go, especially when chiefs were not allowed under the constitution to engage in partisan politics.
He would rather the council of elders of the NDC met together with the ex-president’s wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, to resolve the crisis.
In another story, with the headline “Hot chase for Rawlings” the Daily Guide said Rawlings, who until recently had virtually become an alien in the ruling NDC, had suddenly become the “darling boy” and a toast of the party.
“Mr. Rawlings has suddenly become a hot cake in the NDC, with party leaders desperate to get him aboard the 2012 campaign trail by all means,” the newspaper said.
It quoted sources as saying that a strategy has been devised to use chiefs and traditional authorities, especially those from the Volta Region, to appeal to Rawlings to bury the hatchet and join the campaign.
Via Afrique en ligne