Today in history, exactly 48 years ago, on 9 July 1972, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah was buried at his hometown in Nkroful after he died in Bucharest, Romania after six years in exile in Guinea far away from his birthplace of Nkroful at the age of 62.
President Kwame Nkrumah was unconstitutionally ousted from office through a military coup. The Coup was launched by the National Liberation council (NLC) with the code name “Operation Cold Chop,” on February 24, 1966 whiles he was in Peking (today’s Beijing) en route to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, with plans to end the American war in Vietnam.
In distant Bucharest (Romania), April 27, 1972, far from his green and lovely native land and from his own people, Kwame Nkrumah died of cancer.
The return of his body to Ghana followed lengthy negotiations between Ghana’s military rulers and the government of Guinea.
Madam Elizabeth Nyaniba, aged mother of the deceased Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, made an impassioned plea to President Toure to allow the body to be returned to Ghana: “I want to touch the body of my son before he is buried, or I die.” She also indicated that she would like her son’s body embalmed and kept permanently on public display the way Lenin’s body is preserved.
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, was buried at his home town of Nkroful, 240 on Sunday 9 July, 1972. While the tomb still remains in Nkroful, his remains were transferred to a large national memorial tomb and park in Accra, Ghana.
A eulogy, read on behalf of head-of-state Colonel Ignatius Acheampong, said the former President had “waged a relentless war against colonialism and racism.” Colonel Acheampong said it was a matter of great satisfaction and relief to Ghana that Dr. Nkrumah’s remains had been returned home for burial. The eulogy continued, “Today we mourn the loss of a great leader whose place in history is well-assured. We join world leaders in paying tribute to this worthy son of Africa.”