The origins and the case for introducing preventive detention under Nkrumah

updated and still relevant contribution to our debate,,,,


Ekow Nelson and Dr. Michael Gyamerah

August 2010; Updated January 2013

For all the criticism of Nkrumah from much of the western press and the opposition in Ghana, he did not kill any political opponents; neither did he massacre groups of people opposed to him. Indeed in his often cited work – ‘Ghana without Nkrumah-The Winter of Discontent’, Irving Markovitz confirms that at the time of Nkrumah’s overthrow, “Ghana was neither a terrorized nor a poverty-stricken country”. Yet Nkrumah’s detractors would have us believe his was the most cruel administration in history, citing in their defence, the much-debated Preventive Detention Act (PDA) of 1958. But how did this piece of emergency legislation, not too dissimilar to the wave of anti-terrorist laws adopted by many countries after September 11 2001, come about, and was it justifed?

We argue in this paper that the PDA was a necessary piece of emergency security…

View original post 8,225 more words

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