With some minor reservations, Assensoh promptly refers to and applauds Professor Hakeem Ibikunle (H.I.) Tijani's chapter in the 2003 book, The Foundations of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. However, he also offers his own corrections of what he sees as Tijani's sweeping conclusions from Assensoh's most recent submission on "Zikism" and "Nkrumahism".
Some of you, doing these useful submissions for Toyin's "USA/Africa Dialogue" might not have seen some of the books that Tarrant County College Adjunct Professor Hakeem Ibikunle (H.I.) Tijani listed in his Submission No. 64. Since I have happily and successfully used it an Indiana University classroom and also in my own research The Foundations of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola, I have been prompted, first, to applaud Tijani's useful contribution (Chapter 30) to the 697-page volume that was superbly edited by Tennessee State University History Professor Adebayo Oyebade. Tijani's piece is titled: "McCarthyism" In Colonial Nigeria: The Ban On The Employment Of Communists, ( which can be found on pages 646-668).
Anyone, who reads Tijani's chapter should also read Nkrumah's 1957 autobiography. For, Nkrumah is quoted twice by Tijani on page 648 of The Foundations of Nigeria...; one of the quotes is about Nkrumah as having given a February 25, 1954 speech at the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly "in which he stated that his government would in the future refuse to employ in certain branches of the public service persons who had proved to be active communists." Tijani subsequently added a quote from Manchester Guardian of 28 Oct. 1956 that read: Ttwo years later Nkrumah was proud to say that, "the infiltration by communist agents into `our workers' organizations has now been completely checked." Yet, in Nkrumah's autobiography (published in 1957 by Thomas Nelson ad Sons Limited), the new Ghana's elected Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah, inter alia, wrote about his Christian and Marxist leanings: "Today I am a non-denominational Christian and a Marxist socialist and I have not found any contradiction between the two," (page 12). Also, on page 63 of the same autobiography, Nkrumah underscored how, on November 14, 1947, he and his future cabinet minister Kojo Botsio left London for Liverpool on their way back to the Gold Coast by boat, how the authorities were not happy with him, for this reason: "They were not at all happy bout my presence at Communist meetings," (page 63). If so, would Nkrumah truly check communist infiltration into workers' organizations in the then Gold Coast, as Tijani wrote?
Tijani also mentions Nduka Eze as an un-sung hero among the leftist Zikist group. Most certainly, I have also shown in my 256-page publication, Kwame Nkrumah of Africa: His Formative Years and the Beginning of His Political Caree, 1935 to 1948 (published in 1989) that there have been many, many, many un-sung heroes when it comes to Pan-Africanist and Africanist history as well as politics, including Sierra Leone's John Karefa-Smart; Ghana's J.B. Danquah, who played a major role to bring Nkrumah back to the Gold Coast's nationalist politics in 1947 but ended up dying in Nkrumah's political detention; Prince A.A.N. Orizu of Ohio State University; C.L.R. James, the Trinidadian scholar, who introduced Nkrumah to radical Trotskyte politics and wrote the 1977 book about the Ghanaian leader, titled Nkrumah And The Ghana Revolution; Tanzania's Oscar Kambona and M. Babu; and many, many others!
Unfortunately, I did not intend to give Dr. Azikiwe any special credit for the radical "Zikist" politics or ideology that Tijani advances in his piece (Submission No. 64). What I meant, however, was that when Dr. Azikiwe returned from America to practise journalism in the former Gold Coast, he (like Nkrumah and his "Nkrumahism") had not diluted his "Zikism" (or "Zikist" ideological nuances), very much unlike some "Been-to" African scholars, who went to Europe or the Americas very radical but returned to the continent both tamed and fractured physically as well as in spirit. For example, in Gold Coast (later Ghana) elementary schools, when our parents asked us to take our green, hard-cover Oxford English Dictionary, they sometimes urged us to take or use our "Zikism", as they referred to it. In that "wonder" book, we could find definitions for and interpretations of long and "big" words, like those that Dr. Azikiwe used in his African Morning Post. So, our brand of "Zikism" is very much different from the radical ideological or political platitudes that Brother Tijani is ably referring to and defending in his submission below. Therefore, I was indeed not in much of an error at all; maybe, what I wrote needed some clarification, as he did very well! Sincerely, A.B. Assensoh, Indiana University-Bloomington campus.