Transcript of this speech is below the video
Source: Talking Africa
Kwame Nkrumah’s First Speech After His Overthrow
Transcript of speech
“Fellow countrymen, my heart is heavy as I witness the damage which this clique of neo-colonialist conspirators are doing to our country at the bidding of their oversees neo-colonialist masters. They are dismantling the work of 15 years. They are telling you that Ghana is bankrupt. They are telling you that our country is in debt to the extent of some £ 240 million. What fools they are! How ignorant for them to think that you believe these stupid lies.
Open your eyes and look around you. See for yourself. See the splendid new Tema Harbour. See the mighty Volta Dam. See the fine roads which we have built under the leadership of the Convention People`s Party and its government. See the schools, the colleges and the universities. See the clinics, hospitals, health centers and the facilities which we have created. See the factories which are already springing up. These are no debts. These are not debts! They are investments in our future as an independent nation. These are the physical guarantees of the bright new future which I have promised you and which I have been working for.
Together, we can put our Ghana firmly and squarely on its own feet. Together, we can create the things we need for ourselves instead of going cup in hand for charity handouts from foreign powers whose only wish is to exploit us and make us vassals to their interests. I know these are hard and trying days for you. I have never tried to conceal from you that real independence, that is to say economic independence, does not come without hard struggle and sacrifice. Unlike the cheats and deceivers the liars and traitors who are now trying to lord it over you I have never promised you any easy road.. I have respected your good sense, your capacity for work, your pride in yourselves and your sense of national dignity. Why do you think these traitors, these agents and lackeys of colonialism and of international intrigue to destroy the independence of Ghana chose this moment to perform their dastardly act? I will tell you.
Less than one month before they struck to destroy all our hard work, we had inaugurated the first electricity from the Volta Dam. Only 3 days before this treachery we had signed a new agreement to irrigate the mighty Accra Plains. At last we were on the threshold of a great new victory. We had in 1957 won our political independence after years of struggle. Now in 1966 we were at the threshold of winning our economic independence. The same people who tried to sabotage our winning of political independence 9 years ago have now struck to sabotage our economic independence and are systematically dismantling our Socialist gains and achievement.
Before the traitors and the rebellious national `liberation` council tried to usurp power during my absence from Ghana, Ghana was a haven to which the oppressed from all parts of Africa could come to carry on that struggle. It was a haven for Freedom Fighters for independence and against colonialism. The name of Ghana was revered all over the African continent as a staunch friend of the oppressed. African brothers from South Africa, from Rhodesia, from Mozambique and Angola, from the so-called Portuguese Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands and other oppressed colonial areas were given hospitality amongst us. Do you think that this was something for which we needed to be ashamed? Not at all. On the contrary it was something of which we should be justly proud. Haven’t we proclaimed that independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked up with the total liberation of Africa? Now hundreds of these brave freedom fighters who came to our country trusting us to look after them and help them in their struggle against colonial oppression and believing as we do that Africa and the struggle for freedom is indivisible. These brave men and women have been sent back, bag and baggage, by this traitorous clique to the countries from which they had fled to seek refuge, inspiration and protection in Ghana.
Countrymen, a new phase of the African Revolution has been reached. This revolution must overcome and triumph over imperialism, racialism and neo-colonialism. It must finally usher in the total emancipation and the political unification of our continent. Africa must be free. Africa must be united.