On April 27, 1972, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana and a great Pan-Africanist died in Bucharest, Romania after six years in exile in Guinea far away from his birthplace of Nkroful at the age of 62.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah, arguably one of Africa’s greatest and finest sons, was pivotal in the establishment of the OAU which is now known as the AU. He also led Ghana to independence in 1957 after a long and arduous struggle.
Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah was unconstitutionally ousted from office through a military coup launched by the National Liberation Council (NLC) with the code name “Operation Cold Chop,” on February 24, 1966 whiles he was in Peking (present-day Beijing) en route to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, with plans to end the American war in Vietnam.
Nkrumah journeyed to Guinea after he learned of his overthrow. He was invited by his closest friend, President Sekou Toure of Guinea. He stayed there until his health deteriorated and was flown to Bucharest for treatment. He died of cancer.
Several African Heads of State and the representatives of 25 other countries paid their last tributes to Ghana’s former President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, on Saturday, May 13, 1972, after a funeral ceremony in Conakry, the Guinean capital. Also represented at the funeral ceremony was Ghana’s new ruling military body, the National Redemption Council. But in Accra, there was no word of when Dr Nkrumah’s body would be flown back for burial, and there were some misgivings that it would not be returned by the Guineans.
Following lengthy negotiations between Ghana’s military rulers and the government of Guinea, Nkrumah’s body was returned to Ghana. Dr Kwame Nkrumah was buried at his home town of Nkroful, 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.