Exactly 58 Years ago today, Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah survived a brutal bomb attack in Kulungugu in the Bawku District while returning from the Upper Volta (Burkina Faso).
On August 1st, 1962, the President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah had stopped in the village of Kulungugu, in the Bawku District, on his way back from an official meeting with President Maurice Yameogo of the Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) at Tenkudugo.
The return road trip in Ghana was complicated by an unusually heavy downpour, putting the usual order of the convoy into disarray over a very bad road. There was great pressure for the presidential convoy to stop at Kulungugu, a small village on the outskirts of Bawku, to acknowledge school children who had been waiting to catch a glimpse of their president.
As a schoolchild was approaching the president with a bouquet of flowers, according to one account, his military bodyguard Capt Samuel Buckman, hearing the ticking of a timing device getting louder and closer, instinctively wrestled the president to the ground, a split second before the bomb exploded.
Both the president and his military aide de camp experienced non-life-threatening injuries. The child bearing the bouquet was killed and others were severely injured. Nkrumah was treated by a British doctor at Bawku hospital, who removed shrapnel from his back and side.
Though Nkrumah later accused his Minister of Information, Broadcasting, and Presidential Affairs, Tawia Adamafio for being behind the plot, the general consensus is that the attack was carried out by opposition United Party (UP) operatives from northern Ghana who had been trained in Lome, Togo.
In the months of May and June preceding this attack, Nkrumah had ordered the release of many political opponents he had previously detained under the Preventative Detention Act. These included Dr. J. B. Danquah, the leader of the United Party. He had also granted an amnesty to political exiles.