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29.08.2022 Feature Article

Nana Frema Busia: K.A. Busia /U.P Tradition Revisited

Nana Frema Busia: K.A. Busia U.P Tradition Revisited
29.08.2022 LISTEN

K.A Busia's first effusive love was for his nation Ghana that would begrudge him his rightful place in history? His greatest passion was an obsession with giving birth to an exemplary dignified African Democratic nation of great value for posterity. He was dedicated to rebranding a "sure progress legacy" for the eternal youth of not just Ghana but the continent of Africa and black peoples everywhere as his ultimate challenge.

Agoo fio, kokooko, knock knock,

If anyone is a Foundational Father to the DEMOCRATIC ethos of the country called Ghana, it is K.A. Busia. If anyone is fundamental to multi-party democracy in Ghana, it is K.A. Busia. If anyone provided fearless ideological opposition with cogent alternatives at the risk of his fragile life to a heroic colossus Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who was Ghana's proclaimed "god and messiah" in Ghana's first Parliament overwhelmed by the CPP, it is K.A Busia; And, If anyone of black African descent provided unequaled intellectual gravitas on which the university of Ghana at Legon's academic eminence & credentials are anchored, it is K.A Busia.

Let me poignantly ask : Is a university made up of merely bricks and mortar? To what is a university effort owed its essence, if not excellence in human development which K.A Busia pioneered and made concrete in his academic career and reinforced in his blueprint "Purposeful Education for Africa" book.

My Dear Dad, On this your anniversary, I salute you and sing 'Ayekoo'with gratitude and pride, for selfless and humble service as Prime Minister of Ghanas 2nd Republic, providing thought and Moral Leadership, preaching honesty, Character Transformation, applied technology with skills rewiring, utilizing common humanity as Policy and a focus on socio-economic justice through systemic nationwide rural development as your Legacy.

"We must judge our progress by the Quality of the individual, his Knowledge, Skill and Behaviour as a member of society..Oct 11,1969 K.A Busia Inaugural speech as PM

On the international stage your uncompromising and vindicated stand for non- violent "Dialoque with South Africa" and global Peace which were deemed controversial remain particularly NOW, with the world on the verge of a potential nuclear mishap, of immense relevance.

"On the 25th anniversary of the United Nations, I wish the distinguished leaders of the nations gathered here to consider "whether the time has not come for us to give some concrete expression to our desire for peace and to our determination to build a world without war. Should not, " If you wish for peace prepare for war", be replaced by " IF YOU WISH FOR PEACE RENOUNCE WAR? " K.A Busia: Address to UN General Assembly. NEW York. Oct 17 ,1969.

The Busia brand, beyond an iconic global intellectual peace loving personality, represents ideals, humility, modesty, practical values, virtues such as selflessness and principles in governance, genuine Faith in God and an unfliching stance for an ethical African Democracy which has been compromised by corrupt malpractices, not that it is unworkable. K.A. Busia's all embracing "democratic welfare state with each his brothers keeper" remain a viable proposition.

These are the values co-opted in the UP/ so called Danquah- Busia -Dombo tradition. The question is, has the current 'all die be die" crop of leaders lost the plot?

In this regard Asomdwoehene, NDC's Prof John Attah- Mills was far more humanely Busiaist than an NPP that pays empty lip service to K.A Busia without ideational loyalty with a 'zero tolerance for corruption' slogan which was a secret joke. Currently the internally conflicted government pursues divisive and needless Danquah vendetta while officiating a ruderless NPP which has been taken over by questionable personalities at its centre. The contemptuously manipulated crisis- economy enables them "to sit on money" while the mass of "Ghanaians are suffering". H.E Akufo - Addo oblivious to corruption and economic mismanagement refuses to take responsibility and to sack errant Ministers at least on issues of principle including the Health, Finance and Land Resources Ministers.

This constitutes a betrayal of his own promises and of the country which does not have any Resonance with K A. Busia who dissolved an entire board of KMA in 1971, and who through civic education, decried bribery and corruption and advocated good character and hard work as prerequisites to collective nation building.

Ken Ofori-Attah's borrowings and bond market extravaganza has intensified our debt crisis and his pompous statements now reversed, mean that Ghana under his financial watch has become a weak, non- sovereign, demoralised and humiliated country for going to the IMF. How could he be the person commanded by our President to negotiate a relative pittance of $1.3 to $3bn in order for a supposedly wealthy Ghana with a beggars poverty mentality to stay afloat? Are we not witnessing a no- scruples government that has lost credibility?

So here we are, wearing 'Akufo Addo suffering chains', while sitting on 'sika', yawning with hunger pangs awaiting IMF rescue ?. Forget reshuffle, how can H.E Akufo- Addo, not sack a dispensable Finance Minister because he belongs to that sole coveted family that Ghana is forever beholding to, for their Danquah bitterness ? What has this national impasse crisis got to do with a refined Busia tradition of bold and truthful ethical governance?

***If there is indeed a United Party tradition, it ought to demonstrate the value system as outlined by K.A Busia which the NPP claim to have adopted, not a tribal war of superiority for a rotational Presidency as though it were an entitlement for supporters of various personalities which is a dangerous terrain for a disintergrating NPP salivating a power grab for power sake? ***

Has the NPP not learnt the lessons of 1979 when William Ofori Attah AKA " Paa Willie " one of the "big six" could not shelve his sense of entitlement to the Ghana Presidency in pursuit of a Danquah agenda as though One Family has ownership of Ghana because of their participation in the initiation of a 1947 fight for independence which was consumated with a body politic rally around "Nkrumah eeeei Nkrumah showboy, I want to see you Kwame Nkrumah showboy" even if the UGCC had a better instructive program in retrospect. Must Ghana pay for her Nkrumah choice over J.B Danquah who presented Nkrumah to us, as though it were an unforgiveable eternal sin?

Now, let us refocus, truth be told, if you review the Danquah-Busia- Dombo trio, who is the most accomplished figurehead and dominant focal point if not KA Busia? Why are they afraid to call themselves a Busia tradition or Busia Party in the same way "CPP is Nkrumah and Nkrumah is CPP", in the same way Jerry John Rawlings Reps the NDC when It is K.A Busia who provided the tenets. It does not mean that others did not play important or significant roles.

*** It means you are rallied around the figurehead who encapsulates your Highest Values and Aspirations***

If one may inquire Why is there no signage on "37 military circle" with a pseudo Kofi Busia statue placed there by HE. J.A Kufour, an avowed Busiast? Is that circle a K. A . Busia circle or not? Was Sankara circle not changed to Ako Agyei interchange? Why is the supposed " Busia Hall" used for Examinations at UG Legon without Signage? Is there an unspoken agenda to diminish K.A Busia so that others can be paid homage and be better projected ?

It is Kofi Abrefa Busia whose Progress Party with his United Party collaborators and country wide supporters won the Presidency in the 1969 election on a nationalist not tribal platform and gave the NPP a victory roadmap for its subsequent political victories. Please let us inquire on whose Rural development & "development in freedom" adage the NPP hinges its achievements if not Kofi Abrefa Busia?

If the NPP government as currently constituted, is a re-enactment of a JB Danquah shadow Presidency that unfortunately never was, then it should call itself the UGCC or Big Six /Danquah tradition! Oh dear here comes the nemesis, Kwame Nkrumah leading the Big six. Suppose they dare not call it "big six" tradition! Hey Presto, the indomitable Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah cannot be circumvented in Ghana's political history in the same way Kofi Abrefa Busia who ultimately negotiated Ashanti into the Ghana union and seconded the independence Motion and also won a landslide victory in the 1969 election cannot be sidelined into some lame corner. Can I please ask why K.A Busia is not one of the "founding fathers"? Is it because he was not a member of the exclusive big six club?

By the way, the " Matemeho " federalist agitation is understandable in the context of a resource rich, then powerful Ashanti with Brong Ahafo incorporated, that had not been part of the British colony, unsure of its standing within a union whose dynamics were still playing out and seeking fair prices for cocoa farmers etc even if they overplayed their quest!

If I were the powers that be in the NPP, I would claim Nkrumah back into the fold as one of our very own. After all, was he not the UGCC outspoken General Secretary, in the same way as Kwabena Agyepon who they suspended for alleged treachery with non - chalance, now re-claimed and is even said to be an NPP Presidential aspirant?

As an anecdote, Nkrumah's ancestral roots is supposed to be from Wenchi and according to C.E.Donkor, has kinship.with the same Royal family as K.A Busia. This is what led to the removal and Exile of K.A Busia's brother Nana Kusi Appiah and Sister Nana Frema Tartuo 11 from the Wenchi paramount stool by politicised factions supporting Nkrumah, which stool dispute rather similar to Dagbon, is Active today, over 50 yrs later, and must be resolved with customary justice.

K.A Busia who poured out his life for a democratic cause celebrè, stands on his own earned merit, with superior credentials of world acclaimed brilliance & courage in the United Party opposition milieu as a knowledgeable thought leader in an extremely hostile political environment when the UGCC was marginalized and subsequently succumbed to the Nkrumah advent.

K. A Busia, a socio- Political stalwart, with quietly soothing charisma and eloquent humorous wit, opened doors of prominence and was already famous before he departed academia as a phenominal internationally recognised scholar into politics to take an outstanding life threatening democratic stance in Ghana's opposition. He was a "Paul amba ntem nso osen adikanfo" ie. a Superceding Respected, Courageous, Authoritative, Influential and Critical Voice against authoritarian rule and was also subjected to threats and assassination attempts including a mysterious near- death accident on the Cape Coast Takoradi road after a rally which resulted in K.A.Busia's hospitalization for over a month. Why is this not mainstream public knowledge.?

K. A.Busia is thus not an endangered political species to be wedged, inhibited and subsumed in a contrived "Danquah Busia Dombo" irreverent UP tradition for

Relevance, when the UGCC and J.B Danquah were not members of the United party when formed as an amalgam of S. D Dombo's Northen Peoples Party, The Ghana Togoland Congress, Ga Shifimokpee, The Moslem Association Party and the NLM, although J.B Danquah became Presidential candidate and lost to Nkrumah after the UP Opposition had been ostracized and K.A.Busia was already in Exile following a tip off, of impending arrest.

When K.A Busia returned from exile with a tumultous welcome and won the 1969 election, he showed selfless magnanimity in a " power sharing" cabinet system as Prime Minister and acknowledged the undue injustice of Dr.J B Danquah's death and the Danquah family contribution to Ghana's independence by honoring and making his Lordship Edward Akufo Addo a former chief justice of the supreme court and the father of our current President, the Ceremonial President of Ghana; in addition to ministerial appointments of William Ofori Attah and Jones Ofori Attah, the father of our current finance Minister as Appeasement. What again is owed to that family now at the apex of Ghana's politics after K.A Busia Re-Opened the hitherto closed political door to them as well as to a rather youthful John Kuffour who is also our former Executive President and others, thus setting a worthy standard for engaging the next generation in active highest level governance and not keeping democratic Power which should be shared for societal benefit to an exclusive family chest..?

This pragmatic largess was also displayed by S.D Dombo when he ceded the opposition leadership to K.A Busia who had more strategic political clout and national / international renown in a very unbalanced power dynamic that enabled the CPP and its "verandar boys " to take "Positive Action" to declare a ONE PARTY STATE WITH A LIFE PRESIDENT and BAN the opposition having orchestrated a referendum with a 99 .91 % of votes which was viewed as obviously rigged with a supposed eye popping voter turnout of 96.5% . This enabled Constitutional Amendment . The PDA could also send Nkrumah's former BIG Six comrades, J. B Danquah and Obetsebi Lamptey to their deaths in jail among many political prisoners such as S. D Dombo without charge or trial including Boateng K Busia who was not a politician but arrested as proxy substitute for being K.A Busia's brother In a repressive Ghana.

Was the fragrant violation of cultural democratic adages such as "Tikoro nko Agyina" ie one man does not hold counsel and "Dua koro gye mframa a ebu" ie the tree that solely consumes wind, gets uprooted not a recipe for reprisals? How can any fallible human no matter how Great as our Independence hero Nkrumah was, be enshrined in a flawed constitution as a life President ?

At the end of the day it was Nkrumah's own frontline and close colleagues, Ako Agyei and Tawia Adamafio who were put on trial for the Kulungugu bomb which led to the Chief Justice Sir Aku Korsah being sacked when they were not found guilty as charged

Intellectual eminence rather than habitual violence was the underlying principle of K.A. Busia's Preacher Teacher moderating influence on the wilder impulses of the bitter pre and post independent Ghana power struggles where the major actors including the oft whitewashed CPP had violent elements. It is in spite of violence inherent in Ghanas dark side of politics that K.A Busia propounded non-violence and sought to stand as a beacon of Peaceable light .

Detractors who seek to malign and impugn K. A Busia's impeccable reputation simply do not know him and are verily forgiven. Perhaps K.A Busia a Brong man as a powerful Representative of Ashanti in a toxic pre and post independent Gold Coast as a non- violent gentleman of true godly faith was an anomaly.

Unfortunately, in the stormy Danquah/ Nkrumah feud with repercussions that seem apparent even today, J.B Danquah's labour was lost and his ambition as Ghana's presumed first President did not come to fruition. We do not begrudge J.B Danquah his lofty place in our history as a statesman who tirelssly worked on various drafts of Ghana's constitution which was tossed nto a historic bin by the CPP. We appreciate that J.B Danquah organised youth movements, researched the name Ghana, and was one of the Big Six and a co initiator of the Independence movement by the UGCC. We are honestly touched by his excruatingly painful and undeserving death at Nsawaw prison and he is memorialised in our hearts and in the arhcival history of Ghana already. The Danquah circle is a monument to his efforts . Let us in remembering him, not attempt to undermine the distinguished accomplishments of others like THE consumate Professor, K.A Busia who also made Ghana and Africa proud and the heroic Pan AFricanist, THE one and only Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah who led our Independence march. In spite of their human frailties, they were perhaps better placed by providence with a higher call.

Let me pause by quoting the Prophetic K.A Busia during his "Roadmap to national development " address for a better understanding of the K.A Busia psyche : " The Answer to our Problem let me tell you frankly, does not lie in staging a Coup.: because if you kill us, those who will come after us will come to find the DEBT PROBLEM. If you go and steal ammunition so that you may KILL Kofi Busia, the debt will still have to be paid. After all, you know, I have had a very interesting life, so I dont mind going, But, that will not help you. The DEBT WILL STILL. HAVE TO BE PAID. So, do not think of political assasination. Let us rather think of how we will work together to build a proud country. This is why I talk about DISCIPLINE & HARD WORK. The only way to pay our debt is by hard work of All Of US working together to produce more.." 7th Sept 1971.

However, On 6th March, 2022, Our freedom march was devoid of mirth. Our collective and disappointing failure has been palpable in cries of our sidelined jobless youth to fix the country and offer them hope. An unelevated e-levy regressed to coup war songs sang by market women and echoed by oliver Vomawor who was delivered to jail. Prof Atuguba sounding a warning of the signals on the ground on the basis that " nsuo beto a, nframa di kan" was delivered to an elephant stampede by the kukrudu attack hounds but will this bring change?

So then, let me posit that If the K.A Busia devaluation of the cedi had been allowed to deliver its objectives Ghana would not be in an repetitive IMF quagmire with a 17th outing for a salvo that will not last unless the fundamentals betraying us are resolved.

So let K.A Busia footprints and Truthful legacy be assertive and without compromise "

Dear Dad, my childhood was dark and without spark, always in a dying sequence, reaching out weeping to a father I did know and and had never seen in an exile that was impenetrable and without solace. Today, 28th August on your death anniversary, I shall not mourn in rememberance, I stand firm in saying that:

We need to hear new eloquent voices with ideational thought leadership that inspire and evoke the best in all of us to serve each other. We must reject parochial interests on theories of innate political superiority and entitlement that bask in a dressed up corrupt democracy. We must change that 1992 Constitution that has inserted absolute power into a democracy in honour of Kofi. Abrefa BUSIA who fought till his dying day for our True democracy.

So let the KA Busia footprints and Truthful legacy be assertive and without compromise . Thank You

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