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14.01.2005 General News

Book on Politics in Ghana generates controversy

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Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - 'Politics in Ghana 1982-1992', a book written by Professor Mike Oquaye, Minister-designate for Energy, was on Thursday launched in Accra, with a call on Ghanaian scholars to write to straighten documented reports on Ghana's political history.

"This book is likely to generate more controversy than settle controversy, but that is not a bad thing; what is important is to put the facts on the table for the way forward for the future", Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) said at the launch.

A sequel to Politics in Ghana from 1972 to 1979, the 258-page book examines Ghana's political history in the recent past of unconstitutional rule from 1982 to 1992 and paints military coups as setback to national development.

Prof Gyimah-Boadi, who was reviewing the book, noted that there were semantic and contextual problems of it, with God and religion drawn too frequently into it.

"Some of the statements are too sweeping", Prof Gyimah Boadi said. He said some of the evidence in the book would not be adequately substantial, blaming the lapses on failure to subject it an independent review before publication.

He called on publishers to hand over books to independent reviewers before publishing.

Prof Gyimah-Boadi further called on politicians, civil society groups, the academia and the media to join in chronicling the events of controversial periods of Ghana's political history.

"This book may serve the purpose of exciting others to write in reaction to parts of disagreement with the author," said Prof. Gyimah-Boadi, who is also a former head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana.

Prof. Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, who launched the book, said it was researched-based, and revealed the importance of research.

He said it was necessary to document the entire history of Ghana, including events of not only the unconstitutional periods, but also the constitutional eras, and called on Ghanaians to resolve not to change governments through coups but through the ballot box.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance Minister-designate, noted that the day of the launch coincided with the anniversary of January 13, 1972 on which General Kutu Acheampong overthrew the Progress Party. Prof Oquaye, who is also the NPP MP for Dome-Kwabenya, said the book was his doctoral thesis, and paid tribute to all those who supported him, including his wife and former tutors for their inspiration and guidance in the writing of the book.

The first 10 copies were auctioned for 61 million cedis. 14 Jan. 05

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