She ought to be using the more register-appropriate word of “parody,” but she keeps using the word “mimic,” which is not the contextually accurate word that would ordinarily be used by any well-educated user of the English language. But I just happen to be in a very good mood today, in spite of all the madness-brewed guff which she spews and glibly passes off as canonical scholarship. I suppose when she was in high school and college, English was not a required course or subject. Sociology most probably was; but, of course, when you have a straight-through Columbia University-educated Nuclear Physicist sibling in your own family, from one father and mother, you really couldn’t care less about who obtained their doctorate in Sociology or Anthropology from an Oxbridge academy. We also know who is the more likely to be the more brilliant or the genius here.
Anyway, it goes without saying that Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia was a mild-mannered man of humble but noble deportment – I met the man briefly as a second grader, and even sat beside him in his electioneering campaign station wagon or white-caravan, I believe it was an Opel, automobile in the leadup to the 1969 general election, in the village of Akyem-Kankang, presently called Akyem-Sekyere, near Jejeti – so I have every good reason to suspect that wherever his spirit resides today, Busia must be very embarrassed by the solecistic and malapropistic tirades of Nana Afua Frema Busia, his penultimate daughter, that are being misguidedly passed off as a righteous battle to have Ghana’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, Legon, named after him, in order for the deposed Prime Minister to be then fittingly imbued with the apotheosized stature of a global political giant that the filiopietistic and virulently blasphemous anti-Danquah critic desperately supposes that her father deserves to be (See “Busia Daughter’s Open Letter to Akufo-Addo on Politics of Ghana” Ghanaweb.com 8/27/19).
I have already indicated in a previous rejoinder to Part One of the vituperative series, which the author simply titles as “An Open Letter,” that the late Prime Minister Busia was a great man and, in death, a legend whose image and reputation do not need to be either dishonored or desecrated because, then we would be chopping off our own noses in a lunatic and cancerous bid to spiting our own faces. I still maintain that stance in this first of a two-part rejoinder to Part Two of Nana Frema’s anti-Danquah and anti-Akufo-Addo screed. We must also quickly point out the fact that Ghanaians today owe their geopolitical and national identity to Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye Danquah, and not to any other illustrious Ghanaian citizen.
Indeed, it was both the sociological and historical scholarship of Dr. Danquah that led to the renaming of the erstwhile British colony of the Gold Coast as Ghana at independence, and not the sociological and anthropological studies or scholarship of Dr. Busia. And, by the way, neither Dr. Danquah nor Dr. Busia stood on the podium on the Old Polo Grounds on the day that Prime Minister Nkrumah made the landmark declaration of Ghana’s independence, whose Motion of Destiny declaration Dr. Busia had promptly seconded. The man actually had absolutely no other alternative but to support the African Show Boy, if Dr. Busia was not to look like a psychologically trouble Anglophile who was morbidly afraid of African self-governance. On Danquah’s part, however, the decision not to be present at the Old Polo Grounds was patently a conscious choice. I, however, have absolutely no knowledge of Dr. Busia, the then main opposition leader, being specifically invited to join Kwame Nkrumah on the podium and flatly declining the same. Let’s get our facts straight on some of these significant events.
It goes without saying that his successful proposal, voted upon in a referendum, to have the Gold Coast renamed Ghana, in of itself puts Danquah in a class all by himself. But, of course, what fascinated me more than anything else is Nana Frema’s conniption over the fact of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), presently led by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, having supposedly stolen its motto, Nana Frema prefers the more talismanic word of “mantra,” of “Dignity in Freedom” from Dr. Busia “without accreditation.” The latter phrase is her own coinage, by the way. This is nothing short of disingenuous because the New Patriotic Party has always been envisaged to owe its source of inspiration from Drs. Danquah and Busia, and then Mr. SD Dombo, in that order.
The preceding notwithstanding, it is rather amusing, but none the least bit surprising, to hear Nana Frema inexcusably asserts, Tsatsu Tsikata fashion, that the stature and political significance of the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Modern Ghanaian Politics primarily inheres in what both Mr. Tsikata and Ms. Busia believe to have been the most egregious decision by President Nkrumah to have his former political mentor incarcerated without trial at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison, and to watch Danquah die on the Condemned Cell Block at Nsawam a about a year later. In other words, in the clearly jaundiced opinion of Dr. Busia’s daughter, as well as Mr. Tsikata, before the latter, to be certain, had Dr. Danquah not tragically perished at the Nsawam Medium-Security Prison on February 4, 1965, the acclaimed foremost constitutional lawyer and thinker of his generation and time would have been effectively reduced to a virtual nonentity in Ghana’s postcolonial history (See Prof. LH Ofosu-Appiah’s “The Life and Times of Dr. JB Danquah”).
Now, if this immitigably repulsive assertion is not coming from the mind of a person hooked on hallucinogenic drugs, Dear Reader, tell me, whose mind could such an unpardonably outrageous assertion be coming from? As well, in terms of relative literacy and scholarship, the Akyem of Abuakwa and Akuapem have been far in advance of most of the members of the other “rural” Akan sub-ethnic groups or polities, including Bono-Wenchi, where Dr. Busia was born and bred; so, I don’t know why Nana Frema keeps contemptuously describing Dr. Danquah as a rural or rustic denizen. Maybe the Ga-mothered anti-Akufo-Addo critic needs to learn more about the massive contribution of both the Akyem and the Akwamu towards the urbanization and cultural and historical development of the Greater-Accra Region. As well, even the critic’s own equally distinguished maternal relative, to wit, the late Justice Nii Amaah Ollennu, attended the Presbyterian Teachers’ Training College at Akuapem-Akropong, a veritable Akyem settlement and civilization, and lived peacefully and comfortably with the Akyem-Abuakwa royals of the Okuapeman State. I could also add the Saltpond-Anomabu littoral to the list of “rural” Akyem settlements. And, by the way, could Dr. Busia have been more brilliant than Dr. JEK Aggrey?
For her information, we have the Ghana Cocoa-Marketing Board (GCMB), presently renamed COCOBOD, today because of the “rural” political activism of Dr. JB Danquah and the securing of a fair prevailing market prices for the country’s cocoa farmers. Needless to say, it was largely revenue accruing from the cocoa industry, pioneered by the Akuapem and the Akyem, that was used for the establishment of the University of Ghana. Which was also why WACRI – the West African Cocoa Research Institute was established by the British colonial authorities at Akyem-Tafo, and not at Bono-Wenchi, or any other location or region in the country, for that matter (See LH Ofosu-Appiah’s “The Life and Times of Dr. JB Danquah). Would Nana Frema Busia dare to compare her father’s University of Oxford doctoral dissertation in the “soft” discipline of Sociology to the University of London doctoral dissertation by Dr. Danquah in the Philosophy of the Mind and Logic? Even the recently deceased African-American educator, scholar and Nobel Literature Prize Laureate, namely, Prof. Toni Morrison, quoted Dr. Danquah in at least one of her scholarly essays.
You see, Danquah was a first-rate thinker in ways that could not be said of Dr. Busia, which was probably why the legendary British Africanist historian, Mr. Basil Davidson, did not have much that was negative, unlike Busia, in his political biography of President Kwame Nkrumah, titled “The Black Star,” to say about Dr. Danquah. You see, so erudite and scholarly was Danquah that even upon his death, the brief New York Times obituary reference to the putative Doyen of Gold Coast and Ghanaian Politics acknowledged his brilliance. Oftentimes, the critically thinking reader gets the sense that not much that was negative, other than his infamous dogged and admittedly embarrassing defense of his kinsmen assassins of my maternal granduncle, Nana Akyea-Mensah, is said or written about him. Very likely, many of these European historians and scholars wished that Dr. Danquah was racially one of them. Read what Dennis Austin, in his political classic of the period, namely, “Politics in Ghana: 1946-1960,” had to say about Danquah vis-à-vis Busia and then draw your own conclusions.
We must also, reluctantly, point out the fact that when the future Justice Edward Akufo-Addo attended the University of Oxford, it was to obtain the Master of Philosophy and Mathematics degrees, and not to “lamely” dissertate on the Position of the Asante Chief in Ghana’s Modern Political System. We are talking of real thinkers here, and not “prophet preachers” in the mold that Nana Frema Busia prefers to envisage her own father. We also need to point out that like Danquah, Busia was also selected by Asante and Bono chiefs to represent them in the Legislative Assembly. He had actually been soundly defeated in the polls (See the Encyclopedia.com entry on Busia). You see we, the “rural” Akyem of Ms. Busia’s utter disdain are no fools or ignoramuses. We shall also make time, in due course, to pick up and discuss other questions raised by the virulently blasphemous anti-Danquah crusader.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 27, 2019
E-mail: [email protected]
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