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Feature Article of Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Prof. Busia's Legacy; Time for Brongs to Protect it

Brong-Ahafo still remains the second largest region in land size in Ghana. It is a great agricultural region with cocoa plantations, extensive forest reserves, and touristic attractions. The 2010 Population and Housing census puts the number of people in the region at 2,282,128, representing 9.4% of the total population. The region has produced several high profile personalities who are serving the country in all fields of endeavour. My first contact with the region was in 1991/92, when I did my national service at Fawohoyeden JHS in the Goaso Municipal. After graduating from Wesley College of Education in 1995, I had another opportunity to teach in the same region. I have loads of friends in Suma Ahenkro and Akrodie, where I spent a period of three years till I left for the university. Brong-Ahafo Region would forever be remembered for giving the UP tradition, mother Ghana, and Africa, a world class scholar. Though his Progress Party (PP) administration was short-lived, Professor Busia, the first African professor and scholar by inclination, symbolised the dilemma of intellectual in politics as the man of thought was forced by events to become the man of action.

Until Ghana's independence, Brong-Ahafo was part of Ashanti Region. However, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah decided to create a region out of the Ashanti on April 4, 1959 for reasons best known to him. Having seen the qualities in him, many Akans, especially Asantes, did not hesitate in throwing their support on Prof. Busia to become the first Premier in Ghana during the 1969 general elections. With this achievement in mind, one expected Boakye-Gyan, an old boy of Opoku Ware School, and a native of B/A Region to continue from where Prof. Busia left off, especially when the opportunity came his way. On June 4, 1979, then Major Boakye-Gyan led a group of officers in the Ghana Armed Forces and released Flt. Lt. Rawlings from cells after his 15th May, 1979 abortive coup d'├ętat. Instead of declaring himself the Head of State, Boakye Gyan preferred the position of a Spokesperson of the AFRC to the Chairman of the AFRC, even though his academic qualification, age, and military rank were all higher than that of Rawlings. Whatever prompted Boakye Gyan to choose the first option is still a mystery yet to be unravelled by many Ghanaians. In the end Boakye Gyan nearly paid for his life until he sought political asylum in a foreign land. Per this action, Osahene Kojo Boakye Gyan has never been forgiven by Brongs and his recent abysmal performance in the Parliamentary elections in Jaman South tells it all.

Similarly, another fine gentleman from Brong-Ahafo Region, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has blown his chance of becoming an icon in Africa. Instead of keeping the torch of Busia burning, Afari Gyan has allowed his conscience to be bought with monetary rewards. His hard-won reputation has been tarnished because of monetary influence from John Mahama, a Gonja from the Northern Region. If you compare Afari Gyan's educational level, age, experience, and intellectual prowess against those of Mahama, you would realise how pathetic it is for Afari Gyan to be manipulated this way.

As if by coincidence or systematic planning, it is also difficult to comprehend how Yaw Boateng Gyan and Asiedu Nketiah, both natives of Brong-Ahafo Region are also deviating from the path of Prof. Busia. Whilst Yaw Boateng Gyan has set up a Special Forces Unit in the Ghana Army to cause mayhem in elections, Asiedu Nketiah relies on Heroes Fund to award victims of electoral violence. The posture of Nketiah on radios and television goes contrary to that of rational beings. Sometimes, it is even better for Asiedu Nketiah to slap you than to give him a chance to speak about you; for anything that comes out from his mouth is surrounded with houseflies due its smelly nature. Seriously, if it's not about "17 thieves and their chief thief", then he would make reference about "idiots going to court". Dressed in his warlike smock, Asiedu Nketiah is always seen as a Captain on the battle front. It came as no surprise to many when he organised some NDC fool soldiers to demand electoral victory at the EC's headquarters. Asiedu Nketiah's defence of the NDC cane carriers who beat their political opponents at the premises of the Supreme Court is an eye opener to us all.

As I speak with you today the people of Wenchi, a Constituency that gave Ghanaians, the first Premier on the ticket of Progress Party, an antecedent of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have voted for the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) leader, John Mahama. And I'm sure the Parliamentary seat could be captured from the NPP soon, if care is not taken. The most annoying, if not saddest thing of all is that the NDC made an attempt to remove Busia's statue from the Sunyani Jubilee Park in 2009 and surprisingly many Brongs were in support of this diabolic action. Could this be a betrayal of Prof. Busia and how do these people expect Busia to feel in his grave? Why are Afari Gyan, Yaw Boateng Gyan, and Asiedu Nketiah so desperate to legitimise the presidency of John Mahama, even at the peril of their integrity? Is it because of money or position? What qualities does John Mahama have that should compel Afari Gyan, Yaw Boateng Gyan, and Asiedu Nketiah to commit these heinous crimes against Ghanaians?

After telling the whole world that it had registered over 241,000 Ghanaians abroad, the Electoral Commission ended up with less than 3,000 voters. For 7 days (1,176 hours) Afari Gyan could not give specifics, but he had the effrontery to ask the NPP to produce theirs within an hour. The involvement of EC officials from the Northern Region in the signing of fake pink sheets further casts a slur on Afari Gyan and his team. The other time two EC officers were arrested for taking bribes just to help others to win. The same Afari Gyan was hellbent on creating new constituencies as if his family members were going to contest those seats. Not even advice from the civil society could make him rescind his decision. Afari Gyan thinks the whole Ghana is in his hands and has become so arrogant and disrespectful. Kwadwo Afari Gyan has now taken over from Alfred Woyome as the number one criminal in Ghana. Curses upon curses are being heaped on him but he cares less about that, but his cup would soon be full. "Mpanin se, s3 nimo antumi wo a, 3tete wontoma".

It's high time the people of Brong-Ahafo Region saw the NPP as their bonafide property because of Prof. Busia. The party was founded upon the tradition of Danquah-Dombo-Busia. Although any Asante name is missing from the pairings, Asantes have become a victim of tribal hatred for no apparent reason. Besides, the UP tradition prides itself, to a very large extent, on John Agyekum Kufuor's political achievements. It is my fervent hope that all Brongs, who have joined the NDC by default would realise the mistake they have made. Voltarians never seized to vote for Rawlings. Atta Mills said to his tribesmen; "Adze wofie a oye". John Mahama told his Northern siblings to vote for a Northerner because it was time for them to rule Ghana. Now, if Northerners who had Dr. Limann as president in 1979 are tired of occupying the Vice Presidency, what about the Brongs whose son left the presidency in 1972? Are Brongs not worthy of becoming presidents? How many Brongs were nominated as Ministers of State by John Mahama? Not even a single Minister was appointed, but compare that to Northerners and you will see how the Brongs are being used by the NDC for political gains.

In conclusion, I appeal to the people of Brong-Ahafo to rise up against this unfairness before Afari Gyan, Boateng Gyan, and Boakye Gyan sell the region for their personal gains. I throw a challenge to Nana Obiri Boahen, Nkrabea Effah-Dartey, Stephen Ntim, and Professors Ameyaw-Ekumfi and Gyan Baffour to take the lead in protecting the legacy of Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia before it sinks into oblivion.

God bless Ghana! God bless the People of Brong-Ahafo Region!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Enfield, London. (Free SHS Ambassador) Official blog: (www.katakyie.com) katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk 07577626433 A native of Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri

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