Politics of Saturday, 14 January 2012
Source: Francis Ameyibor
Accra, Jan 13, *The Profile of Lawyer Bright O. Akwetey, Aspiring Flag bearer of the Convention Peoples Party, the political organisation that founded our nation; a foundation process characterised by nothing less than a relentless struggle and resolute determination, fueled by patriotic and Pan-Africanist resolve; it was a foundation process dominated by fierce intellectual warfare between a visionary leader and a gang of colonialist/imperialist plunderers. The unwavering and fearless leader, architect of the nation of Ghana and an untiring champion of the liberation of Africa, the *Sage Dr. Kwame Nkrumah *left behind a legacy, a political brand potentially capable of retaking governance of this country once more. The Convention Peoples Party, the Osagyefo’s brainchild and repository of the answers to the challenges that confront our nation, is again at the crossroads of electing a leader for the 2012 general elections.
The CPP cannot continue to do things the same old way; electing people who hardly make it count. Change is crucial. The new CPP requires a dynamic and transformational leader to catapult it from the nadirs of political derision to its original status as the trailblazer of Ghana politics. When the *Osagyefo* said that “ *revolutions are brought by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought*”, he was referring to people after like *Mr. Bright O. Akwetey*, a thoroughbred CPP who understands the philosophy of the Nkrumaist and Ghanaian cause. At the crossroads where the Party currently finds itself, clear decisive leadership is urgently needed and delegates cannot look beyond Bright Akwetey, no! not at this crucial time. The bane of the CPP is the frequency of flirtatious shifts engaged in by the very people who constitute the core of its front but who have so easily fallen to the tantalising baits of its political opponents. Bright Akwetey is one of the icons of the Party and one of the very few members who has constantly remained committed to the Nkrumaist cause. It is people of his calibre with unquestionable moral authority and competence to bring back home the Party’s brothers and sisters domiciled in other political divides, that the CPP needs at this very time.
Watching the CPP, once the touchstone of political power in Ghana and institutional machinery that laid the foundation for prosecution of the progressive agenda of our nation sink to such depths of virtual dormancy, he is provoked to act in liberation of the priceless heritage. It was in similar fashion that Dr. Nkrumah acted to salvage the then Gold Coast from the colonialists. Again, Bright Akwetey can’t understand why Ghana, a nation blessed with such vast human and natural resources still has a greater majority of her people living in poverty. He is gravely grieved by this state of our affairs. He has the answers and is able to save the situation.**
*The Personality of Bright Akwetey*
Bright Akwetey, an ardent Nkrumaist was a Young Pioneer in the days of the presidency of the *Osagyefo*. He was born in the year 1949 on the 13th day of March. As a young pioneer, the defense of one’s country and quest for justice were inherently part of his nature. After the overthrow of the founder of the nation, he saw injustice in all its forms take over the Ghanaian society. But he decided not to identify with or defile himself with the rot. Then he started his journey towards building capacity for action. Bright was called to the Bar in 1977 after graduating from the University of Ghana with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in 1975. The Ghana United Nations Youth and Students Association(GUNSA) President; 1974-75 began his legal career with the Attorney General’s Department where due to the predominance of economic crimes which he observed was costing the nation untold sums of money, he found himself saddled with the prosecution of such crimes at the Criminal Law Division. That decision was based on the dual missions of cleaning up and helping recover money for the nation. He led high powered teams of investigators and crime officers to conduct investigations into various economic crimes and successfully prosecuted landmark criminal cases.**
It was a decade of real patriotic practice (from 1982 to 1992) which culminated in the recovery of billions of cedis for the country. The brilliant Barrister-At-Law in consequence of his uncompromising moral standing, made more enemies. But he also won the admiration and support of other colleagues some of who were his seniors. So what might have kept him from joining the crowd regardless of the many fat and tempting envelopes that begged their way to his doorstep? It surely must be something that was part of his nature; a trait deeply ingrained in his DNA; he certainly was drawing on the high moral upbringing given him by his father, a disciplined policeman whom owing to his principleness and anti-corrupt nature, none attempted to bribe.
The spirit of contentment resides deeply in this man. This combined with the sense of patriotism taught him by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah makes him outstanding and suitable to lead our nation. This soldier of justice was trained the way he should go and has since not deviated from that path. William Clement Stone once observed, “*Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity*”. This is what Barrister Akwetey stands for; having the courage to stand for the truth and at all times.
*His Professional Practice Outside Ghana *
Following his remarkable performance at the Attorney General’s Department, the Barrister was sent on secondment to the Republic of The Gambia as Senior Counsel for state commissions of enquiry. As an apostle of justice, he showed that his meticulous practice was not just limited to Ghana. His uncompromising stance on truth and justice in the course of his work made him step on numerous big toes as he directed, supervised and coordinated investigations that uncovered dizzying levels of malfeasance involving high-ranking public officers. This act (downright professional astuteness without fear or favour) opened the Pandora’s Box of extreme antagonism from the powers that were in Ghana and the Gambia. It was a case of two territorial powers dealing with a man who had decided to do his job the way he should and in a manner that best served mankind. Bright was very much aware of the dangers of pursuing such levels of patriotism in an African country but he also knew it was negligent and even more dangerous to sit on the fence. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said “*if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”*.
The former President of International Youth and Students Movement for the United Nations (ISMUN); 1983-98 and prominent Lawyer was later recalled from the Gambia under questionable circumstances. He finally retired from the A-G Department and indeed civil practice in October 1999. He once chaired the Legal Committee of Ga-Dangme Council; from 1999 to 2007.
*Our Present Position*
Lawyer Akwetey until recently was Chairman of the Legal Committee, Shadow Minister for Justice and Attorney General and Lawyer for the CPP. As a celebrated *apostle of Nkrumaism,* Bright has been untiring on spreading the philosophy of the Founder of the nation and African Man of the Millennium. He bemoans our continuous choice of such poisonous imperialist prescriptions as HIPC, Structural Adjustment Programme, ERP etc. which have not done us any good. He observes that the Britton Woods Institutions (the IMF and World Bank) have the common agendum of perpetrating and perpetuating neocolonialism and it’s about time we embrace *Nkrumaism*which is the only economic programme without such harsh and deadly conditionalities as often found with aid given by our so-called economic/development partners. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once observed that “*Africa (including Ghana) is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment*”. The present situation in which Ghana finds herself fits perfectly into this observation.
The kind of leadership Ghana needs is the selfless and nation-minded kind that the Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah exhibited. It was a radical determination to salvage the destiny of his country. It is unfortunate that a few self-seeking Ghanaians conspired with the imperialists just for paltry sums of dollars to derail the nation founder. However, when satan successfully tempted the first Adam, God gave mankind a second one who came to liberate his people. That second Adam for Ghana is *Mr. Bright Akwetey*.
The alternating NDC and NPP leadership have proven beyond every reasonable doubt that they do not have what it takes to better the lives of Ghanaians without depending on handouts from the so-called donor partners. Is it not pathetic to be hungry in the midst of abundance? Ghana’s case conforms to the observation made by the preacher; princes walking whilst servants ride on horses.
Clearly, the bane of this country is not the lack of resources but the corrupt practices that have permeated every facet of our society. This man (Bright Akwetey) has the moral strength not only to speak against but to ruthlessly tackle and deal with those who engage in it. The best test of fidelity is one’s ability to stand by one’s convictions even when all others are giving up and every indication justifies departure from such convictions. Bright has stood firm with the CPP and continues to espouse its virtues. He is the right man for the flagbearership position.
Lawyer Oblitei Akwetey is a well- known social commentator who is often consulted by the media in Accra and elsewhere on issues of law. He is currently into private practice with his Chambers being one of the most consulted in this country. He has served and continues to serve on various Boards in the country. In 2008, a leading Sub regional magazine, West Africa International Magazine conferred on him a *Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award* for his “martyric” pursuit of the Nkrumiast cause. We can’t agree more again with the *Osagyefo* when he said “ *it is far easier for the proverbial camel to pass through the needle’s eye, hump and all than for an erstwhile colonial administration to give sound and honest counsel of a political nature to its liberated territory*.” Think on this.