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Politics of Friday, 22 May 2020


Kume Preko @ 25: Akufo-Addo was only the spokesperson – Kwesi Pratt

Kwesi Pratt Jnr Kwesi Pratt Jnr

Kwesi Pratt Jnr, a leading member of the defunct Alliance for Change, organisers of the ‘Kume Preko’ demonstration, has said that President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was also part of the group was their Spokesperson and not the chairman, or secretary.

Pratt explained that the nine leading members of the group, set out to build a strong collective leadership.

“Nothing happened that did not involve everybody, nothing happened we all didn’t agree on. Nobody gave instructions," Pratt said.

Narrating why the position of Spokesperson was conferred on Akufo-Addo, Mr Pratt indicated that the president’s name came up after the first press statement was drafted and they needed someone to read it out at a press conference the movement organised.

He explained further that he and Akoto Ampaw suggested that Nana Akufo-Addo should be the one to read the press statement on behalf of the movement as the spokesperson of Alliance for Change.

“Throughout, Nana Akufo-Addo was known as the spokesperson of the Alliance for Change. We didn’t have a chairman, we didn’t have a secretary, we didn’t have any position. The only position we had was the position of spokesperson and that was conferred on Nana Akufo-Addo simply because he read the first statement at the first press conference,” Kwesi Pratt told Paul Adom-Otchere on ‘Good Evening Ghana’ on Thursday.

This, Pratt said, made Akufo-Addo the face of the Alliance for Change and it worked.

He said most of the people who were part of the demonstration normally worked at the background without anybody noticing them.

The leadership of Alliance for Change led over 100,000 Ghanaians to embark on perhaps, the greatest demonstrations in the annals of the country's political history post Fourth Republic, also known as ‘KUME PREKO’, to wit, ‘You may as well kill me’.

This was a rare protest against the Jerry John Rawlings administration in the city of Accra on May 11, 1995, as the demonstrators opposed the introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) initiative by the Jerry John Rawlings administration, corruption and hardship, with chanting of war songs amid “Kume Preko”.

The demonstration was initially billed as a peaceful protest but quickly became violent when some persons shot live bullets into the crowd resulting in the deaths of some of the protestors.

The Masterminds

Those at the forefront of these protests which also took place in Kumasi and Takoradi were Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Now the President of Ghana); Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobbey (Politician); Kwesi Pratt Jnr (Journalist); Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe (Politician); and Kweku Baako Jnr. (Journalist).

Others were Akoto Ampaw (Lawyer); Victor Newman (Politician); Kwaku Opoku (Politician); Napoleon Abdulai (Politician); and Stanley Agyiri Blankson (Politician).