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Opinions of Saturday, 31 August 2019

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Akufo-Addo should ignore Nana Frema Busia’s abusive tirades – Part 4

One version of Part Two of Nana Frema Busia’s serialized attacks on President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is captioned “Akufo-Addo Ungrateful, Perpetuating an Unjust Betrayal on Dr. Busia – Nana Frema Busia.”

That was the caption that appeared on the Berlin-based media website called I have been writing for this website, which is owned and managed by the Ghanaian-born Mr. Ibrahim Musah, fairly regularly, for more than a decade now.

I had been specifically invited back then by the webmaster-proprietor to do so. Mr. Ibrahim, I am assuming this to be his surname or last name, also had another subject-related media website on which my columns also regularly appeared.

At any rate, I found the caption given Part Two of Nana Frema Busia’s series of anti-Danquah and anti-Akufo-Addo tirades to be at once both interesting and disgusting, if also because it presupposes the current President of Ghana to have categorically made a promise to rename the University of Ghana after Nana Frema’s father, namely, the late former Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia.

I have absolutely no information to the preceding effect; I am here, of course, referring to any promise having been made by Nana Akufo-Addo to have the country’s flagship academy, to wit, the University of Ghana, Legon, renamed after the late former Prime Minister Busia.

On the other hand, there is a longstanding proposition that I am well aware of to have Ghana’s oldest and most prestigious tertiary academy renamed after Dr. Joseph (Kwame Kyeretwie) Boakye Danquah, because the foundational history of the University of Ghana, as it both appears in the Academic Catalogue of the university itself, and also as originally researched, written and published by Prof. Francis Agbodeka, clearly documents the massive contribution made towards both the founding and development of the University of Ghana by Dr. JB Danquah that is not subject to any serious contestation, least of all, the sort of largely filiopietistic challenge that is being vigorously but decidedly vacuously mounted by one of the daughters of the late former Prime Minister.

Yes, Dr. Busia is widely known and celebrated as the first Ghanaian to have been appointed Professor at the University of Ghana in 1949 or thereabouts.

That is, shortly after the 1948 founding of the University of Ghana, Legon, in the present-day Greater-Accra Region which, at the latter’s founding was part of the present-day Eastern Region, the home region of both Dr. JB Danquah and President Akufo-Addo.

At any rate, what is significant to highlight here is that other than the nearly three-year period between 1969 and 1972, when he was the democratically elected Executive Prime Minister of Ghana, there is absolutely no significant evidence pointing to Dr. Busia’s having made any seminal contribution to both the foundation and development of the University of Ghana, other than that which is claimed by Dr. Busia’s own daughter, which largely pertains to curricular restructuring and the academic infrastructural development of the Sociology Department of the University of Ghana which the future Prime Minister Busia once headed.

The argument made by Ms. Busia against any attempt to rename the University of Ghana after Dr. Danquah, the widely acclaimed Dean of Modern Ghanaian Politics is, at best, tenuous and, at the worst, simply vacuous and downright preposterous. The thrust of the argument of Nana Frema Busia is that whereas Dr. KA Busia, her father, had once been elected Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Danquah, on the other hand, never succeeded to the prime ministerialship of Ghana. Now, such an argument is rather hollow and simply untenable because even as Prime Minister, Dr. Busia is widely known to have been an unsuccessful leader and policymaker, especially in view of his traitorous lobbying of the United States’ Congress to cut economic aid to Ghana because the then main opposition leader did not like President Nkrumah, thus his military overthrow well before he had completed his statutorily mandated term in office. For the critic, however, the mere fact of her father’s having become Prime Minister of Ghana, perforce, makes Dr. Busia a greater politician and leader than Dr. Danquah who never succeeded to the Presidency.

Needless to say, had Nana Frema studied the foundational history of the United States of America, Ms. Busia would have learned with salutary sobriety that although Mr. Benjamin Franklin, for just only one example, never became President of the United States, perhaps largely because of his advanced age at the time of the American Revolution, nevertheless, as one of the revered Founding Fathers of the United States, Mr. Franklin, an astute diplomat and an unimpeachable patriot, is routinely ranked higher than the overwhelming majority of the legitimately elected Presidents of the United States.

On the other hand, not only was Prime Minister Busia not particularly known to have been a factionally unifying Ghanaian leader (See, the Oxbridge-schooled Ghanaian leader is also not known to have seismically distinguished himself in the manner that is routinely attributed to the immortalized President Kwame Nkrumah.

It is also rather amusing for Nana Frema Busia to disdainfully claim her father to have charitably offered “a woefully failed” Dr. Danquah a comfortable place among the Busia-led Parliamentary Opposition in 1951, only to realize to the critic’s convenient oblivion or mischievously calculated amnesia the fact that by 1956, it was Danquah’s erudition and unimpeachable scholarship that Ghanaians would be celebrating at the polls by voting massively to have the then Gold Coast Colony renamed as the newly independent “Dominion” of Ghana within the British Commonwealth of Nations, now simply known as The Commonwealth.

As well, heartily and maliciously celebrating the defeat of Dr. Danquah and his freedom-fighting associates by Nkrumah’s cold-calculated concoction of an “Independence-for-Sale” bribery scandal does not decently reflect the temperament of a mentally balanced intellectual critic.

More so, when Dr. Busia’s ardent Nkrumaist critics have also alleged that during the Transitional Period between 1951 and 1957, Busia had personally sailed to England to plead with the Crown protectors of British imperialism to delay granting sovereign status or independence to Ghana simply because he, Dr. Busia, and his political and ideological associates were loath to the very idea of Nkrumah’s leading Ghana into the glorious sunshine of African liberation.

Now, this sounds more like the plaint or suit of a petty-minded “rainforest-reared” primitivist politician and not an enlightened scholar. We also know that Ghana would have easily become a Nuclear Power today, but for Prime Minister Busia’s abject lack of foresight and gross misreading of the proverbial temper of the times.

For his part, Dr. Danquah more reasonably and constructively wanted an effectively decentralized system of governance to be established in the country.

And for this, the Dean of Modern Ghanaian Politics ought to be objectively envisaged to have won the seismic, and even apocalyptic, war for the progressive and permanent democratization of postcolonial Ghana.

In sum, whichever way one looks at this matter, it is Danquah who handily wins, and not either Mr. Kwame Nkrumah or Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia. The truth can never be aborted. At least not via the viciously cooked mendacities by Nana Afua Frema Busia.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
August 30, 2019

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