Akufo-Addo extols Busia as a farsighted leader

akufo addo extols busia as a farsighted leader

President Akufo Addos Sona
President Akufo Addos Sona

Spining

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana would have been better off economically and socially if Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia, Prime Minister in the Second Republic, had been given more time to execute his vision for the country.

He said Prof Busia was a farsighted leader never to be seen in Ghana and Africa, and his overthrow in 1972 “meant that our country was deprived of the full impact of his agenda for development”.

The President was speaking at the launch of an audio compilation of half a century of letters exchanged between Prof Busia and his life-long friend and mentor, Reverend William Whittel, in Accra on Monday.

The audiobook, entitled “The Prof: A Heart of Faith; from Poor Boy to Prime Minister”, was compiled by Akosua Busia, one of the children of the late Prime Minister as an act of thanksgiving by she and her siblings to honour his legacy and times.

President Akufo-Addo who described Prof Busia as an “illustrious son of the land, a devout Christian, a renowned scholar, a redoubtable patriot and a noble Ghanaian,” said but for his overthrow, the story of Ghana’s rural development would have been different from what it was today.

“As the eldest child of my father, Edward Akufo-Addo, then President of the 2nd Republic, I had the privilege to witness at first hand, his excellent leadership skills, his vision for the development of our country and the sacrifices he made towards the creation of the free, democratic Ghana in which we now live.

“Today as we celebrate his legacy, we commemorate also the 109th anniversary of his birth, the 44th anniversary of his death, and the 53rd anniversary of the famous victory of the Progress Party he led in the 1969 general elections. I dare say our nation, and indeed, Africa, has not seen a more farsighted political thinker than Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia,” he said.

The President noted that Prof Busia’s case “has gone to show that we turned out to be the poorer for it.”

“We can imagine for example, where our nation would have been now if he had been given the opportunity to develop his visionary programme of rural development.

“Some of the ills of contemporary Ghana such as rural urban migration, which has been the source of much current social tension could well have been avoided,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo recalled Prof. Busia’s emergence on the political scene in the country at the time when one-party ideologies dominated the continent and appeared more appealing and relevant to developing nations.

He remarked that while opponents of Prof. Busia were fearful of individual freedom as a potentially unbridled licence for adversity and distraction, Prof. Busia, who was an ardent believer of the State as effective guarantor of individuals’ freedoms, viewed it as a great ally of progress.

Prof. Busia, according to the President, was unequivocal in the belief that democracy cannot endure if leaders and the people “are not committed to it, do not understand it, or are not sincere to its principles.”

The late prime minister believed that democracy could and must work in the country, and it was for that reason that he, along with others, risked their lives to ensure the nation’s freedom.

The event was attended by former President John Agyekum Kufuor and a host of other dignitaries.

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