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The De-Nkrumanization Of Ghana

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The De-Nkrumanization Of Ghana

The Danquah- Busia Group, The National Liberation Council & The De-Nkrumanization Of Ghana.

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The title of my feature article of Saturday August 17th, should have read "HOW BUSIA DAMAGED NKRUMAH & GHANA IN U.S.A".Sorry for the "typo" however, the content is clear. I will attempt to let readers know today how the Danqua-Busia group and the National Liberation Council tried the de-Nkrumahnization of Ghana.

My believe is that, the NPP youth,especially their communicators at the various radio stations do not know their own history and how the United Party was formed.

After several attempts by the D/B group to discredit and destabilize Nkrumah's government, Nkrumah's battle with the opposition reached the highest point, when on August 26,1957,the CPP government introduced a bill in the National Assembly to abolish the posts of European Chief Regional Commissioners and their assistants.The purpose of the bill was to replace those officers with Ghanaian Regional Commissioners to allow Ghanaians keep in touch with the central government. Busia reacted angrily to the bill which he described as " objectionable".

The then minister of interior,Krobo Edusei bluntly threatened to arrest and try members of the opposition. This threat together with another to ban all tribal parties came timely for Busia where he immediately summoned leading representatives of the National Liberation Movement, the Northern Peoples Association of Accra,the Wassaw Youth and the Ashanti Youth Leagues to a meeting on October 3 in Kumasi.

After a second meeting in Accra,they agreed to merge into a "United Party "(UP) with Busia as their leader. The new party was inaugurated at Bukom Square, Accra, at a rally presided over by Busia.This is how the UP was formed. To the NPP youth,this information and education is free. Nkrumah's progressive forward ever and backward never government was overthrown on February 24,1966.The armed forces in conjunction with the police formed a junta called the National Liberation Council (NLC) with General J.A.Ankrah as the Chairman. General Afrifa who had promised Busia a safe passage home the previous year lived to his word.

As a student in Sandhurst,Afrifa had heard so much about Busia's academic achievements together with his criticisms of Nkrumah such that he Afrifa resolved to do whatever he could to make Busia's return home possible,hence Afrifa's collaboration with Colonel Kotoka in the 1966 coup. In an interview by BBC after the coup,Busia said "he was too much of a politician to say openly that he plotted the overthrow Nkrumah's government but obviously tried to give the impression that he had played an important part in planning the the military and police action.

Interestingly,within a month of the announcement of the coup, Busia left Oxford for Ghana where he received a tumultuous welcome from his supporters on March 19,1966.After consolidating its grip on political power, the new military regime in June, 1966,created the "political committee of the National Liberation Council " with Edward Akuffo-Addo and Busia as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. Other members included William Ofori Atta and J.A Braimah who were all strong members of the old UP was an indication of the new military regime's desire to replace Nkrumah and his CPP with the opposition. The rapidity with which leaders and supporters of Busia's United Party were appointed to powerful political positions was an indication of the intentions of the NLC.

The NLC,therefore gradually set the stage for Busia to climb the post-Nkrumah political ladder. On September 26,1966,Edward Akuffo Addo replaced Julius Sarkodie Addo as Chief Justice. The chairmanship of the political committee shifted to Busia who became the most powerful civilian in the NLC government. He went on foreign trips on behalf of the government or accompanied NLC members on such. Busia was so diabolic by all standards,hungry for political power at all cost,a similar trend that has characterized Akuffo Addo in Ghana today. On March 30,1967,as the chairman of the political committee, Busia called for an early return to civilian rule. Consistent with his desire for political power in the pre- independence period, ,Busia approached the NLC to handover power to him,according to former NLC vice chairman, JWK Harlley.Busia had managed to convince Afrifa and Kotoka to handover power to him.

The Ghanaian Times then described Busia as too desperate for power in the following words "We're shocked that while we're trying to show the world that there is political stability in the country and that investors need not fear for their investment, people who should know better go about shooting their mouths and asking for a change of government within a few months. That we have said and will say is pure madness ".

In July, 1967,the NLC established the National Advisory Committee in place of the political committee that advised the NLC on issues affecting the country. It consisted 31 members with Busia as chairman. There was certainly no doubt that the ground was being prepared for him to assume the mantle of leadership.People like Nene Azu Mate Kole,Prof Ofosu Appiah,S.G Antor,M.K Apaloo and S.D. Dombo served on the committee.These were all staunch supporters of Busia.Such political moves began to raise suspicion in the country. Busia added and confirmed the suspicion when he declared there were some ideas and ideals which they in the former opposition shared with those who organized the 1966 coup The NLC decided that in order to prepare the populace for the return to civilian rule or de- Nkrumahnize Ghana, the chairman of the NLC, Lt Gen Ankrah inaugurated a new agency called "Center for Civic Education on June 7,1967.Busia helped establish the CCE and became its first chairman of the board of Trustees. An Akuffo Addo constitutional commission was set up and entrusted the job of collecting the views of all sections of the country on the type of constitution.

The submitted its lengthy proposals in January, 1968.A 140 member Constituent Assembly was put in place to discuss the constitutional proposals.Before that, the NLC decreed that the constituent assembly would be established partly by election and partly by nomination. Of the 140 members, 49 were elected local councils,91 were named by such groups as houses of chiefs,TUC,farmers, professional associations,civil service etc.Busia was elected by his old constituency, Wenchi- East to the assembly.

The assembly was formerly inaugurated by Lt Gen J.A Ankrah on January 6,1969 to consider the recommendations of the constitutional commission from January to July the same year .This body put in place was overwhelmingly pro-Busia.By this time, the CPP's power base has been diffused. Upon the advice of the commission, the NLC decreed the exclusion of all major figures in the former CPP government from politics. In January, 1968,the NLC government took an undemocratic step by excluding, for ten years,all those who had held public office or party posts in the CPP administration since independence by enacting NLC Decree 223.Even though the ban on political activities was lifted on May 1,1969,Busia was known to be engaged in clandestine political activities since 1966.

It is therefore crystal clear that the NLC prepared the way for the assumption of political leadership for the Danqua/Busia group, a group that would do anything, including murder to get what they want even if the people reject them.The undemocratic strategies adopted by the NLC, with Busia remotely controlling the NLC to disenfranchise the CPP elements is unprecedented and unsurpassed in our political history.

The NPP should therefore forever be ashamed of such a tradition,a tradition that would bully its way to any height. If they are not in charge, who ever occupies that position is not fit.I hold the believe that if you're designed by Providence to be king, you don't struggle to get there like Busia did and Akuffo Addo is also currently doing. It comes naturally because it is written and what is written is written. I will submit in my next article how Busia institutionalized corruption and it became pervasive in their two year rule, a style Kuffour used to milk this country. Stay tuned for more on "WHEN THEY WERE IN POWER ".

Source: CLARK, EDWARD.





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