COMMENTARY ON THE LEGACY OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE SECOND REPUBLIC OF GHANA, PROFESSOR K.A. BUSIA AS GHANA CELEBRATES THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH
Ghana’s history will be incomplete without the mention of the role played by Professor Kofi Abrefa Busia who was Prime Minister in the Second Republic. He was in office for 27 months and 12 days and was overthrown in a military coup led by Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong while in London for a medical check-up. Professor Busia was born on the 11th of July 1913 in Wenchi in the Brong Ahafo region. He had a very rich educational background and was appointed the first African lecturer at the University College of Gold Coast now University of Ghana. Professor Busia also lectured in a number of Universities abroad. He authored six books and wrote many articles. The books include “The position of the Chief in the Modern Political system of Ashanti and the Sociology and Culture of Africa”. Before entering into full time politics, Professor Busia was one of the few blacks to be District Commissioners under the colonial government, serving as a District Commissioner for Sekondi-Takoradi. In active politics, he stood as a candidate for the Legislative Council of Wenchi but lost the election. He was one of six members elected by the Asanteman Council to enter the Legislative Assembly. After going through ups and downs in politics, Professor Busia was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Second Republic of Ghana on the first of October 1969 focusing extensively on rural development. It was his belief that if the rural areas were developed, it would curb rural-urban migration. He set up a Ministry responsible for rural development.
There is no doubt the NPP government in power now is continuing Professor Busia’s rural development policy with the one district one factory and Planting for food and jobs programme which are to provide jobs for the youth and develop the rural areas. He helped to establish the Center for Civic Education to conscientise people on their civic rights and responsibilities and as an instrument for nurturing democracy and the rule of law. Professor Busia also introduced the National Service Corps to instill discipline, patriotism and love for country in the youth. He spoke in clear simple language to the understanding of all because he believed that words do not mean anything if they are not understood by one’s audience.
Most analysts believe Professor Busia was one leader who was not overthrown because of corruption. After 40 years of his death what he stood for are still relevant today and must be pursued by successive governments especially the current one which takes its roots from the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition. This will help to give meaning to his legacy to enable us to move the nation forward.
BY ERNEST OBENG-ANIM, A JOURNALIST.