Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the media.
We of the Busia family are very pleased that you have responded positively to our invitation to this press conference.
We are all too familiar with the stark fact that during an election year reckless statements are made by certain politicians with the singular aim of scoring political points, knowing all too well that such statements bear no resemblance whatsoever to the truth. What has been attributed to Professor Kwamena Ahwoi is one such statement.
The statement mischievously asserts divisive leadership against Nana Addo, as a result of which Professor Busia would have deserted NPP. This is not merely false but defamatory, since the hard facts suggest otherwise. While portraying Nana Addo falsely as bad leader when Nana Addo’s leadership has shown respect for party structures and prevented offshoots of NPP. We members of the Busia family have pondered over this outrageous comment by no less a person than a professor of governance at such a significant location and have decided to set the record straight about our great Patriarch, Late Professor Busia.
First of all, while the irony may have been lost on Professor Ahwoi, Subinso has a great significance for us as a family. In fact, Subinso happens to be the birthplace of Professor Busia's father.?
Secondly, despite his self-anointed status as a governance expert in the country, this ahistorical characterization of Busia as somebody who would have confronted the problems arising from wielding disparate groups and individuals into a modern, complex organization by desertion exposes Professor Ahwoi as somebody who did not know Professor Busia at all.?
A political party is an epiphennon of modernization, professor. And as such, it requires extraordinary skills of negotiation and leadership to bring people from different ethnic, religious, linguistic and economic backgrounds to adopt a common vision of social organization. ?
We are sure the eminent professor would agree that this task of forging a common vision with people from such diverse backgrounds is even more challenging in our context as a “pre-modern” society? ?
If the eminent professor indeed knew anything at all about Professor Busia and his politics, he would be the first to admit that the problems that faced the man in the pre-independence period are the exact replica of what confront Nana Akuffo-Addo in contemporary Ghanaian society.?
With his lieutenants such as J. B. Danquah, Edward Akufo-Addo, S.D. Dombo and countless others in tow, Busia successfully navigated the choppy waters of building a formidable political tradition called the United Party which continues to be the only political party in our country today that governs effectively.?
So, the pertinent question the professor of governance must strive to answer for his students of contemporary Ghanaian politics is: if Professor Busia did not jump ship at that critical post-independence period of bringing all these groups together to kick against the CPP hegemony, why would he have deserted the NPP now??
Like Nana Akufo-Addo now, Professor Busia was a handler of challenges and as a family we know that he would have been tied to the mast to steer the ship to calming waters as Nana Akufo-Addo is slowly but inexorably doing for the UP tradition today!
Equally, as a family we knew Busia to be a very tolerant leader who accommodated divergent views and espoused the philosophy of each being the others’ keeper. Unbeknown to you, Professor, Nana Akufo-Addo shares all these traits that are essential in sustaining our budding democracy. However, like Professor Busia before him, Nana Akufo-Addo is the quintessential disciplinarian who puts party interests above individual idiosyncrasies and as such would not think twice about preserving party unity.
That is what rule of law is about; rules, whether within the private or public sphere, are no respecters of persons regardless of their social status. In the recent case, when disciplinary action was meted out by the party disciplinary committee, against certain senior party members, Nana Addo was in the end vindicated in a sense by the courts for the collective decision he took responsibility for as a party leader. And this meant that rule of law was adhered to. Just as Busia would have done in his time were similar aberrations by members taking place in the party of similar kind, Nana Addo did not hinder party structures from dealing with the situation.
As a family we can testify that Nana Addo takes after Busia in many other ways. Few examples may suffice. There is a clear convergence of political philosophy of Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP and that of Dr Busia. Nana Addo like Busia believes in constitutionalism as the basis of democratic governance in Ghana as elsewhere. This explains why Nana Akufo Addo like Busia the principles of the rule of law and human rights are respected and promoted.
In particular, both Professor Busia and Nana Akufo-Addo are both unapologetic defenders of political pluralism. This is evidenced by the fact that both individuals have sought to champion at different times the restoration of multi party politics to Ghana after years of suppressive authoritarian rule.
Let’s enter their respective approaches to development in Ghana. In fact any cursory survey of the two leaders and their programmes, make them appear as twins who happened to be littered in different eras.
Nana Addo, like Busia holds tenaciously to the view that rural development programme should be the bedrock of any serious overall development agenda in Ghana, hence their confidence in the Ghanaian rural farmer and dwellers.
Nana Addo’s belief in education is like Busia, who as a towering African scholar placed considerable premium on education as the key element in national development. This is evidenced by the NPP’s manifesto, which under the able leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, puts more emphasis on research and development.
As a family who knows what Professor Busia really stood for and who he was, we cannot help but state with all the candor at our command that if he was alive today during this elections he would have been very proud to know that a man of the caliber and stature of Nana Addo is leading a political party that derives its tradition and political philosophy from a political party he was a founding father of: UP.
The Busia we know will not and could not have joined any party but NPP and voted for no other person but Nana Addo Danquah Akufo –Addo, for the simple reason that he would have seen himself in Nana Addo.
Long live NPP, long live Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, our leader and President in waiting, and long live Ghana. Thank you!!!
From the Busia Family of Wenchi given in Accra on November 17th, 2016.
Thomas Kyeremeh, firstname.lastname@example.org