The Danquah-Busia Tradition in the Politics of Ghana: The Origins, Mission and Achievements of the New Patriotic Party

The book traces the nation’s political history from its status as a model British African Colony, the Gold Coast, to its attainment of political independence as the modern state of Ghana in 1957, under the leadership of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. The author gives full recognition to the overwhelming debt that Ghana in particular and Africa in general owe to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision as one of the giants of Pan-African Emancipation.

The book systematically documents the contribution of Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah and Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia in the freedom struggle. The courageous and impressive role of Professor Adu Boahen in the breaking of the so called “culture of silence” in 1988 at the height of the PNDC regime under Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings is acknowledged.

In the concluding Chapter 13 all the leaders of the tradition are assessed – Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah passes the litmus test as a doyen of Ghana politics, with impeccable democratic credentials for human rights and the rule of law. The deviation from the ideals of the Danquah-Busia Tradition by Dr. Busia during his two and half years as Head of Government is commented on. Dr. K.A. Busia challenged the rule of law in its response to the ruling of the Supreme Court in the infamous case of Sallah vs. The Republic.

Other serious deviations from the principles of the Danquah-Busia Tradition were the way in which Dr. Busia implemented the Aliens Compliance Act in 1969. Then also the throwing overboard the belief in meritocracy and the shortcomings of the “zero tolerance of corruption” by President J.A. Kuffour led administration of the Patriotic Party are discussed.

However, the important and positive achievements of the NPP Government under President Kuffour such as the successes in establishing the Ghanaian economy, upholding the rule of law, enhancing good governance, improving the education and health copulation and thus lifting the flag of Ghana high in Africa and in the international community are not ignored.

Some of the criticisms may be harsh but the author is a committed member of the Tradition and he justifies his criticism of the Kuffour government with its own commitment to “ensure that the high ideas and objectives which have guided the Tradition through good and bad times should not at any time and under any circumstance be sacrificed for narrow partisan interest or worse still for personal gain”.

The form and force of the impact of these criticisms must be left to individual assessment and experience. The author has succeeded in intellectually stimulating and provoking democrats and non-democrats of whatever affiliation to digest the contents of this book and make their own judgment. He has opened the door for a fresh appraisal of the noble ideals of the Danquah-Busia Tradition.

In the Way Forward, the author makes some reflections on the future direction of the NPP.

Politicians, opinion leaders, the media, social observers and social critics as well as students of history and political science will find this book invaluable.

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K. A. Busia: A Symbol of Democracy – Exploration of His Life and Words (Hardcover)

This book is an indispensable resource! It is an account of the life and works of Kofi Abrefa Busia, a world-renowned scholar and politician whose story is inextricably merged with that of Ghana.

“No one can doubt that the life and thoughts of Dr Busia will always feature prominently in the history of Africa, the Commonwealth and the wider world. We can be confident that, in the years that lie ahead, his importance will become increasingly evident. As thinker, teacher and statesman, he was an outstanding leader.” — St Antony’s College, Oxford University, UK

“The life of Kofi Abrefa Busia occupies a fascinating spot in the history of Ghana as a result of the intellectual and good governance legacy he left behind, having served as Ghana’s Prime Minister of the 2nd Republic. It is this legacy, and the vision that preceded it, which has motivated the publication of this book. The book gives us much to think about, and things to still consider in Ghana’s development.” — John Agyekum Kufuor, President of the Republic of Ghana (2001-2008)

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