Busia, father of rural development - Akufo-Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia, Ghana’s Prime Minister in the Second Republic, as the father of rural development and individual freedoms.
He said Dr Busia’s overthrow made Ghana poorer, especially in the area of rural development and individual liberties.
The President, who was speaking at the 40th anniversary lecture of Dr Busia in Accra last Tuesday, said Dr Busia dreamt of a Ghana at peace and prosperous.
He said Africa had never seen a far-sighted person like his kind in history and that his departure had a negative impact on the country because if he had been allowed to continue with his reign the current problem of rural-urban migration would have been nipped in the bud.
The President said Dr Busia was of the strong conviction that the freedoms of speech, association and to change government through the ballot box were all universal, could be practised anywhere in the world and must be enjoyed by Ghanaians.
Presdent Akufo-Addo said Dr Busia had hatred for oppressive legislation and therefore used civic education to bring people’s minds to rights and responsibilities that led him to work for the Centre for Civic Education.
He said Dr Busia’s emergence onto Ghana’s political scene coincided with the period when one-party state ideologies were dominant on the continent, and appeared to be more appealing and relevant to developing economies.
According to President Akufo-Addo, Dr Busia was unequivocal that democracy could not endure if the leaders and the people were not committed to it.
The President was of the view that Dr Busia believed that democracy was consolidated when a majority of the people believed that democracy was the best form of government, or in Churchill’s words, “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others”.
He said he worked through the Centre for Civic Education to popularise the notion of democratic citizenship to induce the citizenry to invest in nation-building, to believe in the rule of law and acting properly in the national interest to combat corruption and lawlessness.
He said whilst his opponents, especially those who held the reins of power in the First Republic, were fearful of individual freedom as potentially an unbridled license for adversity and distraction, Dr Busia viewed freedom as a great ally of progress.
Dr Busia was one of the three legendary founders of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition, from which the New Patriotic Party emerged from.