Today marks 50 years of Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia’s assumption of office as Executive Prime Minister of Ghana. A statement signed and issued by the Executive Director of the Busia Institute for Rural and Democratic Development (BIRDD), Mr Anane Agyei recounted that as a respected academic who valued the tenets of democracy and the rule of law, his leadership was characterised by deep commitment to good governance.
Sadly, the statement said, “the usurpers who sought their parochial interest cut short his reign, a phenomenon that became the bane of Ghana’s progress.”
It said the vision of Dr Busia in building a multiparty democracy instead of a one-party state was accepted when the country returned to democratic governance at the onset of the Fourth Republic.
Commitment to rural development
“The Busia Institute is glad that subsequent governments after Dr Busia’s have continued his vision of rural development, which under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assumed the status of ‘One- district One- factory’, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘One- village One- dam’ amongst other initiatives,” it said.
“BIRDD wishes to pledge its support to any initiatives by the government or any person or groups that aim at enhancing the well-being of rural communities for holistic national development.”
“As we commemorate the golden Jubilee of the Busia administration,” the statement said, “we wish to remind Ghanaians about the need to bear one another’s burden to promote national cohesion and progress, a conception that Dr Busia couched as ‘Be your brother’s keeper.’
The statement explained that 50 years ago, when Dr Busia’s Progress Party introduced Tree Plantation Development with special emphasis on teak trees, not many people at the time appreciated the importance of that vision.
Re-living the vision
But today, it said the fruits of that idea were evident in all spheres of life in Ghana.
“In the spirit of that vision, we wish to urge every Ghanaian to always think of what they too can do for Ghana for the benefit of future generations. We urge the youth in particular to read more about the life and works of Dr Busia so as to be imbued with the noble traits such as honesty, patriotism and selflessness that defined his life.”
The statement ended by saying “we salute the memory of Dr Busia and his compatriots who helped the Progress Party administration to leave a lasting mark in its relatively short period of 27 months in office.”