Minister for Agriculture and son of Baffuor Akoto in whose memory the annual Re Akoto Memorial lectures are held, is surprised that his father is not recognized for his role in the founding of the NPP and the development of politics in Ghana.
Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie said, “His strategic role in founding and leading the NLM and in playing such a critical part in the negotiation for the formation of the United Party, the precursor of the NPP, it is surprising that Baffuor Akoto does not even get a mention in contemporary discussions on the history of our political tradition.”
There is a gaping hole in contemporary discourse on his enormous contribution. That void must be filled by recognizing the strategic contribution he made in the political development of our tradition and of our dear nation,”, Dr Owusu Akoto Afriyie stressed.
On his part, founding member of the NPP and statesman is proposing that an international airport be named after him or an international civic institution should be established and named after him.
Dr. Owusu Akoto Afriyie also urged the citizenry to cultivate the virtues of his father; bravery and courage to help the country’s development.
Bafuor Osei Akoto was born in 1904 and died 2002. He was a Ghanaian agriculturalist, traditional ruler and politician. He was the founder and leader of the National Liberation Movement. He was a linguist of the Asantehene for over five decades.
On November 11 1959, Baffour Akoto and seven others were arrested and summarily detained without trial under the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) which had been enacted by the then Nkrumah government.
Their lawyer Dr J.B. Danquah, filed an application for habeas corpus at the High Court for the release of the eight persons to enable them to stand trial at the court but the court refused the application on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
Not satisfied, Dr Danquah,who later also became a victim of the PDA, proceeded to the Supreme Court, invoking the apex court’s original jurisdiction for interpretation of Article 13(1) of the 1960 Constitution, which, among other things, provided that on assuming office, the President shall make a declaration that he will ensure the safety and security of all persons in Ghana without discrimination.
Chief Justice Justice Arku Korsah reading a unanimous judgment of the court on the application said, “the Preventive Detention Act, 1958, is not contrary to the Constitution and Parliament is competent to pass such an act even in peacetime.”
The ruling has been criticised widely for giving too much power to Kwame Nkrumah to flagrantly abuse the rights of Ghanaians.
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