Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister of Agriculture, has made a case for the late linguist of the Asantehene, Baffuor Osei Akoto, to receive more prominence in the discourse on Ghana’s history.
Speaking at the 16th Re-Akoto Memorial Lectures in honour of Baffuor Osei Akoto at the KNUST Great Hall, Dr. Akoto, one of his sons, highlighted the role he played in forming the National Liberation Movement (NLM), the United Party and the New Patriotic Party.
“If you talk of the ancestry of the modern New Patriotic Party of the Fourth Republic, Baffour Osei Akoto stands very tall indeed,” the Minister said.
Dr. Akoto argued further that his father deserved more regard in Ghana’s political history.
“Given his strategic role in founding and leading the NLM and he playing such a critical part in the negotiations for the founding of the United Party, the precursor of the NPP, it is surprising that Baffour Akoto does not even get a mention in contemporary discussions on the history of our political traditions.”
He expressed hope that the NPP will address what he described as “a gaping hole in contemporary discourse.”
“That void must be filled by recognising the strategic contribution he made in the political development of our tradition and our dear nation.”
The Memorial Lecture was instituted by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as life patron of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Ghana School of Law and is designed to promote research, study and educate the citizenry on the development of Ghana’s constitutional democracy and human and people’s rights.
The Ghana School of Law has annually been organizing the “Re-Akoto Memorial Lecture” since April 2006 to commemorate the significance of the case of “RE: AKOTO AND 7 OTHERS”.
Okyeame Baffuor Osei Akoto, who died in 2002, and seven others went to court on August 28, 1961, to challenge the Preventive Detention Act passed under the Kwame Nkrumah government.
The Preventive Detention Act, passed in 1958, gave power to Kwame Nkrumah to detain certain persons for up to five years without trial.