Political Scientist, Dr. Richard Amoako Baah has reacted to calls for the Kumasi International Airport to be named after Baffour Osei Akoto, father of the current Agriculture Minister, Dr. Akoto Afriyie describing it as inappropriate.
Dr. Baah has subsequently vowed to support any move to resist such actions in the future.
It would be recalled that the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaah in September this year added his voice to calls for the government to name the new international airport in Kumasi after Baffour Osei Akoto, the brain behind the National Liberation Movement (NLM).
He said the late linguist, who served under three Asantehenes and also fought for multi-party democracy in Ghana has not received the necessary honor due him by the state.
It was therefore high time that the nation honored him for his role.
“It would not be a bad idea if the Kumasi International Airport was named after him. I don’t think Baffour Akoto did anything inferior,” he added.
“Baffour Akoto has actually distinguished himself with the nationalist struggle and if you look at the big six, all have national assets named after them and some other people,” he stressed.
However, reacting to the calls, Dr. Baah believes any attempt to do that must be resisted as it is inappropriate to do so.
“Chairman Akoto was not NPP at all, he was NLM, and this was the period in our history when Ashanti wanted to break away from Ghana, even that, it is not appropriate to name the airport after him.
"Somebody who did not champion the cause of Ghana but rather champion the break away, it shouldn’t be,” he cautioned.
“But here the consolation is, if they name somebody after the airport, it is the same way somebody will come and change it . . . it’s not a big deal. If you present it to parliament and they debate it and say yes, and they say someone deserves more honor than him they will change it . . . it’s not cast in stone.
"It will be better if they deliberate properly and name the place after somebody who deserves better but today they are in charge. Akufo-Addo will not listen, he doesn’t listen to anything, and he does what he wants,” he said.
“I don’t see Okyeame Akoto’s stature as a national hero. This is not how you honor people; you cannot honor people who were just on one side,” he argued.
He, however, believes the government of the day needs to be careful of such actions, especially the President and his appointments even.
“Look at the judiciary; he has just filled all the vacancies. Majority of the judges he appointed, is that how it’s supposed to be? Someone who came before you could have named them, all. He doesn’t think like that, he does what he wants”.
“Some of these things he is doing I suspect someday the whole judiciary will be removed and done again. Why do you do this? People left it and you come and you appoint everyone. You don’t do that. Even the US with conservatives and liberals even they don’t do that,” he said.
Brief about Late Baffour Osei Akoto
The Late Baffour Osei Akoto 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 and resided in the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
He is seen as one of the crusaders of Ghana’s multi-party democracy, having suffered six years in political prison under the Preventive Detention Act 1958.
His famous case; Re: Akoto & 7 others, is a landmark case which is observed every year by the Ghana Law School.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|