Home / POLITICS / Why I left Danquah-Busia camp in my early days in politics – Asiedu Nketia

Why I left Danquah-Busia camp in my early days in politics – Asiedu Nketia

General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia (alias General Mosquito) has opened up on how he got involved in politics after leaving his job as a stockbroker.

In an interview on the Starr Chat programme with Nana Aba Anamoah, General Mosquito indicated that he together with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and a host of others, led a vociferous opposition to the military regime of Colonel Kutu Acheampong.

He reiterated that that Akufo-Addo at a point became his mentor in the area of political activism but he has in recent years become disappointed in him.

“I joined the revolution efforts very early. When I grew old, the first active political activity that I engaged in was the fight against the military regime…the Colonel Kutu Acheampong and later to General Akufo’s regime…that was where I cut my political teeth.

“That was where I was following Nana Akufo-Addo and others who were the leaders of the Peoples Movement for Freedom & Justice. I have worked with him [Nana Akufo-Addo] for some time.

“They were our mentors (but) I feel very disappointed in him now. We believed that they could offer good leadership for this country, because of that we followed them to fight the Acheampong, Akufo government,” Asiedu Nketia said.

Giving further details on his political activities, the NDC chief scribe mentioned that his first active political activity was when he acted as a polling agent in a referendum to determine whether or not the country should opt for a Union government.

Touching on how he got involved in partisan politics, he stated that he was part of a number of students who joined the campaign trail of one Lawyer Obeng Manu who was contesting to be a Member of Parliament on the Danquah-Busia group ticket.

He said the MP aspirant however switched camps after returning from jail. This he said left him and the other students distraught.

“We entered into partisan politics. We were following one key person…Lawyer Obeng Manu. He was the first lawyer in my community so we were just following him as students.

“He was with the Busia-Danquah group at that time but somewhere along the line, Akufo jailed him. When he came out of detention…he had been there with Dr. Bilson…when they came out, they decided to abandon the Danquah-Busia group and to form a new party called The Third Force.

“We felt abandoned because we all knew we were in Busia’s district and everything was being done to prepare our mentor to go to Parliament and then after some detention, he comes and disappoints all of us ,” he said.

Narrating how he broke away from the Danquah-Busia group (a pro-NPP tradition), Asiedu Nketia said, “We left looking for other means because he [Lawyer Obeng Manu] left the Danquah-Busia ticket, someone else from a different town took it. Mr. J. K. Amankwah took it.

“We from Seikwa felt that still it was our turn to produce a Member of Parliament, so we went in for another lecturer who then took the ticket of UNC.

“That was my first drift away from the Danquah-Busia tradition. So we joined the United National Convention (UNC)”.

See below the full transcription of Asiedu Nketia’s interview

I joined the revolution efforts very early. When I grew old, the first active political activity that I engaged in was the fight against the military regime…the Colonel Kutu Acheampong and later to General Akufo’s regime…that was where I cut my political teeth.

That was where I was following Nana Akufo-Addo and others who were the leaders of the Peoples Movement for Freedom & Justice. I have worked with him for some time.

They were our mentors but I feel very disappointed in him now. We believed that they could offer good leadership for this country, because of that we followed them to fight the Acheampong, Akufo government.

I participated actively in the campaign for ‘No’ during the referendum about Union government. For the first time in my life, I became a polling agent for ‘No’.

It felt gratifying. I wasn’t given food…nothing. At the close of polls, I have to carry the ballot box for 5 miles to the next center and so on but I still felt that I was working in the service of the nation.

After that, we entered into partisan politics. We were following one key person…Lawyer Obeng Manu [not Justice Obeng Manu who has passed, the father]. He was the first lawyer in my community so we were just following him as students.

He was with the Busia-Danquah group at that time but somewhere along the line, Akufo jailed him. When he came out of detention…he had been there with Dr. Bilson…when they came out, they decided to abandon the Busia-Danquah group and to form a new party called The Third Force.

We felt abandoned because we all knew we were in Busia’s district and everything was being done to prepare our mentor to go to parliament and then after some detention, he comes and disappoint all of us.

We left looking for other means because he left the Danquah-Busia ticket, someone else from a different town took it. Mr. J. K. Amakwah took it.

We from Seikwa felt that still it was our turn to produce a Member of Parliament so we went in for another lecturer who then took the ticket of UNC.

That was my first drift away from the Busia-Danquah tradition. So we joined the United National Convention (UNC).

Fortunately for me too we met Nana Akufo-Addo there and Professor Adu Boahen there. They had problems with the UP tradition because there was a struggle for leadership.

The people from Eastern region felt it was the turn of Paa Willie who was one of the last Big Six persons. They felt that he should be given the opportunity to lead the country before he passes.

The Busia-Danquah people in Ashanti felt that ‘No’, during the time of Busia he specially prepared Victor Owusu to take over from him so now that Busia was no more, Victor Owusu should lead the party.

That struggle between Paa Willie and Victor Owusu spilt the party. And so about two – thirds of the group followed Victor Owusu and then the one-third led by the Eastern region left the party and then at the same time, a similar thing was also happening in the CPP group.

CPP too was split in the middle and about one-third of that one also left and the two sides came together to form a third fore which was then called the United National Convention.

That was where we all met again with the Adu Boahen and Nana Addo. We went in and we emerged third. That was where I started as a Constituency organizer and we came third [in the elections].

It meant that I had left the Busia-Danquah group. When the coup that toppled the Limann government came, the prominent people within that group were all from the UNC so it became natural for us to be with them.

We started and I organized the first People’s Defense Committee in my area and then I then became a cadre.

By the time we came to multiparty regime, I had been recognized as a cadre, very hardworking and at times fearsome cadre because of the things I did.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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