Build on exploits of Baffour Osei Akoto, others to sustain democracy – Prof. Oquaye

Former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, has stressed on the need to celebrate the late Mr Baffour Osei Akoto and other political leaders who championed the principles of fundamental human right.

He explained that the country had benefitted from the efforts of these political leaders and advocates as they have shaped the practice of good democratic governance, and allowed for peaceful co-existence and regional integration.

Prof. Oquaye said these on Wednesday during the launch of a book titled “Baffour Osei Akoto: A Royal Patriot and the making of Ghana” at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Science to honour and also commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the late former politician, traditional ruler and agriculturalist.

The book, co-edited by the former Speaker of Parliament, is a collection of speeches and articles made by famous speakers about the exploits of the former politician and traditional icon.

Furthermore, he intimated that anytime a Ghanaian invoked his or her right to bail, the right to inhuman treatment among other things, he or she should appreciate the efforts of the late Stateman alongside others such as J. B. Danquah.

While highlighting the significance of Baffuor Osei Akoto in the past and contemporary Ghanaian politics, Prof. Oquayeeulogised the courage, tenacity of purpose, truthfulness and resilience exhibited by the Stateman even during his detention for seven years.

He explained how the Preventive Detention Act, 1958, was applied by the Nkrumah regime to detain any Ghanaian for five years (later amended to be renewable for further five years) anytime the government was persuaded that a person was committing acts contrary to the security of the State.

“Under the Act, Baffour Osei Akoto, Chief Linguist of the Asantehene, and others, were detained. Dr. J.B. Danquah applied to the High Court for the release of the detainees under the Habeas Corpus Act,” the former Speaker recounted.

According to Prof. Oquaye, the principles of fundamental human right, which Baffour Osei Akoto and others fought for, was the bedrock to the practice of democracy, and therefore urged the country to build on it going forward.

The first copy of the book was bought at an amount of GHC106,000 after several bidding by potential buyers.

The occasion was graced by the former President, John Agyekum Kuffour, Ministers of State such as Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, and son of the late BaffourOsei Baffour, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan John Kyerematen, among other high profile government officials, traditional rulers, political leaders and the clergy.

BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY

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