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Did you know that many believe the last name of Ghana’s Prime Minister from 1969 to 1972 is an acronym accorded him by the whites for his academic prowess?

Speaking on Maakye Tuesday, April 11, 2023, founder and leader of the Heaven’s Gate Ministries, Nicholas Osei, aka Prophet Kumchacha whilst speaking about his deficiency in the English Language and how people think that could hamper his dream of annexing the highest office of the land revealed the “truest brilliant scholar he has ever heard of is Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia.”

He says he is the only person that could be touted as a scholar who had the locus to ridicule someone for being poor in the English Language due to the feat he chalked in his academic life. He said the name Busia is an acronym.

According to Kumchacha, Kofi Abrefa became the best scholar among his mates whilst schooling in London, the reason he was accorded ‘Best University Student/Scholar In Africa‘, which is BUSIA when abbreviated.

However, OnuaOnline’s search to ascertain the fact or otherwise of the statement from political analysts and historians in the country couldn’t affirm or deny the assertion outrightly. Whilst some political analysts said they’re hearing for the first time such a statement, others said it’s not true.

Meanwhile, a teacher of History and Social Studies at the Seventh Day Adventist at Bekwai in the Ashanti region, Kofi Abrefa Busia –a man named after Dr. Busia who is the topic of discussion  –has been telling OnuaOnline the meaning people have created for the name to make it an acronym is far from the facts.

According to the Historian whose late father was a personal secretary to Prime Minister Busia in the 1960s, the original name was Bosea (gravels) and not Busia as known now.

“The Name Busia is a typical Wenchi origin.
The name was Bosea which is gravels meaning ‘many’. “He was called Bosea because he had charisma and could draw a lot of people around him wherever he goes. So just as gravels are many, he was associated with it considering the number of people he could garner within his circus wherever he would be found. But it was adulterated by the white teachers during his (Dr. Busia) primary education and Bosea became Busia.

“Modern scholars have tried to give another meaning to the name because of his wonderful academic performance, thus ”Best University Scholar In Africa.” The name came before the acronym,” he told OnuaOnline.

“My father is from Wenchi. He was a politician and personal secretary to Dr. Busia in the 1960s. So he named me after him. About 20 years ago, I went to Wenchi, the hometown of Dr Busia and paid a courtesy call on the Queen mother where I got the opportunity to ask for the origin and the meaning of the name “Busia” and she gave me that explanation,” the Historian named after Dr. Busia explained.

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About Dr. Busia

Kofi Abrefa Busia born July 11, 1913 – August 28, 1978 was a Ghanaian political leader and academic who was Prime Minister of Ghana from 1969 to 1972. As a nationalist leader and prime minister, he helped to restore civilian government to the country following military rule.

Busia was born a Bono prince in the traditional kingdom of Wenchi, in the then Brong Ahafo region of Ghana.

He was educated at Methodist School, Wenchi, Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, then at Wesley College, Kumasi, from 1931 to 1932. He taught at Wesley College and left to study at Achimota College in 1935 and taught there. He gained his first degree with Honours in Medieval and Modern History from the University of London, through correspondence during this period. He then went on to study at University College, Oxford, where he was the college’s first African student. He returned to the Gold Coast in 1942. He took a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1941, MA 1946) and a DPhil in Social Anthropology in 1947 at Nuffield College, Oxford, with a thesis entitled “The position of the chief in the modern political system of Ashanti: a study of the influence of contemporary social changes on Ashanti political institutions”. He was a Fulbright scholar in 1954.

Busia served as a district commissioner from 1942 to 1949, and was appointed first lecturer in African Studies. He became the first African to occupy a chair at the University College of the Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana). In 1951 he was elected by the Ashanti Confederacy to the Legislative Council. In 1952, he was Leader of Ghana Congress Party, which later merged with the other opposition parties to form the United Party (UP).

As leader of the opposition against Kwame Nkrumah, he fled the country on the grounds that his life was under threat. In 1959, Busia became a Professor of Sociology and Culture of Africa at the University of Leiden near the Hague, Netherlands. From 1962 until 1969, he was a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford.

He returned to Ghana in March 1966, after Nkrumah’s government was overthrown by the military, to serve on the National Liberation Council (NLC) of General Joseph Ankrah, the military head of state; and was appointed as the Chairman of the National Advisory Committee of the NLC. In 1967/68, Busia served as the Chairman of the Centre for Civic Education. He used this opportunity to promote himself as the next leader. He also was a Member of the Constitutional Review Committee. When the NLC lifted the ban on politics, Busia, together with Lawyer Sylvester Kofi Williams and friends in the defunct UP formed the Progress Party (PP).

In 1969, the PP won the parliamentary elections with 105 of the 140 seats. This paved the way for him to become the next Prime Minister. Busia continued with NLC’s anti-Nkrumaist stance and adopted a liberalised economic system. There was a mass deportation of half a million Nigerian citizens from Ghana, and a 44 percent devaluation of the cedi in 1971, which met with a lot of resistance from the public.

While he was in Britain for a medical check-up, the army under Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrew his government on 13 January 1972. Busia remained in exile in England and returned to Oxford University, where he died from a heart attack in August 1978.

Busia’s name is associated with Ghana’s political right, along with J. B. Danquah and S. D. Dombo.

By Felix Anim-Appau||Ghana