Mike Ocquaye: Kotoka Is A Hero...He Saved Ghanaians


Wed, 22 Sep 2010 Source: peacefmonline

The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, has described the late Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka as a hero who liberated Ghanaians from the authoritarianism of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya in an interview with Citi FM said naming Ghana’s International Airport after Lt. Gen. Kotoka is in the right direction and asserts that calls for the scrapping of the name is baseless.

The President of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation, Dr. Agyeman Badu Akosa, had earlier in an interview on the same station, suggested that Kotoka’s name should be scrapped off Ghana’s International Airport. He argued that naming the Airport after Kotoka was a slap in the face of the country’s democracy and was equivalent to glorifying coup makers.

In his defense of the late coup maker, Prof. Oquaye said “what Kotoka stood for is what we are all holding on to – the 1992 Constitution and the fight for the fundamental human rights of Ghanaians.”

According to him, Kotoka’s coup led to the redemption of the people of Ghana from an autocratic one party state headed by Nkrumah.

"Kotoka is a hero in his own right because today, what Kotoka stood for is what we are holding in the 1992 Constitution. We said we want fundamental human rights, we said we don’t want people to be arrested without trials, separation of powers, Independence of the judiciary and that Parliament cannot be abrogated by one man, and these are the things Nkrumah stood against, so it means that there is another side of the coin somewhere, and Kotoka represents that side which is epitomized in the 1992 Constitution" he emphasized.

Prof Oquaye further claimed that Dr. Nkrumah, later during his reign, became over-ambitious and authoritative.

“In fact so many aspects of the 1992 Constitution came because of the experiences under Nkrumah’s regime. Nkrumah did not even allow a Vice President to be elected because he didn’t want anyone to contest him for power. The fact remains that his removal by Kotoka was not just something that came. Ghanaians were fed up with that same ‘good man’. So Kotoka’s removal of him from power and by his statue being at the Airport, is to remind us forever that no matter what good work any president may forever do for us here in Ghana, we Ghanaians are not going to accept autocracy, dictatorship, abuse of human rights and those kind of things".

However, the former CPP Presidential hopeful, in a quick rebuttal said The Dome-Kwabenya MP's position shows that he supports the overthrow of a lawfully established civilian government through a military coup.

He also added that Prof. Oquaye’s depiction of Kotoka as a hero portrays the long standing generational hatred for Nkrumah by the Danquah-Busia tradition.

Source: peacefmonline