The UP Tradition and Not the Danquah-Busia-Dombo Tradition

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 Source: Afrifa, Akwasi


At the past Party congress in Kumasi, an astute writer observed that, while half the speakers repeatedly invoke the incantational formula of Danquah-Busia-Dombo (D-B-D) in their speeches, the other half conspicuously forgot to make any references at all to the formula.

While the latter profusely paid homage to all the so-called “founding fathers”, they all refrained from directly referring to the talisman, D-B-D, in its preferred sequence.

This phenomena, D-B-D, although it has been with us implicitly, for quiet some time, has suddenly taken on a different dimension. Not a single day goes by without an article or pundit making reference to the formulae.

If this trend continues; if we allow the formula to crystallize and replace the U.P Tradition (UPT), the true tradition, the consequences are going to be catastrophic. Just two points will suffice. (Before emotions get the better of me)


The UPT is not a cult tradition. It is not centered around nor was It founded by personalities like Nkrumah and CPP and Chairman Rawlings and the P-NDC. As conservatives, UPT reveres their predecessors and elders. The Tradition continually pays homage to all founding founders in various ways. Notably, it was the ancestral well from which the Tradition drew its strength while in opposition for almost thirty years and continues to draw from. This well is wide and deep. It is filled with the spirits of more than the three personalities and it will continue to be filled by worthy personalities in the future.

Additionally, as a Party founded on democratic precepts, the attempt to foster cultish figures- which are usually found in despotic and tyrannical parties and societies- on its successors is analogous to Ghana handing back its freedom to the British after fifty years. We started without idols why should we adapt one now.


The formula D-B-D creates factions within the Party. In a multi-ethnic society such as ours, it promotes exclusionism. In the intra Party vein, the formula has already taken effect. (Please refer to paragraph one. Also the opinions of this writer are also a testament to this division). In our society in general, a non Akan automatically feels left out. It was this reason that the proponents of D-B-D added “Dombo”, a Northerner, to the original formula (D-B) as compensation. (or consolation?) But they forgot about the Ewes, the Nzemas, The Gas etc who had similarly contributed immensely to the Tradition. And even in the Akan family, the Asante, the Kwahu, the Fante were left out.

A key proponent, in order to appease the Asantes or to make the Asantes feel included in the new tradition, absurdly agued that, Busia was the Asante in the formula since Brong Ahafo, Busia’s Hometown, was once part of Asante. That Busia himself was not an Asante did not figure much in this sophistic exercise. Following the same logic, we are all British citizens since we were once part of the British Empire.

(Before continuing, it should be emphasized that Busia as an Asante or not an Asante is not the issue here. The problem here is exploiting Busia’s name in an attempt to pull a fast one on almost half the people of this country; considering half the nation won’t be able to tell the difference between Ankomah and Ankamah.)

Hopefully, the D-B-D faction did not consider the above effects when they started this divisive tactics. It is wished that after reading this piece, they would endeavor to rid the party of this cancer. If on the other hand, they considered the above effects and yet went ahead, then we should just consider them as agents from the other side. Or as selfish beings who do not care about the longevity and stability of the party. For we do not understand why they would want to indulge in such factionalism.

But they must be warned. That the time is coming when those who subscribe to the formula D-B-D, shall be asked where their allegiance belong; whether with only the three personalities or the U.P Tradition as a whole; a tradition of inclusion, the first of its kind in our polity.

For now, only two suggestions for the D-B-Ders if they want to continue their discrimination: the D-B-Der’s could add all the so called founding fathers to the formula, thus getting a Tradition named Danquah-Busia-Akoto-Dombo- Akuffo-Appiah-Owusu-Ofori Atta- Lamptey-Boahen-Quarshiga-Kuffour-Mahama-Menka-Da Rocha- (D-B-A-D-A-A-O-O-L-D-Q-K-M-M-D Tradition). Lovely isn’t it?

Or, they could spilt and form their own party called the Danquah-Busia Dombo (DBD) Party. This way, they would be able to erect monuments and statues in their honor; name everything in the country after them etc. The rest of us will remain with the NPP which embraces the UPT; a tradition which set the standard for inclusion and shuns idol worshipping.

Columnist: Afrifa, Akwasi